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Pacheco selected as interim D4 rep — and land use and zoning chair — on Seattle City Council

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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13 thoughts on “Pacheco selected as interim D4 rep — and land use and zoning chair — on Seattle City Council” -- All CHS Comments are held for moderation before publishing

  1. Perfect. Another activist. Why don’t we nominate someone with skills that will actually benefit the City—like an accountant. How about someone with some background on working with a budget? Even a lawyer? Maybe then we could have council members suggest to other council members that they should not say things that will result in the City being sued. I think every group in the City must now have a representative—oh, except the business community. You know, the fuel for the engine that moves our city forward. Dang. Missed opportunity.

      • But seriously folks, wouldn’t someone with a background in land use and zoning have been useful to chair the committee dealing with land use and zoning? I know there were other candidates who possessed deep background in those areas. Why is a 31 year old with little managerial and no specific subject matter experience more qualified?

      • I think being sufficiently versed in diversity and equity issues is all that is required (or even desired) for city council. Why would you want or need someone interested in local land use, homelessness or municipal issues? The city council should be working on the big issues, like global warming, increasing diversity, immigration and health care. By working I mean making their opinions heard.

    • All Seattle city departments serve only one purpose now: social justice and equity. Their actual mandates are peripheral. No actual experience in things like land use or zoning is required.

      • Maybe he’s good with a bullhorn. So he can, you know….fill in if Ms Megaphone can’t make it to some commitment.

  2. Baffling. We are in a huge growth phase and so hire someone who is a recruiter for UW ? As above, surely people can be found with core skills in land use, managing growth, affordability etc etc.

    UW also trying to push a huge expansion ?

      • The existing council decides, right? It’s not like who we support would have an impact. And besides, with the current culture of the City Council, who from the business or land-use world would throw their hat in the ring? The voters of Seattle have sent the message that we want to elect advocates from siloed worlds, not smart real-world problem solvers.

      • Well, wasn’t this guy previously rejected by the voters of district 4? It seems strange then to elevate him to the position after the voters themselves decided to pass.
        Beyond that, there was a qualified land use attorney and former city land use manager who sought the position. She had years of relevant government and private experience, including supervisory experience. She was a finalist but did not get the nod.

      • I picked this one below at random and she sure seems better qualified.

        I also got the impression that Rob knew what he was doing from watching city council meetings online. The Airbnb regs he was in charge of was a crazy sideshow of self interest from some building owners. He also doesn’t answer emails – indeed only the Mayor actually responds. Give it a try.