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 she serves as Vice Chair on the Environment & Energy Committee, and on the Committees on State Government & Tribal Relations and Transportation.