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Dec 14, 2023

This week features our third episode recorded live at NewDEAL’s 13th Annual Leaders Conference in Washington, D.C. Host Ryan Coonerty speaks with Washington State Senator Marko Liias, Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee and Co-Chair of the LGBTQ+ Caucus. They talk about his innovative policy accomplishments, such as free transit for youth, paid family leave, and digital literacy legislation, all of which are crucial for maintaining a healthy democracy, and how his partnerships with community members inform his legislative priorities. Liias also details his path to public service, from starting on the city council to being appointed Representative in 2008 and winning election to the Senate in 2014. Tune in to learn why Liias wants his fellow elected officials to focus more on solutions rather than fixating on problems.

  • (01:04) Meet Washington Senator Marko Liias

  • (02:19) Senator Liias shares Washington’s experiences through the pandemic and the state’s public health response

  • (04:06) The senator’s path to elected office, starting with his involvement in his local chamber of commerce

  • (05:27) Why being closer to community members bolsters the efficacy of state legislatures

  • (06:47) A day-to-day look at Senator Liias’s job serving Washingtonians and why he relies on constituents to inform how he legislates

  • (07:54) Liias’s focus on finding solutions, not fixating problems

  • (08:57) How Senator Liias has partnered with community members to scale up successful transit programs to the state level

  • (10:36) His role as Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee and why it’s a job that requires bipartisan collaboration

  • (13:35) Liias’s goals heading into Washington’s next legislative session

  • (14:41) What drew Senator Liias to the issues of media literacy, misinformation, and digital citizenship

  • (15:30) Why media literacy is key to upholding our democracy – and what’s at stake with deep fakes and AI-generated misinformation

  • (18:20) Washington State’s values of resiliency, self sufficiency, and a “can-do” attitude

  • (21:34) Senator Liias’s work as co-chair of the LGBTQ caucus, aiming to eliminate barriers to quality lives for LGBTQ+ families