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  • Anna Patrick

Representation Matters

Updated: Jul 11, 2022

Representation Matters. This was our local 30th District Representative Jesse Johnson’s mantra during his period of legislation. He is correct in his statement.

Representation does matter.

Stand Up advocates representation for those who are operating a business in our community.

We advocate for those who value safety and a vibrant community and for the good police who work tirelessly to keep our community safe. We advocate for the families with children who want to play at a park or go to a beach or go shopping without the fear and real risk of needles, theft, car jackings or getting shot at or threatened over minor disputes.

We advocate for safe travels via bus for those who lack other alternatives and for government entities that can respond promptly to problem behaviors that severely impact neighbors daily. We advocate for safety, and we endorse representatives who advocate for what that means to us.

This means we advocate for holding people personally accountable for follow-through with clearly defined and predictable next steps. We want our government bodies to provide the tools that lift people up, but we don’t believe in burdening those who work hard every day with higher taxes to create a hammock for a destructive lifestyle that we financially support.

We don’t believe the underdog of society should be untouchable while hard working people or people doing the right thing pay the price from theft, abuse, unnecessary trauma, and physical danger.

We don’t believe our justice system should be handled like a slot machine hoping the next coin provides a big payout. We believe people should be treated fairly but should be personally responsible for their choices.

The current system is being abused by criminals.

We knew this would happen.

It was predictable.

Public safety is a privilege that must be afforded to everyone. We are tired of hearing the excuses made for criminals. We are tired of bracing ourselves for the next radical proposed law that puts the rest of us in danger.

In doing some research recently, Stand Up discovered that the current politicians serving as King County Council and other key positions had previously served as representatives.

Some have been in the government system for a long time and have gotten us where we are today. To our surprise, it was discovered that some laws involving school discipline were voted on by conservative representatives. Many laws that are voted on have a story to tell and are tied to other laws or requirements.

We have the advantage of being able to look at previous legislation and voting records for Linda Kochmar. If you look at just a few of Linda’s bills, you can see that she voted sensibly. For example, she voted against the bill that severely limits suspensions and expulsions in schools but voted in favor of a student discipline task force. The conclusion was that she valued the data but didn’t want to limit the ability to hold a student accountable for behavior that may severely disrupt the classroom environment for everyone else. It also appears that the task force was tied to laws that were already in place that were problematic. There is a master plan that is far bigger than our local community. Our representatives are often there to move this plan forward or create a rock in the river until these laws have more accountability in place.

There is funding that comes to our school district from the Federal government based on mandates that we must implement. To carry this out the way that those higher ups envision, they back specific leaders to do the work at the local level. They serve in these positions to carry out their mission and additional ideas and agendas are tacked on along the way.

Over the years, we have seen a complete dismantling and attempted overhaul of policing and the justice system. This follows a similar process that is still being perfected within our school systems. This negatively impacts learning without the proper resources that often go beyond the scope of what a school can offer. We have also seen a push for social change. Many people support these changes while at the same time realizing that our crime in our local community is completely out of control. Many are also feeling the burden of government via rapidly increasing and oppressive taxes and overreach of government control.

This overreach is occurring in schools by taking away parental rights in some cases. Our current government leaders, along with their media outlets and advocates, have put people in specific boxes based on stereotypes and turned us all against each other. As a result, new biases have been intentionally created out of politicization of identities. This was evident at a recent school board meeting when a community member assumed that all gay people are liberal and push their liberal agendas in schools. And not all people of faith cast out gay family members as they are depicted to do so even while standing firmly by their faith values.

We have got to get to a place where we can have healthy conversations and stop putting people in specific camps based on specific identities. We have got to get to a place where we can respect differences in values and beliefs and stop infringing on the values and beliefs of others. We are all unique and have unique stories to tell.

The Federal Way community is desperate for change. We are tired of extreme government. We do not want this extremism to breed more extremism and want to get back to moderate government. We know that we cannot go back in time. And some of this progress serves our community well, but we are missing accountability and have got to address this. That is why we are looking for sensible leaders who can add this element to the change that has been put in place.

- Anna Patrick

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