The Women's Issue

Seattle City Council Is a Bastion of Female Political Power

Say hello to the supermajority.

By Hayat Norimine January 31, 2018 Published in the February 2018 issue of Seattle Met

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(From left) Council members Sally Bagshaw, Lisa Herbold, Lorena González, Debora Juarez, Teresa Mosqueda, and Kshama Sawant.

Image: Amber Fouts

A diverse team of female elected officials has drastically changed the face of the city. Take Teresa Mosqueda, a third-generation Mexican American labor leader who won an at-large Seattle City Council seat last fall. Or Lorena González—the other at-large council member—an ambitious lawmaker and daughter of undocumented immigrants; she quickly took the lead on police reform after the city faced a U.S. Department of Justice settlement agreement over its excessive use of force. And she’s the face of Seattle’s sanctuary city policy in the age of Trump.

Not that pushing the envelope is new here. Since 2014, Kshama Sawant has made national headlines as the country’s first socialist elected official. Seen as a constant advocate for disadvantaged communities, her loud voice for progressive movements always moves the dial on bills further to the left. 

Meanwhile, Lisa Herbold chaired the budget committee last year and, before taking office, spent nearly two decades in city hall as a legislative aide; her media-smart politics make her an effective policymaker for the city’s social justice agenda. 

Oh, and do you want the Sonics to come back? Thank Debora Juarez, the Native and Latina council member, and Sally Bagshaw, the second-longest-sitting council member, who’ve been instrumental in luring the NBA back with KeyArena renovation negotiations. 

In other words, pick a bill, and you’ll see at least one female lawmaker’s fingerprints all over it.

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