State Senate to conduct inquiry into public comments by Mona Das

District 47 senator claimed racism, sexism present at Democratic caucus meetings

State Sen. Mona Das, D-Kent. COURTESY PHOTO

State Sen. Mona Das, D-Kent. COURTESY PHOTO

The Secretary of the Senate has asked the chamber’s human resources officer to investigate public comments by Sen. Mona Das about “racism, sexism and misogyny” she said she experienced during closed-door Democratic caucus meetings in Olympia.

Secretary Brad Henderson told the Associated Press that once he was made aware of a story earlier this week by The Kent Reporter detailing the remarks by Das at a June 20 Kent Chamber of Commerce legislative forum, he requested the inquiry. The Senate Facilities and Operations Committee approved the request on Thursday.

Henderson said the inquiry will begin Monday.

“After they close that door, that’s when it gets real,” said Das, who was born in India and moved to the U.S. as an infant. “That’s when my 28 colleagues got real. And that’s when I heard hate, misogyny and racism and sexism from people you would not expect. That’s the type of light I want to shine. Now, when there are eight people of color in the Senate Democratic caucus, it was coded language – ‘those people.’ They would say things that were coded.”

Das, of Kent, posted on her Facebook page Wednesday that the article was a “mischaracterization of my remarks.” She posted comments that she sent to the Democratic caucus.

On Thursday, Das said she regretted accusing the newspaper of mischaracterizing her: “they didn’t misquote me,” according to the Seattle Times.

A video of her comments during the chamber luncheon shows she was not misquoted while talking about her experience as one of eight people of color in the Senate Democratic caucus.

Das also said in the Seattle Times article that she does not plan to file any formal complaint with the Senate’s human resources officer.

Das defeated two-term state Sen. Joe Fain, R-Auburn, in November for the 47th Legislative District seat that represents parts of Kent, Auburn, Covington and Renton. She is in the first year of her four-year term.

More in News

File photo
$30 car tab proposal returns to ballot in November

Tim Eyman-led initiative would restrict car tabs and transportation benefit districts in Washington.

File photo
King County alcohol production ordinance could be approved by year’s end

Update to county code has been more than a year in the making.

Bring Fido and a can of food to support local animal shelters

“You Lucky Dog!” is more than an expression, it’s an event in… Continue reading

Renton Schools Foundation to host gala

To celebrate 10 years and welcome a new executive director, the Renton… Continue reading

Carol Ann Witschi
Witschi’s seat to stay vacant till election

Renton City Council has decided to leave councilmember Carol Ann Witschi’s seat… Continue reading

Photo by Haley Ausbun. Faith-Maria, a third grader at St. Anthony Elementary School in Renton, asked Make-a-Wish to share her wish with her school, which resulted in two new smart boards. Faith-Maria with her family at the unveiling, Sept. 12.
A selfless wish for Renton schools

Faith-Maria Nguyen uses Make-A-Wish to provide school a smart board

Photo by Haley Ausbun. RESP union members attended the Sept. 11 Renton School Board meeting to make their story heard as they continue to negotiate for a new contract with the district.
Union leader: ‘Give us what we deserve’

Update: Paraprofessionals and staff have reached a tentative agreement with the Renton School District

Photo by Haley Ausbun. Photo left to right: David Rodriguez, Tony Ventrella, Rachel Chronister, Marla Veliz, Reagan Dunn, and Gavin Hunt at the Sept. 10 ribbon cutting for the New Horizon School van, gifted by King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn through the retired van program.
County van to increase New Horizon’s inclusivity

A vehicle gifted to a school for students with learning disabilities will support outreach

Photo by Haley Ausbun. Tiffany Park Elementary School teachers and parents hold up signs before the Sept. 11 Renton School Board meeting, over the loss of a fourth grade classroom that reorganized the fourth and fifth graders at the school.
Teacher changes shake up parents’ confidence in Renton schools

A quick staffing change and classroom switch has parents questioning Renton School District

Most Read