October Member Meeting
The Breakfast Group's Monthly Member Meeting will be held Thursday, October 13th, 2015 @ 7:30am
First A.M.E. Church: 1522 14th Avenue, Seattle Washington 98122
Annual Politics and Candidates Forum
This is our Election Year Candidates Forum dedicated to local political issues and elections. We will be joined by two Congressional Candidates, and two candidates for the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Please see below for links to the campaigns and information about the candidates that have confirmed their attendance at our meeting
Candidates for WA 7th Congressional District
Pramila Jayapal is a Washington State Senator Representing the 37th Legislative District.
Pramila has spent the last twenty years working both internationally and domestically as a leading national advocate for women’s, immigrants', civil, and human rights. She led one of the largest voter registration efforts in Washington State, helping over 23,000 new Americans to register to vote. In May 2013, Pramila was recognized as a White House “Champion of Change.”
In response to hate crimes and discrimination targeting the Arab, Muslim, and South Asian communities following the tragic September 11 terrorist attacks, Jayapal founded Hate Free Zone, which later became OneAmerica and was dedicated to organizing and advocating for many diverse communities of color. Under her leadership, OneAmerica grew from a one-person volunteer operation in 2001 to the largest immigrant and refugee advocacy organization in Washington State ten years later, advocating for local, state, and federal policies that make for stronger communities, including the Dream Act, and helping thousands of immigrants become active and engaged American citizens.
In the state legislature, Pramila has been a champion for access to healthcare, and commonsense gun safety and civic engagement as well as for women, workers, students, communities of color, low-income communities, immigrants and refugees.
Pramila is the author of a memoir, Pilgrimage to India: A Woman Revisits Her Homeland, as well as numerous essays, articles, and guest editorials, including many co-authored with national leaders, such as Gloria Steinem.
Pramila came to the U.S. as a young immigrant. Born in India, Pramila came to the U.S. by herself when she was sixteen to attend Georgetown University. She worked on Wall Street as a financial analyst and went on to earn a Master of Business Administration from Northwestern University. After working in the medical equipment industry for a year, she found her passion in the social justice arena.
Brady Walkinshaw was raised in rural Whatcom County, near the Canadian border. After completed Nooksack High School, Brady attended Princeton University to study public policy. Upon graduating, he won a Fulbright Scholarship to study education systems in Honduras.
While abroad, he founded Proyecto Villa Nueva, a non-profit that fosters youth leadership to prevent violence in urban slums. Brady launched a career in international development, spending five years at the Gates Foundation, where his work focused on economic opportunity for small farmers.
In 2013, Brady was appointed to represent the 43rd district in the Washington State House. As a public servant, Brady is guided by his beliefs in environmental stewardship, fair wages, shared economic growth, and social justice.
As a legislator, Brady translates his values into policy. In 2015, he sponsored ‘Joel’s Law,’ which helps families get emergency mental health treatment for loved ones in crisis. Under Brady’s leadership, the bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan majorities in the Washington State House and Senate. Brady has also sponsored bills to protect renters, to address the epidemic in heroin and opioid use, and to reform our criminal justice system. He has built strong relationships with colleagues to move legislation in a government divided between parties.
Candidates for Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
Erin Jones, the adopted daughter of two educators, grew up in The Netherlands where her parents taught at the American School of The Hague. She speaks four languages: Dutch, French, English and Spanish. She attended Bryn Mawr College, where she earned a BA in Comparative Literature with a focus on literatures of the African Diaspora.
In 2013, Erin was selected as one of ten White House Champions of Change for Educational Excellence for African Americans for her work promoting educational excellence for African-Americans in the community.
Most recently, the Washington state PTA honored Erin with their Educator of the Year award in 2015.
In her three years of serving as the Assistant Superintendent of Student Achievement in the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, her work centered around developing policy recommendations and promoting instructional best practices for diverse student groups. Prior to that, she served as the Director of the Center of the Improvement of Student Learning.
Chris Reykdal was born and raised in Snohomish, Washington as the youngest of eight kids in a family that was stuck in poverty. He was the first in his family to go straight to college, and he credits his success in life to the great public education that he received.
Chris began his career as a classroom teacher before earning his Master’s Degree in Government Finance, Budgeting, and Performance Management from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. For the last 14 years, Chris has worked to create opportunities for learners of all ages by ensuring that we have one of the most robust and successful community and technical college systems in the nation.
Chris is an experienced statewide education leader who promises to help finish the job of fully and equitably funding, simplifying testing, restoring career and technical education programs, empowering teachers, and putting an equity lens on EVERY aspect of the work.
Again, please be prompt in arrival to the meeting. We have a very tight schedule and want to give each candidate sufficient time to present their campaign to our membership.