Please call me Emijah, Community Queen. I’m a person who takes care of their community and leaves it better than they found it.
I am a born and raised 37th leader. I’ve worked for decades, tirelessly, to invest in our communities across the District. I think of our futures in not just ourselves now, not just our kids, but at least in the next seven generations. Always asking myself and others, “are our children well?”, if the answer to that isn’t a resounding and relieved “yes” - then we know we still have work to do.
Douglas Truth Library, where Emijah spent a lot of her childhood
I came to community organizing and public policy advocacy honestly. My eyes were opened as a young person in high school at Garfield when I saw my community harmed by the War on Drugs. There was immense over-policing, crime bills further criminalizing people around me who were suffering, and families left in the dust. I consider myself a survivor of that war. I emerged from that time in our collective history determined to be an agent of change and repair the harm I saw. There was no other option for me than to help my community.
I first went into the medical field as a pathway to provide for myself and heal the people around me. I spent several wonderful years serving community members as a medical assistant at Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic - a beacon of accessible and equitable health care for the Black communities of Seattle. I saw in my work at Odessa Brown a need to more systemically improve the lives of the families I served and decided to pursue my Masters of Public Administration at the University of Washington.
After I earned my MPA at the University of Washington Evans School of Public Policy, I was called right back to serving those in need across Seattle who were experiencing housing and food insecurity with my work at Solid Ground. For several more years I worked with Solid Ground to end poverty and undo racism and other oppressions that are root causes of poverty.
My heart pulled me back to work at Odessa Brown, where my work in community began, to its NW Sickle Cell Collaborative. In this position at Odessa Brown I worked with many families impacted by Sickle Cell to get them better access to education, resources, counseling and coordinated care. I also worked hand in hand with families to advocate in Olympia for more funding for the vital services they needed. It was during this time in my community work that I began to deeply understand what it took to move legislation through Olympia and where our state government was falling short in meeting the needs of our people.
From my return to Odessa Brown I took on a new challenge at the Children’s Alliance of Washington. It was during my 11-year tenure as the Community Engagement Manager at the Children’s Alliance, I fine tuned my understanding of what it truly means to get your voice heard in Olympia and how we, as community members, can effectively organize for change. I organized lobby days, meetings, coached neighbors on how to pressure their elected officials to make the policy change they needed.
I put that MPA to work in ways I never thought I would and brought my children with me through it all. On many occasions, I put them in the car, drove down to Olympia, and reminded them to learn what they can and tread carefully on the wet marble floors. Though they’re older, and one has a child of their own, I’m blessed with the support of my children in this run. If I’m honored to serve as your next State Representative, I still know Mother and Grandmother are the best titles I’ll ever have.
Emijah (right) with family
I’m a Black Mother with over a decade of experience in legislative advocacy, a lifetime of community organizing, a Masters of Public Administration, Mercer Middle School PTSA President, and I’m grateful to wake up every day in our home in South Seattle, technically Beacon Hill, a few miles South of where I grew up in the Central District. I’m a first generation college graduate and the granddaughter of Millard and Florrine, in whose home I first learned about LGBTQIA+ liberation, homeownership and building intergenerational Black wealth, and the fundamental right of self-determination for every person. I honor my grandparents, my parents, and all those who came before me in this run.
I am eager to begin this journey to Olympia with you. I hope to bring my decades of experience, local knowledge, and deep commitment to justice and health for everyone to Olympia. This run is not mine alone – it’s yours too. I hope you can see yourself reflected and honored in our campaign for State Representative. Please learn more about my policy priorities and stay up to date on our campaign. I look forward to earning your vote for State Representative.
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