Celebrating Our Candidates!
The past year has seen immigrant and refugee communities under attack like never before. But our communities stood up to these challenges in inspiring and powerful ways. Together, we organized ourselves and drafted community leaders to run for office who champion the vision and values that unite us all: A society where everyone belongs and where people respect each other and stand up for human and civil rights.
Tuesday night saw the fruits of those efforts. Across Washington State, a wave of immigrant candidates, many of whom were running their first campaign, swept into office on a surge of grassroots support.
In the 45th Legislative District, first-time candidate Manka Dhingra holds a lead with 55% of the vote. Dhingra's election shifts control of the State Senate to Democrats, paving the way for important policy reforms, like the Washington Voting Rights Act. Through grit and determination, our communities elected a State Senator who is a proven champion for voting rights, healthcare and quality education for all.
In Seattle, Latina Candidates Lorena Gonzalez and Teresa Mosqueda hold commanding leads, with 68% and 61% of the vote, respectively. And in Tukwila, community member Zak Idan leads his race with 53% of the vote, and De'Sean Quinn won his bid for re-election. These champions, who also happen to be current or former Board Members of OneAmerica Votes or our sister organization OneAmerica, are leading by example.
In Vancouver, grassroots community members were pivotal in securing Don Orange's lead of 64% of the vote in the race for Port Commissioner. Don ran for environmental and economic justice alongside our members, and against a proposed oil-by-rail terminal that would disproportionately threaten low-income, immigrant communities in Vancouver.
We also honor the many first-time candidates - immigrants and refugees, Muslims, women of color - that we stood by and endorsed throughout this election. We thank them for their leadership and for blazing a path that has inspired so many more to run for office.
These victories would not have been possible without the grassroots support of OneAmerica Votes members. Together we knocked on 6,271 doors, distributed 4,405 pieces of literature, and registered 1,492 community members to vote!
One Vancouver member, Gabriela Ewing, describes her experience going door-to-door:
"The weather was raining and it was cold, but the warmth of the people we talked to made the difference. Some people had no idea how they were going to vote in the upcoming elections and were excited to hear our community's views on the candidates and the reasons why we support, in this case, Don Orange for the port of Vancouver.
Many of the people we spoke to expressed their gratitude for sharing with them the information we had, they said, "made my decision much easier, thank you very much for coming".
Stories like Gabriela's underscore the power we're building in our communities. The local leaders we've elected have led on immigration, education, workers' rights and environmental justice - issues that matter most to our communities.
On Tuesday, we voted to take back our Democracy and we began the movement our nation and our communities need to restore what we stand for as a country. We're just getting started.