JASON BENNETT, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Jason Bennett first plunged into politics when he interned at US Senator Patty Murray’s office in the spring of 1997. Shortly following the internship, Jason accepted a position in the Washington State Legislature with the office of State Rep. Jeff Morris. Nearly two years later, Jason caught the campaign bug and moved over to the House Democratic Campaign Committee as their Operations Director where he helped secure the majority for House Democrats in Nov. 2001. After five years working on Democratic campaigns, Jason was recruited to the office of US Senator Maria Cantwell and served as her State Outreach Director, managing an outreach team of seven.
In early 2005, he decided to take his extensive campaign experience and political contacts and form Argo Strategies, a political consulting firm based in Seattle. During the last several years, Argo Strategies has helped more than 200 federal, state and local campaigns win – either with award-winning direct mail, compliance and treasury consulting or web/technology work. A few of their successful clients include King County Sheriff John Urquhart, Seattle Port Commissioner Gael Tarleton, Tacoma City Council member Victoria Woodards, State Representative Cindy Ryu and Yes on Referendum 71 campaign, the only gay-rights initiative to pass in the country at the time.
In his spare time, Jason has served on the Seattle Mayor’s Citizens Technology and Telecommunications Advisory Board, was an elected Queen Anne Community Councilmember and is a “site restoration steward” for Pipers Creek in Carkeek Park. He has served on the boards of Equal Rights Washington and was chair of the 36th District Democrats, representing the Queen Anne, Magnolia, Greenwood, Belltown, and Ballard neighborhoods of Seattle. In 2010, Jason was honored to receive the 2010 Magnuson Award by the Washington State Democrats for “Democrat of the Year.”
Jason was born and raised in Brookfield, Wisconsin. He attended Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona where he received his Bachelor of Science in Political Science. He moved to Seattle in February 1996 and currently resides in Queen Anne with his partner, Mike and their dog, Kasey.
UNJIN LEE, PROGRAM DIRECTOR
Unjin is a Seattle native who got her start in politics as a volunteer for Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s successful re-election campaign in 2010. She was a 2010 Fellow and she credits her beloved classmates for giving her the encouragement she needed to get on that plane to New Jersey. Unjin’s experience in Newark motivated her to get off the sidelines in her home state of Washington and led her to work as the Field Director for Jay Inslee’s successful 2010 re-election campaign to Congress. Unjin was the first hire for as Jay Inslee’s campaign for governor, where she worked as the Outreach Director; building coalitions with communities of color, Native American Tribes, the LGBT community, Veterans, young people and the arts & music community. She currently manages special projects for Governor-Elect Inslee’s transition team and creates Spotify playlists for her commute to Olympia. Unjin loves IDF, is obsessed with watching Homeland and is trying to learn Anna Kendrick’s amazing cup trick.
LAUREN PLATT, PROGRAM DIRECTOR
Lauren Platt is a Northwest native from Portland, OR with a BA in Economics from Scripps College in Claremont, CA. As a Regional Program Developer for the Nurse-Family Partnership, a national evidence-based, community health home visiting program for first-time, low-income moms and their babies, she works to engage communities and local, state, and federal lawmakers to sustain and expand the program in six states. After graduating in 2007, she moved to Seattle, where her addiction to politics began on the Simple Majority for Our Local Schools (Approve 4204) campaign. Her deep love for statistical analysis and passion for issues facing today’s children then led her to the Children’s Alliance, a statewide advocacy organization for children’s issues, where she held various positions and worked on a wide range of child and family policy issues. When not reading Publicola, Lauren enjoys being outdoors, spending time with friends, reading nonfiction, and taking at least twice as long to cook a meal as the directions say.