Rooted here with community connections
I hold a long and proud record of working and serving this community. I have lived and worked in the 11th Legislative District for nearly 25 years. My family and I have deep roots here. Gabriela Quintana, my wife, attended high school in Renton. We lived and were married on Beacon Hill; our wedding reception was in Georgetown, and our son was born at Group Health.
Gabriela and I met during a Farmworker Union celebration at the Machinist Hall 14 years ago. I married well! Gabriela is an immigrant from Mexico and is the first member of her family to attend college. She holds a Master of Social Work and runs her own consulting company. Her parents owned and operated a restaurant for decades in Seattle Center. We live in Tukwila with our son who attends public school, and young dog, Chula, who does not attend school quite yet.
My service and leadership in the 11th LD includes volunteering and serving as a founding Board Member at Casa Latina. I served as Board President of the Puget Sound Fisher House for Veterans on Beacon Hill for two terms. I was also an invited board member of the Domestic Abuse Women’s Network (DAWN). In the Spring of 2020, I co-founded and volunteered for South King Food Fighters delivering over 35,000 meals to families in need as an early response to COVID-19.
Growing up, my family encouraged fairness and respect, justice and protection of the vulnerable, community service, and dedication to duty. My dad served our country as a Navy pilot then went on to captain Boeing 747s. My mom taught economics and women’s studies for 30 years. A strong union family, my father was a member of the Laborers and ALPA, my mother of AFT, and my sister is a current member of ALPA. I am a dues-paying member of CWA. With scholarships and hard work, I graduated from the University of Notre Dame, later earning a Master of Jurisprudence from the University of Washington Gates School of Law.
I believe in education as the pathway to the middle class and am committed to strong public schools. Good jobs are the foundation of stable families and we need to continue the work to reduce barriers and improve opportunities for all to have meaningful work.
When I was first elected, one of my committee assignments was as a member of the House Labor Committee. I took that opportunity and fought for Paid Family Leave, unemployment insurance, and protecting worker’s compensation. Later, as the Vice-chair of the Environmental Committee I fought to ensure that our farmworkers in Washington state were protected from pesticides. Later, as Chair of the State Government, Elections and Information Technology Committee, I led the House in passing the Access to Democracy package of bills improving access and equity in voting. These bills include provisions for same day voter registration and drop boxes all over the state.
We need to build on the work already done, from creating access to higher education for all to ensuring every child in Washington has Breakfast Before the Bell. As Chair of the Innovation, Technology and Economic Development Committee I focused on consumer privacy. I focused my leadership to fight against biased facial recognition software and encouraged opportunity for under represented groups through programs like Apprenti.
I have used my vote to express your values and mine on so many shared issues: equity in school funding, women's right to chose, healthcare for all, solutions for climate change, higher education access, and establishing Cesar Chavez and Delores Huerta Days in Washington state history.
2021 presents our biggest challenge: recovering from the COVID-19 crisis while building equity into our state structures. Racism is unacceptable in any arena, and I will continue to use my position and life experience to uncover and change policies that cause suffering and economic injustice. I have experience you can rely on. I understand the state budget and how to identify programs that can be trimmed without large human costs. I respect the views of the scientists and medical experts to guide us through reopening the state. I am deeply concerned about women's rights. I value equity in work and education, in housing, wealth building and every aspect of our lives. I listen to you; I share your values. As we go forward, my experience will count for you in Olympia.