The Stand for Children Washington Political Action Committee (PAC) is proud to make election endorsements of education and justice champions who will be strong, independent voices for putting the best interests of young people first.

Stand for Children Washington PAC 2022 Endorsements

As the 2022 General Election approaches on November 8, 2022, the Stand for Children Washington PAC is proud to announce our full list of sole endorsements for champions of young people in Washington state:

NamePartyDistrictPosition
Rep. Dave PaulD10Rep. Pos. 2
Terri NilesD17Rep. Pos. 1
Sen. Marko LiiasD21Senator
Rep. Tarra SimmonsD23Rep. Pos. 1
Sen. Emily RandallD26Senator
Sen. Yasmine TrudeauD27Senator
Rep. Laurie JinkinsD27Rep. Pos. 1
Rep. Mari LeavittD28Rep. Pos. 1
Sen. Claire WilsonD30Senator
Rep. Jamila TaylorD30Rep. Pos. 1
Kristine ReevesD30Rep. Pos. 2
Chris VanceI31Senator
Rep. Drew MacEwenR35Rep. Pos. 2
Julia ReedD36Rep. Pos. 1
Emijah SmithD37Rep. Pos. 2
Julio CortesD38Rep. Pos. 1
Mary FosseD38Rep. Pos. 2
Jessica WadhamsD39Rep. Pos. 2
Rep. Debra LekanoffD40Rep. Pos. 1
Rep. Tana SennD41Rep. Pos. 1
Rep. Alicia RuleD42Rep. Pos. 1
Rep. April BergD44Rep. Pos. 2
Rep. Larry SpringerD45Rep. Pos. 2
Sen. Manka DhingraD45Senator
Darya FarivarD46Rep. Pos. 2
Shukri OlowD47Rep. Pos. 2
Leesa ManionN/AKing CountyProsecutor
Stand for Children Washington PAC 2022 endorsements

If elected, we believe these candidates will center the needs of young people and work to address the existing harmful inequities in our education and justice systems.

Check Your Voter Registration Status

Washington voters have until October 31st to register or update their mailing address online or via mail, and voters may update their registration or register for the first time in-person until election day, November 8th.

It’s easy and secure to register online, by mail with a paper form, or at a county elections office. You can your registration at VoteWA.gov.

Effective January 1st, 2022, if you were convicted of a felony in Washington State, another state, or in federal court, your right to vote will be restored automatically as long as you are not currently serving a sentence of total confinement in prison.

Our Endorsement Process

Through our endorsement process, including questionnaires and interviews as necessary, we identify candidates in each election cycle who share our values and our vision of building systems that are student-centered. In an arena dominated by political parties, we strive to remain non-partisan and student-focused. We fearlessly and unapologetically challenge the status quo in pursuit of solutions that will help every student succeed.

To receive an endorsement from our PAC, candidates must demonstrate that they are clearly aligned with and supportive of our priorities, including:

  • increasing the number of BIPOC students and students furthest from educational justice who receive a relevant and meaningful high school diploma;
  • reducing the harmful impacts of juvenile legal system involvement on young people’s opportunities; and
  • creating safe and equitable learning environments that cultivate belonging and affirm students’ intersecting identities.

Interested in contributing to our efforts to elect these champions? Donate here to the Stand for Children Washington PAC.

an older white woman with blonde hair and classes in a blue suit against a background of greenery

The Stand for Children Washington Political Action Committee (PAC) is proud to make election endorsements of education and justice champions who will be strong, independent voices for putting the best interests of young people first.

Our Endorsement Process

Through our endorsement process, including questionnaires and interviews as necessary, we identify candidates in each election cycle who share our values and our vision of building systems that are student-centered. In an arena dominated by political parties, we strive to remain non-partisan and student-focused. We fearlessly and unapologetically challenge the status quo in pursuit of solutions that will help every student succeed.

To receive an endorsement from our PAC, candidates must demonstrate that they are clearly aligned with and supportive of our priorities, including:

  • increasing the number of BIPOC students and students furthest from educational justice who receive a relevant and meaningful high school diploma;
  • reducing the harmful impacts of juvenile legal system involvement on young people’s opportunities; and
  • creating safe and equitable learning environments that cultivate belonging and affirm students’ intersecting identities.

Initial 2022 Endorsements

As the 2022 General Election approaches on November 8, 2022, the Stand for Children Washington PAC is proud to announce our initial* round of sole endorsements for ten champions of young people in Washington state, including:

NamePartyDistrictPosition
Rep. Tarra Simmons D23Rep. Pos. 1
Sen. Yasmine TrudeauD27Senator
Rep. Mari LeavittD28Rep. Pos. 1
Sen. Claire WilsonD30Senator
Rep. Jamila TaylorD30Rep. Pos. 1
Chris VanceI31Senator
Julia ReedD36Rep. Pos. 1
Julio CortesD38Rep. Pos. 1
Mary FosseD38Rep. Pos. 2
Rep. April BergD44Rep. Pos. 2
Stand for Children Washington PAC initial 2022 endorsements

If elected, we believe these ten candidates will center the needs of young people and work to address the existing harmful inequities in our education and justice systems. (*Keep an eye out for further endorsements from Stand throughout the month of September.)

Check Your Voter Registration Status

Washington voters have until October 31st to register or update their mailing address online or via mail, and voters may update their registration or register for the first time in-person until election day, November 8th.

It’s easy and secure to register online, by mail with a paper form, or at a county elections office. You can your registration at VoteWA.gov.

Effective January 1st, 2022, if you were convicted of a felony in Washington State, another state, or in federal court, your right to vote will be restored automatically as long as you are not currently serving a sentence of total confinement in prison.

We’re excited to have launched a new version of our website in August 2022 and are in the process of adding content from before 2022 to our records. Until then, if you have a question about Stand for Children Washington or the work we do, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Katie Gustainis at [email protected]

To learn more about some of the achievements we’ve made for Washington students, we encourage you to read these news stories about our work:

Gov. Inslee signs bill ending parental fees for incarcerated children – March 25, 2022

Senator Marko Liias: Teams improving on-time grad rates for 9th graders – February 13, 2022

Advocates push to eliminate state fees charged families of incarcerated youths – January 21, 2022

Op-Ed: Teachers must have the tools they need to address racism and its impacts – May 26, 2021

Child care and early learning advocates in Washington state celebrate legislative wins – April 28, 2021

Have you received your ballot for the August 2nd primary election, Katie?

As you cast your vote, I’m writing to ask for your partnership to help us elect champions of education equity and racial justice across Washington state. 

Can you support our electoral efforts with a $10 donation to the Stand for Children Washington PAC?

In Washington, an organization like ours can commit resources to support or oppose candidates if they form what’s called a Political Action Committee, also known as a PAC. The Stand for Children Washington PAC is a separate financial entity that is registered with and regularly reports to the state. There are strict regulations on how much a PAC can contribute to and be in contact with any candidate’s campaign.

Our goal is to support candidates who share our commitment to education equity and racial justice.

DONATE NOW

Right now we working on identifying candidates to support through our 2022 endorsement process. To receive an endorsement from the PAC, candidates must demonstrate that they are clearly aligned with and supportive of our priorities. 

In an arena dominated by political parties, we strive to remain non-partisan and student-focused. We fearlessly and unapologetically challenge the status quo in pursuit of solutions that will help every student succeed. Will you support us with a $10 donation today?

If you have any questions or want to know more about how to participate in our electoral campaigns, please don’t hesitate to reply to this email. I look forward to sharing our endorsements with you before the General Election in November. Thank you, as always, for your ongoing support. 

Standing with you,

Kia

Executive Director

Today is day two of GiveBIG, Washington’s annual collective philanthropy effort. With so many amazing causes to consider, we are grateful for the support we are receiving, which fuels our work to make our state a place where young people from every zip code, racial and gender identity, income and background can learn and nurture their genius in public schools.  

This is our first year participating in GiveBIG, and it is also a time of many firsts and transitions for Stand. We recently rolled out our new and bold articulation of our commitment to being a catalyst for education equity and racial justice statewide. We’re engaging in new bodies of work including youth justice and academic acceleration policy implementation. And we’ve recently welcomed some fantastic new folks to the Stand team.  

Stand’s two newest team members, Carolina Fuentes and Megan Pirie, have offered their reflections about what excites them the most about Stand’s work and mission: 

Megan Pirie, Community Engagement Coordinator

“I joined Stand for Children to share in this necessary work of creating a world where all rights and freedoms are restored and protected. As a previous teen and incarcerated mom who grew up below the poverty line, I struggled to overcome barriers to access education and basic human rights. But as a child I watched my parents attend meetings at the schools and speak out on the difficult topics, modeling leadership for me and my six siblings, including my brother who was diagnosed with Autism in high school. This prepared my siblings and me to become first-generation college graduates, and it equipped me to advocate as the mother of five beautiful black children, four of whom are a part of our family by adoption via the foster system. I am most excited to see and be a part of the youth justice advocacy and anti-racist education work that Stand is doing to eliminate the school to prison pipeline and ensure not just access but supports and success for all children and families.” (Read more about Megan here)

Carolina Fuentes, Stand’s State Operations and Development Coordinator 

“Our education systems need improvement and that must start with ensuring black and brown communities have the needed resources to set students up for success. I joined Stand for Children because I want to improve accessibility to quality educational resources and spaces where children of color feel confident and supported.  I am a proud daughter of immigrant parents who came to this country to secure a better life for themselves and their children. Navigating the school system, I experienced a lack of support in obtaining what would have been helpful resources and mentors for my educational goals. However, I was lucky to have parents who taught me to fight for what I wanted and to be persistent in advocating for my needs, and most importantly made me feel like I was always worthy of the milestones I reached, even if I felt like I perhaps did not belong in the room at the time. Like many children who come from immigrant backgrounds, we often pave our own way and then help guide our parents, siblings, and families through what we have learned. It is not a burden; it’s how we demonstrate that we can all achieve success if someone just shows they care. I look forward to fighting alongside those students, communities, and educators who are here to remind our system-leaders and influencers that they exist, that they can be as successful, that they matter, and that they are the future.” (Read more about Carolina here)

We are grateful for Carolina and Megan for the leadership, expertise and passion they bring to the team.  

Thank you for Standing with us by participating in our first-ever GiveBIG campaign! 

Support us here: https://www.wagives.org/donate/Stand-For-Children-Washington 

Here at Stand for Children we are focused on ensuring all students receive a high quality, relevant education, especially those whose boundless potential is overlooked and under-tapped because of their skin color, zip code, first language, or disability. We are excited to show our support of the Autism community during the month of April, Autism Acceptance Month.  

1 in 44 children in the US is diagnosed on the spectrum – also known as ASD – and 31% of those with ASD will have a developmental disability. This means many families will face the complexities of supporting a loved one who is neurodiverse in our society.   

Stand is committed to advocating in partnership with those on the spectrum and their families. We do this by supporting policies for special education funding, inclusion models, and diversity training for teachers and school staff. We support families and self-advocates to share their stories to promote change in their communities. We are also committed as an organization to learning to be more inclusive in the work we do.  

For Stand, this issue is personal. Here’s what a few of our amazing team members have to say.  

“My younger brother was diagnosed with autism and developmental delays in 1990. We didn’t know any other families with autistic children, and there was so little known about ASD at that time. My parents spent his childhood years searching for needles in the haystack, grasping for anything that might support his unique needs.  

It is so encouraging to see how both understanding and acceptance of autistic people has grown over the past three decades. But we also know there is much more work ahead to ensure that my brother and other autistic people have the support they need to flourish.”


“Autism Acceptance month holds a new meaning for our family this year. Last month, our 13-year-old daughter was diagnosed with ASD level two. The path to diagnosis and access to services was very delayed for her.  She had entered the child welfare system at the age of two. She was an early reader and enjoys reading and music. I felt a sense of shock when our daughter was diagnosed. As I began to research diagnostic patterns for ASD,  I found that studies suggest that girls and women with autism are less likely to be diagnosed with the condition than men. Additionally, black children with autism are more than five times more likely to be misdiagnosed with behavior disorders, more likely to receive delayed diagnosis from doctors, and are more likely to be profiled, abused and harassed by police officers who are not trained in disability or sensitivity training. This was a truth for our daughter. She was diagnosed with an anti-social disorder, suspended from elementary school and threatened by the school resource officers.  Our daughter is dedicated to increasing acceptance for other BIPOC students with ASD to empower them with the supports they need.”

And last but not least, as we close out Autism Acceptance Month, Stand Fellow Devony Audet will also be closing out her time as our Spokane Special Education Fellow. Devony deserves a huge round of applause for the commitment and passion she has brought to this work and to her community.  

In her first blog with Stand, here is what Devony wrote about her commitment to this work:  

“My son has a lot on his shoulders already with his vast medical needs and he shouldn’t have to fight so hard just to get an equitable education. I want to make sure my son and other students like him aren’t falling through the cracks due to being differently abled. I want to make as much difference as I can in Special Education. I am doing everything I can in my district but I want to see how far we can make an impact. The sky is the limit. It is a discussion a lot of people are starting to have and we can make a huge impact!”

Devony has dedicated herself to successfully advocating for students who receive special education services, and helping parents learn how to advocate for their own children. A mother of three unique students with different interests, abilities, and needs, one of whose developmental path is affected by autism, Devony has helped many students like her son have a chance to unlock their full potential. We celebrate Devony for all she’s done to increase understanding and acceptance of people with autism!   

How can you promote Autism Acceptance? First, we can all learn something new about autism and how it impacts the lives of those on the spectrum. Here is a link where you can learn more. You can also help advocate with Stand for educational policies that will positively impact those who in our school systems who have ASD. If you are a parent or an individual on the spectrum, you can partner with us to learn how to advocate at the local and state levels. (https://action.stand.org/FI22GpO

And finally, we can all wear blue in support of Autism Acceptance. We would love you to share your pictures wearing blue with us!

I was recently talking with a friend and mentor, sharing that I am feeling very reflective as we approach the conclusion of the 2022 legislative session and as I marked my first anniversary as Executive Director of Stand for Children Washington.

She aptly and powerfully framed it for me: “You’re having a Sankofa moment.”

Sankofa is an Akan Twi word that means “to retrieve.” It is captured by a beautiful Ghanaian Adinkra symbol that signifies revisiting one’s roots in order to move forward. Sankofa is a core concept in Black History and I found her suggestion compelling and well-timed, as the conclusion of Black History Month also sparks reflection for me personally. 

With milestones, ends, and beginnings being such strong themes within our community right now, let’s make the most of this moment by revisiting our historical roots and acknowledging how they provide us with nourishment to stretch forward. We have the opportunity to create a liberatory future for young people that is rooted, reflective, and well worth our collective reaching.

My colleague Jennifer recently wrote that Black History Month presents us all with “a designated opportunity to learn about the resistance, resilience, and remarkable talents of Black Americans.” Reflecting on the critical need to support Black History Month, she invites us to take action by speaking out in support of Black History Month. 

Given current efforts to silence educators and redact from students’ textbooks the empowering and inspiring facets of our history that are our collective inheritance, this is important now more than ever. If you believe a quality public education includes learning the truth about our country’s history of racism, slavery, and the civil rights movement — and not just during Black History Month, please join me in speaking up.

This Sankofa moment is our reminder: We must revisit our roots in order to move forward together.