My mom and dad both immigrated to this country from Finland, and I was born at Stevens Hospital in 1981. I was raised by hard working parents, 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 home to Washington, where I helped start a small family business building greener homes using new technologies.
In addition to my college degree, I’ve had the opportunity to take graduate courses in public leadership at the University of Washington and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. 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. As a city councilman and state representative, I have been a consistent, determined voice for middle class families just like the one I grew up in.
I am proud to represent a new generation of Democrats, and a new generation of political leaders—socially progressive, supportive of small business, and unafraid to stand up to special interests.