Varisha Khan
Varisha Khan, Redmond City Council candidate

We may not be able to gath­er in per­son next week at the Ren­ton Com­mu­ni­ty Cen­ter to hold our twelfth Spring Fundrais­ing Gala as we had orig­i­nal­ly planned, but the show will nev­er­the­less go on… vir­tu­al­ly! As we announced last month, we’ve trans­formed this year’s gala into an online-only event tak­ing place on the same date and at the same time that we were to gath­er in per­son to hear from dis­tin­guished lead­ers like Sen­a­tor Man­ka Dhin­gra, our Mas­ter of Cer­e­monies.

Today, we’re delight­ed to announce anoth­er gala speak­er: Red­mond City Coun­cilmem­ber Var­isha Khan. Var­isha is a ris­ing star in Wash­ing­ton pol­i­tics, hav­ing served as a del­e­gate for Bernie Sanders to the 2016 Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Con­ven­tion, the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tor for Wash­ing­ton’s 1st Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict, and now serv­ing as one of the City of Red­mond’s eight elect­ed leaders.

Varisha Khan's swearing in
Var­isha Khan is sworn in as a Red­mond City Coun­cilmem­ber (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/Northwest Pro­gres­sive Institute)

Var­isha’s come from behind vic­to­ry last Novem­ber was a water­shed moment in Wash­ing­ton State and east King Coun­ty pol­i­tics. Trail­ing by close to ten points on Elec­tion Night, she surged in late bal­lots and over­took her oppo­nent, a mul­ti-term con­ser­v­a­tive Repub­li­can, by the end of the first week of count­ing.

She held on to win by just six­ty-six votes.

Varisha Khan
Var­isha Khan, Red­mond City Councilmember

Var­isha is a dear friend and a hard­work­ing, aspir­ing young leader. Her sto­ry is worth hear­ing, and know­ing, and telling. We need more young peo­ple to be involved in pol­i­tics and to be role mod­els in their community.

I have always believed that young peo­ple can do pret­ty much any­thing. I start­ed this orga­ni­za­tion when I was only six­teen. I could­n’t vote then, but I could speak. And write. And lob­by. There is no min­i­mum age required to be an activist.

I’m so proud of what Var­isha has accom­plished these past few years, and I am hon­ored to be rep­re­sent­ed by her on the Red­mond City Council.

This is a chal­leng­ing time to serve in pub­lic office at any lev­el. The pan­dem­ic has dis­rupt­ed a lot of the work that cities and coun­ties in par­tic­u­lar have been doing with respect to land use, trans­porta­tion, stormwa­ter runoff, and oth­er issues.

The Coun­cil can­not cur­rent­ly meet in its cham­bers as it nor­mal­ly would to dis­cuss the peo­ple’s busi­ness because it isn’t safe. That makes gov­ern­ing much more dif­fi­cult, but cer­tain­ly not impos­si­ble. Life goes on, even dur­ing a pan­dem­ic, and the City of Red­mond, NPI’s home­town, must fig­ure out how to move for­ward as much as pos­si­ble dur­ing this time of phys­i­cal distancing.

We all could use a hearty dose of inspi­ra­tion in these unprece­dent­ed times. If you ask me, there’s noth­ing like hear­ing from a young pro­gres­sive leader to bol­ster one’s spir­its. Please plan to join us and Coun­cilmem­ber Var­isha Khan from the com­fort of home for our 2020 Spring Fundrais­ing Gala!

Get tick­ets for NPI’s 2020 Spring Gala (and FallFest!)

If you have not yet pur­chased a tick­et to the gala, you can either buy a Vir­tu­al Gala Access Pass for $25/person, or you can buy com­bined tick­ets to the Vir­tu­al Gala and FallFest for $100 (Indi­vid­ual) or $150 (House­hold). The choice is yours.

Get tick­ets for NPI’s 2020 Spring Gala (and FallFest!)

You’ll save $25 on admis­sion to both events by pur­chas­ing an Indi­vid­ual Tick­et and save $50 or more on admis­sion by pur­chas­ing a House­hold ticket.

Please note that the Vir­tu­al Gala will not be pub­licly livestreamed. To par­tic­i­pate, you must either have a Vir­tu­al Gala Access Pass or a Gala/FallFest tick­et. All pro­ceeds from the Vir­tu­al Gala and FallFest will ben­e­fit the North­west Pro­gres­sive Institute’s essen­tial research and advocacy.

If you have ques­tions, please use our con­tact form to get in touch.

Thanks for your sup­port of NPI’s work, it’s deeply appreciated.

We hope to see you — vir­tu­al­ly! — next week.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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