Speaking of clout…
…and committees, I'm pleased to note the impending assignments for my own personal Senator-Elect, Maralyn Chase (great big capital letter italicized bold print D-32).
She'll be stepping right in as Vice Chair of the Economic Development, Trade & Innovation Committee, where Maralyn can build on the work she's done in creating jobs and opportunity for Washingtonian's in the State House. On a proudly partisan level, Maralyn's been a leader in building bridges between the Democratic Party and the main street business community. This is a great spot for her to expand on that work, as well.
The Environment, Water & Energy Committee is home to some of the issues I know are closest to Maralyn's heart, and as the Senator for the 32nd, home to both salt and fresh water shorelines, fragile watersheds, and active alternative energy community, they are issues close to the heart of her constituents, as well.
Maralyn will also serve on the Government Operations, Tribal Relations & Elections Committee. That's quite a portfolio, but I can speak personally to her suitability for the Tribal Relations portion. Maralyn served on the Board of Directors of the Seattle Indian Center when I represented the Center on the Seattle Indian Services Commission, so I got to watch her work on issues related to everything from basic human services for the entire community to job training for tribal members while negotiating the sometimes troublesome path of tribal and personal entanglements that can be found in Indian Country. Growing up on and about the Yakama reservation in central Washington gave her insight that helped in that assignment, and that will help in this one. I think I can confidently say that the tribes will find and open mind and an alert ear in Olympia with Maralyn on the job.
It's going to be a tough session coming up, but if every member of the Senate has been as well matched to their expertise and their district's interests as Maralyn, some good may come out of it yet.