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Legislative District No. 45 State Senator

Term: 4 years Salary: $46,839A Senator must be a citizen of the United States and a qualified voter in the legislative district served. The Senate is made up of 49 members, one from each legislative district in the state. One-half of the membership of the Senate is elected at the General Election held in November of each even-numbered year. During legislative sessions, the Legislature is called upon to: enact or reject legislation affecting public policy in the state; provide for the levy and collection of taxes and other revenue to support state government and assist local government; and appropriate funds for these purposes. The Senate also has the exclusive power to confirm certain gubernatorial appointments. Although laws are enacted only when the Legislature is convened in formal session, policy issues and the general operation of state and local government are under continuous review by legislators serving on permanent and interim study committees.
  • Candidate picture

    Manka Dhingra (Dem) Lawyer

  • Jinyoung Lee Englund (Rep)

Change Candidates

Biographical Information

Why did you decide to run for this office?

What are the three most important issues facing the state and your district?

What is your idea of a fair, balanced and equitable tax system for our state?

What is your experience with and position on participating in coalitions?

What experiences have you had that prepare you for this position?

What will be the area of expertise you will bring to the Legislature?

What responses to the drought would you propose or support as a representative of your district?

Phone (425) 270-8660
Party Preference Democratic
YouTube Video
Town where you live Redmond, WA
Experience (300 characters max) Senior King County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, Chair Therapeutic Alternative Unit. Instructor, Crisis Intervention Team for law enforcement. Vice President of Board of Directors of National Alliance of Mental Illness Eastside. Co-founder of API Chaya, a South Asian Domestic Violence organization.
The presidential election was a real catalyst for me. I was previously content focusing my work on the Eastside and in King County, but after the election I realized it was time for voices like mine to stand up and be heard. Given the issues that we are facing in our state, a crisis of education funding, mental health and our foster care system, I realized I have the skills and expertise required to address these issues head on. For the past two decades, I have dedicated my life to helping the most vulnerable populations in our communities, tackling issues like mental health, PTSD and domestic violence, developing and running programs (Mental Health & Veterans Court) that divert individuals into treatment and away from prison. I have lived in the 45th LD for over 20 years and worked in our schools, earning the Golden Acord award. I am running to govern, not to tackle these issues as a politician, but as a mom, prosecutor and community activist looking for real, sustainable solutions.
The three central issues facing the 45th district are all interconnected, education funding, growth, and transportation. We've seen an incredible growth in industry and population over the last two decades that I have lived in the 45th district. We've seen it occur in the district, and we've seen it occur across the state. This growth of industry and population has brought revenue and innovation to the state and the district, but it has also brought challenges. The state government recently attempted to address the education funding crisis we've been facing for the past several years by passing a budget to fund education. Unfortunately, that budget puts a massive property tax burden on the residents of the 45th, many of whom will be priced out of homes they have owned for decades. This regressive taxation is both inequitable and unsustainable for our state and needs to be addressed.
I was disappointed & frustrated with the budget deal reached last week. The result is a significant property tax increase for Eastside residents, especially for middle-income families and seniors on fixed incomes who are already being priced out of our communities. There were many other alternative funding sources available to help meet our school funding obligations – including hundreds of special interest tax breaks that Senate Republicans refused to consider. Protecting those tax loopholes at the expense of regular Eastside families is the wrong approach and a bad deal for our district. We need to reverse our regressive tax structure that unfairly burdens middle income hard working families and ensure the wealthiest in our state and corporations pay their fair share. It’s time for a new approach. If elected, I will prioritize accountability and transparency. I will stop protecting tax breaks for large corporations and invest in small businesses, families, children and our community.
I have worked on many different coalitions throughout my career. I am an instructor at the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission for the Crisis Intervention Training (CIT), a 40-hour intensive training program for law enforcement officers. CIT is a community policing model that brings together law enforcement, hospital emergency departments, mental health providers, and individuals with mental illness and their families to improve the response to people in crisis. I also serve as a member of Shoreline Police Department's Advisory Group for Response Awareness De-escalation and Referral (RADAR) and participated in the Seattle Police Department's Muslim, Sikh, and Arab Advisory Council. I lead the Coordinated Crisis Intervention Response meetings where I collaborates with all King County law enforcement officers to find creative solutions and coordinate responses to help individuals with mental illness.
I have been involved in legislative work in areas of mental health, criminal justice and domestic violence for years as a prosecutor and co-founder of Chaya. I have also been a member of and lead the public policy committee at the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Eastside for years. In addition to my legislative work, I have years of experience and expertise in bringing people from diverse backgrounds and interests together to solve problems. I have lead collaborative efforts with law enforcement, defense attorneys, Department of Social and Health Services, Hospitals, community providers and jails to solve issues around forensic mental health. I have also volunteered for years in our schools. My skills in listening, collaborating, negotiating and developing sustainable solutions to tough issues along with expertise in the area of education, mental health and criminal justice have prepared me for this position. I have over 20 years of truly caring for and working in our community.
As a prosecutor and mental health expert, I believe law and mental health will be the two areas where I can offer the most expertise to the legislature. Other than subject matter expertise, I will bring my passion of service, community engagement, and collaborative skills to help create sustainable solutions. As a public employees and long term non-profit board member, I have experience in creating programs based on accountability and transparency--values that are greatly needed in our state senate as this time.
The most important thing an elected official can do when drafting legislation or recommending responses on any matter is to rely on data and science and listen to the experts. With the very real impacts of climate change affecting us here at home and the lack of response at the Federal level, it is increasingly important that our state representatives be prepared to act. I am not an expert on drought and climate, but I am a problem solver. For close to two decades, as a prosecutor and longtime volunteer in my community, I have solved problems, built coalitions, and relied on data and experts to inform me on how best to address some of our regions most pressing issues. That is what I would do to respond to a drought. I believe that common-sense approach to promoting and protecting the health of our precious natural resources is why I have received the endorsement of Washington Conservation Voters and the Sierra Club.

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