Liz Berry


Investments in our community

As your State Representative, I’ve been laser-focused on bringing home resources to our district. Here are a few of my favorite things that I’ve been proud to secure for our community: ❤️ 

Ending gun violence

My life changed forever on Jan. 8, 2011, when the nation watched in horror as a gunman shot my boss and mentor, former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, our staff and constituents. My friend and colleague Gabe Zimmerman was killed. Five other people died. Watching Gabby fight for her recovery and to prevent the escalation of gun violence taught me about resilience, hard work, and grit. I was determined to be a champion for ending gun violence in the legislature and we delivered. My bills to ban untraceable, homemade ‘ghost guns’; implement a 10-day waiting period and mandatory safety training for all firearm purchases; and require 24-hour reporting of lost or stolen firearms are law. We banned the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in Washington, and prohibited open carry at numerous sensitive locations like public demonstrations, zoos, aquariums, libraries and transit stations. I also successfully advocated for tens of millions of dollars in funding for gun violence prevention programs through the Office of Firearm Safety and Violence Prevention for community-based organizations. Gun violence is preventable, and I won’t stop fighting to keep our communities safe.

Urgent climate action

As a member of the House Environment & Energy Committee, I’ve been a leader on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, electrifying our state, and protecting our environment. It was an honor to champion landmark legislation to implement carbon pricing and low-carbon fuel standards, and we’ve continued our great work by targeting landfills, buildings, and expanding renewable power projects. I sponsored and passed groundbreaking legislation to reduce plastic waste by setting minimum recycled content for packaging, expanding the Styrofoam ban, and making plastic service-ware optional when dining out. I’ve been a leader in keeping our families safe from toxic and pervasive PFAS “forever chemicals” in everyday products. As your urbanist voice on the House Transportation Committee, we passed a transformational 16-year transportation package that makes meaningful, targeted action against climate change by investing $5.4B in green transit, bike and pedestrian infrastructure; $1.3B to electrify our ferry fleet; $290M in Safe Routes to School programs; and commits 35% of Climate Commitment Act funds into programs serving communities of color, low-income and tribal communities. The package also directs $25M to support infrastructure of the Ballard Interbay Regional Transportation Corridor, which includes critical repairs to the Ballard and Magnolia bridges, as well as $50M for safety improvements to North Aurora Avenue.

Protecting workers

As the proud Chair of the House Labor & Workplace Standards Committee, uplifting working families has been my top priority. I’ve been a leader to expand our state’s historic Paid Family & Medical Leave program and shore up our broken unemployment insurance system. I supported more funding for food and utility assistance programs to help families hit hardest by the impacts of the pandemic and inflation. I wrote first-in-the-nation legislation to protect temporary workers and to provide minimum wage, benefits, and labor protections for rideshare drivers in our state. My bill to ban secrecy in NDAs and settlement agreements for those who experience harassment, discrimination, retaliation and wage theft in the workplace will allow workers to pursue justice, healing, and protect others.

Tackling our housing and homelessness crisis

The lack of both affordable housing and the number of people and families experiencing homelessness has reached a crisis point here in Seattle and across the country. I have been a strong advocate in Olympia to keep people in their homes, build affordable housing quickly, support emergency shelter providers, increase funding for behavioral health and substance use treatment, and make historic capital investments to build and acquire more affordable and transitional housing. I strongly supported legislation to increase middle housing, ease barriers to ADUs, legalize co-living, convert existing commercial structures to residential housing, and expand homeownership and tenants’ rights. I believe the state must be a strong partner to local governments to address this urgent priority, and I remain committed to solving this emergency.

Affordable childcare for all working families

As a working mom with two young kids, I know first-hand how accessible childcare impacts families and our community’s ability to thrive. One of my proudest votes was supporting $500M in funding for childcare and early learning programs which has been vital to jump-starting our economy, especially for women who left the workplace in alarming numbers due to a lack of childcare. I sponsored legislation to improve benefits for childcare workers who are mostly women, women of color, refugees, and immigrants. As co-chair of the House Moms Caucus, I have a track record of building coalitions to support policy and budget priorities that improve the lives of women, children, and families across our state including a diaper subsidy for TANF recipients and working to establish a Guaranteed Basic Income program to help lift families out of poverty.

Boosting public education

The first campaign I ever worked on was in 1988 when my mom, a special education teacher, ran for a seat on our local public school board and won. That experience profoundly shaped my belief that providing a world-class public education system for all our children is paramount. Today my son George attends John Hay Elementary in Queen Anne and I am a proud public school parent. The legislature has been focused on passing policies that prioritize student well-being, expand accessibility, and ensure educators and students have the resources to thrive. We funded more school counselors, nurses, psychologists, and social workers and gave educators a much-needed pay raise. We boosted special education funding by $443 million and expanded free school meals to 90,000+ students. I was proud to vote to end book bans and to ensure inclusive curricula in our schools which particularly impacts our LGBTQI+ students. I strongly believe all students deserve the tools and opportunities to get a good start in life.

Keeping our communities safe

I believe that protecting our communities is a critical responsibility of government. That’s why I’ve been a champion to pass common sense gun safety legislation to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them. While drugs like fentanyl have taken the lives of too many of our loved ones and neighbors, I’ve supported increased substance use treatment and support. I’ve backed measures to improve safety on our roads, curb catalytic converter theft, and protect survivors of trafficking. I’ve also been proud to vote for police reform bills to ban chokeholds and neck restraints, military equipment, no-knock warrants, and hog-tying; implement de-escalation and use of force restrictions; create transparency and oversight in investigations; and hold officers and departments accountable for wrongdoing. While these are important first steps to rebuild the trust between law enforcement and communities, I remain committed to bold policy action in years to come.

Tax fairness

Washington state has one of the most up-side down tax systems in the country. We’ve created a combination of taxes that means those people making the least pay over 15% of their income toward state and local taxes, the middle class pays 10%, and the richest pay about 3%. This is wrong and it’s not sustainable. We cannot continue to fund our most vital programs on the backs of the poor and working class, while the wealthy and corporations don’t pay their fair share. I was honored to vote for the Working Families Tax Credit that provided 400,000 families with a tax credit of $300 to $1,200 per year, benefiting one in four children in our state. We also passed a capital gains excise tax that will ensure the wealthiest Washingtonians share in the responsibility of funding critical needs like childcare, early learning, and our paramount duty of providing an education for every child. You can count on my support for ongoing tax reform.

Reproductive justice & LGBTQI+ rights

As a former board member of Pro-Choice Washington and lifelong reproductive justice advocate, I will always stand in support of protecting reproductive health rights and an individual’s right to choose. I authored legislation to ban “stealthing” to allow survivors of sexual assault to bring civil penalties if a partner tampers with or removes a sexually protective device without consent. I’ve proudly voted for bills to protect patients’ sensitive health care data; a Shield Law to protect patients who come here fleeing other states’ anti-choice, anti-trans laws; and to safeguard access to mifepristone. I’ve backed millions of dollars in the budget for family planning services, and supported expanding abortion care by qualified licensed providers and increasing access to midwives and doulas. While our LGBTQI+ community is under attack, I will always use my platform to protect the rights, safety, and dignity of all people in our community. That’s why I wrote legislation to expand the definition of family in the Paid Family & Medical Leave program to include LGBTQI+ families, and passed a “Strippers’ Bill of Rights” that provided critical workplace safety protections and ended discriminatory enforcement against LGBTQI+ venues in our state.

Strengthening our small businesses

The legislature made record investments that focused on pandemic relief for our small businesses and entrepreneurs who needed a partner in government to help them stay open and competitive, create opportunities, and be resilient. This included $131M in B&O small businesses tax credits; unemployment insurance, family leave and medical leave premium relief; $100M for the hospitality industry; expanding access to capital; $39M for the innovation and competitiveness fund; $75M in funding for small business disaster response, innovation, and resiliency; $20M to support the completion of the convention center; and $35M towards tax credits to make movies here in Washington.

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