Local legislator honored for bipartisan work by Seattle CityClub

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Rep. Jessyn Farrell, D-46
Seattle CityClub has announced the publication of a new online collection highlighting bipartisanship in the Washington State Legislature. 

“So often when we hear news out of Olympia it focuses on polarization, strife and party politics. Yet, that's not the whole truth,” explains Diane Douglas, executive director of CityClub.

“Although differences certainly do exist, we are excited to highlight legislatures who have reached across the aisle to form connections, compromises and camaraderie that allows them to better serve the people of Washington State. “

Legislators profiled in the collection include Rep. Jessyn Farrell, D-46th District including Lake Forest Park and Kenmore.
Uncovering common ground
Rep. Jessyn Farrell (D-46th District) and Sen. Doug Ericksen
(R-42nd District) 
Rep. Jessyn Farrell admits that finding common ground in the legislature isn’t always easy. “We are in a very polarized environment historically,” she says. But, as she also knows from experience, just because it can be difficult, doesn’t mean it’s impossible. 
When developing bipartisanship solutions, Farrell says the key to successful collaboration is finding common ground, even when it seems like there is none. 
Last year Farrell found common ground when developing legislation that would improve the safety of trains that transport oil through the state. To pass this legislation, she worked with Sen. Doug Ericksen. 
“We come from two very different ideas on the role of government in regulating environmental issues. But I think because his community and my community agree on a basic idea, to make these trains safer, we were able to craft a bill together at the last day of regular session,” she explains.” 
And Sen. Doug Ericksen agrees. “I’m glad we were able to finish our regular session by settling one of the biggest issues before us this year. Reaching compromise on this issue required hard work by both parties,” he explained in a piece on the Washington State Senate Republican Caucus website. “This demonstrates we can find a way to reach agreement and compromise.”

Others were Rep. Michelle Caldier (R-26th District), Rep. Sam Hunt (D-22nd District), Rep. Jim Moeller (D-49th District), Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self (D-21st District), Rep. Eric Pettigrew (D-37th District), Rep. Marcus Riccelli, (D-3rd District) and Rep. Hans Zeiger (R-25th District).

In 2014, CityClub helped bring the nationally acclaimed Next Generation: State Legislators leadership initiative to the Washington State Legislature. Created by the National Institute for Civil Discourse, this pioneering program trains state legislators to work together across the aisle. In the past two years, nearly 40% of our legislature have attended this workshop, supported by the Henry M. Jackson Foundation and the William D. Ruckelshaus Center.

The complete collection can be found online here.

Seattle CityClub is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to informing, connecting and engaging the public to strengthen the civic health of our region. Since its first program in 1981, CityClub has sponsored thousands of dialogues, discussions and candidate forums featuring local, regional and national experts and leaders.


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