Summer is here in an even numbered year. You know what that means? It is time to launch my campaign for re-election to the Washington State House of Representatives.
With eight campaigns under my belt I have knocked on more than 60,000 doors in the 45th District. Chances are I have met you at your door, at community events, town halls or candidate forums sometime in the past 16 years. THANK YOU for taking the time to chat with me regarding the issues and challenges important to you. I could not do my job without your willingness to share concerns with me.
During my time in the House of Representatives we have faced many challenges including the worst recession since the 1930’s, the McCleary K-12 funding crisis, rebuilding the 520 bridge, increasing homelessness across the state, not to mention an exploding opioid crisis. I have always met these challenges head on. They are never solved in one session but instead require the willingness to stick to it year after year.
Now we face a challenge none of us have dealt with before. The Corona Virus has stretched our health care system to its limits, devastated thousands of Washington families, and wreaked havoc on our economy. This is a time for experienced leadership which is why I was tapped to lead a business recovery strategy for our caucus. This has been one of the most difficult challenges I have faced as an elected official. To be sure, we have had some successes, but not enough. That is why my team is currently working on legislation for the next legislative session to continue helping businesses in Washington survive and get back to business.
If there is anything I learned from the challenges I mentioned above it is this...don‘t give up, tough problems take time and perseverance. Listen closely, good ideas often come from unexpected places.
However, the Corona Virus is not the only issue facing Washington State. We can no longer accept gun violence as a modern-day reality. The time for “thoughts and prayers” and “moments of silence” are over! The legislature made some progress last session but there is more to do. We can change this if we have the political courage…it’s way past time!
The emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement in response to the tragic deaths of black men and women at the hands of police has shined a bright light on inherent racism in America. It is uncomfortable to talk about but…..so what! Let’s talk to understand and act to change.
The shadow hanging over all this important work next session is the looming budget deficit created by Corona Virus. The deficit makes the great recession pale by comparison. As a member of both the Finance Committee and Appropriations Committee I will be in the middle of those negotiations.
So, together let’s get at it.
Larry and his family have been a part of the Eastside for more than 60 years. The son of a World War II veteran Larry spent his early childhood living at High Point in West Seattle and attended a one room school in the project. His father worked days for the postal service, and on weekends took Larry with him while he built the family’s first home across the lake in Bellevue.
Larry graduated from Bellevue High School and after earning his BA at Western Washington State College with a degree in education Larry taught elementary school for five years and was President of the Auburn Teachers Association.
In 1975 Larry earned a Masters Degree in Family Counseling from the University of Oregon, then served two years as the Administrative Director for the King County Youth Services jobs program followed by two years as the Executive Director of a group home program for delinquent boys in Puyallup.
In 1985, led by a passion for the art of wine and the desire to own his own business, Larry opened “The Grape Choice” in downtown Kirkland. While the business has moved four times over 25 years, the loyalty and deep commitment to the City of Kirkland and its community has kept the store in downtown. “The Grape,” as it is warmly referred to by long time customers and friends, is not just a place to buy wine, it seems to be a place where soul mates find each other….there have been four staff marriages…..and still counting.
He has served in a variety of community organizations in the area, including the Kirkland Arts Center, Kirkland Performance Center, and Eastside United Way. In 1993, Larry was elected to the Kirkland City Council. During an 11-year tenure, he was named “Kirkland’s Favorite Elected Official” as well as receiving other local awards, including a National Distinguished Leader award in 1998 for his community leadership.
Larry Springer is a former board member of the Seattle – King County Economic Development Council, former member of Eastside Transportation Partnership, and former Chair of the Suburban Cities Management Board. Larry also served as the SCA representative to the Puget Sound Regional Council Executive Board and King County Regional Policy Committee.
Also during Larry’s time on the Kirkland City Council he was a key player in bringing the Little League World Series to Kirkland. As Mayor he secured Kirkland a “Coming Home” sculpture commissioned by the United States Navy League which commemorates the sacrifices made by families of the men and women serving in America’s sea services.
Elected to the state legislature in 2004, Larry has continued to make education, transportation, and housing his priorities. Whether increasing school construction funding by over $100 million (HB 2170), providing additional housing for migrant farm workers (HB 2418), or working to ensure Eastside funding for the 520 bridge project, Larry continues to support our communities in Olympia.
Everyone deserves to feel safe and, actually be safe, in their communities. It is time the Legislature enacts reasonable gun safety laws. It is not rocket science to come up with thoughtful, common sense laws that help protect both our community safety and the right for law abiding citizens to own a firearm. It is simply unconscionable that our children now experience real fear about going to school.
There is a message in these two pictures…Persistence Matters!
I started working on replacing the 520 bridge in 1995 as part of the first Regional Design Committee. After I went to the Legislature I worked for several years on the team negotiating final legislation and funding that actually got the job done. It should not take that long but the lessen learned here is never give up.
Now we have to keep the pressure on to complete the corridor from Montlake to I-5…Persistence Matters!
As a small business owner, I know what it’s like to watch the bottom line. I’ll work with employers large and small to protect existing jobs and bring new jobs to our region in growing areas like alternative energy, biotechnology, biofuels and emerging industries.
From Lake Washington to the Cascade foothills, our quality of life is defined by our region’s natural beauty. I understand that preserving our quality of life requires a thoughtful balance between respecting individual property rights and the need to assure healthy neighborhoods, open space, and clean air and water. I’ll work with local government—and landowners—to assure that we protect it both rights and the environment.
I’m fighting to make sure everyone has access to affordable health care. I voted to cover all kids by 2010 and I’m working to help businesses provide coverage to employees. I’ve already helped make prescriptions more affordable for seniors.
Children are our most precious resource. As a former teacher, I’ve supported pay raises for teachers and funding to lower class sizes. I’ll make sure we invest in our schools and teachers—not school bureaucracy—and assure that every student that wants to attend college in Washington has access to the school of their choice.