Northwest Asian Weekly is endorsing Chris Gregoire for governor because of her proven record in securing the economy, her outreach to the API community, and her commitment to education.
Though Dino Rossi is not a bad candidate we are endorsing Chris Gregoire simply for the fact that we feel she has more than earned the right to another four years.
She has been a hands-on governor whose presence and outreach to our API community has been felt, amazingly even more so than Gov. Gary Locke’s.
She has appointed many APIs to her staff, one of whom is Linda Lau for Court of Appeals.
She helped significantly with our programs such as funding for Asian Counseling and Referral Service and the new Wing Luke Asian Museum. Gregoire was honored for advancing civil rights for immigrants with the Hate Free Zone’s 10,000 Kilowatt Award, May 2.
In the last four years, her office has been extremely responsive with the Weekly. Traits like these reminds us that she has a history of hearing our needs.
We value a leader who puts minority issues towards the forefront, and former Sen. Rossi has not been as available or present in our community. In this election, we have the luxury of looking at Gregoire’s track record.
An issue important to Asian Americans is education. Gregoire’s Washington Learns initiative recognizes the importance of preparing all students to succeed in a competitive global environment. The initiative particularly focuses on the increasing number of English Language Learners (ELL) in Washington state, working to close the achievement gap between native speakers and immigrant and refugee children. Gregoire has also proactively funded raises for teachers and cultivated smaller classroom size through initiatives.
Much of Rossi’s campaign has misleadingly pointed to our state’s “deficit” when we actually do not have a deficit this year (as opposed to when Gregoire initially came into office), something that is very notable in comparison to the rest of the country.
If anything, Gregoire should get credit for being the first governor to push for a law that requires the state to set aside money in a “rainy day fund.” Though the state’s reserve of $500 million is not enough to cover the projected deficit, Gregoire deserves a lot of credit for creating this fund.
With a trade-dependent state like Washington, Gregoire has continued Locke’s work in international trade. She has led five trade missions to China, Taiwan, Japan, Australia, India, France, Germany and the United Kingdom since coming into office in 2005, increasing business in Washington by billions of dollars. According to Gregoire, these efforts have led to five new direct-to-Seattle air routes that will make business travel easier between Washington and China, Europe and Mexico. During her term, Gregoire has worked side by side with Locke to bring the Chinese President Hu Jintao to the state, putting Washington on the global map.
During her re-election campaign, when asked why she decided to run again, Gregoire said that four years was not enough. “I’m not done yet.”
We are inclined to agree with her. Gregoire has more than earned another four years in office. ♦