Across the Aisle: Rep. Michelle Caldier & Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self

When you are building bipartisanship relationships, the main thing you have to bring to the table is respect, according to Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self (D-21st District).

“Even when views are different and values are different, you have to respect that at the core my colleagues are passionate about helping community,” says Ortiz-Self. “They bring expertise to the table and you have to be able to respect their knowledge and passion.”

Ortiz-Self is bringing her commitment to collaboration to a new project with Rep. Michelle Caldier (R-26th District). Together they’re representing Washington State on a National Council of State Legislators committee working to improve afterschool resources for students.

“We both know bipartisanship is crucial to Washington state communities and families. You just try and find what you have in common and capitalize on that.”

Rep. Michelle Caldier agrees. “Although we may have different ideas and approaches, a vast majority of legislators are looking to come together and develop positive solutions for our state.”

“The people who are most willing to set aside their differences to work together get the most done. It’s that simple. To me, people come before politics, which is why I will continue to support good legislation that benefits my constituents and the state, regardless of which member is the prime sponsor.”

“Many people give stereotypes to different politicians based on their party preference, where they live, or how they present themselves. When you set aside preconceived notions, it is surprising to learn how much common ground you have with members of the opposite party.”