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From Dreamer to Doer: A Journey of Inspiration and Impact

Starting from humble beginnings and rising to the esteemed position of State Senator, Mona Das exemplifies the epitome of transformation and resilience. In this captivating exploration of her journey, we uncover the driving forces fueling her unwavering determination and her steadfast commitment to advocating for marginalized communities. Her narrative serves as a powerful testament to the transformative impact of dreams, determination, and representation in shaping our collective future. Join us as we delve into the compelling narrative of Mona Das odyssey, from dreamer to doer, and the enduring legacy she continues to shape. Additionally, we will explore her efforts in speaking at events to inspire the next generation of women leaders.


Your journey from being born to immigrant parents with very little to becoming a State Senator is incredibly inspiring. How did your early life experiences shape your determination to advocate for marginalized communities?

My journey began in the shower, where I jokingly declared my ambition to become a senator, despite coming from a traditional Indian family background. For years, I tucked this dream away until a chance encounter with a political yard sign sparked a profound realization that representation matters. Seeing someone like me running for Senate made my dream suddenly feel achievable. As an immigrant to this country, born with little more than a dream for a better life, I’m passionate about advocating for marginalized communities, especially women, using my platform to ensure everyone’s voice is heard and needs are met.

What motivated you to run for State Senate in 2018, and what were some of the most significant challenges you faced during your campaign?

I decided to run for State Senate because I was tired of feeling like a passive observer while important decisions were made without considering people like me. Despite facing doubts from many who didn’t believe I could win against a well-liked opponent, I embarked on a challenging campaign, knocking on thousands of doors and overcoming obstacles like racism, sexism, and negative ads. It was a tough journey, but I persisted because I believed in myself, even when others didn’t. Although I ultimately decided not to run for State Senator again, I realized that I could still make a difference by empowering others to become advocates for change, diversity, equity, and the environment.

Could you share a bit about the turning point in 2022 when you decided not to run for State Senator again and instead focus on creating change from outside the political system?

I devote much of my time to coaching aspiring candidates and ensuring that the concerns of marginalized communities, particularly women, BIPOC women, trans individuals, and non-binary folks, are heard and addressed. My focus is on setting up the next generation for success, advocating for change from the outside where I can leverage my knowledge and experience to make a meaningful impact. I’ve come to realize that my efforts are better suited to creating change from this position rather than being inside the system, as I understand the intricacies of getting bills passed and legislation enacted, allowing me to offer more effective assistance from an external perspective.

Bad Ass Women Doing KickAss Shit (BAWDKAS) sounds like a powerful platform. What inspired its creation, and what impact do you hope it will have on the broader discourse around marginalized voices?

The inspiration for the movie “Bad Ass Woman Doing Kick Ass Shit” stemmed from the belief that we urgently need more women represented in decision-making positions. This idea had been brewing in my mind for a decade, but it wasn’t until recently that the timing felt right. When I shared my concept with a producer during a chance meeting, she immediately expressed interest and enthusiasm, eager to join forces. This illustrates the power of sharing your dreams boldly; when you have ambitious goals and share them with others, incredible things can happen. Together, we brought this vision to life, creating a film that celebrates marginalized voices, particularly women of color and BIPOC women, who defy the odds by stepping into leadership roles, running for office, and striving to make a difference in their communities. The journey with this film has been nothing short of amazing, garnering recognition with 13 awards and being featured in numerous film festivals.

Your educational background is quite diverse, with degrees in psychology and sustainable business. How have these disciplines informed your approach to politics and activism?

I initially pursued a degree in psychology for my undergrad, and later, after many years, I decided to go back to school to earn my MBA in sustainable business. This decision marked a significant turning point for me. One of my college professors, Hunter Lovins, once said that we have all the solutions to the world’s problems; what’s missing is the political will to implement them. This notion resonated deeply with me and fueled my vision of running for office. The MBA program was more than just academics; it served as a leadership course, teaching me invaluable skills like speaking up, seeking assistance, and surrounding myself with supportive individuals. Ultimately, this education played a pivotal role in shaping my path to success.

Can you elaborate on your experience at the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University and how it influenced your political career?

My transformative experience at Pinchot University instilled the confidence I needed to embark on my journey of running for office, ultimately flipping a seat and emerging victorious. My involvement with the campaign school at Yale and my role as a professor at Bard College allow me to shape and inspire the next generation of leaders, which is incredibly fulfilling for me. I firmly believe in sharing knowledge and lifting others up, not just one person but as many as possible. Teaching at the Campaign School at Yale, where I myself was once a student, is a profound honor, and working with individuals new to the political landscape has been a deeply rewarding experience.

MOXY Money LLC, your consulting firm, has been operational for two decades. How has your experience with fundraising techniques translated into your political endeavors?

For many years, I’ve run my own company while also teaching fundraising, including an online course on the subject. I collaborate with organizations like Emerge Washington and Run Vote Lead to train the upcoming generation. Fundraising often proves to be the toughest hurdle for many individuals, whether they’re candidates, nonprofit leaders, or corporate executives. I firmly believe that equipping the next generation with fundraising skills is crucial, as it’s a valuable skill applicable across various career paths.

As a leader in environmental policy, can you discuss some of the strategies you implemented to address environmental challenges in Washington state?

My leadership in environmental policy is rooted in my MBA in sustainable business, which provided me with essential skills and strategies. In the Senate, I prioritized inclusive decision-making by involving all stakeholders, exemplified by a bill meeting where 105 people participated. It’s crucial to hear from diverse perspectives, even those differing from your own, as they contribute to crafting better policies. I’m particularly proud of my efforts in Washington, where we successfully banned plastic bags and styrofoam statewide, along with advancing electric vehicle infrastructure. These achievements reflect my commitment to meaningful environmental progress.

Affordable housing is a critical issue in many communities. What initiatives did you champion during your time as a State Senator to tackle housing affordability?

Affordable housing holds a special place in my heart, stemming from my 17-year tenure in the mortgage industry, primarily assisting first-time homebuyers. My own experience of buying my first house at 26 underscored the transformative power of homeownership in building wealth for oneself and the community. This drove my dedication in the Senate to advocating for increased affordable housing opportunities and implementing programs to facilitate home purchases. Drawing upon my background in the mortgage industry, I approached my role in the Senate with a clear understanding of what could be achieved and the possibilities for positive change. Serving as the vice chair for the Housing Committee in the Washington State Senate was both a privilege and a joy, allowing me to continue championing this crucial issue.

Lastly, could you share some of your favorite experiences from traveling to 40 countries and how those experiences have shaped your perspective on global issues?

Traveling has always been my passion, and I’ve been fortunate to explore around 40 countries. What I’ve discovered is that traveling offers a unique perspective, exposing me to different ways of life and challenging my assumptions. It’s essential for stepping out of my comfort zone and embracing unfamiliar situations, especially in foreign countries where language barriers exist. One memorable experience was in France when our car ran out of gas, and we couldn’t get our credit card to work at the station. Through broken French, we managed to connect with a kind stranger who helped us fill up the car, highlighting the importance of relying on the kindness of others while traveling.  Ultimately, traveling reminds me of all the things we have in common, rather than our differences which seems to be perpetuated more often.

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