Jenny Durkan

Mayor of Seattle

Spotlight Candidate

Jenny will be the first openly lesbian mayor of Seattle

Biography

Jenny Durkan is the mother of two teenage boys and has worked as both a criminal defense attorney and federal prosecutor. Durkan was appointed by President Obama to serve as US Attorney for Western Washington and was the first openly gay U.S. Attorney in the country.

As U.S. Attorney, Durkan negotiated the historic consent decree that required major reforms in the Seattle Police Department to protect civil rights.  Jenny also created a civil rights unit within the U.S. Attorney’s Office to focus on housing discrimination, job discrimination, and the rights of returning veterans.

Before she was U.S. Attorney, Jenny was an English teacher and girls’ basketball coach in a remote fishing village in Alaska. She also worked as a baggage handler (and dues paying Teamster)  — the only woman working the job – to pay her way through law school.

As a lawyer, Jenny has fought to get justice for victims in the worst of circumstances — like the families of four firefighters who died in a warehouse fire and a woman denied the right to see her partner in the hospital after a flash flood took her life. She used those cases to fight for systemic level and policy changes to try to ensure that others would not have to go through the same suffering.

Importance of Candidacy:

  • Jenny will be the first lesbian mayor of Seattle
  • Second woman to become mayor of Seattle
  • Would be only the second lesbian mayor of a major city currently serving

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