Biography

A community activist for more than 40 years, Sharon Tomiko Santos was elected to the Washington State House of Representatives in 1998.

Rep. Santos chairs the House Education committee and serves on the House Capital Budget committee and Consumer Protection & Business committee.

She also serves appointments to the Washington State Education Opportunity Gap Accountability and Oversight committee, the Every Student Succeeds Act Consolidated Plan Team, and the Financial Education Public Private Partnership.

Her legislative proposals reflect her strong advocacy for providing quality early learning programs for young kids, ensuring a well-trained educator workforce, and closing the opportunity gap. Rep. Santos believes Washington state must strive for providing education excellence and opportunities for all students to learn.

Outside of education, her key policy interests include civil rights, women’s rights, economic and environmental justice, affordable housing, and quality public education. She believes in providing level playing fields that allow those who work hard to succeed.

Rep. Santos has served on dozens of boards and foundations including the Boys and Girls Clubs of King County, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, and the University of Washington Business and Economic Development Program Board of Ambassadors.

She has received numerous awards for her legislative and community work including the Kip Tokuda Community Leadership Award from the Asian Pacific Islander Community Leadership Foundation and the Leadership and Vision Award from Junior Achievement of Washington.

A graduate of the Evergreen State College and of Northeastern University, Santos has worked in the banking industry, on staff to local public elected officials, and in senior management positions for non-profit organizations.

 

EDUCATION
Master of Arts, Northeastern University (1988)
Bachelor of Arts, The Evergreen State College (1985)

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
Retail banking
Nonprofit management and fundraising

PUBLIC SERVICE
Executive Policy Staff, King County

COMMUNITY SERVICE
Washington State Investment Board (appointed 1/’12/2009)
United Way of King County, Seattle Community Council
YMCA Youth and Government Advisory Board
Japanese American National Museum Advisory Board
Japanese American Citizens League, Seattle Chapter Board
Council for Pacific Asian Theology

HONORS
2012 Recipient, Torch of Leadership Award, Association of Washington School Principals
2011 Recipient, Community Service Award, the Japanese American Citizens League, Seattle Chapter
2010 Honoree, 100 Pioneering Women, The Women’s Center at the University of Washington
2010 Recipient, Kip Tokuda Community Leadership Award, Asian Pacific Islander Community Leadership Foundation
2010 Recipient, Multicultural Excellence Award, Washington State Association for Multicultural Education
2009 Recipient, DesJardins Youth Financial Education State Lawmaker Award,Credit Union National Association
2009 Inaugural Recipient, Leadership and Vision Award, Junior Achievement of Washington
2009 Delegate, International Programs and Women’s Legislative Network Exchange (South Africa),National Conference of State Legislatures
2007 Recipient, Community Award, Inter*Im Community Development Association
2006 Recipient, Hate Free Zone Leadership in Justice and Government award
2005 Recipient, TABOR 100 Crystal Eagle Leadership Award for Legislative Action
2000 Recipient, Bernie Whitebear Award, United Indians of All Tribes Foundation
1996, Honoree, Celebrating Women’s Leadership, Washington State Women’s Political Caucus
1996, Honoree, Top 10 Contributors to the Asian American Community, Northwest Asian Weekly, Seattle WA
1995, NGO Delegate, United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing, China
1993, Recipient, Martin Luther King, Jr. “Keeping the Dream Alive” Award, Seattle, WA

YEARS IN HOUSE
Elected to the House of Representatives in 1998.

LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES
Education
Community Economic Development
Health Care
Affordable Housing