Four Races to Watch in the August Primary

Earlier this summer, OneAmerica Votes announced our endorsements in advance of the 2018 primary elections coming up on August 7th.  Here are profiles of four highly qualified candidates endorsed by OneAmerica Votes!

Dr. Shannon Hader, 8th Congressional District.

Hader was born and raised in Auburn, WA and was the first person in her family to graduate from a four-year university.  Most recently she worked as he Director of the Division of Global HIV & TB at the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention. She led a team of nearly 2,000 people across 45 countries, responsible for an annual budget of about $2.4 billion. As part of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Shannon and her team drove quality up and costs down, while directly supporting more than 7.3 million people on life-saving HIV treatment and contributing to the more than 2.2 million babies who have been born HIV-free.  She demonstrated strong government experience, the ability to work across party lines, and her ability to get big things done.

Statement from Mubarak El Amin, OneAmerica Votes Board Member: “Our goals are to support a truly representative government, where Representatives, their staff, and their actions look like America. We stand up to anti-American values of hatred, including Islamophobia, and we’re excited to work with Dr. Shannon Hader. Her world view, experience, and grit promises to deliver results for a better future for our neighbors across WA-8 and our country,” said Mubarak El Amin of the Muslim Committee. He went on to say, “We encourage voters, especially Muslim community members, to pay close attention to this election and to vote in the upcoming elections this year. We are enthusiastic about Dr. Hader’s candor, work ethic, and values, and we call on all candidates in WA-8 to demonstrate their own commitment to an inclusive and just society.”!

Statement from Shannon Hader, responding to the endorsement from the Muslim Committee and OneAmerica Votes: “We are truly at a crossroads in this country – it is imperative that all who are eligible to vote do just that and make sure their voices are heard at the ballot box. It is critical that all Americans recognize the importance of immigration to our success as a nation, and I will do my part to ensure that Muslims are welcomed and have opportunities to serve our nation and district in public life. I am committed to building new connections and promoting partnerships and inclusion across our district. The Trump era has moved us backward with hateful daily rhetoric and discriminatory travel bans, fostering increased fear and violence in our communities. This is not who we are as a nation, and certainly not who we are as a district. I will work to call out injustices like Islamophobia and maximize opportunities to build stronger and more inclusive communities for us all.”

Carolyn Long, 3rd Congressional District.

Carolyn Long grew up on Washington’s Pacific Coast, and she worked her way through college working at a grocery store becoming a member of UFCW 555 in Oregon.  Since 1995, Long has worked at Washington State University – Vancouver as a tenured faculty member and administrator.  OAV grassroots members enthusiastically recommended Carolyn for endorsement, given her experience and knowledge of immigration issues, her commitment to grassroots engagement, and her ties to the local community.

Statement from Carolyn Long on Immigration“Our immigration system is broken and all too often draconian and dehumanizing. All immigrants deserve the same respect and dignity that we show to each other. We need an orderly, legal immigration process, not the broken system we have now. People who work hard, pay taxes and contribute to our communities should have a legal path to citizenship.

We need to put an end to the for-profit immigration detention system and put a stop to the militarization of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. We must reform our immigration system to help reunify families, recruit workers to fill critical gaps in our workforce, and provide refuge for those facing persecution and certain death. ‘Dreamers’ that were brought to this country as children often know no other home, and we should expand and pass a clean DREAM Act to provide them a pathway to citizenship.

We must look for modern, cost-effective solutions that secure our borders without wasting precious taxpayer dollars on useless walls.”

Statement from Rich Stolz, CEO of OneAmerica Votes: “We’re proud to endorse Carolyn Long for Washington’s third Congressional District.  Carolyn brings a real sense of place in the community in southwestern Washington, and her values resonated strongly with our grassroots members in Vancouver, WA.  It’s time for this district to be represented by someone who puts the communities of southwestern Washington front and centered, including the increasingly diverse immigrant and refugee communities that call this region home.”

Lilian Ortiz-Self, 21st Legislative District, Position 2

Ortiz-Self is a mother, school counselor and experienced administrator and public servant.  In the last year alone, Ortiz-Self played an important role in enacting the Washington Voting Rights Act, expanding access to higher education for undocumented youth, enacting the Equal Pay Opportunity Act, advocating for police de-escalation training, net neutrality and more.  She is also a recognized leader on critical education issues facing Washington State.

Statement from Rich Stolz, CEO of OneAmerica Votes: “Lilian Ortiz-Self is a force for good in the Washington House of Representatives.  She has demonstrated the ability to both lead and listen, and her influence has only grown in the legislature.  Ortiz-Self is a champion for marginalized communities and a role model for young women of color.  Thank you, Lilian for your tireless commitment to your district and communities of color across Washington State.”

Debra Lekanoff, 40th Legislative District, Position 1

In Lekanoff’s own words: “I am committed to the strength of our communities and believe we all have a role to help this place be sustainable. We are the people of the Salish Sea, whether we call ourselves environmentalists, business and industry leaders, farmers, fishermen, grandmothers or advocates. I believe we live in the most beautiful district in Washington, from the lakes and mountains of Whatcom County to the powerful rivers of the Skagit, to the islands of the Salish Sea. We all walk the shores here. I look forward to meeting with you and hearing your ideas for how we make this District and our communities even better. My platform evolves from District 40’s shared voices and actions from past to present. I will continue to carry their call to action to strive for the protection of the natural resources, to the education of our children and to the capacity to provide financial support and stability for this District.”

Lekanoff is an experienced leader and public servant.  An American Indian woman, Lekanoff has served as the Swinomish Governmental Affairs Director for the past 16 years, and for six years she served as Chair of an Alaska Native Village Corporation.  Lekanoff inspired the support of OneAmerica Votes’ grassroots leaders with her deep progressive values, her understanding of racial equity and justice, and her commitment to an inclusive community.

Statement from Rich Stolz, CEO of OneAmerica Votes: “We’re proud to endorse Debra, and look forward to seeing her bring her experience and her lived experiences as a strong native, woman of color, to the State Legislature.  Her values and vision are inspiring a generation of young, diverse Americans to imagine a more just, compassionate and sustainable society.”