— Seattle City Council (@SeattleCouncil) April 22, 2019
Abel Pacheco, a former Seattle Central political science teacher and current director of strategic engagement for the University of Washington’s Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement program, will serve as interim District 4 representative and finish Rob Johnson’s term on the Seattle City Council.
The council selected Pacheco Monday afternoon in a replacement process that played out following Johnson’s earlier than expected exit to take a job with the NHL’s Seattle expansion effort.
Pacheco will now lead the council’s land use and zoning committee that Johnson chaired through the November election.
“After multiple suspensions and near expulsions in school, I barely graduated high school. In college I was nearly kicked out as well during my first year,” Pacheco wrote in his application (PDF) for the interim council seat. “However, things clicked when I recognized that I had an opportunity to do something positive and impactful for others. In the years since, I’ve been able to turn my life around to graduate from one of the best public policy programs in the country and serve my community in a number of capacities. I believe in servant leadership and leading by example.”
Pacheco had also been a candidate for the next term of the D4 seat representing Northeast Seattle but has agreed to end his run and serve instead in the interim capacity. Of the 13 who applied for the interim position, Pacheco was the only one on the roster who had been a candidate for the seat. Fifteen applied for the job, by the way, but two were rejected because they do not live in the district.
Pacheco, who describes himself as a millennial and “a car-free Seattleite.” He is fluent in Spanish and attended California State University Northridge before achieving his masters at the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington.
While the council managed to keep its crew together through 2018, in 2017, Kirsten Harris-Talley was selected to fill out the remaining 50 days of the term of Tim Burgess when he stepped up to the mayor’s office in the wake of Ed Murray’s resignation.
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