As the daughter of a black father and a Korean mother, Marilyn grew up with a unique understanding of the structural inequities facing communities of color. In too many instances our criminal justice system has been unjust and has exacerbated – rather than solved – the underlying issues of race and bias in America.
Marilyn has been fighting to reform the criminal justice system and address inequality for decades. As Mayor, she helped build trust between police and communities of color through Project PEACE and worked with the Obama Administration to launch My Brother’s Keeper in Tacoma to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color to ensure that all young people can reach their full potential. Marilyn created the Office of Equity and Human Rights at the City of Tacoma to promote hiring for city jobs to reflect our community.
She endorsed and supported I-940, the statewide initiative to increase the use of de-escalation training and set a new standard for use of force by the police. Marilyn supported “ban the box” legislation in Tacoma to encourage local employers to consider a job candidate’s qualifications first without the stigma of a conviction or arrest record. Her work for economic and social justice has been recognized by Tabor 100, Blacks in Government Region X, and the Tacoma NAACP.
Marilyn’s leadership has moved us forward, but more needs to be done. She is committed to reforming our criminal justice system to be fair, equitable and just, and she will bring that fight to Congress.