Next in our series of profiles on the new, progressive stars of Congress, YDA would like to introduce our members to Arizona congresswoman-elect Kyrsten Sinema. Having defeated Republican Vernon Parker in a closely-contested race to represent Arizona’s 9th District, Kyrsten is poised to become a fierce champion for the middle class in Congress.
Kyrsten is a community activist, lawyer, and political advocate who understands the importance of hard work. Born in Tucson in 1976, Kyrsten learned to overcome challenges early in life. Her family often struggled to make ends meet, at one point living in a converted gas station with no water or electricity. But Kyrsten overcame her family’s economic setbacks and bettered her position thanks to a sterling academic record. Kyrsten’s academic credentials earned her a full scholarship to Brigham Young University. She has gone on to receive a Masters in social work, a J.D., and a Ph.D. in justice studies from Arizona State University. Since 2003, she has served as an adjunct instructor at ASU’s School of Social Work.
Kyrsten has a history of active participation in her community, making sure to fight for the rights of those who are less privileged. As a social worker, Kyrsten bettered her community by improving educational opportunities and advocating for underrepresented constituencies. Kyrsten has also improved Arizona as a member of many community boards, such as Community Outreach and Advocacy for Refugees. After receiving her JD, Kyrsten began a career as a criminal defense attorney.
In 2004, Kyrsten began her impressive involvement in politics as a representative for Arizona’s 15th Assembly District. While in office, she advocated for immigration reform, increased funding for veterans’ programs, and job growth. She fought to prevent cuts to children’s health care and funding for schools and seniors. Following her tenure as a representative, Kyrsten continued to serve the people of Arizona as a State Senator. Many groups, ranging from the Sierra Club to the Center for Inquiry, have presented Kyrsten with awards for her impressive legislative record.
Kyrsten understands the importance of the American Dream. She overcame challenging obstacles in her childhood through hardwork and access to education. As a member of the 113th Congress, she will fight to extend those opportunities to all Americans. Kyrsten is committed to ensuring that everyone plays by the same rules. She promises to not accept a pay raise until the federal government has agreed on a plan to reduce the deficit. YDA believes that Kyrsten will be a strong voice for the middle class as a member of Congress, and would like to extend her a warm welcome to Washington DC.