Amplifying Black Women’s Voices in Our State Legislature
To begin dismantling systemic racism, we need more Black representation in the system. Representation matters and nobody understands the experience of being Black in America except the Black community. Local union member volunteers have been interviewing candidates on the ballot for this summer’s primary election and have voted to endorse six talented Black women candidates who are committed to quality public education. Each of them is running to be a strong new voice in Olympia.
Educators running for office
Two of the endorsed candidates are an educator and a former educator. Substitute teacher Joy Stanford is running for a house seat in Gig Harbor and the 26th Legislative District. On the other side of the Narrows Bridge, T’wina Nobles is running to represent University Place and the 28th Legislative District. Nobles worked as a teacher in Tacoma for 5 years and a paraeducator and substitute in University Place for 5 years.
“I am a firm believer in public education and understand what it takes to have successful schools,” wrote T’wina. “When it comes to advocating for public education as we navigate what is sure to be a tight budget, WEA can count on me to bring these values to the table.”
Public school advocates on the ballot
Three of the candidates are active in their local public schools. In South Seattle’s 37th Legislative District WEA has endorsed Kirsten Harris-Talley, parent of two Seattle Public School students and advocate for her neighborhood school. In Snohomish County, members voted to endorse Everett School Board Director April Berg for the 44th Legislative District. She’s the parent of two public school students and a longtime advocate for Edmonds and Everett public schools. And in Clark County’s 17th Legislative District, Tanisha Harris won educators’ endorsement in her run for the state house. She serves as the co-chair of Evergreen Citizens for Schools which helped pass the 2018 and 2019 Evergreen School District bond and levy.
“I'm proud to be a graduate of Evergreen Public Schools and to have worked in the field of multicultural & diversity education for the District for close to 10 years,” said Tanisha. “All our students no matter where they in live deserve quality education.”
Attorney Jamila Taylor is running for the house in Federal Way’s 30th Legislative District. Taylor is committed to educational equity, including recruiting more Black educators. She was a founding board member of Black history website www.blackpast.org.
“I have dedicated my career and community involvement to serving youth and teens,” noted Taylor. “My advocacy for these youth is and has been directly in line with WEA’s priorities: ensuring staff, children and families are safe at school; that they have access to a quality education and career paths; and that students and families have resources in their neighborhood schools.”
These and all of WEA’s endorsements are in our new voter guide.