Monday, January 21, 2013

Meet the new member: Jessyn Farrell

Rep. Jessyn Farrell on Opening Day
This year the HDC welcomed nine new members to the House of Representatives. In an effort to better acquaint our readers with the newest faces around town, last week we began rolling out a series of “Meet the New Member” posts.  New members Reps. Gael Tarleton and Steve Bergquist were featured last week.  Our next in the series is Representative Jessyn Farrell of the 46th legislative district.

Jessyn grew up in the Seattle’s Lake City neighborhood and Lake Forest Park, attending local public schools and the University of Washington. An attorney by trade with a focus on mediation, she worked on youth civic engagement with Seattle City Club before joining the HDC.

Jessyn is perhaps best known for her prior role as the executive director of Transportation Choices Coalition, where she brought together transit and road advocates in support of transportation initiatives that secured billions in transit funding. During her career she has worked for Pierce Transit, the Washington Public Interest Research Group, AmeriCorps, and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

Taking a moment to answer a few questions, here is what Jessyn had to say after her first week as a legislator:  

Q: Is there a moment, or an image, you’ll remember most from your first day as a lawmaker?

A: It’s one week in and I don’t really remember the first day! But something that has really stuck with me about the first few days is hearing the former governor referred to as “Her Excellency” and recalling the huge debates that our founders had about how to refer to President Washington.Adams wanted some pomp and circumstance and others accused him of being a royalist.I felt a strong connection to those men who set up our commitment to self-government over 200 years ago and how cool it was to be a part of that inspiring tradition!  

Q:What inspired you to run for office?  

A: I really believe we need more moms at the table – we make major policy decisions that affect working families and it’s important to have the perspective of those who are on the front lines of trying to make a living, take care of kids, and give them the very best. Now I get to actually try to be a working mother in this very intense, demanding environment. That alone will be a great challenge.  

Q: Imagine being governor for a day, and able to pass any legislation. What problem would you fix?  

A: Climate change – it is settled science that we are in a 13 year window – give or take a few years – to cut our carbon emissions drastically to ensure that we don’t completely wreck our climate (the threshold being keeping the earth’s global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius). The climate has already warmed and we are already seeing the effects of that with extreme weather events. But if warming goes beyond 2 degrees Celsius it is predicted that we will experience extreme heat-waves, declining global food stocks, loss of ecosystems and biodiversity, and life-threatening sea level rises. This is very real to me as my kids won’t even be twenty by the time that window will have closed.

Q: If we peeked at your iPod, who would we see?  

A:The eensy weensy spider and other favorites of the 2-4 year old age group.

Read this story in Spanish here.