Letter to the Editor: A call for educational leadership in the 5th district congressional race

Letters to the editor do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Easterner, its staff members or Eastern Washington University.

By Gary Livingston, Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

During my 40-year tenure in education, I worked with leaders on both sides of the aisle. As a superintendent of public schools and a chancellor of a community college system, I witnessed the positive impact of previous bipartisan policy on education.

Today, I am concerned we are adrift. Therefore, I feel compelled to express my disappointment in our current congresswoman, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, and my support for her challenger, Lisa Brown.

Education is the key to unlocking individual potential, fueling a vibrant economy and creating engaged citizens. Yet, House Republicans are advancing a plan to make higher education less affordable, at a time when employers tell us they need more educated employees to fill future jobs.

Cathy McMorris Rodgers supports efforts by the administration to raise student loan interest rates and cut grant support for our most vulnerable students. Many students in Eastern Washington and our state rely on this funding.

Lisa Brown supports making post-secondary education more affordable and accessible. She advocates to lower federal student loan interest rates and expand loan forgiveness programs. As a former legislator, she helped pass legislation that increased access for students.

As an economist, former professor and chancellor, Lisa understands the critical link between access to education and a strong economy. As a first-generation college student, Lisa knows the challenges of funding college, and she recognizes that supporting students yields a powerful return.

We all have a stake in the future of our economy. I have worked with Dr. Lisa Brown on political and educational issues for over 25 years. I believe she is the best choice to lead the 5th Congressional District and that she has the vision and the courage to advocate for students and our economy.

– Gary Livingston

Gary Livingston served as superintendent of Spokane Public Schools from 1993 to 2001, and chancellor of Community Colleges of Spokane from 2002 to 2010.