Librarian In The House

Leah Griffin runs for office in the 34th district


Leah Griffin, University Prep Librarian, is running in Washington State’s 34th district as a Democrat for state representative. She got into lawmaking and advocacy in 2014 after being a victim of a violent crime.
“I encountered a healthcare and criminal justice system that was broken and I knew that I had to do something to change it,” Griffin said. “So I started reaching out to lawmakers for help, and over the last eight years, have made reforms at the state and federal levels.”
Griffin has drafted and lobbied for bills and legislation surrounding sexual assault prevention, work referendums and more. In addition to this, she also serves on the executive board of the 34th Legislative District Democrats, on the executive board of the King County Democrats and as a Washington State delegate to the Democratic Convention in 2022.

“I’ve been working on gender-based violence, both at the federal and the state level. I also worked on the Referendum-90, to keep comprehensive sexual health education in K-12 schools in Washington,”Griffin said.
Her experiences inform her qualifications.
“I have experienced every part of the law-making process from proposing ideas, to working on the language, to building coalitions, to building our media, to testifying before the legislature, to lobbying members of the legislature and passing bills,” Griffin said.
Griffin has been at UPrep for eleven years and teaches information literacy skills. She also founded the Pacific Northwest Debate League, served on the Educational Equity Committee and continues to serve as the a founding leader of the faculty staff association.
“We have a national crisis of misinformation and my work as a school librarian teaching students how to evaluate information also informs my abilities as a lawmaker. It’s time for a librarian in the legislature,” Griffin said.
Griffin is most concerned with the issue of healthcare and moving away from a for-profit system.
“I know that healthcare is often inaccessible to people, both physical healthcare and behavioral healthcare, and I think it is really important that we can increase access to make sure that everyone gets healthcare and nobody goes bankrupt because of a health emergency,” Griffin said.
Another issue central to her campaign is the lack of urgency in combating climate change.

“I see in UPrep students the same frustrations I felt in the 1990’s when we weren’t working quick enough to cap carbon, to invest in clean energy resources and to restore salmon habitats,” Griffin said. “Those problems have continued to get worse since I’ve been an adult, and it’s time to work hard to stop it.”
Griffin’s campaign manager Lillian Ellis is a former UPrep student who graduated in 2020. She attends Scripps College as a political science major. Ellis met Griffin as a middle schooler on the debate team.
“I think Leah is a natural leader. She really knows how to listen to communities and prioritize issues,” Ellis said. “I think we have already seen throughout her campaign her ability to get to know what is bothering people in her district.”