Community Organizer Sharlett Mena launches campaign for State Representative of 29th Legislative District
Tacoma, WA – Sharlett Mena, a leader at the Washington State Department of Ecology and Co-Founder of Voter Turnup, launched her bid for State Representative in the 29th Legislative District today. Mena is running for the seat currently held by Representative Steve Kirby, who announced his retirement yesterday.
In kicking off her campaign, Mena reaffirmed her commitment to the people of the 29th Legislative District and pledged to continue working towards solutions to the area’s biggest concerns and longest standing issues. Mena is launching her campaign to improve housing instability, health care costs, and wages that no longer keep pace with the cost of living.
“In the midst of these challenges, I am focused on the opportunities that we have before us,” Mena said, “knowing that we can accomplish great feats when the will of the people is faithfully represented. This is why I am running.”
With today’s announcement, Mena is releasing a long list of elected officials and community leaders who endorse her campaign to represent the people of the 29th Legislative District, including Representative Steve Kirby.
Kirby said, “I’m confident that the district will be in good hands with Sharlett. I got to know her pretty well last year, and I’m proud to support her efforts to become my State Representative.”
Other endorsers include: Attorney General Bob Ferguson, Congressman Derek Kilmer, State Representative Melanie Morgan, State Senator Yasmin Trudeau, Deputy Mayor Keith Blocker, County Councilmember Derek Young, County Councilmember Ryan Mello, County Councilmember Jani Hitchen, City Councilmember Kiara Daniels, City Councilmember Joe Bushnell, City Councilmember Sarah Rumbaugh, School Board Member Chelsea McElroy, School Board Member Korey Strozier, School Board Member Lisa Keating, Chairman of the Commission on African American Affairs Dorian Waller, Chair of the 27th Legislative District Democrats Justin Camarata, State Representative David Hackney, State Senator Manka Dhingra, State Senator Rebecca Saldana, State Senator Emily Randall, State Senator Mona Das, and State Senator Joe Nguyen.
Prior to starting at the Department of Ecology, Sharlett worked in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Washington State Senate, and for Washington Governor Jay Inslee. She has a decade of experience advancing policy to help working families at various levels of government. Sharlett is an elected Precinct Committee Officer for the 29th Legislative District Democrats and a Board Member of the South Tacoma Neighborhood Council. She also serves on the Boards of Fuse Washington, Progreso, and the Planned Parenthood Votes Washington Political Action Committee. Sharlett is also appointed by Governor Jay Inslee to serve on the Governor’s Pandemic After Action Review Task Force as a representative of the immigrant community. Outside of work, Sharlett is an active community organizer, leading actions for immigration reform and to advance voting rights.
Sharlett Mena was born and raised in the Tri-Cities, Washington. She is a first generation American and the first in her family to graduate from college. Her parents immigrated from Mexico doing migrant farm work and cutting meat at a plant near the Tri-Cities. Sharlett’s upbringing in a working-class family informs her perspective and drives her work to empower working families through policy and change.
“I always carry the legacy of my parents with me—their work ethic, their commitment to serving our community, and their hunger for a better future. I also carry with me the stories you have shared and our hopes for the future of the 29th.”