In the two years of her abbreviated term on the Seattle City Council, M. Lorena González has distinguished herself as a conscientious leader. We would like to see what she can do with a full four years, which is why we are endorsing her for Position 9.
On her core competencies, namely police reform and immigration, Gonzalez has shown strong leadership. As the primary sponsor of the recently passed police-reform ordinance, she deftly maneuvered the massive piece of legislation through a months-long process full of potential pitfalls. The police-reform effort predates González, but her ability to take the reins of such a complicated matter and move it to the finish line is no small feat. While the legislation leaves some things to be desired, it remains an important accomplishment, creating what national experts have called some of the strongest civilian-oversight measures in the country. In a city that has seen too many police officers behave badly with little repercussion, the historic bill promises better days ahead.
As the daughter of Mexican immigrants and a president emeritus of OneAmerica, González has also been an important voice in the city’s resistance to President Donald Trump’s hateful anti-immigration rhetoric. In the fearful first month of the Trump presidency, González sponsored an ordinance doubling down on Seattle’s commitment to immigrant communities, and assisted in the creation of a $1 million fund to help cover the legal costs of people facing deportation.
Where González hasn’t led, she’s shown a laudable willingness to follow. In the debate over the $160 million North Precinct building, she listened to community concerns and put the project on hold. One area in which we hope González shows more leadership in her new term is homelessness. We were disappointed that González, a human-rights activist, did not get on board with an ACLU-WA-crafted ordinance that would have given people living in unauthorized encampments more protections against arbitrary sweeps. Given her willingness to bend toward the moral cause on other issues, we are hopeful she’ll do the same in this arena in the next four years.
Read the rest of our endorsements here. Primary ballots will be mailed Wednesday, July 12. Ballots must be postmarked by Tuesday, August 1. Wondering where your ballot is? Check the county’s Ballot Tracker.