Senator Claire Wilson and Representative Tana Senn Selected as 2021 Legislators of the Year
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 12, 2022
CONTACTS: Migee Han, Washington STEM, 206.658.4342, firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington STEM Names Senator Claire Wilson and Representative Tana Senn 2021 Legislators of the Year
SEATTLE, Wash. – After a statewide nomination process, Washington STEM is pleased to announce that the 2021 Legislator of the Year Award will be given to Senator Claire Wilson (LD 30) and Representative Tana Senn (LD 41) for their leadership and efforts to pass the Fair Start for Kids Act in the 2021 legislative session.
Washington STEM’s Legislator of the Year Award is presented annually to members of the State Legislature who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership in advancing legislation and policies that promote excellence, innovation, and equity in science, technology, engineering, and math education for all Washington students, especially those furthest from opportunity. To be considered for the award, legislators must demonstrate an awareness and interest in STEM education equity in their respective communities, actively engage in Washington STEM’s three focus areas — Early Learning, K-12 STEM, and Career Pathways, — and advocate for improved policies and practices as they relate to STEM education.
“Senator Claire Wilson and Representative Tana Senn deeply understand the needs of our youngest learners and families across the state. Their leadership in the authoring and passage of the Fair Start for Kids Act provides critical investments to help children access safe, nurturing, and intellectually stimulating environments so they can reach their full potential in STEM and in life. This landmark legislation will also help Washington’s economy recover forward by enabling tens of thousands of families to return to the workforce,” said Bish Paul, Washington STEM’s Policy Director.
Sen. Claire Wilson, District 30
Senator Claire Wilson represents the 30th Legislative District in Washington. She identifies as a lesbian woman and mother and is one of seven LGBTQ lawmakers in the Washington State Legislature. A longtime resident of the 30th Legislative District, she has lived in South King County since 1999. Her district includes Federal Way, Algona, Pacific, Milton, Des Moines, and Auburn.
Senator Wilson’s legislative work has built on her 25 years at the Puget Sound Educational Services District, where she was an administrator in early education and family involvement. Prior to that, she taught pregnant and parenting teens at Mt. Tahoma High School and was a senior grants and contracts manager for the City of Seattle’s teen parent programs. Most recently, she served as an elected school board director for Federal Way Public Schools for 8 years.
Elected to the Senate in 2018, Sen. Wilson quickly rose to the ranks of Senate leadership as Assistant Majority Whip — one of two lawmakers responsible for knowing whether key legislative proposals have the support to pass out of the Senate and when it makes the most sense to call them to the floor for a vote.
As vice chair of the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee, her extensive experience with education and families has informed a wide range of legislation. She has worked on legislation to improve and expand access to childcare and early learning services, including the landmark Fair Start for Kids Act in 2021. She also sponsored successful 2020 legislation that requires comprehensive, medically accurate sexual health education to be offered to students in public schools across Washington.
Rep. Tana Senn, District 41
As a state representative for the 41st Legislative District, Rep. Senn chairs the Children, Youth & Families Committee and sits on the Local Government Committee and the Appropriations Committee. She has championed legislation to make child care more affordable and accessible, keep our families safe from gun violence, close the gender pay gap, and secure access to mental health services and social emotional learning for our kids. Tana served as one of the first co-chairs of the Oversight Board for the Department of Children, Youth and Family Services.
After earning a master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration from Columbia University, Rep. Senn worked for 15 years in government relations and communications in the private, nonprofit, and philanthropic sectors before her tenure on the Mercer Island City Council.
Rep. Senn serves as Co-President of the National Association of Jewish Legislators, as well as on the board of Hopelink and the Advisory Board of the UW Masters of Applied Child and Adolescent Psychology Program. She has held previous board roles with the National Breast Cancer Coalition, the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, Mercer Island Youth & Family Services Foundation, and the Island Park Elementary School PTA.
About Washington STEM
Washington STEM is a statewide, education nonprofit leveraging STEM for social change, removing barriers to credential attainment, and creating pathways to long-term economic security for historically excluded students. In our state STEM is at the forefront of discovery, on the frontlines of creative 21st century problem-solving, and serves as one of the largest pathways to family-wage careers and long-term economic security. STEM pathways have promise like few others in Washington and it is imperative that Black, Brown, and Indigenous students, rural students, students growing up in poverty, and girls have access. Washington STEM is working to ensure that all students have equal opportunity to benefit from the transformational possibilities that STEM has to offer. For more information, go to www.washingtonstem.org. You can connect with us on Twitter (@washingtonstem) and via Facebook and LinkedIn.