Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland proudly represents Washington’s 10th Congressional District, which covers parts of Pierce County and Thurston County. Born in Seoul, South Korea to an African American father and South Korean mother, she is the first African American to represent the Pacific Northwest at the federal level, and one of the first Korean American women elected to Congress in its 232-year history.
Raised in the South Sound, Strickland graduated from Tacoma Public Schools and earned her B.A. in Sociology from the University of Washington. She went on to earn an MBA from Clark-Atlanta University, a Historically Black College and University.
Strickland’s father, who fought in World War II and Korea, met her mother while he was stationed in Korea after the war. Strickland’s parents endured discrimination and hardships that she could never imagine. They wanted her to have opportunities they were denied and taught her to work hard, fight for what’s right, serve the community, and to stand up for the underdog. Those values continue to inspire Congresswoman Strickland every day as she advocates for Washington’s 10th Congressional District in Congress.
Before being elected to Congress, she served as Mayor of Tacoma, where she led efforts to raise the high school graduation rate in Tacoma from 55 percent to over 90 percent, increase the minimum wage, and pass paid sick leave, which led to statewide action. She later served as President and CEO of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, with a focus on equity and inclusion, and fostering economic development in our region.
In Congress, she serves on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and House Armed Services Committee. She has focused on delivering for the South Sound. She secured over $12 million in housing, pedestrian safety, clean water, workforce development, and transit investments directly for the South Sound. She also delivered $7 billion in bipartisan infrastructure investments for Washington State, and over $300 million for the South Sound through the American Rescue Plan.
Marilyn is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), the New Democrat Coalition, and the Pro-Choice Caucus. She is the Co-Chair of the Puget Sound Recovery Caucus, and also a member of the Democratic Women’s Caucus, the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Caucus, and the Democratic Women’s Caucus.
Congresswoman Strickland resides in Tacoma, Washington with her husband.