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‘We’ve got a fresh start’: New year brings historic turn for Seattle City Council

SEATTLE — A new year in Seattle means a much different city council. Five of the seven councilmembers who were sworn into elective office Tuesday are brand new.

It is a historic turn for the city of Seattle. There will be a total of six new members on the city council for the first time since 1908.

This group of councilmembers is among the city’s most diverse. Newly elected Rob Saka and Joy Hollingsworth are African American. Returning councilmember Tammy Morales and newly elected Maritza Rivera are Latina. 

Cathy Moore left the judiciary to run for city council for the first time. Bob Kettle had a military career before becoming a politician. Also returning is Dan Strauss.

The momentous meeting began with the election of Sara Nelson as council president. Like her colleagues, she too, promised to work for the good of this fractious city.

“I’m proud to be here,” said Nelson. “We’ve got a fresh start. Now let’s get to work.”

All of them are pledging to work together.

“Colleagues, I know each of you are here because you want to be the change you want to see in our city,” said Councilmember Dan Strauss (D-6).

“My priority will be to build a Seattle within reach,” said Councilmember Tammy Morales (D-2) “One that ensures that people can have the access to all of the essential goods and services that they need within walking or rolling distance of a home that is affordable for them.”

“The fundamentals of our city have to be prioritized for us to continue to grow,” said Councilmember Joy Hollingsworth (D-3), to applause. “The functionality, not the politics.”

There is more turnover on the way as the council looks to fill a vacancy for the ninth spot. Theresa Mosqueda (D-At Large) is headed to the King County Council on Wednesday.

They say they will fill the position by the end of the month.