Though five people participated in this past Wednesday’s State Senate candidates’ forum at the 34th District Democrats‘ meeting, we had only received official candidacy announcements from two. Now we have a third:
Public Health Nurse Lois Schipper formally announced she is running for the Washington State Senate. Schipper is a lifelong Democrat.
Schipper said, “Sunday is Mother’s Day. I want to serve in the Washington State Senate because I want to use my decades of experience as a public health nurse to give every mother the gift they most want on Mother’s Day – safe and healthy children.”
This Mother’s Day, Schipper reflects that her priorities in Olympia will always revolve around children and families: fully funding K-12 education, with an emphasis on special education and closing the achievement gap for low income kids and kids from communities of color; fighting the NRA to ban assault weapons and high-capacity clips; and cleaning up our upside-down tax system. “My work in our community has let me see that too many families are struggling,” says Schipper. “I want to take my expertise to Olympia to craft working solutions to these issues.”
Throughout her career, Schipper has led the fight to solve these needs and challenges, managing the King County Public Health Center that serves White Center and Burien. Earlier, Schipper was the first nurse in the 1980s supporting HIV-positive mothers and babies. Now, at Seattle Children’s Hospital, she leads a team helping non-English speaking families navigate the health care system.
“I think what I would bring to Olympia is my on-the-ground experience here in the 34th and in King County; working in the community, implementing programs, looking at what works, building teams across agencies,” said Schipper. “That’s the kind of work that’s necessary. I know how to bring diverse people – who often disagree – together to solve problems.”
Lois Schipper has deep ties to White Center – one of the most economically disadvantaged areas of King County. “Schipper deeply cares about underserved communities of color” according to Sili Savusa, executive director of the White Center Community Development Association. “Schipper understands what underserved communities need and she will deliver results in the legislature!”
In addition, Schipper served as PTSA president in both the Seattle and Highline School Districts, successfully leading school levy campaigns and serving as a PTSA legislative representative in Olympia.
John Welch, the former superintendent of the Highline School District, saw Lois’s efforts first-hand. “Lois got results through collaboration, perseverance and commitment,” says Welch, “I can’t imagine a more qualified and dedicated person to represent the 34th District.”
Schipper, who was a nurse in the Peace Corps, received her nursing degree from the Ohio State University and earned a Master’s Degree in Public Health from the University of Minnesota.
Schipper has been married to Mark Ufkes for 27 years and they have two sons who are both Eagle Scouts.
In Schipper’s own words, “As a public health nurse, I have dedicated my 30-year nursing career helping families and children live better lives. I want to bring my experience as a children’s health expert to represent you and your family in the State Senate in Olympia. The safety and health of children and families will always come first!”
The weeklong official filing period opens tomorrow. The two candidates from whom we previously received announcements are Shannon Braddock and Joe Nguyen. The seat is open because Sen. Sharon Nelson has announced she is not running for re-election.