Hillary in the News
Hillary’s work as a lawyer fighting for the civil rights of children and families experiencing poverty and discrimination has been covered in newspapers from Everett to Spokane.
Homeless Students. At least 40,000 children in our local schools – meaning at least one child in every classroom -- do not have a safe and stable home to return after classes end each day. Children of color are hit the hardest by homelessness. Hillary worked closely with her clients and advocates to convince legislators to invest in the Homeless Student Stability Program, making Washington one of the first states to specially protect these students.
Youth in Juvenile Detention. More than 10,000 youth get arrested in Washington every year. Too many. Too many of them are youth of color. Too many of them are homeless. In 2003, almost every arrest meant a life sentence of sorts – a lifelong public record that followed them everywhere. And, often, a lifelong debt. As a result of the laws that Hillary worked to pass and her trial and appellate advocacy with colleagues, 95% of these youth will see their records sealed upon their 18th birthday. Hillary was also part of the legal team to challenge solitary confinement practices in King County, meeting frequently with youth in confinement, and advocating for changes to laws that hindered judges from considering the full circumstances of youth before sending them to adult court.
Foster Care. Roughly 7,000 children and youth are in foster care in Washington. This is a system that has made tremendous gains in reducing multiple placements, improving education outcomes, bettering mental health care even while it continues to need improvement. Hillary was part of the legal team at Columbia Legal Services fighting to ensure critical reforms in foster care, including the extended foster care program to provide housing for more than a thousand youth who never find a permanent family or way out of the system. While Washington continues to deny the right to counsel for every child in foster care, Hillary was one of the leaders in the campaign to protect our legal system’s most vulnerable children. Thousands of children now have counsel in Washington.
Unaccompanied Youth. Although data is hard to find, estimates suggest 4,600 youth or more have no parents available to care for them. These unaccompanied youth are facing long odds – terrible academic outcomes, higher likelihood of being disciplined, higher likelihood of being thrust into the juvenile justice system. Hillary actively participated with hundreds of advocates across the state to create Office of Homeless Youth Prevention and Protection Programs. Hillary represented unaccompanied youth in Olympia to improve access to basic healthcare and ensure host home programs throughout Washington stayed open.
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