A quick update

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Washington, DC, September 10, 2015 | comments
Dear Friend, Throughout the past month, I had the opportunity to travel across the First District, meeting and talking with many constituents to discuss their concerns and priorities.
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Dear Friend, 

Throughout the past month, I had the opportunity to travel across the First District, meeting and talking with many constituents to discuss their concerns and priorities.

I want to share with you some of what I heard over the past month, including the importance of conservation and outdoor recreation, supporting our National Guard, providing new job training opportunities, improving our schools and promoting equality.

Conservation efforts and outdoor recreation:
Protecting water quality, wildlife, fisheries and expanding outstanding outdoor recreation opportunities are critical for preserving what makes living in the Pacific Northwest so special.

That’s why I toured the Illabot Creek, which was recently designated as Wild and Scenic, and discussed with members of American Rivers, American Whitewater and The Nature Conservancy ways Congress can protect more of the beautiful First District (Pictured below with me, 6th from left).

Senator Patty Murray and I also met with local stakeholders to discuss the positive economic effect the outdoor recreation industry has in it supports nearly 200,000 jobs and contributes more than $20 billion to our economy each year. We called for the reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which has funded more than $630 million in conservation projects for Washington since it was created 50 years ago.

Supporting the National Guard:
Major General Bret Daugherty and I also announced new legislation (pictured right) that I will be introducing to ensure certain National Guard members and their families retain health coverage when temporarily ordered into State Active Duty to assist with a natural disaster. During last year’s tragic SR 530 landslide, we learned that current law does not allow states to extend health coverage for some National Guard members when they’re called to respond to state emergencies. We should not be forcing our National Guard members to choose between helping our communities and caring for their own families. Congress must act to pass my bill before the next disaster strikes.

New Job Training Opportunities:
visited YWCA, a recipient of part of the $22 million job-training pilot program I helped secure in the farm bill. Through the Resources to Initiate Successful Employment (RISE) program, YWCA was awarded $250,000 a year for the next three years for job-training programs that will help participants develop workplace skills, remove employment barriers and help achieve self-sufficiency through job placement. These funds will help those on nutrition assistance become self-sufficient by giving them the specialized training and education needed to increase their earning potential.

Education Reform:
First District teachers and administrators gave me their input on reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). ESEA, also known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), has not been updated for nearly 15 years. It's critical that Congress take swift action to replace this outdated law to ensure we're providing students with the college and career-ready skills needed to succeed in a 21st century economy.

Supporting Equality:
In many states, Americans who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) can still be fired, denied credit and evicted from their homes simply based on who they are and who they love, which is why I called for passage of the Equality Act. This much-needed bill would provide explicit, consistent civil rights protections for sexual orientation and gender identity in credit, education, employment, federal funding, housing, jury service and public accommodations.

I also spoke out against so-called “conversion therapy,” and highlighted legislation that would establish the first federal ban of the for-profit practice. LGBT Americans don’t need a “cure,” they need equality under the law.

These are just a few of the things that happened over the past few weeks. As I return to the other Washington, I am eager to take what I’ve heard from you and share it with the rest of Congress. There are many issues that need to be addressed before the end of the year, and it’s my hope that Congress can work together to improve access to opportunity for all Americans.

As always, my office is here to serve you. If you have questions or comments about the topics that matter most to you, I encourage you to contact me through my website. You may also keep up-to-date on what I’m doing by following me on TwitterInstagramand Facebook. If you need assistance dealing with a federal agency, such as the IRS or the VA, please do not hesitate to contact my Bothell office at (425) 485-0085.



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