The proud daughter of Mexican immigrants, Sharlett Mena is a first-generation Mexican-American, and the first in her family to graduate from college. Sharlett was born and raised in the Tri-Cities. Her parents worked on farms and at a meat processing plant. Her working-class upbringing has informed her perspective and continues to drive her to empower working families through policy and change.

A graduate of Washington State University with degrees in Communications and Philosophy, Sharlett has over a decade of experience at various levels of government. She began her career in the U.S. House of Representatives as a Communications Manager and later a Communications Director. Returning to Washington, Sharlett worked in the Washington State Senate and for Washington Governor Jay Inslee. Currently, she works at the Washington State Department of Ecology advancing environmental justice, protecting clean air and water, and implementing climate action.

Sharlett is a community organizer and a co-creator of Voter Turnup, a movement led by people of color to promote voter registration, cultural expression, and civic engagement. As a Board Member of the South Tacoma Neighborhood Council, she works at the neighborhood level to help build her community up. She was also appointed by Gov. Inslee to serve on the Governor’s Pandemic After Action Review Task Force as a representative of the immigrant community.

In the Legislature, Rep. Mena serves as Vice Chair on the Environment & Energy Committee, and on the Committees on State Government & Tribal Relations and Transportation. She is a member of the Washington State Latino Democratic Caucus.

Bills Passed During the 2023-25 Biennium

  • HB 1047: Bans dangerous chemicals from personal care products.
  • HB 1048: Helps municipalities in voluntarily adopting changes to create fair elections.
  • HB 1085: Prevents microplastics from getting into our water.
  • HB 1329: Protects communities from utility cutoffs during extreme heat events.
  • HB 1533: Defends state employees from harassment via the Public Records Act.
  • HB 1758: Streamlines hatchery maintenance permits.
  • HB 1905: Protects women with overlapping identities and helps close the wage gap.
  • HB 2000: Strengthens international partnerships through strategic planning.
  • HB 2414/SB 6009: Outlaws the deadly restraint known as hog-tying by law enforcement.