The Times editorial board recommends Debora Juarez for Seattle City Council District No. 5.
THE new Seattle City Council District No. 5, which includes most of Seattle north of 85th Street, might be the biggest beneficiary of a switch to district elections. It has been historically ignored by the city, lacks amenities like sidewalks, and has a large portion of working class, blue-collar voters whose interests are not well-represented on the council.
In a crowded field, Debora Juarez stands out. She has lived in the district for 25 years while building an impressive résumé as a legal-aid lawyer, a King County judge, a Native American affairs adviser for two governors and a Wall Street investment adviser. She currently is counsel for Northwest tribes in a respected law firm and is a member of the Blackfeet tribe.
The Times recommends:
Seattle City Council District No. 5
Strengths: Intellectual rigor and ideological independence; diverse record of accomplishment
Juarez understands the pressures of gentrification, which pushes poorer residents north. She advocates for better transit service and more affordable housing in mixed-use developments. ... Juarez offers the most complete package for a unique and underserved part of the city. ..."
She would bring intellectual rigor and ideological independence to the council. For instance, to understand the controversy over the Port of Seattle’s lease to facilitate a Shell oil rig, Juarez didn’t just listen to advocates; she read up on Port bylaws, judicial opinions and legal briefs. She weighed the jobs at stake against the symbolic protests and concluded Seattle made a mistake interfering with the lease.
Juarez understands the pressures of gentrification, which pushes poorer residents north. She advocates for better transit service and more affordable housing in mixed-use developments. She strongly supports a pedestrian bridge over Interstate 5, linking neighborhoods to an upcoming Link light-rail station at Northgate.
There are other good candidates in the eight-person field, including Sandy Brown, a United Methodist minister with a strong civic history.
But Juarez offers the most complete package for a unique and underserved part of the city. She has a diverse record of accomplishment, deep grounding in the district and a welcomed contrarian streak.
Debora Juarez should be elected for Seattle City Council District 5.