April 8, 2013
Q&A with State Rep. Steve O’Ban ’84
This is the fourth installment in our “Huskies on the Hill” series featuring UW Alumni serving in state government.
Rep. O’Ban and his wife, Laurie, a Tacoma Community College instructor, have two sons serving in the United States Army. After graduating from the University of Washington, he attended Seattle University School of Law.
1. What motivated you to run for office?
I believed that my 25 years as an attorney, and other leadership opportunities, could be of help to the legislative process. I have found that to be true and am very grateful for the opportunity to use this background and my professional skills to help make our state better.
2. What are your legislative priorities this session?
Increase job growth in the private sector, help veterans transitioning from military service to the private sector find living wage jobs, and bring transparency and accountability to state government so it spends taxpayers’ money more effectively.
3. What has been the biggest surprise and biggest disappointment for you so far this session?
My biggest, pleasant surprise is the higher degree of bi-partisanship than I expected and biggest disappointment is the number of good bills that die because of the lack of time or other, less worthy bills eat up precious legislative time.
4. What do you think the long-term outlook is for Higher Education in our state?
I believe policymakers of all parties are in agreement that higher education is too expensive and pricing the middle class and disadvantaged out of the opportunity to take part in the American dream. I hope that in this legislative session we spend the money and make the reforms to increase access to higher education.
5. How do you spend your time when the legislature is not in session?
I am an attorney in private practice in the firm Ellis, Li & McKinstry PLLC in Seattle and I volunteer at a legal clinic and serve on the boards and volunteer with the Rescue Mission and a nonprofit serving the Yakama Indian Reservation.