I grew up in Las Vegas, the 4th of 5 children. My mom was our family's breadwinner. She served in the USAF as a physician - retiring after 20 years of service as a Colonel! My dad, a Vietnam veteran and former high school teacher, stayed home and took care of the kids. Although he planned to return to the classroom, my older brother Win (3 of 5) had severe mental disabilities requiring full-time care. As we grew my other siblings and I all helped out, albeit begrudgingly at times, and ultimately our family grew closer as a consequence. The 7 of us road-tripped together across the country throughout my childhood visiting 48/50 states!
I fell in love with Seattle almost immediately after a short visit in 2005 during a road trip. Just two years later I came to the Emerald City to begin law school at Seattle University. I wanted to be a trial attorney so I took the opportunity to work for the City of Everett as a prosecutor during the summer of my 2L year. I continued there throughout my final year of school. I enjoyed the work and got lots of fantastic trial experience, but I was disturbed after watching a young man convicted of a domestic assault after his defense attorney failed to introduce obviously exculpatory evidence. Recognizing it was only in my power to ensure that one of the two parties had a zealous advocate I decided to fight for David instead of Goliath.
After graduating law school (magna cum laude) I applied to every public defender firm in the Greater Puget Sound region! In early 2011, when Pierce County's Department of Assigned Counsel offered me a job, I jumped at the opportunity. For the last 12 years I have continued to work there helping countless clients navigate through the criminal justice system, fighting to ensure they were treated fair and that their constitutional rights were protected. I regularly found myself acting as a part-time social worker doing my best to help connect my clients with housing opportunities and various treatment modalities so as to ideally set them up for long-term success beyond the resolution of their case.
The last few years we have all seen and felt some significant changes in Seattle. Lots of complicated forces have been at work. We've been through a pandemic, as well as a significant racial reckoning. During this time there have been some policy choices that were well-intentioned but wrong-headed, and most people I talk to agree that crime has gotten much worse over the last 4-5 years. And the crime stats don't tell the whole story, because for a lot of us we aren't calling the police to report many of the crimes against us. And all the while our public parks, local businesses and even people's homes have increasingly fallen victim to a prolific rise in vandalism. I expect better from our City, and you should too. As your City Councilperson I promise to do better for you.