“To me being bold means letting myself be uncomfortable and even embracing being super uncomfortable in order to make positive change for other people.” ~ Natalia Koss Vallejo
Today’s conversation is with Natalia Koss Vallejo.
Natalia is an activist and feminist. And although she’s motivated by her anger, you wouldn’t know it from her demeanor. She’s a diminutive woman with a lion’s roar about the issues she cares about. And she isn’t shy at all about jumping right into sensitive topics. Topics that generally aren’t talked about publicly.
In this episode, we talk about how Natalia got involved with politics at a very early age. That involvement, which you’ll hear about, rose out of her difficultly in obtaining an abortion in her late teens. It was at this time that she recognized an unjust and unfair system that affected not only her, but the many women out there in similar situations.
This is what I find so amazing and so bold about her. That she was so mature at such a young age to not only recognize this but to also be so motivated to make changes to the system. Her frustration with this experience launched her into work at Planned Parenthood, NARAL and, ultimately, politics.
Although this is a topic she passionately talks about, that’s not what actually brought us together.
The way Natalia landed on my radar was because of a sexual harassment and workplace misconduct suit (filed by a third party but on behalf of Natalia) against her boss, Bailey Stober. He was, at the time, Chair of the King County Democrats in Washington State.
You’ll hear how this all unfolded but, in short, the complaint, again, filed by a third party, resulted in an internal trial against Stober and caused him to not only lose his position as the Chair of the King Country Democrats but also his full-time job at the King County Assessor’s office.
This is a guy who said deplorable things to Natalia. Things that shouldn’t be said out loud in the first place let alone by an employer to his employee. (And, again, fair warning that those words are spoken out loud in our conversation so brace yourself.)
Natalia and I had been trying to get together for months for this conversation but it took on new urgency after the Senate confirmed Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. After Christine Blasey Ford bravely came forward (and was basically shut down), I felt it was really important for people to hear Natalia’s story. But you have to understand that on one hand Natalia’s story is a win for women in the workplace but you still have to wonder why this is still tolerated in the workplace and why more women don’t come forward in these situations.
I’m so glad Natalia also felt it important to get her story out on the Be Bold Podcast and that she made time to sit down with me just a couple of days before I left for Peru.
So with that, please enjoy this conversation with Natalia Koss Vallejo.
Connect with Natalia
Mentioned in this Episode
Mona Das (Be Bold Podcast episode)
King County Democrats
Allison Dvaladze (Be Bold Podcast episode)
Erica C Barnett
Repro Health Happy Hour
The Stranger (Community and Civics)
Connect with me
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