Meet the New Washington State Senator


By Morf Morford

Tacoma Daily Index

You haven’t seen his name or face on any neighborhood campaign signs or flyers in your mail, but through a series of (relatively) unexpected events and some (again, relatively) swift decisions, a new Senator was chosen for Washington’s 27th Legislature. District – which covers most of Tacoma.

It all started with the retirement of Senator Jeannie Darneille (D-Tacoma, 27th legislative district).

Senator Darneille had about a year left when a position she could not refuse emerged.

Darneille announced his resignation in September after having occupied the Senate seat for nine years. She took on a new post of Assistant Secretary for the Women’s Prison Division of the State Corrections Department.

Yasmin Trudeau may be a new presence for many of us in Tacoma, but she’s no stranger to the political intricacies of Olympia.

Trudeau previously served as legislative director of the Washington State Attorney General’s office.

Prior to that, she was a policy analyst for the Washington State Senate Democratic Caucus, where she served on the Senate Agriculture, Water, Trade and Economic Development Committee and the Senate Tracks Committee. and means on the investment budget.

She joined the caucus team after leading the office of then-Senator Pramila Jayapal as legislative assistant.

Trudeau brings extensive legal experience to her new role as State Senator. Since graduating from Seattle University Law School, she has completed several internships, including one for Judge Mary Yu in Washington State.

As Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig (D-Spokane) said, “She will hit the ground as one of the best-prepared new senators this body has ever seen.” His advocacy, empathy and passion for people and public service will be an asset and inspiration to his fellow legislators and to the people of the 27th Legislative District.

She was selected from a dozen candidates by officers of the Democratic Constituency Committee of the 27th Legislative District (PCO) (because she was replacing Darneille, a senator from the Democratic state). The PCOs voted on a set of the top three candidates, with the final selection being made by Pierce County Council who voted to nominate her on a 7-0 vote.

As a Bengali-American, Trudeau is the first woman of color to serve as a senator for the 27th Legislative District.

Trudeau’s appointment is effective immediately. His first session as a state senator begins on January 10, 2022.

A special election will be held in November 2022 to fill the remainder of the term.

With her clear competence and relevant background (and compelling personal history), Yasmin Trudeau builds on a long-standing tradition of female leadership in the 27th Legislative District.

Strong women in our Senate

After powers like Jeannie Darneille ( and Lorraine Wojahn ( would be a challenge for anyone, but mix together a political polarity like we’ve never seen before, a seemingly relentless pandemic, and the most uncertain economy we’ve seen in decades and you’ve got a recipe for an experience crucial policy for all of us.

The 27th legislative district is not known for its turnover.

Wojahn served in the House of Representatives for four terms, from 1969 to 1976, and in the Senate for six terms, from 1977 to 2000, including three terms as Acting Speaker of the Senate.

A colleague once referred to Wojahn as the “Norse goddess of terror” – a label she fully embraced – for her powerful style, tenacity and influence in the legislature.

The lawmaker colleague did not understand the term as a compliment, but as some of us know, intentional insults might be the best compliments.

Jeannie Darneille was a member of the Washington House of Representatives from 2001 to 2013. After that, she was a member of the Washington State Senate from January 2013 to November 1, 2021.

Grit, meet the grain

Foss High School graduate Senator Trudeau is committed to this field and, as she puts it, a level of hard-earned “lived experience” that gives her the passion, insight and energy we so desperately have. needed as a community right now.

“It was the courage of this community that shaped me,” Trudeau told Pierce County Council before his appointment.

“To me, leadership represents the interests of your constituents and constantly wins and reclaims the opportunity to represent your community,” she continued.

Tacoma is a community driven by competing and even contradictory energies.

It is a truism that in local politics only the loudest voices are heard. From what we’ve seen of her so far, Trudeau has learned to recognize those softer, if not muffled, voices that cry out to be heard.

We must respond to these whispers before they become screams.

“Grit” by definition is small, but has an impact on everything it touches. That sums up the Tacoma that I know.

At a time when “business as usual” is clearly not working, the well-known “grain” of our community and the “grain” of our new senator will meet, collide, or even trigger entirely new directions, solutions and possibly , unexpected challenges and opportunities.

She and her husband are both lawyers who live and are deeply connected to the greater Tacoma area.

She’s young enough to be an asset to the 27th Legislative District for as long as those strong and memorable women who came before her.

Redistribution, what redistribution?

As you may be aware, we had some technical difficulties related to the required redistribution based on the 2020 census results which are not entirely clear.

Our state carving commission, made up of two Republicans and two Democrats, failed to come to an agreement in a timely manner.

By 2022, all of Washington’s forty-nine legislative districts will (or at least could) have different boundaries due to changing populations, but no one yet knows exactly what those boundaries will be because the Redistricting Commission does not. yet approved new legislative or congressional cards. .

Under RCW 44.05.100, the Washington Supreme Court now has jurisdiction to adopt a constituency plan.

We should see new district lines established by April 2022.

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