Federal Way Councilmember Lydia Assefa-Dawson announces run for King County Council District 7

Assefa-Dawson pledges to bring leadership and perspectives as a housing advocate, person with disabilities, immigrant, and mom to a seat held by 28-year incumbent.

Lydia Assefa-Dawson

Lydia Assefa-Dawson

Lydia Assefa-Dawson formally announced her campaign to challenge 28-year incumbent Pete von Reichbauer for King County Council, Position 7.

Assefa-Dawson, in her second full term on the Federal Way City Council, believes it is time to take it to the next level in order to reflect the rapid demographic changes and economic challenges facing families in the district, which includes Federal Way, Auburn, Kent, Milton, Algona, Pacific, and unincorporated areas.

“It’s time for new experiences and perspectives to address the changing priorities of struggling families and small businesses in our region,” said Assefa-Dawson. “We have a worsening homelessness crisis, an economy battered by the pandemic, critical infrastructure and transit needs, and our criminal justice system remains burdened with bias and mistrust in too many communities. We can only expect to make needed progress on these and other issues with new voices and leadership.”

Assefa-Dawson has received numerous awards and recognitions for her dedicated service in the region from organizations including King County Housing Authority, National Association of Professional Women, City of SeaTac, the President’s Volunteer Service Award, Bridge Builders Award, and many more.

She points to her own story overcoming great adversity as her motivation to create opportunity and self-sufficiency for families across the region.

“I came to America from Ethiopia over 40 years ago seeking education and in need of medical care after a disability led to my legs being amputated as a child,” said Assefa-Dawson, who works as a Family Self Sufficiency Coordinator at King County Housing Authority, as well as an Economic Resilience Financial Educator and Coach for Survivors of Domestic Violence at the YWCA. “I went on to complete college and graduate school, and raised three wonderful sons, all of whom graduated from local schools. Having suffered housing insecurity and financial hardships along the way, I’ve dedicated my career to helping others receive the critical services and financial literacy needed to stabilize their own lives. I’ll bring these experiences – along with my work on the City Council – to support all the people of the district.”

On the Federal Way Council, Assefa-Dawson serves on the Parks, Recreation, Human Services, & Public Safety Committee and chairs the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee. She served on the Federal Way Human Services Commission before her appointment to the City Council.

Assefa-Dawson serves on the Puget Sound Economic Development District Board, co-chairs the Regional Law, Safety and Justice Committee, and is Vice President of the Ethiopian Community Center. She previously served on the State’s Advisory Committee on Homelessness, with the Committee to End Homelessness, and the Best Starts for Kids Children and Youth Advisory Committee.

“The work I do every day at the local and regional level is directly related to building a strong economy, and more just and equitable communities for all,” said Assefa-Dawson. “I’m proud of my deep commitment to the people of this region, and hands-on experience helping small businesses, working for police reform and trust, and making sure kids and families have the opportunity to thrive.”

Committed to expanding economic opportunity in historically marginalized communities, Assefa-Dawson also co-chairs the Highline Forum, serves on the Equity Group with the Association of Washington Cities and the newly formed Equity & Inclusion Cabinet with Sound Cities Association, and is on the Governance Group for Communities of Opportunity.

“I’m committed to positive, equitable change that benefits everyone. Local families need a voice at the County Council – for jobs and mobility, for affordable childcare and healthcare, and for housing that is safe, affordable, and close to jobs and education,” Assefa-Dawson said.

Assefa-Dawson is launching her campaign with support from fellow local elected officials from throughout the region, immigrant and refugee communities and leaders, housing advocates, and others.

“Representing District 7, I’ll partner with stakeholders at every level, and ensure community has a voice on the King County Council,” said Assefa-Dawson.

Learn more at Lydia4KC.com.

Editor’s note: This is a press release from the candidate’s campaign.

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