Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today issued the following statement after introducing the Grant Assistance and Technical Education (GATE) Act, which would provide community-based health organizations with assistance navigating the federal grantmaking process and create grant opportunities for these organizations. Community-based organizations are crucial to closing health equity gaps in communities across the country, but often lack the experience and capacity to apply for and obtain grant funding.

“Community-based organizations work to ensure everyone, specifically the most marginalized members of our communities, have access to quality health care and important public health information. Our nation’s public health system relies on these organizations, and we should do everything we can to ensure they have the resources they need to continue and expand on their important work,” said Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash). “That’s why I’m reintroducing the GATE Act, which would help community-based organizations access federal funding and create more grants for these organizations. This legislation will enable community-based organizations to connect more individuals and families to vital services and further reduce health care disparities in Washington’s Ninth and across the country.” 


The GATE Act would:

  • Create the position of Outreach Coordinator in the Office of Minority Health of the Department of Health and Human Services to focus on assisting community-based organizations navigating the federal grantmaking process; and
  • Provide grants to state and local public health entities for the specific purpose of directing those funds to build capacity in local community-based organizations focused on addressing health inequities. Funneling funding through state and local public health entities will help reduce the burden on community-based organizations of applying for funding directly to the federal government.

The GATE Act is endorsed by Somali Health Board and Refugees Northwest Counseling.

A fact sheet of the GATE Act can be found here. The bill text can be found here.


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today issued the following statement regarding H.R. 2, the House Republican bill on immigration.

“I want to find meaningful solutions to our broken immigration system, but the House Republicans’ bill is not the answer. H.R. 2 would destroy our asylum system, restart construction on an expensive and ineffective border wall, and drastically expand the detention of children and families.

“We all want a secure border. To do that, we need to improve technology at our border and invest in ports of entry. However, H.R. 2 creates more bottlenecks and hinders Customs and Border Protection’s ability to process asylum claims at ports of entry. We also need to crack down on illegal actions of cartels and the smuggling of drugs into the United States. H.R. 2 does nothing to stem the dangerous and deadly flow of fentanyl, heroin, and methamphetamine into our communities, the overwhelming majority of which comes to the U.S. through ports of entry. 

“House Democrats want real solutions, which is why we passed a budget that would increase funding for personnel and technology, reduce the processing backlogs, and fund alternatives to detention that are proven to work. We urgently need comprehensive reform to fix our immigration system and tackle the humanitarian crisis at the southern border. This includes addressing the root causes of migration and passing legislation to expand legal immigration pathways, reform our asylum laws and immigration detention system, and finally give DACA recipients and other undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship. 

“Fixing our broken immigration system is long overdue, and House Republicans have continuously blocked solutions by refusing to work in a bipartisan manner towards common-sense legislation. I believe we can find bipartisan solutions to our immigration crisis, but H.R. 2 is not the answer.”


SEATTLE, WA – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) recently announced the 15 Community Project Funding Requests he submitted to the House Appropriations Committee for consideration in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 appropriations bill.
Local leaders and organizations are celebrating the announcement as an important step forward for the realization of these projects, which will make investments across the Ninth District in mental and behavioral health care, affordable housing, public transportation, criminal justice, public safety, education, technology, small business, local economy, and more.
See below for statements of support from local leaders, organizations, and governments.

Africatown Community Land Trust – Walker Street Homes

“We are pleased to be one of the projects selected to be given funding by the office of Congressman Smith. When completed, this project will create much needed affordable homeownership opportunities in the Central District of Seattle's historically African American community. This community has faced gentrification and development pressures over the past decade that have displaced the community's homeowners. When completed this project will create 24 two-bedroom condos that will create not only new homeowners, but it will result in generational wealth building in a community that has faced redlining and other economic impediments to ownership.”Muammar Hermanstyne, Africatown Community Land Trust

Cham Refugees Community – Cham Community Center
“These funds will go towards the development of the Cham Community Center. The urgent need of this facility will help the Cham Refugee Community (CRC) fight displacement and will also enable them to thrive in place. The Chams are an ethnic minority and due to cultural and language barriers, they are unable to fully access services from other communities. CRC is the only organization nationwide that can provide holistic services, support and programs that are culturally sensitive and linguistically appropriate to this underserved community. Through Congressman Adam Smith’s support, CRC will remain a vital cultural anchor in the Rainier Valley as they have been for the last 3 decades. This new facility will be a hub from where CRC will continue providing holistic services that are culturally and linguistically appropriate to the Cham community and other underserved communities of refugees, immigrants, and low-income communities of color. CRC is grateful for Congressman Adam Smith’s staunch support for the Ninth District and securing much needed funds to communities and projects that make the Ninth beautiful and a wonderful place for all.” – Cham Refugees Community (CRC)
City of Bellevue – Digital Equity for Affordable Housing
“Access to high-speed internet connectivity from home is an essential part of bridging long-standing gaps in equity. This community project funding through Congressman Smith’s office will help Bellevue begin to realize our vision of providing free high-speed internet access in all of our affordable housing. Ensuring equitable access to free high speed internet as a built-in service is a key step to creating a city where all residents have easy access to the digital economy.” – Mayor Lynne Robinson, City of Bellevue
City of Renton – Monroe Avenue Northeast (NE) Stormwater Quality Treatment and Infiltration Facility  
“We are honored that Congressman Smith is putting forward a $2.5 million request from the City of Renton for the Monroe Avenue NE Stormwater Infiltration Project. This critical project has water quality and flood risk reduction benefits and will help contribute to overall salmon recovery efforts in our region. We hope Congressional appropriators will fund this project and thank Congressman Smith for his work and leadership.” Mayor Armondo Pavone, City of Renton
Filipino Community of Seattle – Filipino Community Village 2
“Congressman Adam Smith has all the qualities of an effective leader. He goes out to the community to learn about their needs and work to help support it. He is well connected to the people of his community. We are thrilled that funding for the Filipino Community Village has been submitted for consideration in the FY 2024 appropriations bill.” – Agnes Navarro, Executive Director, Filipino Community of Seattle

Submitting projects to the House Appropriations Committee is the first step in the process and does not guarantee they will be funded.  Find more information about the FY 2024 Community Project Funding requests here.


SEATTLE, WA – Today Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) introduced the Community and Technical College Investment Act, which would create tuition-free community and technical colleges in Washington’s Ninth District and across the country. The legislation would provide grant funding for states to offer tuition-free community and technical colleges and expanded wraparound support services that help ensure students are able to enroll in and complete these programs.
“Community and technical colleges offer a pathway to high-quality, good-paying jobs and we must do more to ensure that these programs are affordable and accessible for people across the country,” said Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash). “The legislation I am introducing today would eliminate the cost of tuition and expand funding for housing, food, transportation, and other services that students need to complete these programs. By reducing these barriers, we can provide more people with education and job training opportunities that will get them into the middle-class and strengthen our workforce. This legislation would go a long way to expand access to economic opportunity for millions across the country.”
Statements of support for the Community and Technical College Investment Act:
“Higher education remains a reliable force for economic growth and security, yet too many students who enroll in college do not graduate within 6 years, with worse outcomes for students of color. These trends are increasingly troubling considering recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) which predicts that jobs requiring more education will grow faster than average. Congressman Smith’s proposals recognizes the need by ensuring institutions and students have the required resources to access and complete a postsecondary credential.” – Carrie Welton, Senior Director of Policy & Advocacy: Anti-Poverty & Basic Needs, The Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS)
“The American middle-class cannot be sustained or grown without an educated workforce, and key to building that workforce is expansion of affordable and accessible postsecondary education. Community and technical colleges are a proven pathway to high-quality employment for millions of students and their families. Such institutions are also critical lifelines for underrepresented students entering higher education, as 51 percent of Hispanic, 42 percent of Asian, and 40 percent of Black undergraduates are enrolled at community colleges. By allowing states to make these institutions tuition-free and increase offerings of wraparound supportive services, the Community and Technical College Investment Act is an important step towards increasing the ability for everyone to pursue and complete educational opportunities and job training programs." – Christian Collins, Policy Analyst, Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)
“Congressman Smith’s proposal to offer tuition-free community college would be a game changer for Washington state. Our 34 community and technical colleges serve people of all ages and backgrounds right in their local communities, providing the education and training that leads to well-paying jobs, career mobility and university study. Whether students are 16 or 60, urban or rural, just out of high school or working adults, our colleges prepare them for the next step up in life. Students can choose from variety of options that fit them best– whether they want an industry certificate, a degree, or training in the skilled trades – and we’ll support them all the way.” – Paul Francis, Executive Director, Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges (SBCTC)
“Community and technical colleges can only be true engines of economic mobility if resources to support access, retention and completion are present for all community members. This legislation will provide those resources as it addresses financial barriers students face in paying tuition, accessing support services and covering the true cost of their education. Prospective students need to know that their pathway to economically mobility and social equity is through their local community and technical college.” – Dr. John R. Mosby, President, Highline College
“The Network for Public Education strongly supports the Community and Technical College Investment Act. Our community and technical colleges provide an important bridge between K-12 academics and the world of work or higher academics. This act will open the gate to that bridge for young people across our nation, allowing those with limited resources to gain the skills they need to begin meaningful and productive careers.” – Carol Burris, Executive Director, The Network for Public Education
“This legislation could make the difference that allows a student at Renton Technical College or another two-year college to finish their programs. Reducing barriers to education, especially for historically marginalized communities-- it changes lives and helps meet workforce and industry needs.” – Yoshiko Harden, President, Renton Technical College
“By providing access to higher education for all individuals, regardless of their financial situation, we are investing in our collective future and giving everyone the opportunity to succeed. Community colleges, like Green River College, are a crucial stepping stone for many students on their path to higher education and a career. Making Green River tuition-free would remove the #1 student identified barrier to access and help ensure that all students have the opportunity to prepare for a successful future.” Dr. Suzanne Johnson, President, Green River College
“The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) believes that postsecondary education is a public good, as it confers benefits to both the individual and society. To thrive locally in our global economy, we would be well served to equip our citizens with the opportunity to acquire new skills and knowledge to adapt to a rapidly changing market. Rep. Smith’s Tuition-Free Community and Technical Schools legislation would deliver that opportunity to all Americans who seek it. NACAC is pleased to provide our support for this bill, as it builds a foundation for education beyond high school as a fundamental public good.” – David Hawkins, Chief Education and Policy Officer, The National Association for College Admission Counseling

The Community and Technical College Investment Act is endorsed by The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), The National Council for Community and Education Partnerships, The National Association for College Admission Counseling, The Network for Public Education, Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, Seattle Colleges, Renton Technical College, Highline College, and Green River Community College.

Today, Rep. Smith visited Renton Technical College for a roundtable discussion with students and staff, where he announced the introduction of his bill. From left to right: Rep. Adam Smith (WA-09), Yoshiko Harden, President of Renton Technical College, Abubacar, automotive student, Stephanie Delaney, Vice President of Instruction.
A fact sheet of the Community and Technical College Investment Act can be found here. The bill text can be found here.


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) introduced the Behavioral Health Crisis Care Centers Act, which would provide grant funding for states, cities and counties, and tribal governments to build and expand crisis stabilization services with housing assistance and other wrap around services. Behavioral health crisis care centers provide critical stabilization services to individuals experiencing a mental or behavioral health crisis.

“We must equip our communities with resources to better respond to the nationwide mental and behavioral health crisis. Behavioral health crisis care centers provide people experiencing a mental or behavioral health crisis with critical stabilization services and short and long-term resources they need to lead a stable life. These facilities can also play a crucial role in improving coordination between community organizations, service providers, and local governments that are working to tackle the different aspects of this challenge. The bill I am introducing today would provide funding to build and expand these one-stop centers in Washington’s Ninth and across the country,” said Rep. Adam Smith. “Increased funding for mental and behavioral health is crucial to creating a more holistic approach to public safety that advances the health and safety of all community members. This legislation will help get us there.” 

Statements of support for the Behavioral Health Crisis Care Centers Act: 

“This is an important bill that will help align and coordinate levels of government to support our community members in need of immediate crisis care. It is no secret that many of our family members, friends and neighbors are experiencing increased behavioral health challenges and this bill will help provide needed resources to local communities and the provider organizations that serve them.” – Evergreen Treatment Services 

“Behavioral health care is an essential part of whole person health, both in moments of crisis and as part of ongoing primary care. Our communities are experiencing unprecedented levels of behavioral health needs. It is imperative that helping people meet these needs be as simple and as effective as possible. The Behavioral Health Crisis Centers Act takes a significant step towards this goal. ‘One-stop’ sites that offer behavioral health crisis care and a range of health care and wraparound services will make a difference in long-term health outcomes. International Community Health Services is grateful to Rep. Smith for leading on this issue.” – Kelli Nomura, Chief Executive Officer, International Community Health Services 

“The King County Housing Authority appreciates Congressman Smith's steadfast commitment to addressing the behavioral health and housing needs of people living in our region. Crisis Care Centers are exactly the type of investment we need to be making to ensure an array of services are available for community members who are struggling with complex behavioral health and substance use disorders. This is a critical component of our region’s efforts to address the homelessness crisis. This legislation would also support proactive outreach to high needs populations and tenants of subsidized housing programs - including those operated by KCHA - for stronger health and housing stability outcomes.” – Robin Walls, Executive Director/CEO, King County Housing Authority 

"In too many communities, people experiencing a mental health crisis are not able to get the help they need. Representative Smith’s Behavioral Health Crisis Care Centers Act will help build out the continuum of mental health crisis response services across the country. This bill will move us closer to the goal of ensuring that every person in crisis receives an effective, humane response and is treated with dignity and respect.” – Hannah Wesolowski, Chief Advocacy Officer, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) 

“We appreciate Representative Smith’s critical leadership in mustering much-needed federal support for local behavioral health crisis care systems, which, ideally, can act as one-stop centers to connect people with the service providers they need. His Behavioral Health Crisis Care Centers Act could help to ensure that people experiencing homelessness are prioritized for housing and the services they need to stay safely and securely housed.” – National Alliance to End Homelessness 

“Rep. Smith’s (D-WA) reintroduction of the Behavioral Health Crisis Care Centers Act represents a huge step towards creating immediate access to care for individuals experiencing the most acute mental health and/or substance use challenges. Much like hospital emergency departments are essential resources for individuals with acute physical health crisis, emergency crisis receiving centers should be a resource for every community. We celebrate the potential within this act and are exceptionally grateful to Representative Smith as well as all others who are moving this important legislation forward.” – RI International 

“Every day, our staff and clients are faced with the realities of an underfunded, over-capacity behavioral health system. The Behavioral Health Crisis Center Act would change this reality by creating therapeutic, compassionate settings where our young people and other community members can receive the holistic services needed to heal. This bill seeks to bridge divides across government systems and community organizations, ensuring that we can meet clients where they are at and help support them into their futures. We are deeply grateful to Congressman Smith for proposing this bill.” – Jessie Friedmann, Director of Public Policy & External Affairs, YouthCare 

“The Seattle Housing Authority applauds Representative Smith for introducing this legislation to address the increasing behavioral health needs that are impacting so many people. We have seen firsthand the impact the pandemic has had on our residents. We make every effort to connect people to help so we can keep them housed safely but the current system is overburdened and does not have the resources to provide response and care for the growing number of people in serious crisis. This legislation would provide a relief valve for those in crisis and that is something that is needed. We are very appreciative of Congressman Smith’s recognition of this deeply concerning situation and his action to expand options for treatment.” – Rod Brandon, Executive Director, Seattle Housing Authority

The Behavioral Health Crisis Care Centers Act is endorsed by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), National Alliance to End Homelessness, RI International, and YouthCare. 

A fact sheet of the Behavioral Health Crisis Care Centers Act can be found here. The bill text can be found here