University Place – State Representative Mari Leavitt, D-University Place, will join the National Conference of State Legislators’s Task Force on Military and Veterans Affairs. The task force brings together a bipartisan coalition of state legislators from across the country to work on issues affecting military families, communities, and veterans.
Mari Leavitt is an advocate for seniors, students, working families, veterans and military families, and people experiencing homlessness. She is running for re-election to ensure every family in the 28th District and across the state has financial security through living-wage jobs, healthcare that is affordable and accessible, safe housing, access to a quality public education — from early learning through college or technical training, and thriving small businesses.
As a legislator, Mari serves as Vice Chair of College and Workforce Development, on the Housing, Community Development Committee, and Capital Budget. She also serves on the Joint Task Force Against Trafficking of Persons. Mari hit the ground running by sponsoring policy that deals with: expanding affordable housing, addressing homelessness, protecting healthcare workers from workplace violence; broadening access to health care including behavioral health, responding to the opioid crisis, growing postsecondary education options, achieving pay equity for our WA National Guard, expanding occupational options for veterans and military families, and ensuring career and technical options are provided in all areas of our state. She also supported policy on human trafficking training. In addition, Mari worked to bring over $17 million in capital and transportation projects to the district in the form of highway expansion, sidewalk and road work, community projects, and salmon habitat restoration.
Mari Leavitt is a longtime education leader, PTSA mom, and local small business owner who has dedicated her life to families, community, and opportunity. At Pierce College, Tacoma Community College, Evergreen State College, and the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges, Mari has helped local students with college readiness, access to higher education, and college and career success. As the Deputy Director of Pierce County Human Services, Mari helped administer the County’s community-based programs from affordable housing and homelessness, youth violence prevention, early learning, behavioral health, and job training.
Mari grew up in a military family and was raised on or near bases. As a member of the Housing, Community Development & Veterans Committee and the Joint Committee, Mari has sponsored significant legislation regarding veterans’ issues and been an outspoken advocate for military families. That work included health care, housing assistance, substance use disorder services, and support for veterans in need, as well as seniors, children, and adults with disabilities.
In addition to her professional commitment to education and opportunity, Mari has also been a dedicated community leader, PTSA board member in University Place School District and schools, Trustee of the Accountable Community of Health, Chair of the Pierce County Ethics Commission, member of the University Place Career and Technical Education Advisory Board, President of the Council of Unions and Student Programs, and on the executive board for the state InterCollege Relations Committee. She has served on the Mel Korum YMCA Board of Directors, in addition to training for the juvenile truancy court and volunteering on the truancy board at a local school district. Mari is also active in her community and church activities.
Mari earned her A.A.S, from Tacoma Community College, B.A and M. Ed from Western Washington Education, and received her Ph.D. in Community College Leadership from Oregon State University.
Mari and her husband have several children, including two adopted from the foster care system, two cats, a dog and own a local small orthodontics practice.