About This Blog: Playing Defense, One Legislator at a Time.


When I first took this job last summer, I knew we'd be in for a fight. The trend was less of a reliance on the state paying for a public good and more of a burden on the student. Based on revenue projections, I knew we were headed for a historically high budget shortfall. I knew the 2011 session of the Washington State Legislature would be one largely playing defense, just trying to hold on to what we've got.

This blog chronicles my efforts in trying to represent the interests of the 12,000 graduate and professional students at the University of Washington.

In 2009, I quit my job as a newspaper copy editor and page designer and started attending UW's Evans School of Public Affairs. It was quite a life change, but a good one — I had never felt so alive in my professional life.

I went on to win — barely, by three votes — one of the Evans School's seats on the Graduate & Professional Student Senate. I spent the year mobilizing Evans students to attend our annual "lobby day," when we bus a bunch of students to Olympia to meet with legislators. We ended up filling an entire bus on our own!

At the end of the year, I ran for Vice President, and won. It was a thrill. I never thought I'd ever have the word "president" in my resume. Finally, it was a chance to be a leader! How exciting. Well, the tuition waiver didn't hurt, either.

But, looming in the distance was the ominous rumblings of an angry budget beast burning to blow the top out of accessibility to affordable, quality education.

And so here we are. Playing defense. One legislator at a time.