Queen Anne mom promises to champion justice and families
SEATTLE – Liz Berry, a Queen Anne mother of two and proven champion for justice and families, today announced her campaign for House Pos. 2 in Washington’s 36th Legislative District.
“Affordability issues are crushing our region and our future. Working families are struggling to pay for quality childcare and access a decent public education. And we must act now to protect our beautiful landscape from the devastating effects of climate change,” Berry said. “As a working mom, nonprofit leader, and someone who has been a champion for women in leadership my entire career, I understand the impact these issues are having on people in our community. I am a proven progressive leader who knows how to get things done. That’s why I am running for State House.”
Berry, 36, is the first person to announce her candidacy after State Rep. Gael Tarleton, D-Seattle, announced last month she is running for Secretary of State.
“Gael is the person we need right now to protect our election security. Her leadership in this state and region has been immense. I am so grateful to know her and work with her over the years,” Berry said.
Berry has already raised an impressive $45,000 haul before today’s official launch.
Berry is currently the executive director for the Washington State Association for Justice (WSAJ), one of the state’s most powerful legal watchdog organizations. Berry spent several years working alongside WSAJ’s government affairs team in Olympia after working on several campaigns in Washington. She is the former president of the National Women’s Political Caucus of Washington (NWPC-WA), where she championed and opened pathways for women to have a seat at the table by recruiting, training, and electing more women to public office. As president of NWPC-WA, her mission emphasized recruiting more women of color to run. Berry is also a former board member for NARAL Pro-Choice Washington. She lives in Queen Anne with her husband Michael and two children George and Eleanor.
“As the Executive Director of the Washington State Association for Justice, Liz Berry has stood shoulder to shoulder with our labor brothers and sisters fighting to protect working families in Olympia, and she knows how to get things done. I enthusiastically endorse Liz for State House,” said Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda.
Berry has been endorsed by Seattle City Councilmembers Lorena Gonzalez, Debora Juarez, Teresa Mosqueda, State Sen. Rebecca Saldaña, State Rep. Nicole Macri and Seattle School Board President Zachary DeWolf. Her complete endorsement list is here.
“Liz Berry has done more to advocate for women in leadership in our state than anyone I know. She is going to be a rising star in the Legislature and a strong voice for the 36th,” said Emily Wicks, current president of the NWPC-WA. Berry is endorsed by Wicks as well as Maggie Humphreys and Samantha Casne, past presidents of the organization.
“As a working mom of two small kids, Liz Berry understands the importance of amply funding public schools with new progressive revenue, and she will fight to bring affordable, quality childcare to every Washington family. Liz is the progressive advocate we need in Olympia,” said Summer Stinson, who co-founded Washington’s Paramount Duty, a grassroots education advocacy group made up of parents.
Berry is the former legislative director for former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who was shot on Jan. 8, 2011, while meeting with constituents. Berry’s friend and colleague Gabe Zimmerman and Gabby’s outreach director was the first Congressional staffer killed in the line of duty. He was just 30 years old. Five other people were killed in the shooting, including a nine-year-old child, Christina-Taylor Green.
“I’m not afraid of taking on powerful special interests like the gun lobby to tackle issues like gun violence,” said Berry. “I’ve spent most of my career fighting to right wrongs or helping progressive champions get elected to make big changes. I know how to fight and win.”
Berry points to WSAJ’s recent success to reform the state’s unjust wrongful death law as an example of her commitment to ensuring children and families are protected. Under Washington’s old wrongful death law, families who lost adult children to preventable negligence had no legal rights to hold wrongdoers accountable for the preventable deaths of their adult children. “We worked with a coalition of courageous families for more than two years to change this unjust law. We never gave up and never stopped fighting. I’ve lived my entire adult life that way.”
Berry is the daughter of a trial lawyer and public school teacher. She credits her parents’ progressive values for instilling in her a commitment to fairness, justice, and standing up for those who have no voice.
“I feel incredibly fortunate to have progressive champions who have mentored me my entire life,” Berry said. “This is an opportunity for me to give back to the people and community I love.”