Washington state is one of the most progressive states in the United States. From cities such as Seattle raising their minimum wage to $15 an hour to Governor Jay Inslee once ran for president to focus on climate change, the Pacific Northwest state has become a symbol of economic and social progress in the country. However, one young 26-year old working-class truck driver in the state capital of Olympia is taking on the mainstream Democratic Party at the congressional level in 2020.
Joshua Collins is running for congress in a primary race against incumbent representative Dennis L. Heck of Washington’s 10th Congressional District that includes Olympia and other surrounding communities. While Collins worked a wide variety of jobs and dropped out of college due to personal financial hardships after the 2007 and 2008 Great Recession, his political activities began while at one point living in Nevada by volunteering with Wolf-Pac and the Sunrise Movement. Now, after living in Olympia, Collins decided that his blue-collar working-class experiences must be brought at the table in Washington, D.C.
“We cannot afford to wait anymore, so I am jumping in headfirst to get to work building a movement that can save the planet,” Collins said in an email interview with College Media Network. “For me, that starts with talking to the people of my district anyway, so I figure we may as well go after some institutional power while we’re at it.” Collins is running on a progressive platform such as Medicare for All, supporting organized labor, and enacting a Green New Deal as well as prioritizing his district’s concerns with the lack of affordable housing and the quality of the environment.
When asked about what personal advice he would give young people who want to be politically involved or active, Collins said that “you don’t have to know what you’re doing to run, but the people you trust to run your campaign absolutely do need to know what to do.” Washington state’s congressional primaries are scheduled to be held next summer on August 4, 2020.
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