Since she ousted a Republican incumbent in 2018, state Rep. Debra Entenman, D-Kent, has proved herself an able, conscientious representative for the 47th Legislative District in south King County. Voters should reelect her.
Entenman, the former district director for Rep. Adam Smith, is one of only two Black women in the Legislature. She has quickly emerged as a powerful advocate for her diverse suburban district. She led the way on bills to limit facial-recognition technology and extend aid to needy families, both issues that disproportionately affect Black and brown people.
An Entenman bill to repay Kent and other cities with manufacturing and warehouse concerns for sales taxes diverted by internet transactions passed both chambers with strong bipartisan support. Gov. Jay Inslee vetoed it as part of this spring’s urgent COVID-19 budget reductions. Its passage showed Entenman’s effectiveness in advocating for her district, even on wonky governmental issues.
She’ll need that skill set as she works to help pass police reforms that protesters across America righteously demanded this spring and summer.
Entenman’s assessment of the budget shortfall likewise reflected good judgment. As she said, lawmakers should have returned to Olympia by June to make necessary cuts when they would have saved the most.
Most importantly, she knows how to listen to others’ concerns. She supports business-tax reform and an expansive assessment of making technology-aided learning work for all students. And she has revised her position from opposing charter schools in 2018 to now believing, after observation, that they can work well if they meet high standards.
“If you go the Legislature, and you are not ever willing to learn something new and change your mind, you cannot be an effective legislator,” she said. That ethos makes a vote for Entenman an easy call.
Her challenger, Republican businessman Kyle Lyebyedyev of Covington, did not participate in an interview.