Tina Podlodowski is the daughter of two naturalized U.S. citizens who fled post-WWII Europe as refugees. As a first generation American, “union kid”, and lifelong Democrat, Tina has spent her life fighting for equity and equality and gained prominence as a visible leader in both the Democratic party nationally, and the LGBTQ community nationally and internationally.
Tina’s thirty plus years of leadership in technology, government and management has saved taxpayers millions of dollars to invest in social services, improved public safety and health for diverse populations, and revolutionized technology. She has been an integral part of over 200 different initiative, candidate, and coordinated campaigns.
After a career as an executive at Microsoft, Tina won an at-large seat on the Seattle City Council with 65% of the popular vote. On council, she championed new civil rights legislation including the inclusion of gender identity into all city ordinances, created the first civilian oversight body of the Seattle police department, and pioneered in-neighborhood council meetings to engage a more diverse group of constituents in decision-making.
From there she revitalized and grew two regional non-profit organizations – Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Puget Sound and the Lifelong AIDS Alliance – via marketing and re-branding, multi-million-dollar fundraising campaigns, and the training, utilization and appreciation of thousands of volunteers to successfully achieve the mission and goals of both.
As a senior vice-president at Porter Novelli, a global strategy and communications firm, Tina led national efforts to improve public health and safety, with a focus on environmental justice, women’s health, HIV/AIDS, ALS, and childhood immunizations. Her clients included the Centers for Disease Control, Office of Women’s Health, Medicare, ASTHO and NACCHO – leaving her a strong advocate of free universal healthcare for all.
After the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, Tina was one of three founders of the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, dedicated to keeping all of us and our children safe from gun violence. WAGR successfully enacted sensible gun background check legislation with the passage of I-594 in 2014, Extreme Risk protection orders in 2016, and just recently with Initiative 1639, passed with 60% of the vote statewide.
Tina won her first term as State Party Chair in 2017, after a year-long and sadly unsuccessful bid for Washington’s Secretary of State advocating for more access to voting. During that year, she traveled to and worked with all 39 Washington counties and 49 Legislative Districts and saw firsthand the decline of the grassroots democratic infrastructure in the state over the last decade.
Nationally, Tina is the Vice-Chair of the DNC Western States Caucus, and a member of the Executive Committee of the Association of State Democratic Party Chairs. Tina has held leadership roles with Washington Citizens for Fairness, the Pride Foundation, The Human Rights Campaign, The Victory Fund, The Task Force and LPAC. She is a former lecturer and member of the Visiting Committee at the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington. She was the first LGBTQ member of the DNC Platform Committee in 2000, adding “planks” on civil rights and social justice.
She was awarded the “Spirit Award” from the Urban League for her accomplishments in engaging diverse communities. And her political and philanthropic work has been profiled in The New York Times, The Washington Post, People, and Vanity Fair, as well as on German Public Radio and CanelPlus in France.
Tina, her wife and three children live in Seattle, with a lovable sheepdog named Hank.