Jamila E. Taylor is running for Legislative District 30, State Representative Pos. 1.
Candidate’s name: Jamila E. Taylor
Occupation: Attorney & Consultant
1. Why are you running for the Legislature? (250 words or less)
I am running because we need new voices and experienced leaders committed to addressing our shared concerns about post-COVID-19 economic recovery, homelessness and affordable housing, public safety, health care, and equity. I’m proud of the experience and perspective I’ll bring to the legislature, reflecting my deep commitment to public service and positive change that works for our whole community. I am an attorney and small-business owner. In addition, I have dedicated my career and community involvement to serving diverse populations. I have managed multiple publicly-funded programs. I have expertise in nonprofit governance, establishing public-private partnerships and collaborations, fiscal oversight, and outreach among other things. I am excited to offer my candidacy as a community member and Federal Way Human Services Commission appointee.
2. Will you pursue/support any state legislation for reforming police departments? (250 words or less)
I am supporting King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay’s “Electeds For Justice pledge,” a 5-part plan to create and strengthen police accountability and investments in local communities. Institutional racism impacts nearly every part of our daily lives, from housing, education, health care access, employment and access to the legal system. I plan to use a lens of equity in policy making. This means that I will continue to expand my learning on cultural responsiveness in decision-making and community engagement; and listen to the issues impacting BIPOC, immigrant and others who historically “have not had a seat at the table.”
3. How do you plan to prioritize racial equity in Washington? (250 words or less)
I have seen the inequities in the criminal justice system. Throughout my career I’ve addressed challenges within the public safety continuum — from preventing youth violence to advocating for the safety of domestic violence survivors and seniors at risk of exploitation. My advocacy on criminal justice reform has taken form in many ways. First, I want to ensure that people who have a felony conviction know that they have a right to vote in Washington. I led a production of a voter engagement video about restoration of voting rights (http://www.diversevotes.org). Next, I have advocated for reforms all along the public safety continuum such as: (1) over-policing practices; (2) the school-to-prison pipeline; (3) the foster care-to-prison pipeline; (4) access to courts; (5) evaluating candidates for judicial positions on their knowledge and awareness of intersection of racial disparities in the legal system (both civil and criminal); (6) anti-poverty strategies; (7) access to resources for victims from marginalized communities; (8) restorative justice policies; (9) increasing access to community-based supports and alternatives to incarceration; (10) increased access to economic/educational opportunities for those with criminal convictions. As a trial attorney, I am constantly educating the court on disparate impact and racial injustice relevant to the matter at hand. This is just a brief list of advocacy I have been involved in. I’m excited to continue tackling these and other critical issues in the legislature. I will work with legislators who are champions on this effort such as Rep. Roger Goodman.
4. What will you do in the Legislature to address homelessness and affordable housing in your district? (250 words or less)
South King County needs real solutions to homelessness. Small cities have been unprepared for this challenge and it seems that the county and City of Seattle should be assisting more with supportive services. In addition to my prior work as a nonprofit director, I am a small business owner and manage a complex household budget. I understand the pressures facing local families, and the need to maximize resources and deliver services efficiently. In Olympia I will fight to ensure every family — regardless of employment status and income — can keep a roof over their head and access critical services.
5. Where do you stand on Referendum 90 and Senate Bill 5395, and why? (A vote to approve Referendum 90 supports allowing Senate Bill 5395 to take effect, thereby requiring public schools to provide comprehensive sexual health education for all students and requiring students to be excused if requested by their parents.)
I support Senate R-90 and SB 5395 and the requirement to provide comprehensive sex education to all students. I support the health of all Washington residents and believe we must provide scientifically accurate and age-appropriate sexual health education in our public schools. We are all better off when we have control over our own health choices.