Sen. Maralyn Chase (D-Edmonds) on Wednesday passed her first bill, and she has a group of Edmonds students to thank. Senate Bill 5174 encourages the teaching of the civil rights movement in Washington's schools at least once a year. The bill, which now is in the hands of the state House of Representatives, was the brainchild of the MLK Group, made up of fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders at Madrona K-8 in the Edmonds. Those students include Sen. Chase's grandson, Chase Simerka.
The students were on hand in Olympia to witness the historic occasion.
The group studied the civil rights movement in preparation for an assembly celebrating the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday in January. They were inspired to share what they learned and wanted to encourage others to understand the history of civil rights in the U.S.
It was Simerka who decided to ask Chase, his grandmother and legislative representative, to help the group create a law encouraging learning about civil rights history. “This idea belongs to the whole group,” said Simerka.
Chase, who lives in Edmonds, is a representative of the 32nd District, which represents Shoreline, Edmonds, Woodway, Kenmore, Lake Forest Park and unincorporated areas of King and Snohomish counties.