By Christian bell
Community leader Shukri Olow [Shuu-kree Oh-low] has announced her campaign for King County Council District Five, including all or parts of Kent, SeaTac, Tukwila, Burien, Normandy Park, Des Moines, and Renton. If elected, Shukri would be the first Black woman to win a county council seat in Washington.
Among her early supporters are State Representative Jamila Taylor, State Representative, Debra Entenman, Deputy Mayor of Burien Krystal Marx, Tukwila City Council member Cynthia Delostrinos Johnson, Highline School Board member Fai’zah Bradford, and many more community members who are excited about Shukri’s vision for the district. Because of early community support, Shukri has raised over $95,000 for this seat.
When civil war broke out in her native Somalia, Shukri and her family fled to a Kenyan refugee camp. As the oldest daughter of her widowed mother, she grew up fast. “I was four when we left Somalia,” she recalls. “In the camp I walked two miles every day to fetch water, then cleaned and watched over the smaller children. I remember my mother, from that age onwards, calling me a helper. I believe this has informed the public service work I’ve been engaged in for over a decade.”
After 10 years threatened by war and conflict, Shukri’s family was resettled in America. “I still remember our relief,” she says. “For the first time ever I was hopeful. I felt everything would be okay.”Just as she helped in the refugee camp, Shukri and her family were lifted up by helpers here in King County. “Teachers, nurses, social workers all helped us. The clerk at the grocery store, the mail carrier, the librarian…the whole community surrounded us with welcome and helped us imagine a better future. Our American future.” “Now,” Shukri says, “COVID-19 has shredded our communities. The people who want to help are weakened, and those who need help are furthest from those opportunities.. I’m running for County Council to help rebuild strong, resilient communities, where everyone can have hope.”
Shukri – whose name means “thankful” in the Arabic language – emphasizes four goals in her campaign. First, improve worker protections and investments. Second, implement innovative solutions to the housing crisis, to protect both property owners and tenants. Third, create easier access to local government. And fourth, eliminate barriers to justice in the legal system.
Shukri lives in Kent with her family, including her mother and two children. She is a Doctoral Candidate in the College of Education at Seattle University and has worked for Seattle Public Schools and the Seattle Housing Authority. Shukri has also served on several boards such as Kent Youth and Family Services, Kent YMCA, and One America Votes. To learn more, please visit www.electshukriolow.com
On April 8th at 6:00 PM, Shukri will launch her campaign for King County Council with a virtual kick-off event, hosted by the campaign’s youth team. Shukri is excited to connect with the community to share more about her story, why she is running for this position, and her vision for serving the people of South King County. She will also be joined by wonderful guest speakers from the South King County community, including Shukri’s mother who will be introducing her. Other awesome supporters include: the Deputy Mayor of Burien Krystal Marx, Tukwila City Council Member Cynthia Delostrinos Johnson, Reverend Bianca David-Lovelace, small business owner Riley Haggard and author/poet Reagan Jackson.The theme for this event is #youbelonghere, which reflects the campaign’s belief that every member of the South King County community deserves to be heard, valued, and represented. You can rsvp for this event at https://shukriforkingcounty5.eventbrite.com