The story of 2018? Immigrants and refugees organize to defend our families and advance democracy at the ballot box

Relentless attacks on immigrant and refugee communities under the Trump Administration are energizing a movement to create change at the ballot box in Washington State.  Immigrants, refugees, and people of color are stepping up to run for office at record levels, and in communities across Washington State, grassroots community members are looking ahead to this fall’s elections.

At stake are congressional races that will determine whether Congress can block the Trump anti-immigrant agenda.  At the State level, last year State Senator Manka Dhingra’s victory (LD45) in a special election shifted control of the Senate to a pro-immigrant majority that took action to finally pass the Washington Voting Rights Act and to fund a new legal defense fund to ensure access to legal counsel for immigrants at risk of deportation.  Emboldened by this renewed momentum, immigrant and refugee communities are ready to work with candidates committed to working with them and advocating on their behalf.

This spring, panels of community members from immigrant and refugee communities across Washington State interviewed dozens of candidates seeking office, evaluated their responses and voted their preferences.

“Often community members don’t get this opportunity where everything was intentional. I really appreciate that we were able to put candidates under pressure and ask them questions we deserve answers to,” said youth leader Salma Silva-Licon. “I like and appreciate the [endorsement] process to feel and appreciate our voice. We are large and represent many people that aren’t here with us. I like that I am here to represent them and how our voices and thoughts were centered.”

Their recommendations were reviewed and affirmed by the OAV Board of Directors.

“We only need to look at the 2016 presidential election and the 2017 special election in Washington State to understand that elections matter,” said Rich Stolz, Chief Executive Office of OneAmerica Votes. “Our communities and those who care about our nation’s commitment to being a just and welcoming society cannot afford to stand idly by and allow others to determine the fate of our families and communities at the ballot box.  Our path is to build the political power of immigrant and refugee communities to defend our children and families and to fight for a society where we all belong.  There is no better response to the outrages of the Trump Administration than voting and holding our elected officials accountable.  OneAmerica Votes proudly announces our 2018 primary candidate endorsements.”

You can see the full list of endorsements below:

Election Candidate
CD 1, US Representative Suzan DelBene
CD 3, US Representative Carolyn Long
CD 7, US Representative Pramila Jayapal
CD 8, US Representative Shannon Hader
CD 9, US Representative Adam Smith
LD 5, Representative, Position 1 Bill Ramos
LD 5, Representative, Position 2 Lisa Callan
LD 17, Representative, Position 1 Tanisha Harris
LD 26, Senator Emily Randall
LD 30, Senator Claire Wilson AND Tirzah Idahosa
LD 30, Representative, Position 2 Kristine Reeves
LD 30, Representative, Position 1 Mike Pellicciotti
LD 31, Representative, Position 1 Victoria Mena
LD 33, Representative, Position 2 Mia Gregerson
LD 37, Senator Rebecca Saldana
LD 40, Representative, Position 1 Debra Lekanoff
LD 45, Senator Manka Dhingra
LD 47, Representative, Position 1 Debra Entenman
State Supreme Court, Position 8 Steve Gonzalez
State Supreme Court, Position 9 Sheryl McCloud
LD21, Representative, Position 2 Lilian Ortiz-Self
LD32, Representative, Position 1 Cindy Ryu
LD49, Representative, Position 2 Monica Stonier