Originally published July 2, 2018 by Seattle Times editorial board
Throughout her 22 years in the Legislature, Karen Keiser has been a strong advocate for women and families.
Voters should elect her to another term representing the 33rd Legislative District, which includes SeaTac, Des Moines, Normandy Park, and parts of Kent and Burien.
During her most recent four-year term, Keiser sponsored bills to crack down on workplace sexual harassment. The Des Moines Democrat also helped broker a deal to enact a paid-family-leave program.
As the chairwoman of the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee, Keiser wants to increase apprenticeship opportunities so that people can learn a trade while earning a paycheck. She’s appropriately concerned about equity in public schools and supports expanding opportunities for all students to attend high-quality preschool.
She, like most of her colleagues, took a deeply disappointing vote earlier this year to exempt the state Legislature from the state’s Public Records Act, a move that prompted a public outcry and was vetoed by Gov. Jay Inslee.
Her opponents, libertarian candidate Charles Schaefer and Kun Wang, who identifies himself as an independent Republican, lack the experience to serve as effectively should they take Keiser’s place.
Keiser appears knowledgeable about the challenges in the state’s mental-health system, particularly the need to establish community treatment facilities to help move people out of the troubled Western State Hospital. She supports increased gun control measures as well as a repeal of the death penalty.
Her experience with a wide range of state policy issues will be an asset as lawmakers turn their attention to mental-health care and other topics that took a back seat during the recent yearslong campaign to boost K-12 education spending.
Voters should return Keiser to the Senate.