Joe is a third-generation resident of West Seattle and has served on the King County Council for the last five years. From 2001 to 2010, Joe represented the 34th Legislative District in the Washington State Legislature.
Recently elected Chair of the King County Council, Joe also served as the Majority Assistant Floor Leader in the Washington State Legislature, an acknowledgment that his record of achieving progressive results is well regarded by his constituents and colleagues alike.
Joe has the most experience of any candidate running to represent Washington’s seventh congressional district. From expanding transit, improving public education, increasing environmental protection, combating homelessness, fighting for campaign finance reform, and addressing the growing income inequality that threatens our middle class, Joe’s fifteen-year legislative record of working across the aisle to advance progressive legislation clearly demonstrates that he knows how to get things done for Washington State. Joe’s experience uniquely positions him to advance the issues important to our District and tackle the obstructionism and dysfunction that have become the hallmarks of the other Washington.
As the son of schoolteachers, Joe is running for Congress to ensure that middle-class Washingtonians continue to have a strong voice in Washington, D.C. But we cannot successfully address any of these issues in a system run by big money, which is why overturning Citizens United and preventing dark money from destroying our politics will be a top priority from his first day in office—only then can we finally achieve the progressive results that our families need. This is why Joe has pledged to reject any dark-money independent-expenditure spending on his behalf.
In addition to his vow to fight the big money that has corrupted our campaign-finance system, Joe has pledged to prioritize cracking down on gun violence. As Chair of the Seattle King County Board of Health, Joe has led efforts to classify gun violence as a public health crisis—resulting in a program that has saved lives and has become a model for both state and federal governments. It is past time that we pass tough background checks, ban military style assault weapons plaguing our communities, and once and for all hold gun manufacturers liable for the over thirty thousand deaths they cause in our country every year.
Joe is proud of what he has helped accomplish in Washington State, but understands that local and state governments cannot solve every problem—we must have solutions from Congress as well.
Joe lives in West Seattle with his husband, Michael, and has served on the Board of Southwest Youth & Family Services and the West Seattle Helpline. His civic activities and memberships include the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce, Vashon Allied Arts, the Highline Historical Society, and the Greater Seattle Business Association.