For almost 15 years, I have worked on championing civil rights for the people of Seattle and Washington State. That work has included advocating for an inclusive work force, suing large corporations and government when anti-discrimination laws were violated and mentoring young people of color, especially women of color. Indeed, in my office, three of my aides are highly-qualified, young women of color. But this is not about identity. It’s about extending opportunity and recognizing the intrinsic and often undervalued skills of women in the work force. We live our values of equity by ensuring that we bring these different lived experiences into the halls of power.
Ms. Harris-Talley is a remarkable candidate that I believe is well-equipped to quickly learn and study our budget process. Budgeting and making complex decisions about how to prioritize limited resources is not new to Ms. Harris-Talley. As the Program Director at Progress Alliance, she has ten years of experience in program and organizational development and evaluation. Part of our budgeting process is evaluating the effectiveness of the programs we fund and how we can shift funding to create the greatest impact for those with the greatest need.
Additionally, her work has focused on building capacity within community to bolster engagement, education, and policy advocacy for racial and reproductive justice. Supporting and funding capacity building programs are efforts that I have in the prior budget cycle funded and intend to fund again this cycle.
As one of the newer council members, I can attest to the complex nature of the budget process. However, these are not insurmountable challenges. With the aid of my able staff, Central Staff and the City Budget Office, I was able to successfully advance virtually every single budget proposal I submitted for the 2017-2018 biennium budget. I know that Ms. Harris-Talley is capable of rising to the same challenge.
In spite of Ms. Harris-Talley’s love of karaoke, I am proud to support a fellow woman of color as my next colleague on the Seattle City Council. I urge my colleagues to join me.