Abel with his parents, Rodger and Maria
Our city’s biggest challenges- housing affordability, homelessness, access to reliable transportation, and pathways to opportunity - are challenges that are deeply personal to me.
I was raised near Venice Beach, CA, in a biracial home. My parents, like many other parents today, worked multiple jobs cleaned office buildings at night and our church on the weekends to ensure a roof over our heads and food on the table. This experience - and witnessing my parents struggle to support our family - took its toll on me growing up. Yet my family, key educators, and community programs never gave up on me.
Since moving to Seattle nearly 10 years ago I have watched as the city has fostered great wealth for some - but not all residents have experienced the benefit. To be the model city that we envision our local government must have a new perspective to build a city that is equitable for all. This is why I’m running to represent my neighbors in District 4.
For the past decade I have called District 4 home having lived in Wedgwood, Wallingford, and currently in Ravenna. As a renter and someone challenged with student debt, the issue of housing affordability has remained personal to me since my childhood. Like many in our city; seniors, working parents, and young people alike, I too can’t afford to wait for leadership on housing affordability.
Our city’s leaders must also prioritize ending homelessness. Most families are living paycheck to paycheck, and in a growing economy like ours the inequities that exist and lack of support for individuals to find permanent housing has led to the current crisis. I am committed to addressing homelessness and ensuring that families and individuals have the resources to find housing and stay in their homes.
As a car-free Seattleite I know how difficult it is to move around our city. Being multi-modal it frustrates me when gridlock hits our politics and our streets. Our transportation issues affect us all in different ways and I hear you. I am committed to leading our district in a way that improves transit reliability, makes our streets safer to walk and bike, and understands the requirements of families in need of a vehicle.
As our economy continues to boom, it is more important than ever that pathways to educational and economic opportunity are opened to our city’s young people. As the Director of Strategic Engagement for the Washington MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, Science, Achievement) program within the Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity at the UW, I have successfully advocated to increase funding and opportunities for students of color across the state to engage in STEM education. I will continue to prioritize increasing access to opportunities for young people so they can thrive in our city.
I look forward to meeting you and sharing my vision for District 4 and the city we all care about.