Get to Know Your Representative: Bill Ramos - WA State House of Representatives, 5th District
As a former Issaquah small business owner and City Council member, I’ve lived my life at the local level. And it is this perspective and experience that guides me when I work on behalf of you as your State Representative. I’ve seen the difference State support and funding can make in expanding our parks and recreational facilities to appeal to more outdoor enthusiasts, maintaining and building our roads, and the successes that can be found in growing our economy and creating jobs.
I live by the motto ‘there is more that unites us than not,’ and I repeat that mantra again and again in the legislature. I have found that most of us agree on 70% of the issues, and if you’re willing to put aside rigid agendas, we can make government function for all our families and businesses. The work I have focused on this past session hasn’t always been flashy, but it’s been focused on Issaquah and our community and I’m immensely proud of the progress we have made.
And unlike some polarized elected officials, I am equally proud of the collaboration with our business leaders and local industries in shaping how we move forward. We cannot make progress if we are divided, government vs. business, or any other arbitrary division. The worsening climate is a perfect example of this. In the past session, I championed a bill that would require state agencies to recognize and support the timber industry’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions through reforestation, afforestation, and the planting of forested buffers in riparian areas.
Transportation and congestion is another area of focus where it is clear we must work hand in hand with business. When we have well-maintained roads and logical transportation systems, our existing businesses can flourish and grow and new businesses can come in as well. I worked with Senator Mullet and Rep. Callan in securing funding for added lanes on Highway 18 over Tiger Mountain to I-90, and making a massive investment to fix the clogged interchange of I-90 and Highway 18. This will drastically improve the commute for those living in our district, and allow people to more easily access our shops and businesses.
The Covid-19 crisis will demand all our attention as we focus on recovery — but that will only be possible with the kind of collaborative approach I have tried to exemplify my entire career. That type of leadership, focusing on local issues and local solutions in partnership with State resources and businesses will allow us to get out of this crisis and move forward with a strong economy, more resilient and ready for whatever comes next. I look forward to continuing this collaborative work.