I believe passionately in the Pacific Northwest. I began this race in December because I believed that for our country to get back on track, it would be because of innovative, bold progressive regions like ours leading the way. This Congressional District matters. It matters because Seattle and the central Puget Sound are becoming one of the most important sources of economic and social innovation in the country.
Today, our political system does not work for the vast majority of Americans. In fact, it doesn't work for the vast majority of Washingtonians. For our economy and our climate to work for the kids my husband and I hope to have in the future, things have to change. Despite the prosperity that some in our region are experiencing, too many people are being left behind. The promise of our region is not being shared.
These core values run deep for me. My mom came to this country from Cuba with her parents in the 1960s. My abuelos arrived in our country not speaking a word of English and without any financial resources. My abuelo believed more ardently in the American Dream than anyone I've ever known. He loved this country. He started as a line cook at a roadside diner in Wilmington, Delaware, and through hard work my abuelos were able to put their three kids, all first generation college students, through college debt free. They enjoyed a secure retirement in the middle class. The likelihood of that dream for a family immigrating from Cuba today, is a fraction of what it was.
My generation was born when Ronald Reagan was president. From public investment in housing and the safety net, to foreign policy and trade policy that eroded the middle class and cut environmental protections, our economy and our climate began to change. I am running for Congress because I believe that significant federal change can be driven by regions like ours taking the lead. We need to reinvest in housing as public infrastructure. We need to restore the federal government's role in our safety net. We need urgent action on climate and leadership to hold our country to the Paris commitments. We need to ensure a secure retirement for a generation that will be the most asset-poor in our history.
Our Pacific Northwest is my home. I feel a profound sense of place and commitment to our region. My dad's family has called Washington State home for generations. I grew up in a small farming town on the Canadian border: Everson, WA. I grew up with agriculture, and my mom taught English Language Learners in the same public schools where I graduated.
I've devoted my career to fighting for social and economic equity at home and abroad. In the legislature, I effectively fought to restore our state's safety net, and for a strong budget for affordable housing and homelessness. I passed critical legislation on mental health and legislation to curb rising rates of opiate addiction that is bringing important attention to a crisis. I worked on climate legislation and gender pay equity. I've championed work on criminal justice and public health. I'm thrilled to have the endorsements of over 25 of my legislative colleagues.
I believe in the Pacific Northwest. There is so much that our region can do for the country and in return, there is so much that our region urgently needs in federal partnership. I look forward to working for your vote for Congress.