News, People

Media Literacy Week Champion: Marko Liias

In honor of Media Literacy Week, November 6-10, each day we will recognize a key figure in the field of media literacy here in Washington state.

Sen. Marko Liias, D-21

Senator Marko Liias represents the communities of the 21st Legislative District, which includes neighborhoods in Edmonds, Everett, Lynnwood, and Mukilteo. The 2017 Legislative Session was his 10th session serving in Olympia.

Marko was born at Stevens Hospital in Edmonds in 1981 and graduated from Kamiak High School in Mukilteo. After high school, Marko worked his way through college with the help of student loans and scholarships, and received his bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University. He is currently completing his graduate degree in Public Administration at the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington.

In 2005, he was elected to the Mukilteo City Council, where he served for two years. During his time on the city council, Marko was a champion of parks and open space, and led the council in setting aside $1 million for new parkland. He also sponsored the city’s first biofuels ordinance, to promote the use of biofuels at local service stations.

In January 2008, Marko was appointed to the House of Representatives. Throughout his service in the Legislature, Marko has focused on policies to advance a strong economy based on good-paying jobs, a safe and quality education system, and a balanced transportation system that serves the whole community.

It was Marko’s work on bullying in schools that led him to champion media literacy in Washington. After learning about Action for Media Literacy’s mission from his constituent Claire Beach, he sponsored Senate Bill 6273 that directed the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction to convene a workgroup to review best practices and make policy recommendations. SB 6273 has become a roadmap for other states across the country to push for media literacy policy. During the 2017 session Marko and AME worked together to pass Senate Bill 5449 which implemented some of the policy recommendations from the OSPI workgroup.

In addition to his service in the Legislature, Sen. Liias works in our community as a volunteer with the Kamiak High School Debate Program, as a board member of the Seattle Repertory Theatre, and as a member of the Transportation Choices Coalition.