Meet Loni Hinton: Attorney and former YP Advisory Board Member

This interview was conducted on August 6, 2018.

Young Professionals Advisory Board Member Loni Hinton is a national construction attorney at Stoel Rives LLP.  Loni earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington and went on to earn her law degree cum laude from Seattle University School of Law. 

As a fourth generation Washingtonian, Loni has always been dedicated to preserving the high quality of life our state has to offer.  In college, she was a founding member of the Washington Policy Center’s Seattle University Chapter.  She told WPC that “there were the likes of the Federalist Society and the ACLU, but there was not a non-partisan, free market voice on campus, and we purposed ourselves to change that.” WPC spoke with Loni about her involvement with WPC’s Young Professionals and why WPC is important to her.

WPC: How did you get involved with YP after college?

Loni: Transitioning from WPC’s SU Chapter to the greater young professionals group was a natural progression.  WPC does an excellent job connecting with people, regardless of whether they are in college or graduate school or starting their career.  The dynamic speakers and relevant topics always kept me coming back.  I always enjoyed having my policy views challenged by WPC’s research. 

WPC: How have WPC and YP served you in your life, career, or philanthropic goals?

Loni: Knowledge is a gift that keeps on giving.  WPC’s research on issues surrounding education, health care, small business, and transportation has molded the practical solutions that have kept Washington a fantastic place to live and do business.  For example, at a recent YP happy hour Bill Bryant spoke about NAFTA, tariff disputes, and what President Trump’s trade policies could mean for Washington State.

Because of the event, I was able to have productive conversations with people in the construction industry that are challenged by the risks arising from the trade negotiations and was able to provide both my legal recommendations and an insider’s perspective on the trade negotiations based on Bill’s 30-plus years of trade experience.  Now, I’m in the process of writing a journal article about how construction professionals can proactively hedge against the risks posed by ongoing trade negotiations.  This is a prime example of how WPC’s events have a ripple effect and go beyond policy to positively impact how business is done in Washington.  

WPC: What value does WPC bring to the state?

Loni: WPC is the free-market voice in Washington. It informs our policies with real world research. Before WPC, there wasn’t a non-partisan think tank looking at the facts in Olympia.

WPC: What have you learned from being a part of WPC Young Professionals?  What have you most enjoyed?

Loni: Washington has a polarized political environment. WPC has highlighted that there is a plethora of bipartisan issues that provide representatives from both sides of the aisle opportunities to keep Washington moving forward.  WPC is focused on market-driven solutions that meet the demands of our rapidly changing economy.  We must support policies that meet these demands. 

WPC: What policy area is most important to you and why? 

Loni: I am passionate about keeping Washington income tax free.  I regularly interact with individuals that come to do business in Washington because of the positive business climate.  It would be unfortunate to see that growth chilled by an income tax. 

WPC: Since you’ve been involved, what’s the biggest impact you’ve seen WPC have?

Loni: WPC’s Young Professionals.  To have an active YP group reaching out to young people all over Washington is powerful. Compared to other think tanks, we’re one of the only with a young professionals group of our kind.  As millennials transition into the workforce, they need to learn about the issues from real experts and not social media. WPC meets that need.