When Joan McBride (D-Kirkland) decided to run for a state legislator position two years ago, it was because she was concerned about what was happening at the state level.
She said at the time, lawmakers had a strong statewide transportation plan in the works but it ended up not happening.
“I like to play for the team…This is not about power,” McBride said. “I ran because I wanted to see a state transportation plan and more investment in affordable housing and support for our cities and counties.”
In 2014, she was elected as 48th Legislative District House of Representatives, Position 2 and sworn into office in January 2015. The 64-year-old who has lived on the Eastside since she was 9, is now running for re-election.
McBride currently serves on four house committees — environment, local government, rules and transportation — and said she has had a great two years in office.
While she prefers the Democratic Party, she said she has no problem working across the aisle. Her background in non-partisan local government — having served on Kirkland City Council for 16 years, including 10 as deputy mayor and four as mayor — made it much easier to include all stakeholders on any given issue.
In the year and a half she has served so far, bills that McBride has introduced to the House of Representatives include a “fix bill” that helped realtors and advocates for low-income housing. She said that bill brought together colleagues from both sides of the aisle in addition to the realtors and low-income housing advocates.
“That was awesome,” she said.
McBride also introduced a bill that would allow homeless and unaccompanied youth to receive routine medical care without a parent or guardian signing off for them.
She said she has also been working hard to change some of the tolling rules on I-405, asking the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to work on a few things, adding that she would like to see excess funds to go toward work on SR-522.
If re-elected, one of the issues McBride would like to work on is affordable housing. She said there needs to be local options and state funding to help build and preserve affordable housing.
McBride said legislators also need to come together to talk about how the McCleary decision to fully fund K-12 education will affect school districts on the Eastside. She said they need to figure out how to best support school districts as they find solutions to adequately fund public schools.
McBride has also been working on a bill regarding public records and plans to continue doing so if re-elected. She said while public records are important for an open and transparent government, there are a few instances in which the state’s current system is not working as well as it could be such as with harassing or excessive requests.
Mental health is another point of concern for McBride, who said it has been defunded for so long that Washington is now behind the curve.