I have known Debra Entenman for more than 40 years. Through that time, I have seen her demonstrate her values over and over again, and I know that she will continue to uphold her core values when we elect her to represent our district.
Debra values commitment, community, education, diversity and equity. I have seen her demonstrate her value for commitment through her dedication to her position with Congressman Adam Smith, where she started out working in community outreach, and rose to become a director in his organization. She often worked long hours, met the demands of travel and built connections that will serve her well in the state Legislature, all while balancing personal commitments to friends, family and community.
Debra’s commitment to her community began while we were still in school together. She was always active in our school community; she participated in theater and student council, and was a leading voice for our class. When she had children, she became an active participant in the school community, joining the PTA and eventually taking leadership positions in the PTA.
I particularly value Debra’s commitment to education. As a public school teacher, I know all too well that education often takes a back seat to business concerns and sources of revenue for our state. Debra values education from pre-K through post-secondary. Her value for pre-K education stems from her own experience as a member of the first Head Start program, which Debra credits for setting her feet on a solid educational foundation. Her value for education is broad, too, encompassing not only the traditional education settings of public school and college or university, but also including vocational and technical training.
Debra’s value for diversity is evident. She has been a driving force in Congressman Smith’s office behind diversification of the staff, so that his office more closely resembles his constituency. She has pushed for access to paid internships for students of color, who often cannot afford to work unpaid internships that would gain them the experience they need to enter their chosen career pathways.
Debra’s commitment to equity shines through her other values. Her support of education is founded on the idea that education can be used to facilitate and support equity. Her commitment to community leads her to support organizations which focus on equitable access and equitable support that enables disadvantaged populations to succeed and thrive. Her value for diversity leads her to advocate for improved opportunities for underrepresented populations.
Debra Entenman is a qualified, experienced candidate who would bring a fresh voice and perspective to a state house that doesn’t reflect the changing demographics of this state and this district.
Lisa McElroy Sweeten