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As a teenager I was thin, had a nice figure and was told by my grandmother and cousin to always accentuate my positive.
Every year I travel to Washington, D.C., I have the honor to see some of the beautiful artwork displayed at the U.S. Capitol. It's obvious we have very talented youth. Having the opportunity to have their artwork showcased at the U.S. Capitol doesn't appear to be highly publicized, yet it is a great opportunity for our high school students. Many of our youth and parents aren't aware that there are ways for our young people to display their artwork; they have no idea what doors this can open. From what I've seen, if this opportunity was brought to the public eye in District 10, so many young artists could benefit.
I believe our youth should be positively engaged and have the advantage to take part in opportunities that are available to them. The passion of the fundamentals of art, artistic discovery and the outlet that art provides, are being eliminated from the educational process. I believe keeping our youth positively engaged keeps them actively searching for inspiration and out of trouble. I know this personally. As a young girl I had the privilege to play golf and be led by some of the most talented and successful golf players in the league, not realizing everyone in my community was not as fortunate. This was a huge part of my childhood, and as an adult I am ever so grateful that my grandmother worked so hard to ensure I could have the opportunities I had. I urge any high school student that is visually artistically talented, or their parent, to contact their U.S. Representative about the opportunity to enter the 2016 Congressional Art Competition.
Winning entries are recognized both in their district and at an annual awards ceremony in Washington, DC. This is a nationwide congressional art competition where the winning entries will represent their district. The winning pieces are displayed for one year at the U.S. Capitol. Special thank you to the Congressional Institute and its members for sponsoring such an inspiring opportunity for our youth.
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On this day, as we celebrate the birthday and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., we are reminded of the strengths and weaknesses of our nation that still exist. I am deeply touched by all the accomplishments we have made thus far to ensure "freedom rings". I am also deeply proud of the progress Washington State is making. In 2015 I had the wonderful opportunity of being a part of the Hate Won’t Win Challenge, a campaign started by Alana Simmons, the granddaughter of a victim killed in the Charleston church massacre. I chose not to call this a challenge, but a Movement, as it reached across America, state-by-state, even to the White House, moving leaders and individuals in the community to spread the message that Hate Won’t Win.
We've seen the rising of the Black Lives Matters Movement bring inequalities of our criminal justice system to the forefront, bringing healing and support to the African American communities that felt they were long forgotten. Important new conversations have begun, and we’ve witnessed events such as the removal of the confederate flag in South Carolina, a long standing symbol of hate. Today I watched proudly as many rallied in Seattle and Olympia about the changes they want to see in our country and in our nation. We are bringing about awareness of the equality that should exist in Justice for All.
Tonight as we sit and have conversations over the dinner table, I hope the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.. and what has become the dream for many, is brought to life by his memory.
Speaking with community members I know we have a long road ahead, as many still choose not to acknowledge we have work to do. We can not forget we have taken a stance for not only our generation, but generations to come, and we should be proud.