Several years ago, I joined a prayer session at Divine Alternatives for Dads Services (DADS) in Seattle – a nonprofit committed to building strong fathers and families. Since then, I have become good friends with its founders, Marvin and Jeanett Charles. Their story is one I am all too familiar with. Years ago, the Charles were like many of the people I often encountered when I was out patrolling the streets. Drug users, unemployed, and engaged in other illegal activities, they had lost several of their children to foster care and they were about to lose their newborn baby until they decided to turn their lives around.
Over the next several years, they got sober, got jobs, and learned how to deal with dependency court and caseworkers. Driven by the goal of reuniting families and teaching them how to navigate through the bureaucratic system of child protection services, dependency court, and social services, the Charles family founded DADS in 1989.
Now, they help countless fathers and families throughout our region. I had the great pleasure of joining them as the keynote speaker at this year’s banquet.
Announcing This Year’s Academy Nominees
Going off to college is a big decision for any young man or woman. But our service academy nominees are making more than a decision – they are making a sacrifice. They are committing themselves to serving our country and choosing to attend an institution that will not just be academically challenging but will challenge them physically and emotionally. It was a privilege to shake their hands, and I know they will make our region and our country proud.
Click HERE to learn more about this year’s nominees,
Caring for Our Children
Thank you to WestSide Baby for stopping by my Issaquah office earlier this week. As a community, one of the most important things we can do is make sure our children are cared for and that their basic needs are met. WestSide Baby has made this their mission. They collect diapers, cribs, safety gear for babies, and other supplies to donate to families in-need.
Celebrating Women in Trade
A big thank you to the Association of Women in International Trade for awarding my staff member, Natalie, with their Emerging Leader Award earlier this week. Natalie began as an intern in my Washington, DC office in 2011 and is now one of the brightest trade minds in DC and the Northwest. This well-deserved award is a great reminder of how fortunate I am to have such a great team representing the 8th District with me.
Preventing Future Accidents by Securing Our Loads
In light of National Secure Loads Day earlier this week, I sent a letter to my colleagues in the U.S. House to raise awareness about Secure Loads Day and urge them to take action to prevent deaths and injuries from unsecured loads. The Secure Your Load movement was spearheaded by one of my constituents, Robin Abel, whose daughter was catastrophically injured by an unsecured load in February of 2004. As a result of her activism, 46 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands have launched initiatives to raise awareness about the dangers of unsecured loads. Robin has done incredible work in Washington and around the country and because of her our roads are much safer.
Fighting Poverty at Home and Abroad
RESULTS is a nonprofit that has committed itself to ending poverty both here at home and across the globe. During our meeting this week, we discussed a bill I’ve championed, the Reach Every Mother and Child Act, which is a bipartisan legislative initiative to accelerate the reduction of preventable maternal, newborn and childhood deaths worldwide.
Have a wonderful and safe weekend and I will talk to you next time!