Five Washington Women to Watch!
In honor of the 42nd anniversary of the monutmental Roe v Wade case we present to you the YDWA Women’s Caucus Five Washington Women to Watch in 2015. We’re excited to see what the year has in store for these amazing and inspirational women!
Mary Yu was appointed to the state Supreme Court by Governor Jay Inslee in 2014 and won her election unopposed in November. She is the first openly gay woman of color on the state Supreme Court. Yu represents a win for traditionally underrepresented populations in a high office. The state of Washington, as progressive as we would like to think it is, still has a problem with equitable representation of our population in leadership and elected positions of power.
Yu represents the growing representation of women in leadership and has the opportunity to bring the voices of communities of color and the LGBTQA+ community to the state Supreme Court. Yu is also more than qualified to perform her duties on the bench. She has 14 years of experience as trial court judge in King County. In 2014 she won “Judge of the Year” from the Washington State Association for Justice and the “Betty B. Fletcher Judge of the Year” Award from the Washington Women Lawyers, King County Chapter. Yu has experience presiding over criminal, civil, juvenile cases, and family law cases. We hope to see her bring her extensive experience and background to the state Supreme Court to ensure equal protection under the law for all citizens in 2015 and forward. Yu’s position on the bench is a beacon of progress and that is why is one of the five Washington Women to Watch.
Monica Stonier recently completed her freshman term as a State Representative for the 17th Legislative District. Though she was not successful in her reelection campaign against Republican Lynda Wilson, Stonier fought tirelessly for education, primary and higher education, middle class families, and economic development through the support of small business growth. Stonier is a dedicated public servant who has been recognized for her commitment to community development as a nominee for the George C. Marshall Public Leadership Award. While a State Representative, Stonier had a near perfect success record moving her bills out of the house with a rate of 89%. Also, as an educator, Stonier was one of a small handful of representatives with direct experience in the state education system. Stonier currently works as an instructional coach at Pacific Middle School in Vancouver and has worked as a teacher for middle school students. Monica Stonier’s work as a leader in Clark County has not come to an end because she believes that the educators of today and preparing students for jobs we cannot yet fathom and that is why is one of the Five Washington Women to Watch.
Roxanne Murphy is a member of the Nooksack Indian Tribe and elected to the Bellingham City Council in 2014. She is an advocate for public transportation, chairs the Park and Recreation Committee, and is a member of the Public Works/Public Safety and Community and Economic Development Committees. Working for public transportation, Murphy is a board member with the Whatcom Transportation Authority. Murphy is also a board member of the Whatcom Council of Governments, the Council liaison to the Bellingham School District and represents the Council on the Marine Resources Committee.Murphy is an incredibly dedicated to her public service work and has indicated she wants to support young women and people of color become community and elected leaders. Murphy is also passionate about her identity as a member of the Nooksack Indian Tribe. She is the first Native American elected to the Bellingham City Council. Murphy is dedicated to environmental protection with her focus on protecting Bellingham’s drinking water in Lake Whatcom and opposing the proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point. Her public sector work and dedication to building more female and Native American leaders is why she is one of the Five Washington Women to Watch.
Amber Waldref is a current Spokane City Council member, serving her second term. Her election in 2010 rendered her the youngest city councilor serving Spokane, and she has long stood out as an environmental activist. Prior to serving as a city council member, Waldref spent 5 years working for The Lands Council, was a member of the Logan Neighborhood Council, and graduated from Leadership Spokane in 2008.
Waldref partnered with Eastern Washington University and the United Way to develop the Spokane Community Indicators Initiative, which was designed to identify needs and priorities for economic, social, and environmental progress. Her time on the city council is spent increasing community safety, working towards better economic development for Spokane, and improving the public transportation in Spokane to make the city more sustainable. Waldref is a strong woman who stands up for what she believes in, and that is why she is one of the Five Washington Women to Watch. We believe that Waldref will be someone who makes a substantial difference in the city of Spokane and hope to see her continue her environmental work from the city council. Her sustainable attitude is just what Spokane, and Washington, needs.
Kshama Sawant is a software engineer, an economics professor, an immigrant, and most recently the first socialist elected to the Seattle City Council in almost a century. Sawant became a U.S. Citizen in 2010 after living in Mumbai, India for most of her life. Though her recent run for the Wahington State House was unsuccessful she took that drive to winher seat on Seattle’s City Council. Only six months after Sawant’s election to city council she successfully fought to increase Seattle’s minimum wage to $15 an hour. Sawant has used her strong voice to advocate for people of color, the queer community, and women. She is an excellent representative for the ideals of social, racial and economic equality. Sawant values education and the important programs that support her constituents. Sawant is a powerful woman soaring to new heights and is not afraid to do what she believes is right. Sawant isn’t afraid to be a stand alone nay vote or to get arrested in protests before or after her election. She is a woman of admirable bravery, radical thinking, and exceptional will. This is why she is one of the Five Washington Women to Watch.
If you’re interested in being more involved with the YDWA Women’s Caucus, join the Facebook group by searching YDWA Women’s Caucus or going to the link here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2311738828/.