Claire Wilson’s legislative work has built on her 25 years at the Puget Sound Educational Services District, where she was an administrator in early education and family involvement. Prior to that, Claire taught pregnant and parenting teens at Mt. Tahoma High School and was a senior grants and contracts manager for the City of Seattle’s teen parent programs.
Elected to the Senate in 2018, Claire quickly rose to the ranks of Senate leadership as Assistant Majority Whip — one of two lawmakers responsible for knowing whether key legislative proposals have the support to pass out of the Senate and when it makes the most sense to call them to the floor for a vote.
As vice chair of the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee, Claire’s extensive experience with education and families has informed a wide range of legislation. She has sponsored numerous bills to improve academic success by expanding access to childcare for teen parents attending high school and eligibility to the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP). Her most ambitious legislation to date has been the Early Care and Education Act — a comprehensive vision of how to most effectively and efficiently coordinate the multitude of services available to help students succeed during their critical early years. Claire also authored legislation that requires the comprehensive, medically accurate sexual health education curriculum currently available in most school districts to be offered to students in all districts.
In addition to her legislative roles, Claire serves on the Task Force on Improving Institutional Education Programs and Outcomes, whose focus is to improve the coordination and delivery of education services to youth involved with the juvenile justice system, and the Washington State Leadership Board (formerly the Association of Washington Generals). The board operates Washington World Fellows, a study abroad and college readiness fellowship program, and collaborates with the lieutenant governor to administer Boundless Washington, a statewide program that integrates fun, challenging outdoor activities with leadership development training for young people with disabilities, and the Legislative Youth Advisory Council made up of young people between the ages of 14 and 18 to examine issues of importance to youth.
Claire also serves on the Senate Transportation Committee, where provides a voice for the considerable transportation concerns in her district, and the Senate Human Services, Reentry & Rehabilitation Committee, whose focus frequently involves alternative and continuing education for adults. During the 2020 legislative session at the request of the state Attorney General, Claire sponsored legislation ending the use of solitary confinement as punishment for youth as well as a bill providing post-secondary education opportunities in the Department of Corrections to lower recidivism.
Throughout her career, Claire has volunteered and served on numerous organizations and boards including the PTA, Citizens for Federal Way Schools, the Building Better Futures Board, the Advisory Board of the Washington Family Engagement Trust, and The Sidekick Collective.
Claire identifies as a lesbian woman and mother, and is one of seven LGBTQ lawmakers in the Washington State Legislature. A longtime resident of the 30th Legislative District, she has lived in South King County since 1999. Her district includes Federal Way, Algona, Pacific, Milton, Des Moines and Auburn.