I am proud to live in one of the most diverse and hardworking districts in Washington, but too many of our residents and families are working against the odds. More people in my district live below the poverty line than above it. The current health and economic crisis have only exacerbated our worst problems including income inequality and racial and health disparities. At the same time, our area has some of the highest air pollution concentrations in the state, putting us at higher risk of death from coronavirus.
I know what it’s like to struggle the same way the people in our district are struggling. I come from a family of immigrant farmworkers. I did not learn to speak English until I started school. Getting through school was hard work, but I am proud to be the first person in my family to graduate from college.
I’ve since dedicated my career to public service working in Congress, the Washington State Legislature, and for Governor Jay Inslee. Too often, I found myself the only person in the room with my perspective and experiences during critical policy conversations. We cannot claim to be a representative democracy when we ignore the voices of those most affected by our policy decisions.
I will work to ensure the people of the 29th and Washington State's most burdened residents are centered in policymaking. As we address the economic fallout, we will need one of our own at the table to fight to protect critical social and welfare programs. I will fight for a tax system and economy that works for all of us, health care for all, and quality education for our kids.
-Sharlett Mena, Candidate for State Representative in Washington’s 29th LD, Position 2, D
Learn more about Sharlett here: https://www.sharlettmena.org/