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Inslee speaks at Rotary
The Democratic candidate for governor, Jay Inslee, spoke to the Mercer Island Rotary at their meeting last Tuesday at the Mercer Island Community and Event Center.
Inslee, invited by Mercer Island City Councilman Mike Cero, said his connection to the Island was cemented long ago when he was the recipient of a sharp elbow in the face from a player during a basketball game against the Ed Pepple-coached Islanders. He had no ill feelings, he said, but apparently a long memory.
Joined at the lunch with his wife and his mother-in-law, Inslee outlined his plan for a “working Washington,” where he said 300,000 people are now out of work.
Wearing a bright red Washington Apple lapel pin, he took a great deal of time to emphasize his connection to all of the state — not just west of the Cascade Mountains. He mentioned the places where he has not only visited during his campaign but also the number of places he has lived or worked.
He said the state must take advantage of its inherent “genius of innovation” in high tech, aerospace and biosciences to create new jobs. He listed clean energy and the need to increase the commercialization of research and development at universities as ways to spur growth.
He believes an emphasis in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) as early as possible for students will contribute to that effort.
Beyond the economy, Inslee said that he believes Washington’s core values, in particular the right to privacy, must be upheld. He supports gay marriage and abortion.
“I am proud of the recognition of the full diversity of this state,” he said. He does not, however, support initiative 1240 to allow public charter schools in Washington state.
“I am concerned,” he said, “about siphoning off any dollars from our public schools.”