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From Adversity to Triumph

The story of one of Washington’s’ youngest officials
After+his+leadership+in+the+2020+Black+Lives+Matter+protests%2C+Binda+began+the+start+of+his+Washington+state+governmental+campaigns.+Currently+holding+a+seat+on+the+Lynwood+City+Council%2C+Binda+is+now+running+for+the+Washington+State+Congress.
Callum Martinson
After his leadership in the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests, Binda began the start of his Washington state governmental campaigns. Currently holding a seat on the Lynwood City Council, Binda is now running for the Washington State Congress.

Known as the youngest ever elected people of color (POC)  government official in Washington state in 2020 at only 21 years old, Josh Binda aimed to be the representation for younger generations. Now 24 years old and holding office on the Lynwood City Council, Bindas’ past hardships only fuel his ongoing pursuit of legislative change.

“I’d be lying to y’all if I said I was a saint,” Binda said.

Binda speaks of his own hardships in his childhood, growing up in the Rhode Island projects, an unforgiving environment for the growth of young minds. However, he found his way when his father relocated  to a job in Washington state. This was the beginning of Binda finding any unexpected path.

 “I’ve always been brilliant, I was just brilliant in the wrong environment,” Binda said. 

The opportunities presented to him on the West Coast changed the course of his life, something that Binda has been forever grateful for. His attitude towards the importance of schooling and education changed drastically, leading him to become a star athlete and stellar student. 

After graduating from UW Brothel, Binda found  himself asking where to go from there.

“For me I had a passion for activism and wanting to make a difference,” Binda said.

Binda followed his own path and found that a healthy home and school environment was the most crucial factor for his growth, something he knew many did not have especially in his hometown. This realization pushed Binda to fight for the change he was so thankful to have experienced. 

“Naturally I had a calling to want to make a difference,” Binda said.

A big leader in the 2020 protests following the murder of George Floyd, his contributions to the movement did not go unnoticed.

“But that only goes so far,” Binda said. “There’s only so much you can do from the outside.”

The 2020 protests marked a turning point for Binda, pushing him to not only influence change but to implement it as well.

“Everything you want in life is almost always in reach,” Binda said.

Even when listening  to the doubts of his peers and family members, Binda recounts never faltering on his goals, a trait that has gotten him far in life.

After his leadership in the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests, Binda began the start of his Washington governmental campaigns. Currently holding a seat on the Lynwood City Council, Binda is now running for the Washington State Congress.

“Breaking barriers comes with a lot of adversity,” Binda said. “But I welcome adversity.”

Binda teaches others to combat adversity in their own lives through his self help book “Breaking Barriers,” another proud accomplishment of his.

“It’s a self help book to help people break down barriers in their lives to achieve success,” Binda said.

Being the youngest person and African American on the Lynwood City Council provides its own adversities for Binda, but ones that he refuses to fall victim to.

“Everything that is attacking your dreams becomes something that you just continue working through,” Binda said. 

He continues to be an inspiration by speaking  and sharing his experiences with youth while also constantly showing vulnerability to advocate for underrepresented younger generations. .

“I come from nothing, so for me it was easy to fight for everything,” Binda said.

Bindas’ background makes his accomplishments even more memorable. He argues that money and fame have little to no place in determining one’s memorability, only their actions and aspirations for the greater good.

If elected to Congress, addressing and further advocating for affordable housing is a main goal of Binda’s  that he vows to uphold. 

“Homeownership is in a way generational wealth,” Binda said.

Binda acknowledges the misfortune of younger generations’ inability to own homes as a hurdle solved by governmental legislative action. 

“In terms of youth oriented, I focus on mental health,” Binda said. “I was able to get $200,000 of funding for mental health commissions to be in the middle school, elementary school, and high school level.”

He works to cultivate the minds of the youth so that they can provide a better future than what they were promised.

“You guys are gonna be the game changers,” Binda said.

Pointing to Americas’ youth, Binda highlights the potential he sees in these younger generations and wishes his accomplishments be the motivation he used to search for.

 

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