- Candidate Name: Victoria Mena
- Position Sought: 31st LD House Seat Position 1 (Non-incumbent)
- Home Legislative District: 31st
- Democrat: Yes
- Manager or Point of Contact: Mauricio Ayon
- Phone: +1253-332-1659
- Address: PO Box 2447, Auburn WA 98071
- Website: http://victoriamena.org
- Email: ElectVictoriaMena@gmail.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VictoriaMenaforLD31/
Part I – Candidate Background
1. Please briefly describe your qualifications, education, employment, community and civic activity, union affiliation, prior political activity, and other relevant experience.
I have spent more than ten years working with nonprofit organizations centered around migrant and social justice. I am currently the Policy Director and Development Strategist with Colectiva Legal del Pueblo, a grassroots collective that provides direct immigration legal services, community education and organizing across Washington. I hold a Bachelors degree in Political Science and Family Youth and Community Science from the University of Florida, and a Masters degree in Public Policy from the Evans School at the University of Washington. I have worked on policy issues at the local levels, state level in Florida, California and Washington, and federally. I am currently organizing the Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network’s policy team which includes providing political analysis for the Network, drafting policy platforms, coordinating legislative meetings and hosting an immigrant and refugee lobby day. I am a single mother concerned with education issues, and granddaughter of undocumented immigrants. I live in Auburn and am passionate about and dedicated to social justice and racial equity. I truly believe in the power of the people to transform communities.
2. What prompted you to run for this office? What are your campaign’s most important themes, issues, or priorities (three to five)?
There are too many people being left behind in today’s economy. I am running for State House to bring my activist and community organizing experience to the halls of Olympia to legislate on behalf of working families. My vision for Washington is a state in which everyone has healthcare, quality public schools, strong unions, and a clean environment. I will fight for a Washington where everyone is respected, valued, and invested in.
3. What steps are you taking to run a successful campaign?
I am developing a stellar team that is focused on reaching marginalized communities that have become disenfranchised by the electoral system. We will be hitting the streets, knocking on doors, with a focused ground game, hosting listening sessions with key stakeholders and building a movement that will outlast this political cycle.
Part II – Local and State Issues
1. Do you support Initiative Measure No. 940 (“De-escalate Washington,” requiring, among other things, that law enforcement officers be required to obtain violence de-escalation and mental health training, so that officers will have greater skills to resolve conflicts without the use of physical or deadly force)?
I am a long time champion for De-escalate Washington to create grater accountability for our communities.
2. Do you support the right of public workers, excluding military, to bargain and strike?
I absolutely support public workers in bargaining and have joined in many picket lines alongside striking workers.
3. Would you support a statewide “Ban the Box” law, prohibiting employers from asking about job applicants’ criminal history until after an initial screening or interview?
We should not be creating more barriers for people who are trying to overcome their past.
4. Do you support legislation that reimburses the cost of reproductive health care services, such as SB 6105, the Reproductive Health Access for All Act?
Reproductive healthcare is an essential component of overall well being and should be included in all healthcare options.
5. Would you support an automatic voter registration act such as HB 2595 (Automatic Voter Registration Act of 2018), streamlining procedures in order to automatically register citizens to vote?
Yes. this is only one way to ensure that we have a healthy citizenry.
6. Would you support a bill that would enable the state of WA to create a single health financing entity to provide health care financing for all Washington residents, independent from employment, such as the WA Apple Care Trust?
I am 100% in support of healthcare for all. As someone who is not insured because of the economic barriers I know first hand how important it is that we provide accessible, quality healthcare to everyone in our communities.
Part III – Free Response
1. Why are you running as a Democrat? What aspects of the Democratic platform most resonate with you?
The Democratic Party, and in particular the Washington State Democratic Party, has a long history of supporting organized labor, the rights of marginalized peoples, and the expansion of public services. I profoundly believe in these principles and believe that we should be proud of them. The Democratic Party is the party that stands for public education, healthcare expansion, immigrants’ rights, and social justice. Policies like these serve to build our communities and support one another, and I wholly support that vision for the country and our state.
2. In the past, many Democrat-sponsored bills have died in the Republican-controlled Senate. Please list three failed bills from the past legislative session that you will champion when elected.
Keep Washington Working
The death penalty bill
Raising the age to buy guns to 21
3. What important state and local issues have you worked on (or taken an interest in) that you feel aren’t getting enough attention from elected leaders and the media?
We are not supporting our homeless and working poor communities enough. Instead of criminalizing vulnerable populations we need to provide innovative solutions that address the root causes of the issue.
4. Do you think Washington public schools are adequately funded? If not, what minimum requirements should be met in an adequately funded public school system? What specific forms of taxation would you support to attain that funding?
No. I don’t think that public schools are adequately funded. It’s not enough to merely meet state funding. We have to do better. We have to listen to the needs of our educators, and reallocate our tax dollars to meet those needs.
5. What are some obstacles inherent in proposed legislative solutions to climate change? How would you approach those obstacles in order to best overcome or minimize any negative effects?
One obstacle is the EPA’s attempt to roll back auto standards and fuel economy standards. I will continue to support important legislation like Initiative 1631, and as a legislator we can support legislation that tightens emissions standards, like California’s Clean Air Act.
6. What are some obstacles inherent in proposed approaches to tax reform in Washington State? How would you approach those obstacles in order to best overcome or minimize any negative effects?
One of the biggest hurdles is special interest groups dumping money into politics. This has caused politicians to be accountable to those interest groups rather than the people.
7. Do you support the voter-approved call for a Constitutional Amendment to overturn the Citizens United Supreme Court decision (I-735), and if so, how do you propose to work toward that goal?
Yes, I absolutely support overturning Citizen’s United. I believe that we can expand on initiatives like Seattle’s democracy vouchers, or get creative like mimicking Maine, who grants money to candidates that meet a number of $5 contributions and agree to avoid other private fundraising.
By typing my name below, I declare under penalty of perjury the foregoing is true and correct.
Printed Name: Victoria Mena