April 1, 2013
Q&A with State Rep. Steve Bergquist ’02
This is the third installment in our “Huskies on the Hill” series featuring UW Alumni serving in state government.
Representative Bergquist is serving his first term in the Washington State Legislature. He is a public school teacher, union member and small business owner from Renton.
After earning his bachelor’s degree in political science and history, he attended Western Washington University for his master’s degree in education and social studies. His wife, Avanti, is a faculty physician at the UW and Seattle Children’s Hospital.
1. What motivated you to run for office?
The opportunity, as an active teacher and community leader, to support our students from pre-K through higher ed and to be a strong voice for the great constituents of the 11th district.
2. What are your legislative priorities this session?
Fully funding our basic public education system and keeping tuition from skyrocketing – while protecting our safety net for those in need.
3. What has been the biggest surprise and biggest disappointment for you so far this session?
My biggest surprise is the amount of time that it takes to be an effective legislator. This is truly a full-time job. My biggest disappointment is the lack of ability to find a plan, thus far, to fund our education and transportation needs.
4. What do you think the long-term outlook is for Higher Education in our state?
I am optimistic over the next decade that we can get tuition increases under control, fully fund our state need grants and college bound scholarship qualifiers and maintain and grow our GET program.
5. How do you spend your time when the legislature is not in session?
I am a public high school social studies teacher and tennis coach at Lindbergh High School in Renton.