By Aaron Allen
The Seattle Medium
Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland recently announced that she will run for re-election to Congress for Washington’s 10th Congressional District. Born in South Korea and raised in the South Sound, Congresswoman Strickland is the first African American and Korean American Woman elected to Congress from the Pacific Northwest.
In her first term, Strickland, who serves on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and House Armed Services Committee, focused on making the economy more inclusive, secured over $7 billion in bipartisan infrastructure investments and over $300 million for the South Sound through the American Rescue Plan.
Strickland, who previously served as mayor of Tacoma, believes that her experience in local government provides her with the framework to provide the resources that are needed to help improve the quality of life and growth of the South Sound for all of her constituents.
“The people of the South Sound want a proven leader who will fight for a fairer economy and a nation that is more safe, just, and secure,” said Strickland. “During my time as mayor, I did work a lot with our congressional delegation and so I had a good idea of what the work is and what the work isn’t. But it is recognizing that sometimes Washington state is like being in a bubble, and when you get to a place like Congress you realize that there are people from all over the country with very different life experiences and very different views on things and you try to work together to advance our priorities, to get things through the Senate, and to get things to the President’s desk.”
“My work is to make sure that we are supporting our small businesses, making sure that those in uniform are being paid fairly, and [to make sure that people have] access to affordable housing,” Strickland continued. “I want to continue to provide economic opportunities for all people, that they have access to a good job, access to a secure retirement and doing what we can to make sure all of our communities and the people that we represent are safe, that they again feel like they live in a country that is just and that they feel secure.”
According to Strickland, President Biden’s Infrastructure Bill has proven to be a valuable resource as it relates to her work on equity and inclusion, as she has worked to make sure that minority and women-owned businesses receive their fair share of taxpayer dollars, provide access to opportunities and help strengthen community across the country, including the South Sound, in the process.
“As part of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, a group of us have been working very hard around issues of inclusion and equity,” says Strickland. “With an emphasis on Black-owned businesses and minority-owned businesses, we are spending $1.7 trillion in infrastructure so there is a lot of opportunity for people in the building trades, and a lot of opportunity for small businesses as contractors.”
From building more transit stations, to expanding the digital infrastructure in the state, and promoting clean water and energy, Strickland says that all of these initiatives provide enormous opportunities that can benefit everyone in the region.
“The money will flow to the states and then the states and the cities will determine how that money is used,” says Strickland. “So, we want to make sure that we are working with our state and really ensuring that equity is a really big part of it.”
“Making sure that the money gets deployed whether we are building our infrastructure for electric vehicles, building new transit stations, expanding access to high-speed internet in both rural and urban communities but also deploying funds for clean water,” she continued. “So, I think it is making good on our promises but doing what we can to make sure that money gets deployed equitably and that all people benefit from this investment.”
Just as she did in her first term in Congress, Strickland pledges to continues to work on the issues that she has been passionate about throughout her political career.
“It has been an honor to be the South Sound’s voice in the United States Congress,” says Strickland. “And I look forward to a positive campaign focused on the issues that really matter to our neighbors in the South Sound.”