December 9, 2019
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Montoya-Lewis makes history as first Native American to sit on Washington Supreme Court

Raquel Montoya-Lewis has made history as the first Native American woman to be appointed to the Washington Supreme Court.

Gov. Jay Inslee made the appointment last week to fill a vacancy created by Chief Justice May Fairhurst, who retired for health reasons.

Montoya-Lewis said her role as a court justice is "to find the best possible answer to questions before us and consider … the people whose lives are impacted by the decisions we will make on the Supreme Court."

Montoya-Lewis is from the Pueblo of Laguna and Pueblo of Isleta tribes in New Mexico. She has a law and master's degree from the University of Washington.

She spoke of her ancestors' trials in surviving attempts at cultural eradication and institutionalized boarding schools forced upon Native Americans, The Seattle Times reported.

"And I am here because of their resilience, their courage, their intelligence and their deep commitment to what is just," she said. "For me, justice is not an abstract concept."

Inslee cited Montoya-Lewis' 20 years of judicial experience and said that in his 98 judicial appointments, she stood out in terms of quality, The Times reported.

"She is the kind of exceptional judge that Washington deserves on its highest court," Inslee said, adding later: "And I think she is uniquely familiar with the challenges of smaller communities, rural communities and tribal communities and is a perfect fit for this job."

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Spreading Christmas Joy

Vote on U.S., Mexico, Canada trade agreement for the sake of Washington's economic growth

By The Seattle Times Editorial Board

Washington's Congressional delegation and Gov. Jay Inslee should advocate strongly for prompt approval of the new trade agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

The nearly complete agreement is enormously important to Washington's economic growth and job creation. The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) also substantially improves environmental and labor protections over NAFTA, the 1994 agreement it will replace...

Inslee's support is important. He was a strong advocate for NAFTA while in Congress in the 1990s.

But campaigning for president last summer, Inslee was skeptical of USMCA, siding with wary unions and environmental groups seeking more aggressive mandates...

With Inslee now seeking another term leading trade-dependent Washington, he should be more publicly supportive of progress USMCA makes and benefits it would bring the entire state.

Read the full editorial in The Seattle Times
Speak up

Survey on Snake River dams is online. Help protect the region's economy and fill it out

By The Tri-City Herald Editorial Board

We know December's to-do list is already long, but we've got an important task that must be added to your check-off list: Please fill out the state survey on the Snake River dams.

It can be found at

Don't delay.

We have been critical of this state effort since its proposal nearly a year ago, but now that written comments are being taken we encourage people to fill out the survey and let their voices be heard.

Read the full editorial in the Tri-City Herald.