Home Community AAPI Community Celebrates Seattle’s First Asian American Mayor

AAPI Community Celebrates Seattle’s First Asian American Mayor

The Northwest Asian Weekly and The North American Post presented display gifts to Harrell.

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. 

Past and current AAPI elected officials who joined the celebration with Mayor-Elect Harrell.

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.

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Misa Murohashi is Editor-in-chief of The North American Post and general manager of North American Post Publishing Inc. Born and raised in Japan, she moved the Seattle area in 2005. She earned a master's degree in Urban Planning from the University of Washington in 2016 and has been at the current position since 2017. She often writes about urban issues and Japanese American early immigration history in the Seattle Area.