Debora Juarez became first American Indian on Seattle City Council when she was sworn in on Monday. Photo courtesy Chris Stearns
” . . . I am America”
Published January 5, 2016
SEATTLE— Debora Juarez, a tribal citizen of the Blackfeet Nation and part Latina, was sworn in on Monday, January 4, 2016 to represent the District 5 on the Seattle City Council. Juarez becomes the first American Indian leader to serve on the Seattle City Council.
On Monday, Juarez said she is “a product of the 1970s War on Poverty programs and affirmative action.”
“Today is historic,” Councilwoman Juarez declared. “It’s not historic because I’m Native American or Latina. It’s because I am America.”
Juarez is one of six children born to an American Indian mother and a first-generation Mexican-American father. She grew up on the Puyallup Reservation in Tacoma, Washington.
The first member of her family to attend college, she went on to receive a law degree and has practiced law for 28 years.
Washington State Governor Mike Lowry then appointed Debora to serve as a King County Superior Court Judge. Her work as an attorney and judge led to an executive appointment to the Governor’s Office of Indian Affairs. As the Executive Director of Indian Affairs she served as lead policy and legal adviser to two Washington state governors.