Dear 37th PCO’s:
It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as your State Senator. For the past two years, we have been able to put forward a bold and progressive agenda that emphasized equitable solutions. We pushed forward with love and generosity when others wanted to regress and lead from a place of scarcity and fear. As the only woman of color in the State Senate, I worked hard to ensure that I always brought an intersectional lens to the work of the Senate, bringing together race, class and gender to every issue. I am so grateful to you all for the opportunity to serve you. And I want to thank you for all that we did together--it simply would not have been possible without your support, advocacy, and engagement.
Together, we pushed for free community and technical college for all Washingtonians. We passed legislation to win significant investments of $5.2 million in preapprenticeship programs for women and people of color. We invested in the first Southeast Economic Opportunity Center that will bring higher education, workforce housing, state services and small business development to the Rainier Valley for the first time--all the while increasing opportunities for jobs and investing in our economy in the Valley. We continued to unapologetically defend and expand access to women’s reproductive choices. We ensured that our investments in early learning including a racial equity lens so that all children would have access to the strongest opportunities that met their culturally specific needs. We pushed for increased revenue and a reformation of our regressive tax system so that we can fully fund our constitutional obligation to provide a quality education for all of Washington’s public school students. Some of these efforts provided tangible successes. Some serve as reminders of just how far we still have to go.
We know now, more than ever, the values of the 37th are needed at the local and national level. With the rise in divisiveness and hatred, it is imperative that unity and appreciation for our diversity be lifted as an example of the America we want to live in. We need to show how we really are more powerful together. That we are brothers and sisters bonded together in the fight for progress no matter what religion or background we come from. That we will continue to organize, both outside and inside, of government and that we prioritize electing more movement builders into office.
The time is now to support advocates who are first and foremost organizers and movement builders. We will continue to need people who are not afraid to take on special interests, who have the experience in advocating for civil and human rights, who have boldly stood firm against hate, and who will always stand up for everyone’s fair shot at the American Dream.
The 37th District is a phenomenal seat from which to advocate for the best of American values. My election to the United States Congress means that you will once again be selecting someone to serve you in the Senate. There are some excellent candidates that have put forward their names for this seat, people I have worked with closely and have the greatest respect for.
I am writing to you to let you know that I have decided to throw my full support behind Rebecca Saldana because I believe she is the kind of movement builder that will continue the work we started together. Rebecca is a movement leader, an advocate, a mom and a long-time, committed, resident of South Seattle. She has stood up to developers to contribute more to housing affordability, worked in coalition to win priority hire for residents in our district to access construction careers and defended workers’ right to organize and collectively bargain. She has organized with Latino and other immigrant communities and nonprofit organizations for transportation equity, green jobs, and climate justice. She will bring together a coalition that includes labor, immigrant, women and faith. She will fight for small businesses and to bring equity into every conversation. She will continue to bring forward an intersectional lens of gender, race and class. I believe she has the grit and experience to advocate for our values in Olympia.
I hope you will take the time to get to know Rebecca and hear about her vision for our district.
Thank you so much for your tremendous faith in me and your support of our movement for working people in our district. I have been so proud to serve as your Senator from the 37th District, and as I move on to the United States Congress, I will take your hopes and dreams with me every step of the way as I fight for our country and our values.
In solidarity and with love and thanks,