OLYMPIA…After 12 years of service in the Washington State Legislature, Sen. Randi Becker, Senate Republican Caucus Chair has announced her retirement from public office. Becker, R-Olympia plans to finish her current term but will not run for re-election in 2020.
“It has truly been my honor to represent the 2nd legislative district for the past 12 years. I am grateful my constituents trusted me to represent their voice and fight for their individual rights for over a decade. This has been the most challenging job that I’ve ever had, and the most humbling. Each year I served and spoke with people from my communities and around the state and I was reminded of how fortunate we are in this country. We have the ability to be involved, to serve and to speak out about the things that matter to us!”
Becker grew up on a dairy farm in Enumclaw and was first elected to the Senate in 2008 and began her first term in 2009. She and her husband Bob have lived in the 2nd district for over 40 years both in Spanaway and Eatonville. They moved to Lacey/Olympia in 2018 to be closer to the Capitol. After completing her term, they plan to enter their new “season” of life by spending more time rock hounding and remodeling their home in Wyoming.
“I was born and raised here in Washington- third generation. It will always be home to me. I never planned to be a political person. I decided to serve because I truly thought I could make a difference. I have often told my constituents, I can’t always promise to vote the way that you would like, but I do promise to listen. I feel that I have done that well — and I have learned a lot along the way!”
What has been Sen Becker’s passion in the legislature?
As former medical practice administrator, Becker has always been an advocate for health-care policy, especially telemedicine. The ability to bring your doctor to you and not the other way around is the wave of the future, and we will be relying on it more and more. The current public-health crisis and the spread of the coronavirus demonstrates a need for patients to receive assessment and care without having to leave home. Telemedicine could help contain infectious disease.
A priority bill that would provide at-risk young people access to counseling through telemedicine in schools was initially piloted in two school districts and will hopefully receive statewide expansion funding this session. This bill would require training for all staff and faculty so that everyone who encounters students during their school day will be trained to recognize the warning signs of someone who might be struggling, violent or in need of counseling.
“If we can get help to people earlier, we might be able to change the trajectory from what we are seeing in those needing mental-health assistance.”
Realizing that there was not a state park or a college in the entire 2nd district, Becker set a goal to find the funding and establish a plan. Both of these things have now been implemented and plans continue to grow. There is currently a college at Graham Kapowsin High School where 50 percent of students are Running Start and 50 percent are people coming back to school.
Advice to the younger generations?
“There are many things that can rob your joy- don’t let it! You have one shot at life, make the most of it. I believe in laughter, appreciate the simple things and value the people closest to you. My mother lived to be 100 years old and if that should happen to me, I want to say that I lived well and I finished strong!”
Message to her constituents?
“Always remember that this is YOUR government. Participate, be involved and speak up. Run for office. And please VOTE! Take the time to educate yourself on the government process — our world is changing and if we continue to be educated by sound bites and tweets, the freedoms we have once known will be taken away. You matter, your family matters and we are here to partner with you. We can’t do everything, but if the people will stay involved- we will always be stronger-together.”
Passing the torch:
“Serving the 2nd District has been the highest privilege of my life, other than my family. The long days and nights have been so worthwhile, and I hope that in some way I have made a difference. I am excited to pass the responsibility on to someone who will bring renewed energy to the fight for our freedoms and individual rights. They will need the same support you have given me. I am confident that good days are ahead!”