A Lifelong Champion of the Environment
My love of the outdoors developed at a young age. I spent my summers in high school and college working outdoors — teaching young people about conservation on Dabob Bay and leading week-long treks through the Cascade Mountains.
My interest in politics developed as an environmental activist on campus at the University of Colorado, where I earned my degree in Environmental Conservation and Biology — later earning a graduate certificate in Energy Policy from the University of Idaho.
During my twelve years representing the diverse working-class suburbs of South King County in the State House of Representatives, I served as Chair of the House Select Committee on Puget Sound — helping create the Puget Sound Partnership to restore our State’s crown jewel. I later served as Chair of the House Environment Committee — working in every corner of the State to reduce carbon pollution, clean up toxins, and improve oil spill prevention.
In the Legislature, I helped lead the Blue-Green Alliance — a pro-labor, pro-environment coalition that rejected the false choice between jobs and the environment and found common ground to promote sustainable economic opportunities.
For my work, I was honored as Legislator of the Year by the Washington Conservation Voters.
Now, as Chair of the King County Council, I am working with my colleagues to preserve public lands and manage growth, parks, wastewater, and transportation in environmentally sustainable ways in our state’s most populous county.
As Chair of the King County Flood Control District, I doubled funding for salmon recovery and led major reforms to better protect our region’s rivers.
I understand that in order to have good jobs and a strong economy, we need to keep Washington State a great place to live. This means managing our public forests, aquatic lands, and other natural resources in the public interest.
When elected, I will be the first out LGBT statewide executive office holder in the history of the State of Washington. I live with my husband Chad, cat Dobby, and dog Benji in Des Moines, WA.