Washington State Democratic Party Chair Tina Podlodowski is the daughter of two naturalized U.S. citizens who fled post-WWII Europe as refugees. As a first generation American and lifelong Democrat, Tina has spent her life fighting for equality and a level playing field for all. Tina’s 30+ years of leadership in technology, government and management has saved taxpayers millions of dollars, improved public safety and health, and revolutionized technology. Tina has closely worked on over 50 different initiative and candidate campaigns locally and nationally.
After a career as an executive at Microsoft, Tina won an at-large seat on the Seattle City Council with 65% of the popular vote. On council she championed new civil rights legislation, created the first civilian oversight of the police department, and pioneered in-district council meetings to engage a more diverse group of constituents in decision-making. From there she revitalized two regional non-profit organizations – Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Puget Sound and the Lifelong AIDS Alliance – via marketing and re-branding, multi-million dollar fundraising campaigns, and the training and utilization of thousands of volunteers to successfully function.
As a senior vice-president at Porter Novelli, a global network of communications professionals, Tina led national efforts to improve public health and safety. Her work with stakeholders at all levels of government drove forward progress on environmental justice, women’s health, HIV/AIDS and childhood immunizations. Her clients included the Centers for Disease Control, Office of Women’s Health, Medicare, ASTHO and NACCHO.
After the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, Tina was a founder of the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, dedicated to keeping all of us and our children safe from gun violence. WAGR successfully enacted sensible gun background check legislation with the passage of I-594 in 2014, and Extreme Risk protection orders in 2016.
Tina’s strong belief in equality for all guided her work in leadership roles with Washington Citizens for Fairness, the Pride Foundation, The Human Rights Campaign, The Victory Fund, The Task Force and LPAC. She is a former member of the Visiting Committee at the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington. She was the first LGBTQ member of the DNC Platform Committee in 2000, adding “planks” on civil rights and social justice. She was awarded the “Spirit Award” from the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle for her accomplishments in engaging diverse communities. Her political and philanthropic work has been profiled in The New York Times, The Washington Post, People, and Vanity Fair.
And, unlike her Washington GOP counterpart, who insists on being calling “Chairman”, you can just call her Tina.
Tina, her wife and three children live in Seattle.
Karen Deal was born in Wilmington, Delaware, and started calling Seattle her home in 1997. Her first political campaign was an unsuccessful fast food boycott organizing attempt with her fellow fourth graders. While she didn't convince the other kids to forgo their fries, she learned the valuable lessons of compelling messaging, running a viable campaign, and working in a team.
Deal has worked on campaigns on both coasts, and internationally, since 1996. She has run field and political campaigns for democratic allies like the League of Conservation Voters, Washington Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, UFCW Local 21, and the AFL-CIO. She is thrilled to call the Democratic Party her team.
Deal is a fan of traveling, reading, early mornings, art, baking, and sarcasm.
Greg Haffner was born in Renton, raised in Hobart, and went to school at the University of Washington. He has been active in Democratic politics since he attended his first precinct caucus in 2004 as an underage observer. Greg started with the Washington State Democrats as a Development Intern in 2007, and currently serves as Party Affairs Manager. In that role, he directs caucuses, conventions, local party activity, and the Party’s platform and resolutions process.
Greg is also an active member of the 37th District Democrats (after time with the 5th and the 43rd) and the Young Democrats of Washington. He was recently elected YDWA Campaign Director.
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Heather Hess grew up in Missoula, MT. She spent her college years in San Francisco and moved to Seattle in 1994. She has worked as a bookkeeper/office manager for a few small local businesses in the Seattle area. She started working for the Washington State Democrats in 2011. She enjoys writing fiction, live music, hockey (Go B's!), politics and photography.
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Nathan was born in Tacoma and raised in Montana. After graduating from the University of Montana in Missoula with a bachelor's in Political Science he worked on Senator Jon Tester's reelection campaign in 2012. Career highlights since then include the $15 SeaTac minimum wage campaign in 2013, and working on the 2014 reelection campaign of Senator Mark Begich in Alaska. In 2016 Nathan was the Data Director for the Washington State Coordinated Campaign.
Erin was raised in Southern California and began her political life in high school. She founded the "Obama for President" club her senior year and continued volunteering for the Obama campaign during her freshman year at New York University. When she graduated in 2012, she relocated to Seattle and considers Washington State her chosen home.
Erin first started working for the Washington State Democrats in Spring of 2015, and moved into her new role Fall of 2016. Her passions include social justice, pop culture, animals, and cheese.