LAKEWOOD… Candidate for State Representative Maia Espinoza, R-Lakewood, reiterated her opposition to the placement of violent criminals in adult family homes on Wednesday after an attack led to the death of a resident of such a home this past Saturday. The 57-year-old victim was allegedly assaulted by a fellow resident who had previously been released from Western State Hospital.
Espinoza joined State Senator Steve O’Ban, R-University Place, in asking the Department of Social and Human Services for a moratorium on placing violent offenders from Western State Hospital and the Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island into adult family homes.
“As a mother of two school-age children, and a Lakewood resident of over 15 years, I don’t take comfort in hearing that the issue is complicated. A lawmaker’s job is to find a solution,” said Espinoza. “I have listened to my neighbors in Lakewood, I have protested with them, and I will win this fight if they send me to Olympia.”
Just last week, community members from the Lakewood neighborhood of Oakbrook packed a town hall meeting demanding that lawmakers take action to stop the placement of violent offenders in their community. Counter to her current seatmates, Christine Kilduff, D-University Place, stopped short of supporting such a ban in statements at the forum, declining to take a position.
“My opponent says that ‘results matter,’ but on the issues that matter, we aren’t getting results, and now it has cost someone their life,” said Espinoza. “This shouldn’t be a partisan issue – it’s about keeping our communities safe. This tragedy underscores why we need a change in our representation in Olympia.”