“我认为对于大多数家庭，当然对于许多移民家庭而言，确保我们的孩子是在我们所做的事情、我们为什么挣扎、以及为什么努力工作的核心，才能够使得这个世界更加美好。因此我们必须不断地思考什么是对于我们社区中的孩子来说是长期利益，而不仅要着眼于紧急情况，还要着眼于预防，而要在上游在危机发生前预防危机。再说一次，要确保我们正在考虑的是，让家庭头顶有房屋、三餐有保障、有一份令满意的工作，并与家人在一起度过的时光，无论是否在华盛顿州美丽的户外活动中，并确保我们在保护这种美丽和我们的气候，以便我们为孩子们拥有一个安全健康的未来。” — Tana Senn
专访华盛顿州第41选区众议员Tana Senn, WA State Representative LD 41 (2020年10月30日，小元主持，嘉宾：Tana Senn，翻译：吕灵）
因此，我开始致力于使市议会多元化。我说三四个例子。一是为了安全起见，我们改建了墨瑟岛上的Island Crest Way这条主干道，从四车道改成三车道。因为原来四车道的时候事故频发，非常危险。实际上，我的邻居就出车祸死了，就在我们的拐角处。那是一个很大的成就。我们还通过了Bond，并在岛的南端建立了新的消防局。那是在50街和60街之间的。因此，我们为Mercer Island建立了一个新的消防局以确保安全。我们还为墨瑟岛成立了一个环境可持续性委员会，这是市议会工作的一部分，以前是没有的。最后，我还为这座城市创造了经济发展重点。
因此，如果您在Mercer Island上一年级开始工作，然后再搬到华州的另一个城市Walla Walla，那么您就不会失去任何技能。但是我们知道您可以继续培养这些技能，并且每所学校都有这些资源。我还不断推出立法，为每所学校的学校Counselor提供资金。那是一大笔钱。目前我们还没有成功。但是我还将继续推进。然后，在这一领域的最后一件事是，我们成立了儿童心理健康工作组，不仅在医生办公室，而且在托儿服务以及K-12年纪的学生中，真正地考虑儿童的心理健康。在学校提供服务。他们可能需要服务和看顾。他们可能需要在医生办公室获得服务。因此，我们开始研究围绕与儿童有关的心理健康的各种不同政策。这是华盛顿的第一次关注。我们已经通过了至少五，六项法案，其中涉及许多不同的方面，以改进儿童的心理健康。
因此，我很乐意成为该地区的州代表，该地区涵盖伦顿，纽卡斯尔，美世岛。 Bellevue，Issaquah，Sammamish和Beaux Arts Village。我在社区参与了有关人类服务、教育、早期学习等方面的工作，这些活动我一直都是在带头，尤其是在儿童看顾方面。正如我提到的，我们与这六个城市的地方政府的强有力合作是至关重要的。而且我与企业界合作良好，确保我们一起解决问题。因此，例如，几年前，我努力确保我们进行了公寓责任制改革，以帮助建设更多可承担的公寓，以帮助解决一些可承担住房问题。这是跨党派的工作。当我处理非常进步的问题时，我也知道我们需要带动整个社区。我们需要倾听社区中的所有成员的心声，让他们畅所欲言。因此，我热爱为社区服务，能够主动参与社区活动，参与社区活动，真正寻找可以通过并向前发展的实用解决方案。
Xiaoyuan: Good evening everywhere. And welcome to Chinese radio Seattle, 2020 election special program. Tonight we are very honored to interview with Tana Senn. She is the current state representative in legislative district 41, position 1. And she is seeking reelection. Welcome Tana.
Tana Senn: Thank you so much for having me. It’s great to be here.
Xiaoyuan: let me briefly introduced Tana. Tana earned her master’s degree in public policy and administration from Columbia university. She worked for 15 years in government relations and communications in the private, nonprofit and philanthropic sections before she became the Mercer Island city council member. Tana is a working mom with two kids. She is currently a state representative for the district 41. You have a very bright and shining resume. We are very honored to have Tana with us.
My first question is when you began your master’s program at the Columbia university. Did you plan to be a professional politician?
Tana Senn: No, I really never did. I had been in education major in college. And then I got interested in education policy and then in urban policy, looking at how the built environment affects education. So people were hungry or they didn’t feel safe going to school, or however things impacting families and communities. So I was looking much more about community development and community strength. Then I was at being a politician. It surprised, certainly surprised me that I became one.
Xiaoyuan: you had been a city council member of Mercer Island. And what did you bring to Mercer Island?
Tana Senn: So when I first became interested in mercer island city council, there were seven men on the council. I knew that we had a much more diverse seven white men. I knew we had a much more diverse community, obviously, with women and people of color.
And so I started to work to diversify the city council. I would say there are 3 or 4 major things. One is we changed the Island Crest Way. The main throughfare through Mercer Island from a 4 lane road to a 3 lane road for safety. Because people were getting in accidents. It was very dangerous. And in fact, my neighbor was killed, right our corner. That was a big accomplishment. We also passed the bond and built a new fire station on the south end. It was built in the fifties or sixties.
And so we built a new fire station for safety for Mercer Island. We also started an environmental sustainability committee for Mercer Island that we did not have before as part of city council work. And then lastly, I also created economic development emphasis for the city.
There had been a feeling that the city council didn’t have any role as to how downtown Mercer Island should develop or how we should work with business. But knowing light rail was knowing that we were building taller buildings with first floor retail, I knew Mercer Island needed to look at our policies and work with business to make sure we built a vibrant Mercer Island.
Xiaoyuan: good job. Thank you. you have championed legislation to ensure children have access to mental health services and social emotional learning in your schools. What changes did you bring to the children in Washington state in this regard?
Tana Senn: So when I went to the legislature, I didn’t realize that not every school had a school counselor. Mercer island schools are very lucky to work with the city and the school district to pay for our school counselors. And so I was really surprised to learn that not everyone had them. They were really important for my family when I lost my mom and my dad and my grandmother all in the same year. And that was really hard on my children who were experiencing a lot of loss.
So I started to understand how teachers were working with their students when we were away at funerals so that when my kids came back, they felt supported and welcome, and not kind of strange. And they had regular groups, lunches to meet with my kids and other kids who were struggling. So I saw first hand how important that was.
So in the legislature, I helped create a social emotional learning workgroup I superintendent of public instruction, our department of education, to make sure that we were having social emotional learning skills at each grade level.
So if you were work started first grade in Mercer Island, and then you move to Walla Walla, that you wouldn’t lose any skills. But we would know that you could continue to build those skills and that every school had those resources. I also constantly introduced legislation to try and fund school counselors at each and every school. That’s a big ticket item. So we haven’t been successful on that yet. But I continue to move that forward. And then the last thing in this area we created children’s mental health work group to really think about children’s mental health, not just in the doctor’s office, but at childcare and at k to 12. So if a child is struggling, they might need the services at school. They might need the services and childcare. They might need the services at their doctor’s office. So we started to look at all sorts of different policies around mental health as it relates to children. And that was a first time focus for Washington. And we’ve passed at least five or six bills around that with many different components to increase children’s mental health.
Xiaoyuan: That’s wonderful. Thank you so much. You have served on national association of Jewish legislators and Jewish foundation of greater Seattle. Can you tell us the influence of Jewish community in the Seattle area and in Washington state?
Tana Senn: Sure. Washington has a really unique history with the Jewish community.
There’s a lot of holocaust survivors who live here in Washington, and especially in the Sephardic Jewish tradition. So there’s a very large history of Jewish influence here in Washington state. It’s really important for me on the granddaughter of holocaust survivors. So that’s a very strong part of my history. So I bring to the legislator that perspective, making sure that we’re fighting anti semitism, that we’re really following up on hate crimes, that we are in making sure that people are recognizing and celebrating diversity and all voices and all communities. And that is just a very fundamental component to my work. When last year we had a colleague from the Spokane valley area who was found to be a white supremacist, I called for his expulsion and was very vocal about it, even though it was a little bit nerve wracking. So these are things that we have to speak out as a community when we see hate crimes.
When we see discrimination, when we see intolerance to the valuable diversity in our communities,
Xiaoyuan: Why is it important that you’re reelected as the representative of legislative district 41 position one?
Tana Senn: Thank you for this softball question.
So I have loved being the state representative for this area, which covers Renton, Newcastle, Mercer Island. Bellevue, Issaquah, Sammamish, Beaux Arts Village. I think my involvement in the community around human services, issues around education, early learning, which i’ve been champion, especially around child care issues. My strong work with our local governments, as I mentioned, we have those six cities is really critical. And I work well with the business community, making sure that we’re all coming together to solve issues. So for instance, a couple years ago, I worked to make sure we had condominium liability reform to help build more condominiums that were affordable to help address some of the affordable housing issues. And that was working very closely with people across the aisle. While I work on very progressive issues, I also know we need to bring the whole community along. And we need to really listen, be available, be accessible, and be open minded to all of those in our community. So I have loved serving our community, being available and proactive in getting out in the community, being involved in the community, and really looking for a practical solutions that can be passed and move forward.
Xiaoyuan: That’s great. What will be your highest priority as a state representative?
Tana Senn: So when we come back to a Olympia into session in January, we’re gonna be dealing with the impacts of Covid. Are both on budget, the state budget on local and county budgets, and on policies that we might need to explore on how to help rebuild the health of our communities and our individuals. Of course, when I look at our state budget, I know that we can’t just cut services because right now people need food more than ever. They need mental health services more than ever. We can’t cut in health care. We certainly know that our kids in our schools and families are struggling with online schooling. And for me, the biggest thing that I have been looking at and hearing about is the lack of child care and how that is really hindering economic recovery. Because you can’t have a nurse go to the hospital and not know what’s happening with her chip for his or her children. Teachers can’t focus on their classroom if their kids are running around in the background, people can’t go to the restaurants and the store where they have to work physically if they have their children at home. And so we really need to make sure that child care is affordable and accessible. Because again, sometimes we used to look at it as just zero to five year old.
But now we know that those with kids in elementary school, when those schools are closed, they need childcare as well in order to work. So for economic recovery, for the health of our community, for making sure kids are ready for kindergarten and for the next grade, we really need to address child care issues before.
Xiaoyuan: what’s your biggest advantage over your opponent in this election?
Tana Senn: I have to say that I have been incredibly honored this year to not have an opponent. So this is the first time I’m running for the state legislature without an opponent. I have had opposition every other time, but this year i’d like to think it is because I work in a very bipartisan manner. Because I’m so involved in the community working on issues that are important, again, around transportation, around education, around housing, mental health, all the things that are priorities for our community, including also something we haven’t talked about, which is trying to end gun violence. So I like to think that I not only was I lucky, but I scared off enough of the opposition that I ended up not having an opponent the first time.
Xiaoyuan: this is a great answer. What will you do as a state representative for the COVID-19 pandemic?
Tana Senn: yeah. Yeah. So you wasn’t. Yeah, the biggest role that i’ve been playing is around the issue of child care and around issues of foster care and other things in that human services and early learning space. So making sure that if that we’re getting parents and their foster kids together with safe visits, to help create and maintain the bonds between foster children and their biological parents.
I’m so looking at different ways and policies that we need to tweak, given that we’re all home and everything’s virtual. So there were a whole bunch of policies that were about being providing services in person. So we’ve been trying to make sure that we switch everything to online and to continue to have those services around childcare. Again, working very closely with child care providers and advocating to the governor and on the federal level for more money for child care, so that we can make sure they can stay open even as they have a new ratios about teachers to children to maintain safety, health, and safety. So making sure that those childcares can stay open, can afford PPE and other protective equipment, and make sure that child care is there for parents as they go back to work. And again, critical for business.
We’ve been working with business to find out what their childcare needs are and working with school districts to make sure that they’re communicating with childcare. So if a school is gonna open or they’re gonna close that families have enough information to be able to plan in advance about how to care for their children without being in a surprise and to keep them healthy and again able to go to work. So those have been some of the biggest areas that i’ve been focusing on around COVID.
Xiaoyuan: Wonderful. So you’re working mom with two kids, can you share with us about your family values?
Tana Senn: Yeah, thank you. So when I came to the legislature, I was one of just a handful of legislators with little kids at home. And that was just a really important, another component of diversity that I brought to the legislature. Diversity of experience. Again, I think that’s why I brought a different focus on child care, a focus on social emotional learning, a focus on gun control from the point of view of schools and community safety. And so just having that difference of experiences is really important for me. And I think for most families, and certainly for a lot of immigrant families, making sure the world is better for our children is at the heart of what we do and of why we struggle or why we work so hard. And so just constantly thinking about what is gonna be important for long term benefits for our kids in our community. So looking at prevention, not just addressing emergencies, but going upstream to try and prevent crises before they occur. And just again, making sure that we are thinking about families getting them a roof over their heads, food in their bellies, a job that is satisfying and time to spend as a family together, whether it’s in the beautiful outdoors that we have here in Washington state, and making sure that we’re really protecting that beauty and our climate, so that we have a safe and healthy future for our kids.
Xiaoyuan: That’s beautiful. Can you say something to the voters in the Chinese community?
Tana Senn: Yeah, thank you. I would just ask for your vote. I would ask for your involvement in politics and in the community. Please reach out to me, reach out to your other representatives. Let me know your priorities.
I’m so grateful this for this opportunity to speak with you directly to let you know a little bit about what I’m interested in. But i’d love to hear from you directly about what is important for you and your families. So please do reach out. My doors always open. Or I guess I should say my EMAIL system or my phone. Since we’re in the COVID situation where a mask vote and stay in touch.
Xioayuan: Thank you so much. And I I’m sure you will win the election. And by I look forward for your future accomplishment in legislative body and to be a professional politician. And I hope you can be the Hilary Clinton in Washington State.
Tana Senn: Thank you, Xiaoyuan. I really appreciate that you reaching out and inviting me today. And thank you to Chinese radio Seattle. And I love seeing your son. I have a young college student who is at home instead of away at college. And I have a high schooler.
My kids have aged and grown up. So I understand how we’re all trying to make things work from home. I so appreciate you taking the time to invite me and have me today. Thank you.
Xiaoyuan: Thank you.
【西雅图中文电台采访、报道, Produced by Chinese Radio Seattle, Tana Senn竞选网页：https://housedemocrats.wa.gov/senn/】