On November 3, 1992, Velma Veloria is elected to the Washington State Legislature. She is the first Filipina elected to a state legislature in the continental United States. She will serve for 12 years (1992-2004) as State Representative for Southeast Seattle's 11th District.
Veloria served as co-Chair of the Economic Development and the Housing and Trade Committee, and on the Finance and Rules Committees.
She is a long time community activist involved in issues of education, trade development, and health care. She is an advocate for women's rights and has worked for the termination of the mail order bride system and in the fight against domestic violence.
In her first term of office, Veloria was the only woman in the group of five Asian Americans serving in Olympia: Gary Locke, Art Wang, Paul Shinn, and Stan Fleming.
She is married to Alonzo Suson, well-known community and labor activist.
Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) and Cynthia Mejia-Giudici Phone Interview with State Representative Veloria, June 1999; Trevor Griffey and Stefanie Johnson interview with Velma Veloria, October 26, 2004, Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project website accessed on June 24, 2006 (http://depts.washington.edu/civilr/veloria.htm).
Note: This essay was corrected and updated on June 24, 2006.
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