First candidate for open 34th District State House seat: Leah Griffin

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.

4 Replies to "First candidate for open 34th District State House seat: Leah Griffin"

  • Aaron March 15, 2022 (6:26 pm)

    Leah Griffin is a highly knowledgeable, focused, and inspiring person. She listens to those who need her expertise and her help. She finds solutions and works to get them implemented. She will be an amazing representative.

  • Arbor Heights Denizen March 15, 2022 (6:43 pm)

    There will be more individuals seeking this seat no doubt, but Leah’s qualifications and demonstrated abilities would be hard to match. She would represent the 34th Legislative District well.

  • anonyme March 16, 2022 (7:13 am)

    While I applaud Ms. Griffin’s work as an advocate for sexual assault victims, I’m not seeing anything else regarding either her qualifications or her stance on any other issue.   Gonna need a whole lot more information before voting for the first and only candidate to throw in their hat.

    • Ivan Weiss March 17, 2022 (10:33 am)

      Anonyme: What you say is true as far as it goes. Any candidate for the Legislature should be quizzed on their knowledge of any issue that might come before them, and judged by their answers. That said, I have dealt with plenty of WA legislators, from both parties, who were not even remotely up to speed on issues I thought important. Our delegation in the 34th has set a much higher bar for expertise than most districts in the state, and I am confident that Ms. Griffin is well aware that it’s on her to meet it.

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