Lorena González is a nationally and locally recognized attorney and civil rights leader.
Lorena is the daughter of once undocumented immigrant parents from Michoacán, Mexico. She is a native Washingtonian who grew up in Washington’s Lower Yakima Valley, where she and her family worked as migrant farm workers. She is one of six children raised in a Spanish-speaking household. Lorena began working as a migrant farm worker in the cherry fields of Central Washington State at the age of eight-years old.
Lorena attended public schools in Grandview, Washington. After graduating from Grandview High School, she worked, at times three jobs, and relied on scholarships and need-based grants, including Pell grants and work study, to attend Yakima Valley College and Washington State University before moving to Seattle in 2002 to attend law school at Seattle University. She graduated from Seattle University School of Law, with honors, in 2005.
Prior to her election as a citywide Seattle City Councilmember, Lorena was a partner at Schroeter, Goldmark & Bender—the largest plaintiff’s civil litigation firm in the Pacific Northwest. As an attorney, Lorena represented women, children, older workers, low-wage workers, immigrants and people
of color from across the State of Washington in employment, wage theft, and discrimination cases. She also dedicated her legal career to representing victims and survivors of police brutality and sexual abuse and assault.
Lorena has dedicated countless hours to volunteering and helping those in need when she developed a community-private partnership to organize a free monthly bilingual legal clinic, which has provided legal services to thousands of low-income Seattle-region residents since 2007. Since then, other organizations have duplicated this legal clinic model throughout the city to serve other underrepresented communities.
Lorena is a Past President of the Latina/o Bar Association of Washington’s (LBAW) Board of Directors and was a member of that board from 2003–2008. She is a Past President of OneAmerica, the State’s largest immigrant
and civil rights organization, and one of the founders of OneAmerica Votes, dedicated to building the political power of immigrants and refugees across the State. In 2007, she served on Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels’ Seattle Police Accountability Review Panel. Committed to transparency and accountability, Lorena served on the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission from 2010-2014.
In 2009, the Hispanic National Bar Association recognized her as one of seven Top Lawyers Under 40 in the country. Washington Law & Politics recognized Lorena as a Rising Star in Employment Law from 2010-2014. In recognition of her exceptional leadership and devoted service to civil rights law, the Washington State Bar Association’s Civil Rights Section awarded Lorena with its Distinguished Service Award in 2010. She was also the 2011 recipient of Seattle University’s School of Law Alumni Service Award and in 2012, Lorena was honored by the Thomas C. Wales Foundation at their Night Among Heroes for her extraordinary work in the courtroom and community.
Lorena currently lives in West Seattle (District 1) with her husband, Cameron, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps, and their dog, Hugo. They often go home to Central Washington to visit Lorena’s mom, who still lives in the house she grew up in. Lorena and Cameron are also proud to have eleven nieces and nephews living in Central Washington, Southern California and Nevada.
View Lorena’s 2017 Re-Election Video Voter’s Guide and learn what she has accomplished in her first term.
Hear Lorena’s story as a first-time candidate in 2015 on NPR’s The Takeaway with John Hockenberry:
Learn more about Lorena below, as she tells her story about growing up in a migrant farmworker household in Central Washington at a OneAmerica Annual Celebration.