Tina is committed to equality and fairness.
Tina's background in social work and human services has only increased her commitment to social justice issues. Her priorities are to improve the quality of life of the individuals and families that live and work in her district, and Washington state.
Tina is passionate about protecting victims of commercial sexual exploitation, which are overwhelmingly women and children. Law enforcement have stated that SeaTac has one of the highest rates of child trafficking in the United States. The surrounding areas also share this tragic issue where many young women are sold into the commercial sex industry. The average age of entry is 13 and many of these young women are runaways or have been recruited from local schools. This year the legislature passed 12 new laws in this area. Tina sponsored one of these bills. As a result of her work, the fines for users or Johns will increase from $150.00 to $1,500, first time users will be diverted to "John Schools" where they will learn the risk and impact of their behavior, and services will be expanded to help these young victims transition out of the sex industry. Tina works closely with our local law enforcement officers to make sure they have the resources they need to combat these issues in our area including reducing the impact of the commercial sex industry and helping young victims rebuild their lives.
Additionally, Tina is deeply concerned about the repercussions individuals who have been wrongly convicted of crimes face when exiting the prison system. When DNA evidence does exonerate an individual, they may have already spent years in prison, putting them at a great disadvantage upon re-entry into society, including years spent without a job, missed family memories, and mental and physical health issues. Washington State does not provide compensation to those who are incarcerated and subsequently exonerated of the crime and released. Tina wants to change this. She sponsored a bill during both the 2011 and 2012 legislative sessions that would provide monetary and restorative compensation to individuals exonerated in Washington State. Tina has tirelessly worked to advocate for resources for these individuals and their families to assist with the loss of time and money while wrongfully imprisoned. See Seattle Weekly's blog post about Tina's Wrongful Conviction bill.