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Staff Snapshots | Mary Ann Lara

  • Hometown: Ventura, Calif.
  • Role: Legislative assistant to Washington Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos
  • Years of legislative service: One

”I want to focus on the needs of others, larger systemic issues that negatively impact many people.”

Mary Ann Lara Washington

Why did you choose to work at the Legislature?

I wanted to work in macro social work. I will be a lawmaker one day and have a seat at the table for all the right reasons. I want to focus on the needs of others, larger systemic issues that negatively impact many people, and change laws that do not serve those intended.

What skill or talent are you most proud of?

I am so proud of my resilience and perseverance. I have been through a lot, yet I am just getting started in this career. I am proud of my hobbies: I am an avid equestrian, swimmer and chef.

What’s the best advice you ever received?

One piece of advice that has stuck with me for many years is that the higher you move up, the lonelier it gets. This may be perceived negatively by others; however, I perceive this as strength and have found confidence and independence in my small and abundant circle.

Who or what inspires you?

Myself. I inspire myself for being resilient, brave, graceful, kind and humble. To walk where I have walked, all the traumas and hardships I have endured, I am proud to be so grounded and happy to be who I am. I still have so much work to do in this life.

What’s one thing you love about your state or territory?

I love the feeling of summer in Washington. The sky is vast, with enormous puffy swift-moving clouds, the warmth of the sun on my skin, and the most perfect breeze. The days are long, and dusk promises perfection. It is marvelous.

What are you currently reading/listening to/watching?

I am currently reading two books, “Killers of the Flower Moon,” by David Grann, and the latest B.A. Paris novel, “The Prisoner.” I am listening to Sade and Chris Stapleton, and I am watching “Big Little Lies,” again.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Use the email icon above to suggest a legislative staffer for the “Staff Snapshots” series.

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