Hi, I’m Jessyn Farrell. I am running for mayor of Seattle because I have the bold ideas and the track record of progressive leadership to tackle the urgent challenges our city faces - issues facing renters, young families, vulnerable communities, and all Seattleites who want to improve our city’s affordability and livability.
I was born and raised in Lake Forest Park and the Lake City neighborhood, and went on to lead the saxophone section in the UW Husky Marching Band. After graduating from the University of Washington, I worked as an AmeriCorps volunteer and site coordinator for the Youth Tutoring Program at Yesler Terrace, working with 80 high-risk students in Seattle Public Housing.
After earning a JD from Boston College Law School, I returned home to Seattle to promote public transit. As Transportation Advocate at the Washington Public Interest Research Group, I worked to include key environmental protections in the 2005 Transportation Partnership Act.
As Executive Director of Transportation Choices Coalition, I led efforts that resulted in $25 billion in bus, rail, bike and pedestrian investments in Washington State. I also led negotiations on behalf of the environmental community on major decisions such as the SR 520 Bridge replacement and Sound Transit’s successful Phase 2 ballot measure. The partnerships I developed between stakeholder groups, grassroots activists and elected officials resulted in the passage of seven local and regional transportation funding measures. I also improved capacity for the organization by creating strong and accountable financial systems, cultivating board leadership, and recruiting and retaining a high-quality staff.
I continued to advocate for smart investment in public transportation across our region when I worked at Pierce Transit at the executive level. There, I managed media and public relations; directed federal, state, and local government relations; and advised on organizational development, union negotiations, strategic planning, and budget decisions. The support I built among leaders and elected officials resulted in the delivery of more efficient and effective services based on community values, especially racial justice and economic equity. This long-range planning based on deep public involvement led Pierce Transit to win a Puget Sound Regional Council Vision 2040 award.
Most recently, I served as the three-term State Representative from the 46th Legislative District, which includes Kenmore, Lake Forest Park and parts of North Seattle. As Vice Chair of the House Transportation Committee, I led on the 2015 Connect Washington transportation package and the 2016 legislative authorization of Sound Transit 3 with landmark requirements for affordable housing, and secured $500 million for housing and education in Seattle. I also fought to protect our communities by passing the Oil Transportation Safety Act and the Driving Under the Influence of Electronics Act. My legislation is helping make our roads and rail system safer.
As the Chair of the Working Families Caucus in the Legislature, I've championed living wages, the rights of workers, and mass transit. I crafted legislation raising the minimum wage, expanding paid family and medical leave, and providing accommodations for working pregnant women.
I want to continue serving the city I love as Seattle’s next mayor, and I would be honored to have your support.