The Arc of Snohomish County
Advocacy Spotlight: Erica Knapp
Local artist, mother of three and a newly elected Arlington School Board member, Erica Knapp has taken the leap into more involved advocacy during the pandemic.
“When the pandemic hit, I reprioritized,” Erica shared. “I had been working on things, but keeping my head down. I really found a connection in advocacy, and during that time, I felt like I could really help.” In 2020, Knapp began leading a local parents group in Arlington.
“I wanted to be more involved in this community I’ve lived in for 15 years,” said Knapp. “I built up confidence [in myself] working for non-profits in the area. I got lots of personal support from friends to get more active in my advocacy.”
Knapp took the opportunity presented to her by the pandemic to participate in more local community zoom meetings, and began participating in political ones as well.
“The more connections I made, the more I learned I could be a stronger voice because I knew I wasn’t alone. I knew I wanted to get involved. I have three kids in the Arlington School District, so I have a strong vested interest there. As I went along this path, I realized I had lots of school connections, which made me more comfortable advocating in that realm. I knew it was important as a special needs parent to be in the room with that voice.”
Knapp won her election in the fall of 2021, and right away, realized how important it was to shine a light on special education and unmet needs.
“At the [Washington State School Director’s Association] meeting, a new director looked at me and asked ‘What’s an IEP?’ and I knew then how important it was to have a special education voice at the table.”
Knapp also works to build LGBTQ+ awareness in Arlington and co-founded Arlington WA Pride, a non-profit working with the school district and community to increase resources and education for and about the LGBTQ+ community.
Originally published in The Arc of Snohomish County: Leadership Newsletter, 2022 - Issue I. Written by Jake Murray, Parent/Family Coalition Coordinator, and Rachel Kube, Communications & Advocacy.