The Times editorial board recommends Debora Juarez for Seattle City Council District No. 5.

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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:


Debora Juarez

Debora Juarez

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. ..."

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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.