April 22, 2019
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Passages: Margarita Prentice and Senate Secretary Hunter Goodman

Longtime legislator Margarita Prentice, who was 57 when she became the first Latina elected to the Legislature, and who served 25 years in both chambers, died earlier this month at age 88.

Former Gov. Christine Gregoire called Sen. Prentice “a force,” The Seattle Times reports: tough and compassionate, eschewing game-playing and “namby-pamby” political speak to get straight to the point.

She was active on farmworker issues, child labor, health care, the needs of special-needs children, and many other issues throughout her quarter-century in the Legislature. She served as president pro tem of the Senate and chair of the Senate Ways & Means Committee.

Born in California, she went into the medical field, working as an ER nurse at Valley Medical Center in Renton. That facility named its trauma center after her. Emergency workers called it "Margaritaville," which delighted the senator.

Another familiar face in Olympia, former Secretary of the Senate Hunter Goodman, died on April 17 from cancer. The Senate honored him a few days earlier with a prayer and floor comments. (Video)

Goodman served as government affairs director for the attorney general's office from 2005-13. His boss, then-Attorney General Rob McKenna, said, "Hunter was an outstanding public servant and exceptional person."

Goodman was elected Secretary of the Senate in 2013 -- essentially the CEO of the chamber, ensuring it functions properly. He served in that capacity until 2018, earning respect from senators on both sides of the aisle both for his executive ability and his policy insights that helped lawmakers from both sides enact reforms and fund public education.

"Hunter Goodman was a colleague and a friend," Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib said in a tweet. "As Secretary of the Senate, he demonstrated what it means to be a servant leader. I will miss him, and so will our Senate community."

A longtime colleague at the Attorney General's Office, Dan Sytman, wrote an homage to Goodman, saying his smile and legacy are a guide on how to bridge the political divide. Sytman listed lessons from Goodman's life to help work across party lines:

  1. First connect on a human level
  2. Listen, compromise, and share the credit
  3. Character is the key

"Amidst the political strife afflicting the United States, hope is found in the story of a man who knew how to cure conflict with friendship, a smile, and a sincere desire to bring people together," Sytman wrote.

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Celebrating Employers

Kennewick company stars in statewide campaign

By AWB President Kris Johnson

Washington employers are entrepreneurs who build their companies for more than the product they make and the services they provide; they build them to fulfill their values of community, compassion and conscience.

That's the message behind Grow Here, the multi-media employer image ad campaign from the Association of Washington Business.

In its third year, Grow Here's goal is two-fold: to highlight the "why" that motivates Washington companies and share the employee experience within those businesses. And, to remind people that Washington state's competitiveness -- its ability to attract and retain employers -- is critical to an economy that works for all residents.

Read the full guest column in the Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business
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Our communities depend on STEM-related fields. Ensuring a consistent pipeline of students interested in pursuing STEM jobs is critical. We believe that early exposure to STEM is impactful for school-aged children. At a time when our state needs more than 94,000 health care professionals over the next three years, we need more students to pursue health care related careers. We need a sustainable plan to inspire and excite young people. And, we must ensure an equitable pathway into these high-demand, high-impact jobs.

Currently, thousands of Washington students are on track to graduate high school unprepared for these jobs and are often unaware STEM jobs even exist. In the next five years, an estimated 225,465 jobs that earn a family-sustaining wage will require credentials that many of our Washingtonian students are not on track to earn...

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Read the full commentary at the Washington STEM website
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