By Misa Murohashi, The North American Post. Photos by John Pai and Rick Wong
On Wed. Dec. 16, an AAPI unity celebration for Mayor-Elect Bruce Harrell was held at Joyale Seafood Restaurant in the Chinatown-International District (C-ID) and attended by over 400 guests. It was hosted by an event organizing committee including Northwest Asian Weekly Foundation, this newspaper, community leaders, and included numerous corporate sponsors.
Mayor-Elect Harrell is Seattle’s first Asian American and second Black mayor. Harrell is a native Seattleite. His father, Clayton Harrell, Sr., was African American; his mother, Rose Tamaye Kobata Harrell, was Japanese American. His mother’s family was incarcerated at Minidoka during WWII.
Many past and current AAPI elected officials joined the celebration, including newly appointed Washington Secretary of State Steve Hobbs and former State Governor Gary Locke.
A congratulatory speech was given by Japan Consulate General Hisao Inagaki. Governor Inslee’s congratulatory statement was made by Commissioner Carrie Huie-Pascua of the Washington State Commission on Asian American Affairs.
In his speech, Harrell emphasized the importance of the AAPI community being united in standing up against anti-Asian hate and violence. He also promised to improve public safety throughout the city including in the C-ID, where many small business owners are suffering from deteriorating public safety. Interim Police Chief Adrian Diaz joined Harrell on the stage and spoke about improving public safety patrols and continuing to focus on non-violent policing.
Harrell will be inaugurated on January 4, 2022.