As a husband, father, technology entrepreneur and citizen legislator, I have learned and grown a great deal by serving as your representative in the Washington State Legislature. It has been thrilling to experience both humorous freshman mistakes and bold policy victories that even some veteran legislators rarely see.
Since being elected in 2008 I have tried, above all, to make a genuine difference and help real people living real lives.
Serving as a citizen legislator is for me about unabashedly believing in hope over cynicism. I’m not embarrassed to say that idealism is not a quaint concept and slogan but a guiding principle. I can’t live this life any other way.
The 36th District is among the most educated, progressive and relatively affluent in our state. I believe the people of our district elected me in 2008 to vigorously seek intellectual and moral independence from old-fashioned orthodoxies. We live in a 21st Century global community and stereotypical positions—liberal, conservative, Democrat and Republican—have little bearing on our children’s future.
The DNA of my service has been a genuine attempt to govern with courageous honesty.
I have developed a philosophical grounding that there are three central “C” categories that together form a rich quilt of values: Conscience, constituents and caucus. The balance between them goes to the heart of making decisions about how to vote on a tough bill and how to effectively represent the people of Washington.
In my first term, with an unprecedented budget deficit of $9 billion, I focused the majority of my policy work on higher education and technology issues.
Through building relationships with senior legislators, I helped secure millions of dollars in precious taxes to: Send hundreds of foster youth to college; dramatically expand on line distance learning programs and eliminate costly proprietary college text books for 150,000 college students (saving students more than $20 million a year in text book costs). I prime sponsored a new law to finally allow students at technical colleges to transfer their credits to four-year universities. My second bill created a Higher Education Technology Transformation Task Force to save hundreds of millions in tax dollars by eliminating the separate, duplicative silos of technical infrastructure.
I have embraced the obligation to challenge the institutional bureaucracy when I believe it is spending money unwisely or putting narrow internal interests above the public good. The legislature’s audit and oversight role is, in my view, one of the most important tasks and yet it is widely overlooked.
For example, I publicly challenged a decision to spend an incremental $180 million on a new state data center in Olympia that I believe is based upon a weak technical and financial business case. I led an effort to transfer management of a college scholarship program for foster youth to highly qualified non-profits rather than state agencies.
On behalf of our district, I’m working on a wide range of exciting issues including education reform, higher education, jobs, transportation, public infrastructure, technology, health care, public safety, budget and tax issues and much more.
On a broader level, I’m committed to focusing on large ‘systems’ issues: The shift from manufacturing to service economies means loss of wages and buying power; a lack of educational rigor and quality from K-12 through higher education; an inability for the middle class to afford health care, housing and other staples of life; the difficulty of small business to succeed against bureaucratic barriers; the lack of common sense coordination and efficiency between disconnected city, county and state governments; a need for new thinking about clean energy and environmental strategies.
I am striving to be the first ‘paperless’ legislative office and to communicate with you using convenient, real-time, interactive, on line tools. Please call me at (206) 286-9663 or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
. Please visit my personal blog at: reuvencarlyle36.com
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On behalf of my wife Wendy—the hero of my ability to serve in public office—and my four wonderful, creative, loving and loud children, I offer my deepest thanks for your support.
Your partner in service,