I am running for Mayor because people in Seattle need strong, proactive leadership and a leader who inspires our city to build a pathway to success for all.
A trademark of an excellent city is how well it provides opportunities for its people to succeed. Public safety, transportation, education and affordability are all components of an ecosystem to provide opportunities to succeed, whether in work or play.
My paternal grandfather William Harrell came to Seattle from New Orleans in 1942 to scout out this city. His wife and three young children followed two years later in 1944. My grandfather became a union laborer and his wife Lillian Harrell became a Licensed Public Nurse at Cabrini Hospital on Capitol Hill. Despite the challenges that African Americans faced during this time in our history, they were able to build their own home in the arboretum area and put two kids through college and graduate school.
My maternal grandfather John Kobata came to Seattle from Japan in the 1920s and by 1942 had become a very successful business man in the floral business. He was able to buy a home and several parcels of commercial real estate. Even at a time of overt racial bigotry and segregation, THIS WAS A CITY THAT PROVIDED OPPORTUNITY AND COMPASSION; a pathway to succeed. Moreover, we had leaders who fought and died for the building of that pathway. We were inspired to be better.
I am a product of the pathway that allowed their grandson to someday sit as an elected member of the Seattle City Council and proudly announce his viability as a Mayor of this great city.