Tarra is a fighter for us.

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"I’ve seen the impact we can have as a community when we work together for change. I’m running because I believe our government should work for all of us."

-Tarra


A history of fighting for us

Meet Tarra

Tarra Simmons is a lawyer, a civil rights activist, and a national leader in the fight for criminal justice reform.

Raised in Bremerton, she has faced some of the biggest barriers to success and opportunity - from poverty, to opioid use disorder and incarceration. It was with the help of this community - friends, family, colleagues and neighbors - and its resilience - that she was able to overcome these circumstances and become a tireless advocate for change.

Tarra doesn’t simply talk about challenges - she has faced them herself. After her incarceration, she experienced firsthand the challenges of re-entry. From economic insecurity, to housing affordability and lack of access to healthcare, education and job skills training. These are big challenges that many people from all walks of life in our community face on a daily basis.

As a registered nurse, Tarra advocated for her patients and our community for over a decade. After starting her own recovery journey, she decided to go to law school to learn how to make a larger impact on the community. Tarra graduated with honors and received the prestigious Skadden fellowship to help people get the legal counsel they need to move on after criminal justice involvement. When the Washington State Bar refused to admit her, she took her fight to the State Supreme Court - and won in a unanimous same-day decision that highlighted the need for opportunities and second chances for ALL people.

Tarra is also the co-founder of the Civil Survival Project, a nonprofit organization that provides legal and policy advocacy to help formerly incarcerated people better reintegrate in their communities. In 2016, Tarra was appointed by Governor Jay Inslee to the Washington State Reentry Council where she was elected by her peers as co-chair. He has also appointed her to the Public Defense Advisory Board, and she serves as an advisory board member to the Washington Supreme Court Gender and Justice Commission.

Tarra has played a key role in advocacy efforts on behalf of her community, focusing on education, healthcare, and income equality. Most recently, her activism and leadership helped pass the New Hope Act, a bipartisan piece of legislation that streamlines the process for reintegration after incarceration.

In addition to her work with the Civil Survival Project, Tarra serves on the board of the Economic Opportunity Institute and volunteers with the Central Kitsap School District to support policies that end the school to prison pipeline. She recently received Sen. Patty Murray’s Golden Tennis Shoe Award and the “Woman of Achievement” award from YWCA Kitsap County.

Tarra lives with her husband Eric, their three children, and their dog, in Bremerton.

Tarra will never stop fighting for our community.

Endorsements
  • CURRENT AND FORMER ELECTED OFFICIALS
  • Pacific Northwest Ironworkers
  • Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal
  • WA Lieutenant Governor Cyrus Habib
  • WA Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz
  • State Senator Christine Rolfes (LD 23)
  • State Senator Claire Wilson (LD 30)
  • State Senator Emily Randall (LD 26)
  • State Senator Jeannie Darneille (LD 27)
  • State Senator Joe Nguyen (LD 34)
  • State Senator Karen Kaiser (LD 33)
  • State Senator Mona Das (LD 47)
  • State Senator Patty Kuderer (LD 48)
  • State Representative Beth Doglio (LD 22)
  • State Representative Drew Hansen (LD 23)
  • Larry Seaquist, Former State Representative (LD 26) & USN Captain (Retired)
  • State Representative Lauren Davis (LD 32)
  • State Representative Laurie Dolan (LD 22)
  • State Representative Laurie Jinkins (LD 27)
  • State Representative Mary Helen Roberts (LD 21), Retired
  • State Representative Melanie Morgan (LD 29)
  • State Representative Michael Chapman (LD 24)
  • State Representative My-Linh Thai (LD 41)
  • State Representative Nicole Macri (LD 43)
  • State Representative Noel Frame (LD 36)
  • State Representative Roger Goodman (LD 45)
  • State Representative Sherry Appleton (LD 23)
  • State Representative Strom Peterson (LD 21)
  • State Representative Tana Senn (LD 41)
  • State Representative Timm Ormsby (LD 3)
  • State Representative Tina Orwall (LD 33)
  • Poulsbo Mayor Becky Erickson
  • Bainbridge Island Deputy Mayor Rasham Nassar
  • King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg
  • Kitsap County Prosecuting Attorney Chad Enright
  • Bainbridge Island City Councilmember Kol Medina
  • Bainbridge Island City Councilmember Matt Tirman

  • COMMUNITY MEMBERS
  • Aaron Steege-Jackson, Community Member
  • Adrienne Stuart, Disability Rights Advocate
  • Alexis Ewan, Community Member
  • Alisha Page, Community Member
  • Alison Craig, Community Member
  • Amanda Dubois, FamilyLaw Attorney
  • Andre Henderson, Equity & Inclusion Leader
  • Andre Taylor, Civil Rights Leader
  • Angee Schrader, Community Member
  • Angela Olson, Community Member
  • Anita Latch, Community Leader
  • Ann Cook, Emeritus Disability Rights Lawyer
  • Ann Lovejoy, Community Member
  • Ardis Morrow, Community Member
  • Arouna Taylor-Kamara, Student
  • Ashely O’Connor, Philanthropist
  • Barb McFeters, Community Member
  • Barbara Corey, Community Member
  • Blair Anderson, Community Member
  • Bob Boruchowitz, The Defender Initiative
  • Bonnie Hoover, Community Member
  • Brett Werenski, Community Member
  • Brian L. Frye, Spears-Gilbert, Law Professor
  • Brooke Williams, Community Member
  • Carrie Roberts, Paralegal
  • Casey Taylor, Community Member
  • Celia Colon, Author & Speaker
  • Charlotte Rovelstad, Community Member
  • Christopher Beasley, Psychology Professor
  • Christy Sammons, UFCW 21 Member
  • Corey Guilmette, Civil Rights Lawyer
  • Coria Moody, Community Member
  • Cory Walster, Community Organizer
  • Crystal Nelson, Law Student
  • Cynthia Brady, Substance Use Disorder Counselor, West Sound Treatment Center
  • Daniel Harris, Community Member
  • Danny Carrao, Founder and CEO, Workforce Foundation
  • David Condon, Community Member
  • Dawn Michele Wilson, Homeless advocate
  • Dawn Rains, Community Member
  • Dena Alo-Colbeck, Lawyer
  • Diana Hester, Community Member
  • Dirk Van Velzen, Executive Director, Prison Scholars
  • Donna Cosey, Community Member
  • Donna Whittaker, Community Member
  • Doug Mackenzie, Bainbridge Island PCO, 23rd LD Democrats and Kitsap County Dems Executive Boards
  • Durell Green, Youth Mentor
  • Eric Schnapper, University Of Washington
  • Erin Phillips, PCO, 23rd LD Democrats
  • Esperanza Borboa, Community Member
  • Gail Stone, Community Member
  • Gene Bullock, PCO, 23rd LD Democrats
  • Gina Steiner, Port Gamble Sklallam Tribe
  • Ginger Sommerhauser, 23rd LD State Committee Member
  • Heather Kurtenbach, Ironworkers Local 86
  • Immaculate Ferreria, Community Member
  • Irene Faso, Community Member
  • Jacki Peterson, Community Member
  • James Paribello, Voting Justice Coalition
  • Jani Levy Pauli, Community Member
  • Jason Schwarz, Criminal Defense Lawyer
  • Jay Doran, Poverty Advocate
  • Jeanne Berry, Community Member
  • Jennifer Henderson, Law Student
  • Jennifer Lombardi, Community Member
  • Jennifer Ting, Community Member
  • Jeremy Monroe, Central Kitsap School District Administrator
  • Jim Cash, Community Member
  • Jim Sommerhauser, 23rd LD State Committee Member
  • Jon Gould, Children’s Advocate
  • Jon Zulauf, The Clemency Project
  • Joseph Paul, Intake and Outreach Supervisor
  • Judy Arbogast, Retired Teacher and Member of Kitsap County Council for Human Rights
  • Judy Effendahl, Community Member
  • Karen Besserman, Executive Director, Emerge Washington
  • Kate Lee Russell, Community Member
  • Kathy Renzi, Community Member
  • Kelly Olson, Higher Education Policy Advocate
  • Kristen Sylvester, DNP ARNP FNP-BC
  • Lana Tourigny, Community Member
  • Lara Herrmann, Lawyer
  • Laura Blair-Gano, Community Member
  • Laura Van Tosh, Mental Health Advocate
  • Lauren Fellis, Community Member
  • Leaha Scribner, Community Member
  • Lee Newgent, Executive Director Washington State Building & Construction Trades Council (Retired)
  • Lisa Daugaard, Director, Public Defender Association
  • Lisa Myers, Community Member
  • Lori Bailey, Community Member
  • Martitha May, Hispanic Community Organizer
  • Mary Clare Kersten, Community Member
  • Matthew Hepner, Executive Director, Certified Electical Workers of Washington
  • Michael Hoyle, Community Member
  • Michelle Dillon, Community Activist
  • Mikayla Podesta, Community Member
  • Mike McCready, Pearl Jam Guitarist
  • Mimi Samuel, Seattle University
  • Mychal Goode, Law Student
  • Nadine Zygaj, Community Member
  • Nichole Alexander, Community Member
  • Nicole Nichols, Community Member
  • Niran Al-Agba, Physician
  • Olivia Ortiz, Community Member
  • Peggy Leland, Executive Assistant, Olympic College
  • Ramon Hernandez, Student
  • Rebecca House, Community Member
  • Rebekah Fonden, Community Member
  • Rev. Jeff Grant, Master of Divinity, Juris Doctor
  • Rev. Marsha Cutting, Ph.D, Community Member
  • Robert Cruikshank, Community Member
  • Sabrina Ryan-Helton, Advocate, The Bail Project
  • Sam Hatzenbeler, Health Care Policy Associate
  • Sarah Eichhorn, Real Estate Broker
  • Sarah Wilkinson, MSW Student
  • Scott Lundh, Community Member
  • Shannon Kilpatrick, Trial Lawyer
  • Shannon Turner, Community Advocate
  • Sonja Bilden, Community Member
  • Sophia Danenberg, Environment and Public Lands Advocate
  • Stasha Espinosa, Community Member
  • Stella Sprackli, Community Member
  • Stephanie Bowen, Community Member
  • Stephany Knight, Laborers Local 242 member
  • Summer Stinson, Education & Economy Advocate
  • Tanya Webking, Community Organizer
  • Terrilynn Nicklin, Community Member
  • Trish Bittman, Community Member
  • Vernalisa Colon, Community Member
  • Vicente Barraza, Immigration Lawyer
  • Victoria Hilt, Community Member
  • Woodean Nickerson, College Student
  • Yali Lincroft, Philanthropist

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