Our Public Policy team works with elected officials across Western Washington at both the state and national levels. We hope this series helps you get better acquainted with the elected officials working to stop hunger. Want to see more articles like this? Subscribe to our Advocacy Alerts and stay up to date on the latest in hunger research and policy.
Spotlight: Congresswoman Suzan DelBene
Serving her first term as congresswoman, Suzan DelBene represents the 1st congressional district, which runs from eastern King County north to the Canadian border. Her district includes a broad range of industries including technology, bio medical and agricultural – diversity that Congresswoman DelBene says makes her a better legislator. Balancing differing viewpoints and interests pushes the Congresswoman to find creative and effective solutions that represent everyone in her district.
Prior to running for Congress, the Congresswoman earned her MBA from the University of Washington, laying the foundation for her successful career in technology, working for Microsoft and later starting her own businesses. Most recently, the Congresswoman served in the government sector, working as the state’s Secretary of the Department of Revenue under Governor Christine Gregoire.
Congresswoman DelBene sits on the House Agriculture and Judiciary Committees. Her role on the Agriculture Committee placed her front and center on the Farm Bill, which establishes U.S. food, nutrition and agricultural policy, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps). The debate was difficult for her with the need to consider many issues and stakeholders including farmers and those struggling to put food on their tables. She said the final version was a bill of compromise, and no one got everything they wanted. While the $8.3 billion in cuts to SNAP were difficult, she fought hard to ensure they were not as high as the $40 billion originally proposed by the House, and provisions to restrict enrollment and eligibility for food stamps recipients were not included.
The Congresswoman also supported increases in funding for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), which provides funding for food and operations for food banks, and sponsored a $202 million job training program for SNAP recipients. She believes this program will help millions of Americans get the skills and training they need to get jobs to help them get back on their feet.
Over the next year, the Congresswoman will be focusing on implementing provisions of the Farm Bill, as well as comprehensive immigration reform, education and economic opportunity.
The Congresswoman is married and has two grown children. She may be contacted at www.delbene.house.gov