5th LD House Position 2 – Paul Graves

At a friend’s request, I met with 5th LD State Representative Paul Graves this week. At the end of the meeting, I was impressed. The fact that Paul Graves was the few legislators that voted no on the notorious SB 6617 , the bill to exempt legislators from the state’s Public Records Act, and hide their old records from the public, speaks for his integrity.

Not only Paul voted no on SB 6617, he was also introducing a bill to amend the state’s 40-year-old Public Records Act by removing a 1995 exemption for state legislators.  The exemption allows all state legislators, as well as the governor and lieutenant governor to refuse to disclose information requested by the public regarding their schedules, e-mails, and other communications. City and county officials and other public entities are required, by Chapter 42.56 of state law (RCW), to provide anyone who requests publicly available information with that information, within a reasonable timeframe.  Not surprisingly, the bill was killed, and he was facing a vote on SB 6617.

Paul Graves is running for re-election for his 5th Legislative District State Representative Position #2. I asked Paul to send us a brief introduction of himself. And here you go…

About Paul Graves, 5th LD State Representative:

“Paul Graves was born and raised in Maple Valley. One of five children, he attended Tahoma public schools and graduated from Western Washington University—where he served as the student body president—and earned his law degree from Duke University. After law school he served for a year as a law clerk to Washington Supreme Court Justice James Johnson. He then worked at Perkins Coie LLP, the state’s leading law firm. Now, when he’s not serving in Washington’s part-time legislature, he serves as an in-house lawyer for a family-owned trucking company. He lives in Fall City.

Paul is an engaged community member. He maintains an active pro bono legal practice, representing foster youth in legal proceedings. In 2011 he was named the pro bono attorney of the year by the Court Appointed Special Advocate organization, which represents the interest of foster children in court. He served as a board member of both an innovative college-prep non-profit for low-income kids, and on one of Washington’s first public charter schools, a high-performing school with a computer science focus on Kent’s east hill. He is active in both the state and King County bar associations. He is an active member of Snoqualmie Rotary and of Eastridge Church in Issaquah. Currently, he chairs the board of the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (a bipartisan group doing cost-benefit analysis of government programs) and serves on the board of HopeLink (a community action network serving homeless and low-income children, families, seniors, and disabled people in East King County).

In his limited spare time, Paul spends his time with his wife Jenny and son Chad, and enjoys kayaking, playing and watching sports, and reading novels and biographies. “

I was very interested in his experience with the public charter school, and asked for details. And Paul responded back….

Paul Graves on the success of Excel Public Charter School

“Happy to provide more detail about Excel Public Charter School, whose board I sat on from startup in 2012 through my election in 2016. Excel is a home-grown public charter school that took the best ideas from some of the highest-performing charter schools across the country. Some of the key details included an extended school day and school year; a targeted focus on science, technology, engineering, and math; a focus on student character development; high levels of teacher professional development; strong family partnerships; data-driven instruction; and high expectations. You can read more here: http://wa.greendot.org/excel/the-excel-difference/. By relentlessly focusing on what’s been proven to work, the school was able to achieve higher test scores–both as an absolute level and as a function of student growth–that its peer Kent public schools (and the state as a whole) in just its first year.”

Paul is a strong believer of having high standards in education. He voted no on both HB 1046 and SB 5639 .  Both bills want to allow high students graduate without passing necessary assessment. “You don’t graduate from high school by simply attending school.”

Paul supports I-200. If you’d like to find out more about Paul, or help out with Paul’s campaign or donate, please visit Paul Graves’ re-election campaign website.