Environmental and mass transit advocate Jessyn Farrell has announced a bid for the House seat held by retiring Rep. Phyllis Gutierrez Kenney, who represents parts of Seattle and King County.
Farrell now lives in Seattle, where she grew up, but has ties to Pierce County. She worked for Pierce Transit from 2009 until last October, with assignments ranging from political strategy to communications with other government bodies and the press.
Her husband, Tim Farrell (not to be confused with the Pierce County councilman of the same name) was CEO of the Port of Tacoma until the end of 2009.
Here’s the news release she sent out last week:
Transportation and Environmental Leader Jessyn Farrell
Running for 46th Legislative District House Seat
Raised in 46th and graduate of local public schools and UW, Farrell will focus on quality public K-12 and higher education, transportation and transit infrastructure, and protecting health care access for women and kids
SEATTLE— Transportation leader, attorney and environmental advocate Jessyn Farrell has announced that she will run for the State House of Representatives in the 46th Legislative District, representing the neighborhoods of Northeast Seattle and cities of Lake Forest Park and Kenmore.
Farrell, a Democrat, grew up in the Lake City neighborhood and attended schools in Lake Forest Park and Shoreline. She now lives near Children’s Hospital with her husband Tim and their two young children. She is the former Executive Director of Transportation Choices Coalition, a statewide non-profit that advocates for expanded bus, light rail and other transportation options. In addition, Farrell, 38, is an attorney specializing in mediation and environmental advocacy, and a former Seattle-based AmeriCorps volunteer.
“Each of us has a role to play in building a strong, supportive community. That’s what I learned growing up,” said Farrell. “Now, with young kids of our own, we are instilling those same values of public service and community.” Farrell continued, “ We need more moms in Olympia fighting for great schools, access to health care, and safe, efficient transportation options.”
Farrell notes several factors that motivate her to seek the 46th District House seat, including the retirement of several high profile women from theLegislature, the escalating national and state-wide debates over women’s health care, and persistent attacks on basic environmental protections.
“In Olympia, we need champions who will stand up and defend our rights and freedoms for family planning and health care access,” said Farrell. “At the federal and state level, we are seeing threats to our progress and a slow erosion of our rights. I’ll bring needed new energy and conviction to this fight.”
Farrell opposes recent efforts by State Senate Republicans to cut funding for K-12 and higher education, and will make this a priority in her first term.
“I am a proud product of local public schools and the University of Washington. I want my kids to be able to attend excellent neighborhood schools and public universities too,” said Farrell. “Look at our state’s astounding economic, environmental, and cultural successes over recent decades, and try to imagine how we’d have done it if we were cutting education along the way. It’s bad policy. We need to plan for success over the long term, not failure.”
Farrell has over a decade of coalition building and effective leadership in the fields of sustainable transportation and land use. “Over the past ten years, I’ve been fortunate to work with great people from labor, business, and environmentalbackgrounds on transportation and land use issues. We’ve broken political gridlock, unleashed investments, and improved our environment. We’ve placed Washington at the the forefront of environmental quality,” said Farrell. “Given our economic challenges, this is no time to stop thinking about how we can use each dollar most efficiently and effectively. Transit-friendly communities promote a healthy economy and healthy lives, and make great sense as priority investments.”
Farrell will announce a formal kickoff event soon, and will be knocking on doors throughout the district.
“Right now we’re building a strong campaign team, securing endorsements and getting out to see neighbors and friends throughout the district,” said Farrell. “I grew up here, and it’s great to see old friends and meet new ones–listening to the priorities and concerns of the people I hope to represent.” Her experience as an independent policy advocate at the state level provides Farrell a leg up in the race for the 46th. “I’ll work hard from Day 1 on the issues that are important to the residents of the 46thDistrict. It’s going to be an exciting campaign to bring new voices and energy to Olympia.”