Mental Health Advocate and Ricky’s Law Champion Lauren Davis to run for State Representative

Monday, March 12, 2018

Lauren Davis, candidate for State Rep in 32nd District
Monday, Washington Recovery Alliance founding Executive Director Lauren Davis filed to run for the 32nd legislative district in the Washington State House of Representatives, the open seat vacated by retiring State Rep. Ruth Kagi. 

Davis championed HB 1713, also known as “Ricky’s Law,” which was signed  by Governor Inslee in 2016. The legislation represents a monumental shift in behavioral health treatment; it created an involuntary crisis commitment system for youth and adults with life-threatening addiction. The bill is named after Davis’ close friend, Ricky Garcia, who Davis stood by and cared for when Garcia was battling addiction and mental health challenges.

Ricky’s Law will create nine secure inpatient addiction treatment facilities for adolescents and adults over the next eight years and the first fifty beds open April 1. The bill is one of the largest single investments in addiction treatment in state history. For her efforts, Davis was given the 2016 Hero Award from the Washington Council for Behavioral Health.

In conjunction with today’s announcement, Davis is also touting key endorsements from both 32nd District State Representatives: Rep. Ruth Kagi, and Rep. Cindy Ryu.

In acknowledgement of her leadership in behavioral health and human services, she has also earned the support of Speaker Frank Chopp (D-43), Senator Marko Liias (D-21), former Shoreline Mayor Shari Winstead, former Shoreline School Board President Deborah Ehrlichman, chair of the House Health Care Committee, Rep. Eileen Cody (D- 34), chair of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Laurie Jinkins (D-27), Rep. Nicole Macri (D-43), Rep. Tana Senn (D-41), and former State Rep. Brady Walkinshaw, among others.

In explaining her endorsement of Davis, Rep. Kagi said: “I’ve partnered with Lauren in Olympia -she's smart, effective, and has proven she can get things done on day one. I am confident she will carry forward our shared values regarding children and families, prevention, and education, as well as the tradition of strong women leaders from the 32nd.”

After teaching at a Head Start program, Davis spent several years working in international development, as a Fulbright Fellow in Ghana and a consultant at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She then directed school and campus-based mental health and suicide prevention programs for Forefront Suicide Prevention. She also recently taught a mental health policy course in the Masters in Social Work program at the University of Washington.

Davis was a founding board member of the Washington Recovery Alliance, where she now serves as the organization’s Executive Director. 

She also serves on the Public Policy Committee for the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Washington State and recently served on King County’s Behavioral Health Advisory Board. 

Davis is a strong champion for mental health and addiction recovery, strengthening our schools, reforming the criminal justice system, and housing. 

Davis graduated magna cum laude from Brown University where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic Studies. She currently resides in Shoreline.


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