(RNS) — Even in what feels like a tumultuous election cycle, Rebecca Parson is not your typical candidate for Congress. Like many of the progressive upstarts who have challenged Democratic incumbents from the left, Parson, who is running to represent Seattle in Washington, has come up from the grassroots: a tenant rights organizer, she currently serves on the Tacoma Area Commission on Disabilities, and, in the primary race that culminates Tuesday (Aug. 4), she has made affordable housing one of her key issues.
But Parson, the daughter of a U.S. foreign service officer, has had an upbringing abroad and has a global outlook. After college, she worked as a human rights observer in a paramilitary-threatened indigenous community in Mexico and spent time as a staffer at the International Association of Genocide Scholars.
Parson, who would be the first woman and the first openly LGBT person to represent her district, is also a “practicing“ Catholic who considers her faith an important aspect of her political views. Some see a conflict between her religious commitment and her sexual and political identities, but she said that she experiences all of these as fully coherent and mutually reinforcing. Her perspectives and platform make for a unique outlook on what it means to be a person of faith in modern America.
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