As reported here on Monday, 34th District State House Rep. Eileen Cody of West Seattle is retiring from the Legislature after 27+ years. Today, the first potential successor has announced her campaign: Leah Griffin, also a West Seattle resident (Highland Park). From her announcement:
Griffin is a certificated school librarian who works on sexual assault policy reform at the state and federal levels. After being raped by a man in her neighborhood in 2014 and seeing how broken the system is for survivors, Griffin knew she had to do something to make things better for other survivors. In 2015, she was appointed to the Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) Task Force in the Washington legislature with the aim of solving the myriad of problems survivors encounter navigating the justice system in Washington State.
As a representative of survivors, Griffin significantly contributed to the passage of HB1068, to test new rape kits, HB1109 to increase trauma informed interviewing techniques for police, HB2530 to track rape kits through the system, SB1539 to prevent child sexual assault, SB5649 to increase the statute of limitations for rape, and HB1109 to fund and test all untested rape kits in Washington, HB2318 to store unreported kits, and amend the legal definition of rape kits, and SB6158 to create model sexual assault protocols for hospitals.
She also helped write and lobby for the Survivors’ Access to Supportive Care Act with Senator Murray and Representative Jayapal to increase access to Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners in hospitals. Leah connects her work to her community by working with the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center, Legal Voice, RISE, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest, and the Washington Library Association. She sits on the board of the Sexual Violence Law Center.
“I took my rage, and I channeled it into reform. What I understand now is that sexual violence intersects with almost every other issue; healthcare, education, economic justice, law enforcement, homelessness. Trauma is at the root of our society’s problems, and it is past time that we talk about it. There is so much to do, and I look forward to making those changes together,” said Griffin.
The field of candidates for the seat won’t be finalized until after the formal filing period in May; this year’s primary election is on August 2nd.