When the new president took office, 1st district Congresswoman Suzan DelBene was there in the audience.
“I think it was also an amazing thing to see sitting at the Capitol, seeing the peaceful transition after the violence that we saw just a couple of weeks ago,” she said.
The insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6 overwhelmed the Capitol police and came close, Democrats believe, to overthrowing democracy.
But 6th District Congressman Derek Kilmer drew the contrast with today.
“There was a real sense of hope, a real enthusiasm,” he said.
For 7th District Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, she had to stay home for her last day of quarantine after getting COVID-19 during the Capitol attack. Still, it was a special moment of pride to see a woman sharing her South Asian heritage, Kamala Harris, sworn in as vice president. “That’s just very real for me, and my heart feels like it’s bursting today in different moments.”
President Joe Biden, they all believe, will be helpful in making progress on northwest priorities.
Infrastructure projects like paying for a new West Seattle Bridge and protecting the environment, a priority that former President Donald Trump’s administration moved to defund.
“That will change now that we have an administration that is more attuned to the priorities of the people, of the state of Washington and more attuned to our values,” said Kilmer.
And Biden, they believe, can get the nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic on track.
“The focus on making sure that our communities have what they need as we continue to work through this crisis, both from a public health standpoint and from an economic standpoint.”
All seemed most inspired by Biden’s push to unify the nation.
“I do think that tone — it makes a huge difference,” DelBene said.
Still, unity won’t be easy, Jayapal said.
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