Abel with his parents, Rodger and Maria
My story, so far...
Last summer I had the opportunity to work with Seattle Police officers on their Beds For Kids project. We provided beds to disadvantaged children across our community. I remember one mother in particular – she cried and hugged us as we loaded her truck with two beds for her children. What my colleagues did not know is that, until I made Seattle my home at the age of 23, I had never had my own bed.
I was raised near Venice Beach, CA, in a biracial home. Growing up on the westside of Los Angeles meant that I had access to some of the best public schools in LA, and the safest neighborhoods. However, my parents, like many other parents today, worked multiple jobs and cleaned office buildings at night to ensure a roof over our heads and food on the table.
Throughout K-12 I was in trouble. I was suspended and nearly expelled multiple times. My parents had shown me the value of hard work, but it wasn’t until I was nearly kicked out of Cal State University, Northridge, that everything clicked.
I rededicated myself, and after graduating I moved here to Seattle’s District 4 to attend the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington (UW). I rented a studio in Wedgwood and for the first time in my life, I owned a bed.
Currently, I serve as the Assistant Director for External Relations at the University of Washington and as an adjunct professor at North and Seattle Central Colleges teaching political science. I also serve as a member of the Wallingford Community Council, United Way’s Emerging Leaders, and the young professionals’ group of Plymouth Housing Group (PoP). I also previously served on the Clean and Safe Committee of the U-District Partnership.
While a graduate student at the Evans School, I completed a summer fellowship with The Seattle Police Foundation. I went on to join the Seattle Police Foundation as their Communications Planner and eventually their Communications and Programs Specialist.
My degree from California State University (CSU) Northridge is a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a Minor in Business Administration. I also hold a Master’s in Public Administration from the Evans School of Public Affairs at the UW.
Seattle voted for district elections because we were frustrated with the responsiveness of our city council. We all wanted new energy and a fresh perspective. That’s why I’m running for City Council in District 4. I want to have a conversation with all of you about our vision for the city.
I want to embody the best that this district has to offer. I’ve spent the last several years getting to know our community - from my graduation from the Evans School of Public Affairs to my time on the Wallingford Community Council and as part of the U-District Partnership, and I look forward to meeting all of you throughout this campaign.
- Middle left: Abel currently lives in Wallingford, though he has also lived in Wedgwood.
- Bottom right: Abel currently works as an Assistant Director for External Relations at the University of Washington.
Would you like to keep up with the campaign and learn more about how the campaign is going? Abel teamed up with Morgan Beach, Candidate for District 3, to write this guest editorial on what it is like to run for office as young adults. Abel, 28 years old, and Morgan, 29 years old, are two of the youngest candidates running for Seattle City Council and want more young people involved in our political process.