45th Legislative District
Manka Dhingra is Deputy Majority Leader of the Washington State Senate. She brings two decades of experience as a prosecutor and behavioral health expert to her roles as chair of the Senate Behavioral Health Subcommittee and vice chair of the Senate Law & Justice Committee. She also serves on the Ways & Means Committee.
Dhingra was first elected to the Senate by the constituents of the 45th Legislative District in November 2017, the first Sikh legislator elected in the nation. Since then, she has sponsored and passed legislation addressing a wide range of issue areas, including: curbing domestic violence and sexual assault, preventing firearm violence, providing property tax relief for seniors and people with disabilities, prosecuting financial fraud, and reforming the criminal justice system with an evidence-based approach.
During her time in the Senate, Dhingra has helped pass legislation and funding to transform the Washington State behavioral health system, reorienting it around prevention rather than crisis response. She continues to strive to ensure that Washingtonians with behavioral health needs get the treatment they need and deserve.
As a member of the Special Committee on Economic Recovery, she is helping the state craft an economic plan to lead an equitable recovery from the COVID economic downturn. She also serves on several task forces dedicated to reducing poverty, reforming the criminal justice system, improving equity in state government, and providing a sound and fair fiscal footing for the state.
Dhingra continues to serve as a Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney with the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. As Chair of the Therapeutic Alternative Unit, Manka helped develop and oversee the Regional Mental Health Court, the Veterans Court, and the Community Assessment and Referral for Diversion program. As a mental health and crisis intervention expert, she has also been an instructor at the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission for the 40-hour Crisis Intervention Training for law enforcement officers to reduce the risk of tragedy and improve the response to people in crisis.
Outside the courtroom, Dhingra is a community leader and anti-domestic violence advocate on the Eastside. She co-founded Chaya, an organization that assists South Asian survivors of domestic violence and led the organization’s work to end systemic violence through education and prevention. She also serves on the board of the National Alliance on Mental Illness Eastside.