Why I Heart Patty
You may have read my endorsement featured in The Spovangelist. Here’s more of that same article that I am awfully proud of (and took me forever to write).
Before I head out the door I have a choice between my hat of freelance photographer to radio producer and host on a non-profit community radio station. One thing that always stays the same, no matter the day of the week, I am a citizen and a woman who will be adversely affected if Senator Patty Murray is not re-elected to office.
One afternoon before a Spokane Shock game, I found myself waving signs for Patty on the corner of Howard and Boone. A woman, showing her support for Dino Rossi, approached me and simply asked, “Why do you support her?”. One reason is that Patty Murray has been a supporter of Planned Parenthood 100% of the time since 1993 (VoteSmart.org). The programs offered through this hard-working non-profit give the means to education and health care in a setting that does not prosecute the person emotionally. In 2009, Murray signed the Prevention First Act, “a bill to reduce unintended pregnancy, reduce abortions, and improve access to women’s health care”. The bill is still in committee, but it is one step closer to individuals having the freedom to make the right choice for their body.
Starting with the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, we are so much closer to closing the gap to equality between men and women in the workforce. As a former employee of a local unionized television station, I found myself in a field of work (production/operations) that was predominantly male. I was one of four women in a department of 20+ employees. I was blessed to work for a company that did not pay their employees differently based on their sex. I understand that this luxury has not been the same for others. Patty Murray has been a cosponsor of both the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act that will be voted on in the senate when they reconvene in November after the election. Individual women are losing up to $10,000 a year due to lower wages. According to the U.S. Census Bureau (2008), in the state of Washington, the average earnings for a full-time, year-round woman in the workforce was $37,932 compared to male workers: $51,272. Not only would this prevent lawsuits to businesses, it would also work to close the wage gap and improve the financial stability of single-mom families and other women in general.
Some of my last reasonings of endorsement have nothing to do with women’s issues, but deals with my own personal passions: the environment. She stood up to the oil lobby and voted for measures that would prevent the destruction of entire sustainable industries. Her support for a West Coast drilling ban will avoid the disaster we saw in the Gulf.
“I am also going to keep fighting to make sure what is happening now in the Gulf Coast never happens here off of our coasts. Because I don’t even want to imagine what would happen to our economy and our environment if there was an oil spill off of our shores–it would be a disaster.” – Patty Murray
Careless abuse of our environment in past decades has decreased our wildlife count, threatening and endangering many species, including: Chinook and Sockeye Salmon throughout the state (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service). Salmon has always been a huge part of our local economy statewide. As somebody that grew up in Western Washington, I recall many rainy and cold days counting salmon on the banks of Little Bear Creek during their annual runs (Thanks, Mom!). It is important to our state in many parts of it including the Hanford Reach, a 51-stretch of the Columbia River which has a critical area for spawning salmon.
Patty Murray introduced legislation in 1995 to designate the Reach as a Wild and Scenic River. This was the boost needed to make the Hanford Reach a national monument in 2000 thanks to former President Bill Clinton for signing a proclamation. It received the funding needed to rehabilitate the 304 square miles for fish and wildlife, research human history, spanning more than 10,000 years, through Washington State University and to redevelop the Hanford B Reactor as a symbol of our American history to showcase our innovation, the good and the bad.
This isn’t about the continuing the status quo, it’s about a list of accomplishments and continuing those kinds of achievements into the future. Since I know that the many things Patty had done for us would not be accomplished by any other candidate, I recommend a vote for Patty Murray.