In 1992, the voters of Legislative District 28 sent Rep. Gigi Talcott (R-Tacoma) to Olympia and they kept sending her for 14 years. Now, however, the former reading teacher is ready to turn another page in her life, taking time for her husband, Ron, and six grandchildren.
“It’s a new chapter,” Talcott said. “And in my family it’s a long chapter. My Grandma was living in her own home, caring for her aged neighbors when she was 99 years old. My dad’s doing the same. He’s 88. I’m 60.”
Talcott still plans to be involved with political issues, but said she chooses to exert her influence from outside the Legislature.
“I’m not interested in tackling two thousand issues twenty-four-seven like I’ve been doing in the Legislature for fourteen years,” she said.
Looking back on her time in Olympia, Talcott is most proud of her participation in the welfare to work programs and her focus on developing state standards for assesment tests such as the WASL, or Washington Assesment of Student Learning test. The test and the testing process have proved controversial since being introduced and have been refined several times to try to make it most effective for the majority of students. This year’s sophomore students will be the first required to pass the test in order to graduate. Talcott says she plans to spend her last 60 days as a Representative working to meet the needs of those sophomores so that they can earn a “more meaningful diploma before they graduate.”
“My biggest disappointment is never having figured out how to get the state Department of Ecology to permit treatment of our lakes,” Talcott said. “After endless hours of research, letters, emails, meetings, and years of legislation- all we have to show for it is empty promises and sick lakes. It’s demoralizing.”
Her parting words are these. “Dear friends and neighbors, please find some small way to preserve this great experiment called democracy, our representative republic (like write a check, put up a sign or volunteer for a candidate you agree with- and always take time to read your voter’s guide before you vote).”
For more background on Talcott, click here.