April 5, 2017
On the value of science, healthcare and education, our Washington delegation is listening
This week, I spent a few days in the “other Washington” where I had the opportunity to meet with the members of our federal legislative delegation and their staffs. I shared with them the invaluable, vital work that our University of Washington community does to expand the frontiers of scientific research, improve healthcare, develop creativity through the arts and provide quality and affordable education to our students. I also detailed the truly devastating effects some of the cuts in the President’s proposed budget would have for innovation, healthcare, national security and job creation. As we talked, I was struck by how lucky we are to be represented by such dedicated public servants (a healthy percentage of whom are Huskies, I should add!)
Everyone I talked with – including Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell as well as Representatives Adam Smith, Rick Larsen, Cathy McMorris Rogers, Dave Reichert, Jaime Herrera Beutler, Suzan DelBene, Denny Heck, Derek Kilmer, and Pramila Jayapal – was passionate about our state and the work we do in higher education across Washington and at the UW. They shared a deep understanding of the importance of education, research and healthcare to our state and national well-being.
These conversations were powerful reminders that there is more that unites us than divides us, and that there is steadfast support for research, science and innovation across both political parties. Returning from DC, I feel more hopeful that this mission we all share will serve as the foundation for cooperation and compromise on the policy-making challenges that lie ahead. But it’s just as important to remember that your continued advocacy for our public mission as a research university is needed and gets heard. Members of Congress and the Senate are there to serve our interests. They want to know what’s important to us, and they do listen. Your voice matters.