Immigrant and refugee voters are powerful–when we run for office and organize our friends, families, and neighbors to vote for their values, we win.
The 2021 election was no different.
While national elections got the media attention, candidates of color across Washington State defeated anti-immigrant opponents. We won school boards, city councils, and port commissioner seats, ensuring pro-immigrant leadership that represents us and our values.
During another election year in a pandemic OneAmerica Votes organized. Over the span of 10 weeks, 82 OAV volunteers knocked on 760 doors, filled 170 phone and text banking shifts, and hosted 20 events across the state. Thank you to our dedicated OAV volunteer leaders and David Ayala Fellows for making this happen!
We reached 46,309 voters this election, where many races were decided by fewer than 100 votes. We closed the gap for our endorsed candidates. OAV immigrant leaders texted, called and door-knocked immigrant, refugee and young voters who are not traditionally reached by campaigns. Our work made the difference. Moving forward, we will continue to organize a powerful base of immigrant and refugee voters across WA state to center our issues, and elect our champions, people like us, into office.
After a hard-fought election, we celebrate historic victories:
- Port of Seattle Commission: hired not one, but two directly-impacted, powerful women of color: Hamdi Mohamed and Toshiko Grace Hasegawa.
- SeaTac City Council: after years of work organizing in coalition, pro-immigrants candidates three pro-immigrant candidates, Iris Guzmán, Mohamed Egal, and Jake Simpson, flipped SeaTac City Council to a progressive majority.
- Vancouver: we elected Diana Perez and Sandra Zavala-Ortega, two candidates who will put the needs of our immigrant communities to the forefront of their work.
- Yakima: after years of organizing for a just democracy, we elected a progressive, Latino to Yakima City Council and defeated an attack from the right, re-electing Graciela Villanueva to her schoolboard seat.
- School Board: 88% of our endorsed candidates won their races. Shout out to the Women of Color in Education Committee!
We congratulate all OneAmerica Votes endorsed candidates who won their races:
- Hamdi Mohamed, Port of Seattle Commission Position 3
- Toshiko Grace Hasegawa, Port of Seattle Commission Position 4
- Teresa Mosqueda, Seattle City Council Position 8
- Vivian Song Martiz, Seattle School Board Position 4
- Michelle Sarju, Seattle School Board Position 5
- Jane Aras, Bellevue School Board Position 5
- Hugo Garcia, Burien City Council Position 1
- Jimmy Matta, Burien City Council Position 3
- Trudy Davis, Federal Way School Board Position 5
- Brenda Fincher, Kent City Council Position 6
- Ruth Perez, Renton City Council Position 6
- Jake Simpson, Seatac City Council Position 2
- Mohamed Egal, Seatac City Council Position 4
- Iris Guzmán, Seatac City Council Position 6
- Mohamed Abdi, Tukwila City Council Position 5
- De’Sean Quinn, Tukwila City Council Position 7
- Diana Perez, Vancouver City Council Position 3
- Sandra Zavala-Ortega, Vancouver School Board Position 2
- Danny Herrera, Yakima City Council Position 2
- Graciela Villanueva, Yakima School Board Position 1
- Kathy Mulkerin, Walla Walla School Board Position 1
- Rami Al-Kabra, Bothell City Council Position 7
To the brave candidates who ran for office, centered community members and issues, but didn’t make it across the finish line this year, we thank you for advancing our issues and doing your part in building a stronger Democracy. Let’s keep building. We are proud of all of our endorsed candidates for having the courage and leadership to run and stand up for our communities. Their campaigns challenged stereotypes, centered the issues most important to our communities, built connections with voters, and registered new voters – all things that will launch us forward with greater power into 2022.
Energized by our victories? Donate to support our work today!
Below is a snapshot of our wins!