South King County community and business leaders visit state Capitol

Covington | Maple Valley Reporter

Members of the Leadership Institute of South Puget Sound visited the Washington State Capitol in Olympia as guests of Sen. Joe Fain Wednesday. The group toured the campus, listened to leaders from the Legislature and state agencies, while getting a behind the scenes look at how legislation goes from an idea to law.

The group included 25 members enrolled in the program, which prepares local private sector, government and community members for civic and business leadership opportunities.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Olympia that Senator Joe Fain hosted for the Leadership Institute, which was not my first visit but definitely the most informative and enjoyable,” said Tanya Neilsen, owner and general manager of Thrive Community Fitness in Maple Valley. “It was great to be able to meet with Senator Fain in a small group environment as he was very open to share with us the process of the Senate as well as answer any questions we had for him. I greatly appreciate Senator Fain's willingness to work with both sides of the aisle to best serve our state. Our visit also strengthened my trust in our elected officials and interest in continuing to get involved and speak with our elected officials.  Each voice really does matter and gets heard.”

The institute accepts students from Auburn, Kent, Maple Valley, Black Diamond, Covington, Burien, Des Moines, SeaTac and Tukwila.

“Working with elected officials at all levels -- from your local city council to Olympia -- to advocate for your community and business is incredibly valuable,” said Fain, who represents South King County in the state Senate. “This year’s class included a great and broad representation of the many people who are dedicated to making our area a better place to live for everyone.”

During the morning session the group heard from Senator Fain who hosted the group in Olympia for the fifth consecutive year. They also had the opportunity to visit different areas of the capitol campus during a walking tour focused on the efforts required to pass legislation.

“As a participant in the Leadership Institute I truly enjoyed visiting Olympia and was fortunate to participate in the day hosted by Senator Fain,” said Sarah Borden, human resource manager for the Valley Regional Fire Authority. “I appreciated the opportunity to speak with members involved in a variety of areas which provided valuable insight and a greater understanding of the process.”

Attendees also heard from Secretary of State Kim Wyman, as well as representatives of the many areas involved in lawmaking including the governor’s policy director, staff from the committees who draft legislation, and a lobbyist among others.