Mukilteo, Washington , United States
|| 00, 1981
May 18, 2020 06:35pm
|Info||My story is the American story — a middle-class upbringing in a strong family, hard work and education as the means of getting ahead, and the conviction that we are all capable of great things if we are given a chance to make a difference. |
My parents both immigrated from Finland and I was born at Stevens Hospital in 1981. Growing up, my folks taught me the value of hard work, my dad is a carpenter and my mom was a school lunch lady in Mukilteo.
After working my way through college with the help of scholarships and student loans, I moved back to the Pacific Northwest, where I helped start a small family business building homes using exciting new green technologies.
I also enrolled in graduate school at UW, where I was able to take a number of courses in public administration, focusing on public leadership. As the first person in my family to graduate from college, I believe strongly in the life-changing power of a great education.
My public service has been deeply influenced by my own life experience and my belief that we all have something to contribute to our community. On the Mukilteo City Council, I sponsored the first alternative fuel ordinance in city history and helped set aside over $1 million for new parkland.
When our state representative stepped down in 2008, I campaigned and won an appointment to the Legislature. I have made it my central focus to invest in education, protect the most vulnerable in our community, and begin putting people back to work.
In addition to my job as our representative, I am pleased to volunteer with the Kamiak High School Debate program and as a board member for the statewide Youth Suicide Prevention Program. I also participate as a member of the American Society of Public Administration, Coastal Conservation Association, and Ducks Unlimited. I live in downtown Edmonds with my partner, Michael.