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WEA Members Uniting to Elect Pro-Public Schools Candidates

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Randall event

WEA members are united for our students and we know that advocating for what they need may begin in the classroom but extends to electing candidates who will have their backs in the legislature.  As the November election approaches, WEA members across the state are talking to our communities about the importance of supporting pro-public education, pro-union candidates.  Now is the time for all of us to get involved. 

This weekend, WEA members joined Congressman Kilmer, Senator Emily Randall, and Adison Richards in the Kitsap Peninsula’s 26th legislative district to talk about students’ and families’ needs including  the critical shortage of educators across the state and country.   

“I’m out here today because my students need me,” said Paraeducator Jacob Robinson.  “We need to elect a pro-public education legislature to make sure we’re fulfilling our promise to give our students great schools.” 

IMG_4980Sen. Randall, who is running for re-election, told the crowd that access to higher education continues to be one of her priorities.   

“When I graduated from South Kitsap High School, I had to go to the other side of the country to be able to afford college,” said Senator Randall. “Our state had been under-investing in higher education for so long that it was cheaper for me to go to a private school than it was to go to Western Washington University at the time.” Randall is resolved to fix this funding gap. 

She credited the hard work of her supporters including many WEA members in the last election cycle for her win by 102 votes.  This victory has made a big difference in the lives of students across the state. As a result of her election, she said, the legislature was able to pass some of the strongest financial aid policy in the country which she said means, “students who graduate with some of the same circumstances as I did can afford to stay in state near their family and can afford to follow their dreams close to home.” 

Randall also noted that leaders like her in the legislature are investing in students who choose career paths that don’t require 4-year degrees by increasing funding for technical skill centers that provide pathways to family-supporting jobs. This kind of training builds a strong future for Washington’s economy. 

State House Candidate Adison Richards echoed Randall’s support for lowering the cost of higher education, particularly for future educators. He also told WEA members that when elected, he will work to ensure the state fulfills its paramount duty to fund schools. Richards said it is vital that the state eases the burden on rural communities while ensuring students who live in places like the Kitsap Peninsula have access to high-quality education. 

“Hearing from these candidates makes me even more excited to help them get elected to represent us and our students,” said John Richardson, elementary teacher and South Kitsap EA president.  “I’m proud to be part of our union and part of the effort to get these candidates elected. 

IMG_4994Congressman Derek Kilmer thanked everyone in attendance saying, “I’m really grateful for the role that educators and education employees have played in having the backs of our kids and our families, and as a consequence, I think it’s really important that we have your back too.” 

“The stakes are really high this year,” remarked Rep. Kilmer, who echoed WEA members’ calls for educators to be heavily involved in this fall’s election. 

WEA activists are scheduling more doorbelling events across the state leading up to the November 8 voting deadline.  Sign up here to learn more about what’s happening in your area!   

Posted in: Elections
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