by Shaun Knittel -
SGN Staff Writer
On May 4, Laurie Jinkins, a public health leader, chair of the Tacoma Community College (TCC) Board of Trustees, school mom, and longtime community volunteer and leader, kicked off her campaign for State Representative with more than 200 supporters.
Jinkins is running in the 27th Legislative District, Tacoma, and would be the first open Lesbian elected to the State House if elected.
The campaign launch featured speakers underscoring Jinkins' broad support and experience. State Auditor Brian Sonntag praised Laurie for her commitment to financial transparency and accountability. Former Pierce County Chief of Staff Lyle Quasim spoke to Jinkins' commitment to equality and opportunity for all people. State Representative Jeannie Darnielle, Jinkins' seatmate if successful in November, told the crowd how a leader with Jinkins' track record and collaborative style is needed in Olympia.
Jinkins told SGN she chose to hold the event at the Mecca - a former adult movie theater - because the location represented something old that wasn't working, but has since been transformed into something that would help the community.
Also in attendance were Jinkins' partner, Laura Wulf, and the couple's 9-year-old son, Wulf Jinkins.
"Wulf gave a top-10 list of reasons I should be elected," Jinkins told SGN. "He talked about me being trustworthy and a good citizen. He told everyone that I do the things I say I am going to do, and that I never give up and I keep on working."
Number six on Wulf's list: "She is really good at math and will take care of the whole budget."
"I'm running to fix what's broke in Olympia," Jinkins told her supporters. "This isn't about holding political office; it's about solving problems for our families - providing needed education and worker training funds, reforming a broken tax system, assuring health care for kids, seniors, and the vulnerable, and protecting our environment."
Jinkins cited her recent experience in her professional career and service at TCC as examples of her problem-solving approach.
"Facing cuts in Public Health, we brought everyone together to prioritize services and agree on furloughs and other sacrifices to protect essential services," said Jinkins. "At TCC, we invested in new, job-creating training centers that will prepare workers for emerging careers. Making tough choices and planning for the future - that's what we need in Olympia to get our state and region back on track."
Jinkins, who is actively knocking on doors throughout the district, hopes that the energetic crowd will swell an already large volunteer base.
"In order to get elected, I am going to have to use a lot of shoe leather," she told SGN. "I have to go out and talk to voters. I'm already doorbelling, and I will keep on doing it through the whole campaign."
Jinkins says that what voters have said has been "very interesting." "People are worried about jobs and taxes - but not in the way you might think. Voters are telling me they don't have a problem paying taxes as long as they know the money is going to worthy causes like education, job creation, and roads."
"I am a creative problem-solver who listens to other people's ideas," Jinkins told SGN, "but I am results-oriented. We have tough issues ahead of us, and we cannot avoid working on these issues. They are not going to solve themselves; we cannot keep putting it off."
"I'm not a political insider; I'm a community person, a grassroots person," said Jinkins. "With the momentum we are building in fundraising, voter contact, and community spirit, we are in a great position to win this election."
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