Several candidates are stepping up to fill the seats of State Reps. Mary Lou Dickerson of the 36th District and Phyllis Gutierrez Kenneyin the 46th District after both announced their retirements. Both districts cover portions of Phinney Ridge and Greenwood.
Jessyn Farrell is running in the 46th District. She is an attorney and the former Executive Director of Transportation Choices Coalition, a statewide non-profit that advocates for expanded bus, light rail and other transportation options.
“Each of us has a role to play in building a strong, supportive community. That’s what I learned growing up,” said Farrell. “Now, with young kids of our own, we are instilling those same values of public service and community.” Farrell continued, “We need more moms in Olympia fighting for great schools, access to health care, and safe, efficient transportation options.”
“In Olympia, we need champions who will stand up and defend our rights and freedoms for family planning and health care access,” said Farrell. “At the federal and state level, we are seeing threats to our progress and a slow erosion of our rights. I’ll bring needed new energy and conviction to this fight.”
“I am a proud product of local public schools and the University of Washington. I want my kids to be able to attend excellent neighborhood schools and public universities too,” said Farrell. “Look at our state’s astounding economic, environmental, and cultural successes over recent decades, and try to imagine how we’d have done it if we were cutting education along the way. It’s bad policy. We need to plan for success over the long term, not failure.”
Sahar Fathi is running in the 36th District. She is a first-generation Iranian-American, whose parents fled the Iranian Revolution in 1979. She holds a master’s degree and a law degree from the University of Washington, and has worked for the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. She sits on the board of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project and ACLU-Washington, and started the Middle Eastern Legal Association. She is currently a legislative aide to Seattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien.
“I am running to be the next State Representative in the 36th District because we need new energy, fresh ideas and more diverse representation in the State Legislature to solve the challenges we face today. With my personal background and professional experience, I will bring an unwavering commitment to the progressive values this district holds dear.”
“I grew up idolizing people like Shirin Ebadi, the first woman to become a judge in Iran, and Wangari Mathai, the first woman to earn a PhD in all of East and Central Africa. I grew up admiring these women who broke down barriers and stood up for the poor and most vulnerable people in their communities. As the next representative from the 36th District, I pledge to do the same.”
People forget that the government is not supposed to be some distant, unreachable group of aristocrats. I firmly believe that the will of the people should be the law of the land. I also believe that you should not have to beg your legislators to listen to you. So that’s why I’m not just asking for you to hire me.
You ARE the government. Legislators only represent you.
So, that’s why I’m not just asking for you to vote for me, I’m asking for you to hire me.
I know who my bosses will be. And there is no conflict of interest with either the Republican or Democratic Party. I am a member of the Progressive Party, and I can ignore or work with either party depending on what is best for Washington.
Port of Seattle Commissioner Gael Tarleton also is running in the 36th District.
Tarleton says she will run on four key issues: job creation along with protecting women’s health and reproductive rights, higher education and the environment.
“We need to carry the accomplishments and legacy of Rep. Dickerson forward,” Tarleton said. “I have a proven track record of protecting and creating jobs, fighting for women and minority-owned businesses, protecting the environment and championing Washington’s higher-education community.”
We must renew the fight to protect women’s health and reproductive rights, Tarleton said. As a member of the National Women’s Political Caucus and NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, Tarleton said passage of the Reproductive Parity Act is a priority in her campaign. “We have fought hard to secure the basic health and reproductive rights of women. It’s clear our battle to protect women’s health still has a long way to go. The women of today must always fight for our next generation,” Tarleton said.
Also running in the 36th is Noel Frame.
“I believe we can and must change course and re-prioritize public education as our state’s paramount duty,” said Frame.
Frame has an extensive background in progressive politics and education advocacy from her tenure with the Washington State Democrats, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, The Washington Bus, 36th District Democrats, King County Conservation Voters, and her leadership role in the campaign to Approve Referendum 71 — the first LGBT civil rights ballot measure to pass by a vote of the people in the U.S.
In her announcement, Frame described why she is passionate about education: “My family was struggling, and I was worried about how I would get the education I needed when my high school experienced devastating funding cuts following three failed school levies. I took from that experience a message many of our kids still do today – that my community didn’t care enough to invest in my future. I am entering this race because I am compelled to do more – to take on this cause in the State House of Representatives. It is a challenge I welcome. I will never give up on our schools and our kids.”
Update: Nick Cail dropped out of the race in early April due to work and family commitments.
Earlier: Phinney Ridge resident Nick Cail previously announced he will run in the 36th District. He works in the Development Office of the 5th Avenue Theatre.
“This election year more than any in recent history, our Seattle delegation needs strong champions for ensuring our local, small businesses thrive; preparing our kids to compete in a global economy; and renewing our commitment to our four-year universities and community colleges,” said Nick Cail.
Mr. Cail worked for Congressman Norm Dicks during the 2002 and 2004 campaign cycles and often cites Congressman Dicks for helping shape his interest in public-private partnerships and commitment to access to eduaion.
“My campaign will not be about our economic struggles of the last several years, but instead focus on our state’s great capacity to invest in our small businesses and public schools over the next several decades. Now is the time to decide what we want Washington state high schools and colleges to look like when today’s kindergardeners are ready to enroll in them.”
“Throughout my professional career I have worked to forge innovative new partnerships between the public and private sectors,” said Phillips. “The slow recovery of our economy has highlighted the need for fresh ideas and new approaches to job growth. Washington has always been a world leader in innovation – we can build on that track record with new leaders focused on great K-12 and colleges fueling a strong economy that sustains our unique quality of life.”
Phillips will focus on education funding, support for the University of Washington, and protecting the rights of women and the vulnerable in Olympia alongside his commitment to environmental protection and development of clean energy technologies.
“I’m the 4th generation of my family to call Seattle home and I know that the strength of our communities are rooted in the strength of our progressive values—from excellent schools to making sure we maintain a safety net for those most at risk. We need revenue solutions in Olympia so we can stop pitting education against human services during bad economic times,” said Phillips. “We need outspoken leaders committed to the rights of women. We need strong Democrats willing to fight for our principles while never losing sight of the need to be effective problem solvers.”