Seattle City Council should elect Debora Juarez as its president


Seattle voters elected well-qualified moderate candidates by a clear margin in November. The city council should follow this strong vote in choosing its leadership.

The next president of the council would be Debora Juarez, North End councilor. Her pragmatic record in the council and her outstanding civic résumé suggest that she would work towards consensus in the town hall rather than continuing the pattern of bitter ideological struggles of the council.

As a registered member of the Blackfeet Nation, Juarez would be the first indigenous president in the council’s 152-year existence, a historic omission in the largest U.S. city named after an indigenous chief. Your election as chairperson would be a sign that the nine-member council with a newly elected member is open to constructive cooperation with the new mayor after endless confrontation with the outgoing mayor Jenny Durkan.

Mayor-elect Bruce Harrell, a moderate progressive like Juarez, ran to restore public safety after the council’s knee-jerk budget cuts packed hundreds of officials and Chief Carmen Best. Juarez refused to join the council majority in 2020, which pledged to cut the police budget by 50%. That group included the other presidential candidate, West Seattle Councilor Lisa Herbold.

“Councilor Juarez would be a more effective council president,” Harrell told the editorial team. “And I think it will be more effective because Councilor Herbold still seems to succumb to this notion, it’s us against her, that it’s the city council against the mayor. And I believe Councilor Juarez is an independent thinker and looks at the city as a whole and its department as a whole, but also realizes that the city wins when we work together. ”

Every city dweller has an interest in who is the President of the Council. The President assigns the members of the Council Committee and presides over the meetings of the Council.

Juarez can put council members in roles where they can do their best. Herbold has been chairman of the Council’s Public Security Committee for two turbulent years because the outgoing Council President M. Lorena González assigned to her to this powerful committee. González lost to Harrell in the race for mayor.

Juarez, a lawyer, was previously a judge in the King County Superior Court and an adviser to two governors. As a council member, she was a strong advocate for local transportation and other infrastructure, including the new $ 56 million Northgate pedestrian bike bridge she named for US MP John Lewis. She campaigned for the renovation of KeyArena, the Clean City Litter and Graffiti Removal Initiative, and led the city to address indigenous causes, including the overwhelming number of missing indigenous women.

This editorial page has not always been approved by Juarez. She has supported large-scale construction and has a mixed record of taxing the city’s largest employers. To lead this divided group to better days, it takes perseverance and patience.

She is clearly the best choice for guiding the city council through a detour and her selection would be in line with the strong message they put on the ballot box. Seattle is long overdue Native American leadership. Juarez deserves the job.


Comments are closed.