Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

What’s Going On: Policy Considerations to Address Wealth Inequality

November 9, 2023 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Come hear from community leaders about both why we need to and how we can put in place policies and programs that help people overcome systemic poverty and wealth inequality. There are several programs that we know have been very effective and some creative ideas are being proposed such as Baby Bonds and a Guaranteed Basic Income. In addition, Washington State has one of the most regressive tax structures in the US. Many are taking note and proposing real solutions for our state legislature to contemplate in the upcoming 2024 session, including a wealth tax, reformed estate tax, and other ideas.  

Meet our speakers:

Dr. Stephan Blanford
Executive Director, Children’s Alliance

As the Executive Director of Children’s Alliance, Dr. Stephan Blanford leads a team of committed staff, volunteers and more than 6,000 members, advocating fiercely for the improved outcomes for children in Washington state. As an unapologetic advocate for racial and social justice, Stephan’s work has ranged from early learning to college entrance leading small, direct service youth development agencies to multidisciplinary demonstration projects.

In 2013, he was elected by the voters of Seattle and served a four-year term on the Seattle School Board, where he received the “Leadership for Equity” award at the conclusion of his term. More recently, the Evergreen Chapter of the American Society of Public Administrators awarded him the “Billy J. Frank Race and Social Justice” award for leadership and advocacy. Extending his work at a national level, he is the board chair of Integrated Schools and serves on the board of Partnership for America’s Children, Balance our Tax Code Coalition, and several other progressive organizations.

Dr. Blanford holds a Bachelors’ degree in Social Justice from Antioch University, a Masters in Public Policy from the Evans School of Governance and Public Policy and a Doctorate from the College of Education at the University of Washington.

Senator Noel Frame
36th Legislative District

Noel Frame (she/her) has represented the people of the 36th Legislative District as their state senator since January 2023, after having served the district as state representative beginning in January 2016.

Noel is an award-winning legislator, having been honored more than 15 times for her work advocating for youth involved in the foster care and juvenile justice systems, expanding services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and behavioral health challenges, championing economic development, and fixing the state’s upside-down tax code. She takes on many of the toughest challenges facing our state – reforming our criminal legal system, building more affordable housing, strengthening and investing in the diverse communities that make up Washington state, balancing our tax code, and more.

In 2023, she serves as vice chair of the Senate Housing Committee, vice chair of the Senate Business, Financial Services, Gaming & Trade Committee, and as a member of the Senate Human Services Committee. She previously served as the chair of the House Finance Committee.

In addition to her role in the state Legislature, Noel is a small business owner and partner of BDS Planning & Urban Design, a community development consulting firm located in Belltown. She is a facilitator, organizer, strategist, and engagement specialist with more than 20 years’ experience in the non-profit, private, public, and political sectors.

Noel and her husband Jim live in Greenwood with their toddler, Holden. She has lived in the 36th District since 2005 and is originally from Battle Ground, in southwest Washington. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from George Washington University in Washington, DC.

Sharonne Navas
Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Equity in Education Coalition

The first American-born child of immigrant parents from Guatemala and El Salvador, Sharonne understands, and values, the complexity of being multi-lingual and multi-cultural in America.  A native of New York City, Sharonne moved to the Seattle area in 2009.

Past professions include being a community organizer with Stand for Children, Executive Director of Para Los Niños, Assistant Director of Development for NARAL Pro-Choice America, Deputy Executive Director for Ayuda, Inc., and Development Coordinator for the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.

In 2010, she was appointed as Commissioner for the Washington State Commission on Hispanic Affairs.

In 2016, she was appointed to the Board of Trustees of Green River Community College.

Sharonne was an advisory member for the Thrive By Five‘s “Talk, Love, Play” initiative, a cohort member of Thrive by Five’s “Advancing Racial Equity Theory of Change in Early Learning,” a committee member of the WA State Education Opportunity Gap Oversight and Accountability Committee.  Sharonne is currently a member of the advocacy caucus, community network steering committee, and sponsors group of the Road Map Project of CCER.

She also volunteers for the South King Council on Human Services and was a Board member of the League of Education Voters and is on the Steering Committee of the Southeast Seattle Education Coalition.  Sharonne holds a BA in Psychology and Sociology from St. John’s University.

She spends her off-time exploring the various foods and wines of WA State with her husband Steve and their tweenie dachshunds, Manny, and Porter.

Lilliane Ballesteros

Lilliane has 15 years of experience working with nonprofits and community organizations to develop and implement funding strategies, and advocate for program and policy changes. She started working with LCF in 2013 in a Development Role. since 2019, she has served in her current role as Executive Director to support and build statewide power with Latinx/e communities. Lilliane loves exploring WA State, including eating oysters in Seattle, clamming on the coast, and enjoying the Yakima River.


Byrd Barr Place
722 18th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122 United States
(206) 812-4940
View Venue Website