SEATTLE – State Sen. Andy Billig (D-Spokane), a member of the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee, has been named to the Thrive by Five Washington Board of Directors. Seattle-based Thrive is the state’s leading public-private partnership for early learning.
Billig, a first-term senator, made a name for himself during the 2013 legislative session as a champion for children, sponsoring two successful bills that expanded opportunities for children through quality early learning programs and a quality foster care system. One bill strengthened the state’s largest early learning program, Working Connections Child Care, which delivers safe, high-quality early learning opportunities for children from low-income families and helps their parents get back to work. The other bill directed that every attempt be made to keep siblings together in the foster care system.
“The evidence is clear that early learning is the best investment in our future that our state can make,” said Billig. “Thrive by Five Washington is doing significant and hard work with state and community partners to create a quality early learning system across our state. I look forward to being part of an organization that is fiercely committed to making sure every child has the opportunity for a great start in school and life.”
In addition to his work as a state senator, Billig is the co-owner and former president and general manager of the Spokane Indians baseball team. Billig lives in Spokane with his daughter.
Billig is one of four legislators on the Thrive board. He joins Sen. Steve Litzow, chair of the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee; Rep. Ruth Kagi, chair of the House Early Learning and Human Services Committee; and Rep. Maureen Walsh, ranking minority member of the House Early Learning and Human Services Committee.
The 35-member Thrive board is an active and committed group of state, community, business and philanthropic leaders. Members serve three-year terms. See full board list.
About Thrive by Five Washington
Founded in 2006 by Washington state businesses and foundations, Thrive by Five Washington is the state’s leading public-private partnership for early learning works and most closely with the Department of Early Learning and Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction to implement the state’s 10-year Early Learning Plan. With racial equity as a driving force, Thrive focuses on three strategic initiatives that are creating a long-term statewide commitment to early learning and helping more families have the information and support they need to help their children thrive in school and life. Those initiatives include deepening parent and caregiver knowledge of child development through the “Love. Talk. Play.” campaign for families of infants of toddlers; developing a high-quality home visiting system to serve at-risk families; and building and mobilizing state and local partnerships. www.thrivebyfivewa.org