Sharing my story with Gov. Inslee
This week, I had the honor and privilege of meeting Governor Jay Inslee. I attended the State Board meeting where the governor was a guest. I was happy just being in that space, but he wanted to talk to us: the legislative interns! My hands were sweating. My heart was pounding so hard I thought it would come out of my chest. I was shaking, filled with emotions and excitement. I was able to muster some coherent words to say thank you for his Executive Order 22-02, Achieving Equity in Washington State Government, and then he asked me questions, and for me, it seemed like a dream. Who would have ever thought that someone like me, who came from nothing, would have the privilege and honor to say they spoke to the Governor of Washington, and he was interested in who I am and what I’m doing? It was an out-of-this-world experience.
The first four weeks of session have been filled with exciting learning and growing opportunities. I had the privilege to sit in a strategy meeting with Arlen Harris, Jan Yoshiwara, and many other fantastic colleagues. As they talked through policy, it was interesting to see how their minds collectively came together as if this project was a puzzle. It was exciting to see them collaborating, combining their thoughts, and all contributing to the work. It was an excellent learning experience because I was able to see how they brainstorm and work together to achieve success in the legislative process.
Once again, I had the opportunity to testify, this time in the House Appropriations Committee. I spoke in favor of HB 1659, and like last time, it was an exhilarating experience. Because I am still new, I learn something every time. During my testimony this week, I realized that committee members are listening even when we think they are not.
Another focus this week was advocating for policy that would support students during unexpected times, like the COVID-19 pandemic and other emergencies. When students fall ill or experience an emergency that leaves them unable to attend school for a short period, there should be a clear guidelines and protocols that can be taken and implemented to protect students so they can continue their education
I also had the privilege of attending a Racial Equity Team meeting. Invited by Ha Nguyen, the meeting was a chance for people from different organizations came together and work on bills focused on increasing racial equity. I had the opportunity to meet and speak to Sen. Trudeau and Rep. Thai. It was so great to see how they collaborate and work to support each other by providing feedback.
I can’t thank SBCTC enough for this opportunity. Thank you so much for making spaces like this for students like me.