At the Northwest Kidney Council, we congratulate all new and returning lawmakers – we are eager to see you in Salem and Olympia. While the “red wave” many pollsters predicted did not materialize, in the Pacific Northwest, Democrats held on to their majorities.
Although the balance of power remains the same in both states, change is certainly coming. Record turnover in the legislatures, Oregon’s termed-out governor, competitive Congressional races in both states, and redistricting bring fresh faces to the halls of each capitol.
And patients have never been more engaged in the process. From Bellingham to Ashland, we saw some of the highest turnout for a midterm election in recent history.
Patients are sending a message. With the tight nature of so many races – some still too close to call – it’s evident that Oregonians and Washingtonians are hungry for bipartisan, practical policies with the broadest benefit, especially for our most vulnerable.
In 2023, our organization will focus on promoting health equity, expanding access to dialysis and transplant services, and educating the decisionmakers and the public on what it takes to manage life with chronic kidney disease.
Now that the makeup of the Legislature is coming into focus in both states, we’re updating district fact sheets and education materials for our elected leaders.
Patients expect leaders that understand the issues, and more importantly, act to improve outcomes. Patients deserve leaders that seek out their perspectives on issues that impact them.
Together, we will break down barriers to kidney care and make progress on the issues that impact the kidney community in Oregon and Washington. It’s time to get to work.