Attorney, Civil Rights Advocate and Senior Mayoral Advisor M. Lorena González to Run for Seattle City Council

Will run for at-large seat being vacated by Sally Clark

Screen-Shot-2015-02-18-at-9.33.12-PM-200x200SEATTLE— M. Lorena González, a nationally recognized attorney and civil rights leader currently serving as Legal Counsel to Mayor Ed Murray, has announced that she will run for the at-large Council seat being vacated by incumbent Councilmember Sally Clark.

González, who lives in West Seattle, practiced employment and gender discrimination law prior to being tapped for the role of Legal Counsel to Mayor Ed Murray last year. She is a longtime advocate for civil rights, and past board president of OneAmerica, the State’s largest immigrant and human rights organization, based in Seattle.  She has also served on the Seattle Police Accountability Review Panel, and on the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission. Working with non-profit organizations, she developed a community partnership to fund a free monthly bilingual legal clinic, which has provided legal services to more than 1,000 low-income residents since 2007.

“I am excited for the opportunity to bring new energy, perspective and experience to the City Council,” said González, who is making her first run for public office. “As Seattle grows and changes, I will be strong voice committed to protecting our diversity, affordability, and quality of life. We need leaders committed to safe, nurturing communities, better schools for all our kids and opportunities for small businesses to thrive. Having worked on so many of these issues over the years professionally and as a community advocate, I would be thrilled for the opportunity to work for the people of Seattle as a Councilmember.”

González, 37, grew up in the central Washington community of Grandview, one of 6 children raised in a Spanish-speaking migrant farmworker household.  She earned her first paycheck when she was 8 years old. Lorena worked and relied on scholarships and need-based grants, including Pell grants and work study, to attend Yakima Valley Community College and Washington State University before moving to Seattle in 2002 to attend law school.  She is the first and only attorney in her immediate and extended family.

“My parents worked hard to provide their kids the opportunity for a better life,” said González. “In my career as a litigator, police reform advocate and Mayoral advisor I’ve applied those same values of hard work and justice.  On the Council, I won’t back away from tackling tough issues or seeking solutions that build a stronger community.”

González plans to take leave of the Mayor’s office to pursue a full time campaign, visiting every Seattle neighborhood and meeting with people from all walks of life.

“Seattle is, and always will be, a city of neighborhoods,” said González. “I am excited to meet with people all over our great city  to learn their priorities and passions, and how we can build a Council that reflects the changing needs, ongoing challenges, and incredible opportunities of our dynamic region.”

González enters the race with the early support of many community leaders, including State Senator Pramila Jayapal, State Representative Brady Walkinshaw, Hilary Stern, Estela Ortega, Sudha Nandagopal, Fé Lopez, and Rich Stolz among many others.