Girmay Zahilay on the Rizal Bridge
Girmay Zahilay on the Rizal Bridge

Today, we are pleased to announce that King Coun­ty Coun­cilmem­ber Gir­may Zahi­lay will be the open­ing speak­er at our 2022 Spring Fundrais­ing Gala, which will take place April 23rd at the South Belle­vue Com­mu­ni­ty Cen­ter.

King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay
King Coun­ty Coun­cilmem­ber Gir­may Zahi­lay (Por­trait cour­tesy of King County)

First elect­ed in 2019 to rep­re­sent the 2nd Dis­trict, Coun­cilmem­ber Zahi­lay is an alum of Franklin High School, Stan­ford, and the Uni­ver­si­ty of Penn­syl­va­nia who has a long track record of suc­cess­ful com­mu­ni­ty organizing.

His com­mit­ment to inclu­sion inspired him to run for coun­ty council.

As he explains: “I ran for this seat because I believe in the promise of all our res­i­dents from our youth to our senior citizens.”

“I ran because in one of the wealth­i­est coun­ties of the wealth­i­est nation in the world, none of our neigh­bors should be too poor to live.”

“I believe that coun­ty gov­ern­ment must take a lead­er­ship role in build­ing afford­able hous­ing, fix­ing our crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem, pro­mot­ing envi­ron­men­tal jus­tice, and pro­vid­ing reli­able access to transportation.”

“I want to change the pri­or­i­ties of our polit­i­cal sys­tem, give our com­mu­ni­ties greater access to gov­ern­ment, and fight for bold pro­gres­sive policies.”

Since join­ing the Coun­cil, Gir­may has cham­pi­oned suc­cess­ful changes to King Coun­ty’s plan of gov­ern­ment to make it eas­i­er for us to invest in pub­lic health and com­mu­ni­ty-based alter­na­tives to tra­di­tion­al policing.

He also put togeth­er the Mi’Chance Dun­lap-Git­tens Youth Rights Ordi­nance, which gives youth under eigh­teen the right to a pub­lic defend­er when the police ask them to waive their Miran­da rights.

And he secured pub­lic land for com­mu­ni­ty orga­ni­za­tions to build a Youth Achieve­ment Cen­ter, a forth­com­ing hous­ing and resource hub for under­served youth in South Seattle.

Now halfway through his first term, he’ll update us on what King Coun­ty is doing to empow­er our com­mu­ni­ties to recov­er from the pan­dem­ic and ensure all young peo­ple have a future in the Pacif­ic North­west and beyond.

If you haven’t yet bought your tick­et to our 2022 Spring Fundrais­ing Gala yet, we urge you to do so now. A house­hold tick­et admits all the mem­bers of an imme­di­ate fam­i­ly and is a good val­ue if you plan to attend with oth­er fam­i­ly mem­bers. You may attend either in-per­son or remotely.

If you choose to attend remote­ly, you’ll be able to watch the pro­gram live in HD, and min­gle before­hand with oth­er atten­dees par­tic­i­pat­ing online.

These are our tick­et rates:

  • Indi­vid­ual ($100, admits one person)
  • House­hold ($150, admits an entire family)
  • Liv­ing Light­ly ($25, for stu­dents and activists on lim­it­ed incomes)

We care about the health and safe­ty of our team and all our sup­port­ers. Accord­ing­ly, you must be vac­ci­nat­ed and boost­ed against COVID-19 if you wish to attend the gala in-per­son. Alter­na­tive­ly, if you are unable to be vac­ci­nat­ed against COVID-19 for med­ical rea­sons, you must present proof of a neg­a­tive test tak­en imme­di­ate­ly pri­or to leav­ing your home to join us in Belle­vue. Addi­tion­al­ly, while inside the event space at the South Belle­vue Com­mu­ni­ty Cen­ter, you must wear a mask or res­pi­ra­tor. We will serve all food and drink out­side the event space on the ter­race, and you are wel­come to remove your mask or res­pi­ra­tor while outside.

Stu­dents who want to vol­un­teer to help put on the event can get in the door at no cost. If you’re inter­est­ed in vol­un­teer­ing, please get in touch with us.

In the days to come, we’ll be shar­ing more details about our 2022 gala, includ­ing addi­tion­al speak­ers. We hope you’ll help us make this great sea­son­al event a suc­cess by buy­ing your tick­et and com­mit­ting to attend.

See you on April 23rd!

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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