Rep. Reichert visits Island
November 24, 2008 · Updated 3:47 PM
J. Jacob Edel
Mercer Island Reporter
U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert (R-8) toured the Island on Thursday morning, hosting a luncheon at the VFW Hall following a stop at the high school.
Joining the Island's congressman for the lunch were fellow Republican Rep. Kay Granger of Texas and author Geralyn Lucas. About 70 women and a handful of men also attended the lunch to hear the trio speak about the impact of women in politics and the world today. The event highlighted several organizations and women making a difference through politics.
"It is a critical time to reach out and get them involved in this process," Reichert said of women voters.
The congressman also spoke about the local women in the audience, who could help maintain the American Dream of hope, honor, opportunity, prosperity and equality.
"I want you to share that message. There's too much negativity in the world today, and the freedom we have here is forgotten," Reichert said. "Women in this state, in this community, can make it happen."
Reichert is up for re-election this year and his Democratic challenger, Darcie Burner, will try to take his seat for the second time.
The featured speaker of the luncheon was Geralyn Lucas, a recent breast cancer survivor, mother of two and an author. Lucas, who recently authored the book "Why I Wore Lipstick to my Mastectomy," spoke about the work she learned that the congressman had accomplished toward women's health.
"I believe I am alive today because of research," said the breast cancer survivor. "Six months of chemotherapy that wasn't available before saved my life. Your congressman had voted for $2 billion proposed dollars to fund research."
Lucas pointed out that both she and the former sheriff were also portrayed in movies on the Lifetime television network. A movie adapted from Reichert's book detailing the investigation of the Green River killer aired recently.
"I asked myself, 'Will telling my story on television do a better good?'" she said. "Your movie did," she said of the film.
While Lucas praised the congressman's voting record on women's issues, Reichert's colleague, Rep. Granger, told the crowd that Congress is also working to make sure families were safe.
"We are working with women and families who are concerned about their kids' safety," Granger said. "Parents want to know that they are safe at school and they are safe from gangs."
Prior to the lunch, Reichert attended an assembly at the high school featuring a young man who spoke about the dangers of drinking and driving. Reichert said the event highlighted the unfortunate decision that the teen had made to drink and drive. The young man suffered a coma for two or three days, he said, after he had been drinking, fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into a tree head-on.
"It reminded me of the fathers and mothers, the women and men who have the responsibility to raise children and the importance of teaching them how to make the right decision," Reichert said.