Despite serious concerns, Mia Su-Ling Gregerson wins the endorsement in the 33rd Legislative District for House Position No. 2.

Share story

THE 33rd Legislative District, with unmet needs for stronger education, human services and the transportation system in the Tukwila-SeaTac area, should have an effective representative in Olympia. It has Mia Su-Ling Gregerson, who presents a weak case for re-election, but one that is stronger than her opponent.

Gregerson, a SeaTac Democrat, was appointed to the Legislature in 2013 and won election a year later. In her first full term, she was prime sponsor of an unsuccessful bill to lower the threshold of voter approval for school-district bonds from 60 percent to a simple majority. And she has focused on food-policy changes to help low-income families.

The Times recommends:


Mia Su-Ling Gregerson

Mia Su-Ling Gregerson

33rd Legislative District House Position 2

Strengths: Challenge of the suburbanization of poverty

Gregerson needs to become a stronger legislator. And she needs to be able to take responsibility for her role as a SeaTac council member. By a hair, she is the better candidate this time for the 33rd District’s House Position 2. ..."

On the Legislature’s paramount duty to educate Washington’s K-12 students, Gregerson seems willing to defer to other lawmakers to answer the state Supreme Court’s McCleary ruling. She said charter schools can be “great,” but voted against a bill to authorize them, favoring a different oversight model.

Her strongest policy area is on the challenge of the suburbanization of poverty. She flagged data showing the life expectancy of Highline residents to be seven years shorter than those on Mercer Island.

But Gregerson also shows a confounding inability to reflect on the city of SeaTac’s corrupt handling of a land deal with developers Gerry and Kathy Kingen, which partially overlapped with her tenure as a City Council member. The judge was blistering in his comments as he ordered SeaTac to pay $18.3 million to the developers. Gregerson could not, or would not, assess blame — including to herself — for this failure of leadership.

She should have drawn a strong opponent, either from the left or right. Instead, she faces Republican Pamela Pollock, a well-meaning, first-time candidate who should have built up a civic résumé and done more homework before running. Pollock couldn’t answer basic questions about the McCleary case and offered contradictory solutions to ease traffic congestion.

Gregerson needs to become a stronger legislator. And she needs to be able to take responsibility for her role as a SeaTac council member. By a hair, she is the better candidate this time for the 33rd District’s House Position 2.