Meet the Governing Committee

Executive Dow Constantine

King County

Dow Constantine is serving his third term as King County Executive. A former member of the King County Council and the Washington State Senate and House of Representatives, and a three-time graduate of the University of Washington, Dow is focused on meeting two of our greatest generational challenges: building equity and opportunity, and confronting climate change.


Mayor Jenny Durkan

Mayor Jenny Durkan

City of Seattle

Jenny A. Durkan is the 56th Mayor of Seattle and the first woman to lead the City in nearly a century. She entered office on November 28, 2017 with the challenge of making Seattle affordable and inclusive for all. She is focused on the housing affordability crisis, helping those experiencing homelessness, and creating economic opportunity for all, while also delivering on essential city services. Under Mayor Durkan’s leadership, the City has expanded the rights, wages,  and protections of rideshare drivers and domestic workers, provided free college tuition to Seattle’s high school graduates, and made public transportation free for high school students, among many initiatives.

Mayor Durkan, one of eight children, was raised in Seattle.  She graduated from the University of Notre Dame, taught school and coached girls basketball in a Yupik fishing village in Alaska, and then earned her J.D. at the University of Washington School of Law. She and her partner, Dana, have two sons.


Johnathan Hemphill

Johnathan Hemphill is the Director of Strategy and Communications of the Lived Experience Coalition and is president of the King County and Greater Seattle Youth Action Board.  Johnathan is deeply engaged in outreach and improving the well-being and services provided to youth with lived experience of homelessness. Prior to his role with the LEC, Johnathan worked as a legislative advocate to end youth homelessness and improve the foster care system – including the creation and passage of SB 5290, which ended the incarceration of minors for non-criminal offences across Washington State.  He had served as the tri-chair of the Washington State Poor People’s Campaign Call for Moral Revival — bringing together impacted people, faith leaders, and community leaders to address systemic racism, systemic poverty, the war economy, and ecological devastation at the campaign’s inception.


Kirk McClain

Kirk McClain

Representing leaders with lived experience

Kirk McClain is a Regional Access Point Diversion and Assessment Specialist for Solid Ground, an organization that provides housing and community services for low income people in Seattle, WA.  Kirk works directly with homeless and low-income individuals to help them find housing or pay their rent when they need help. He earned his BA from Western Washington University with an Interdisciplinary Pre-law concentration.  After deciding not to attend law school, Kirk volunteered and worked for the Washington State Attorney General’s Office before moving to the private sector and working in the legal department of international pharmaceutical company Amgen. 

Kirk’s compassion for disadvantaged and marginalized people eventually led him to volunteer with local neighborhood legal clinics, the Statewide Poverty Action Network, and the Washington Low-Income Housing Alliance After graduating from the Housing Alliance’s Emerging Advocates program, he taught political advocacy, co-facilitated advocacy workshops and frequently testified in Olympia to law makers on behalf of homeless and low-income people. He has also participated on two occasions in the annual One-Night Count which provides a snapshot of the number of homeless people living outside in King County.  Because of his volunteer work, he was honored with the ‘Advocate of the Year’ award by the Low Income Housing Alliance in 2016.  All of this work was predicated upon his own 5 year experience of homelessness. Not able to forget his love for the law, he went back to school and earned his paralegal certification while he was homeless and sleeping on the campus of Highline College.

He is the owner of Ascendant Equity, an Internet based credit repair company that teaches people how to repair their credit and defend against lawsuits from collection agencies. As the owner of two blogs, he writes about credit repair and issues regarding homelessness.  Kirk loves outdoor activities, and when he saw that there were no Internet platforms for black hikers, rock climbers, and backpackers in Washington, he created a website called HeadPointe for blacks who are interested in learning more about those activities. The website provides information about rock climbing and catalogues his experiences hiking and backpacking in some of his favorite places in the Northwest like the Olympic Peninsula and Smith Rock in Oregon.


Zaneta Reid

Representing leaders with lived experience

Native to Seattle, Zaneta Reid is a member of the Lived Experience Coalition and has served the homeless community for almost a decade, making sure that no one has to experience feeling like they don’t exist. She understands and has experienced many of the situations and systems that impact homelessness – domestic violence, shelters, foster care, education, poverty, racism, and food instability. Zaneta’s life experience brings an essential perspective to the Governing Board, where she is passionate about sharing the voices of the unheard.

Zaneta experienced homelessness in 2010 after fleeing domestic violence with her four sons. She pressed charges against her abuser and found herself having to navigate both the homelessness and legal systems. Zaneta came to Mary’s Place Women’s Day Center for resources and returned as a volunteer once she found housing to continue to help the women she met there. She developed a search and application program to help them find stable housing and resources. At Mary’s Place, she was able to create healing and hope for women experiencing trauma, addiction, mental health issues, and more – in a safe, inclusive space.

Zaneta joined the Mary’s Place staff in 2011 and has served in various capacities, working with single women, families, and children. She currently works as a recruiter, helping to fill important positions at the organization, and is in the process of adopting a little girl to add to her family.

She served on the Seattle Public Schools Head Start Policy Council, including terms as Parliamentarian and President, as well as on the board of Samaritan, an organization that provides beacons to individuals experiencing homelessness that allows community members to provide needed help via a phone app. She currently works with Beautiful Soles, an organization in Snohomish County that helps to connect families to shelter and resources.


Councilmember Claudia Balducci

Representing the King County Council

King County Councilmember Claudia Balducci is a mom, transportation and affordable housing leader, and a former public safety official. She believes that government should tackle the big issues that matter to people, notably housing, transportation and the environment. Claudia represents King County District 6 on the Eastside, and in 2021 was re-elected by her colleagues to Chair the King County Council.


Councilmember Joe McDermott

Councilmember Joe McDermott

Representing the King County Council

A third-generation resident of West Seattle, J. Joseph McDermott joined the King County Council in November 2010. He was reelected to a third full four year term in November of 2019. McDermott previously represented West Seattle, Burien, White Center and Vashon and Maury Islands in the Washington State Legislature for a decade.

Joe is a passionate advocate for vibrant and safe communities, reliable transit and transportation options, our environment and civil rights.

McDermott earned a Master of Public Administration from the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Affairs and holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from Gonzaga University. Joe completed the Senior Executives in State and Local Government Executive Education program at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in June of 2009.

McDermott served as a Senior Budget Analyst with the Seattle School District and worked for former Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney John Ladenburg. He has also occasionally taught history and political science courses at South Seattle Community College. While serving in the Legislature, several summers found Joe using his History degree leading underground tours in Seattle’s Pioneer Square in the shadow of the King County Courthouse.

A runner, he lives in West Seattle with his husband Michael and has served on the board of the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, Southwest Youth & Family Services and West Seattle Helpline. His other civic activities and memberships include the Greater Seattle Business Association, West Seattle Chamber of Commerce, Vashon Allied Arts and the Highline Historical Society.


Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez

Representing the Seattle City Council

As one of two citywide representatives and the first person of Latinx descent elected to serve on the Seattle City Council, Council President M. Lorena González is a nationally recognized civil rights leader and community advocate.

As a civil rights attorney she represented people who were victimized by those in authority positions. She primarily represented workers in wage theft and anti-discrimination cases as well as representing victims of police misconduct.

Born and raised in Washington’s lower Yakima Valley to a Spanish-speaking migrant farmworker family, Councilmember González earned her first paycheck at the age of 8, alongside her parents and five siblings. She relied on scholarships and worked 3 jobs to attend community college and later Washington State University. In 2002 she moved to Seattle to attend Seattle University Law School, where she graduated with honors in 2005. Since then she has worked with foundational immigrant rights organizations like OneAmerica, El Centro and Latino Victory Project to ensure Seattle is a Welcoming City to all.

She was elected to the City Council in 2015, re-elected in 2017 and selected by her colleagues to serve as Council President in January 2020. In her time in office she’s spearheaded legislation banning conversion therapy, creating secure scheduling for low-wage workers, establishing a legal defense fund for immigrants and refugees facing immigration proceedings, advancing landmark reforms to the police accountability system, and reducing the influence of corporations in local elections.


Councilmember Andrew Lewis

Councilmember Andrew Lewis

Representing the Seattle City Council

Councilmember Andrew J. Lewis is a fifth generation Washingtonian and was born and raised in Seattle. He most recently worked as an assistant city attorney in the Seattle City Attorney’s Office.  Andrew is the son of a heavy equipment operator for Seattle City Light and a nurse at Harborview.  He graduated with a B.A. in History and Political Science from the University of Washington, and holds a Masters degree from the London School of Economics and a law degree from the University of California, Berkeley.  Frequent updates about Councilmember Lewis’ efforts are available on  Facebook and Twitter.


Mayor Nancy Backus

Mayor Nancy Backus

City of Auburn, Representing Sound Cities Association

Mayor Nancy Backus – is a strong advocate of service to the community, with a particular passion for women’s rights and healthy communities. She is the recipient of the American Medical Association Dr. Nathan Davis Award for Outstanding Government Service, Dale Carnegie Human Principles in Action Award, Business and Professional Women’s Woman of Achievement Award, Soroptimist International Women Helping Women Award and serves on numerous boards and committees throughout the state and region advocating for the health, safety and prosperity of her community.

Backus is known for her regional consensus building and convened, along with King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, One Table – the initial effort towards the regional approach to tackling the issues of homelessness and housing affordability, One Table brought together government, business leaders, service providers, philanthropists, advocates and people with lived experience of homelessness to develop innovative solutions to the crisis.


Mayor Angela Birney

Mayor Angela Birney

City of Redmond, Representing Sound Cities Association

Elected as Mayor in 2019, Angela Birney is now in her first term as mayor of Redmond. The community of over 65,000 is home to a variety of several large industries such as aerospace, high tech, video game production, and biotech, as well as thousands of small businesses where over 85,000 people are employed.

As Mayor, she is the executive leader, with oversight of eight departments and over 600 employees. The Mayor collaborates with Council to set the strategy, vision, and policies for the City of Redmond.

Redmond has a strong Mayor/Council, non-partisan form of government. Seven council members and the Mayor, all representing the community at large, are each elected directly by the people for staggered four-year teams.

Mayor Birney was elected to City Council in 2015 and served as Council President from 2018 to 2019. Prior to her Council service, she was the chair of the Redmond Parks and Trails Commission and volunteered her time at several different organizations throughout the Redmond community. She currently represents Redmond on the King County Regional Policy Committee, Puget Sound Regional Council Executive Board, Sound Cities Association Board and Public Issues Committee, Cascade Water Alliance Board, Hopelink Board, King County Regional Homelessness Authority, OneRedmond Board, and 1-405/SR 167 Executive Advisory Committee. She is a 2017 Leadership Eastside graduate.

Angela is a Washington native and grew up in Eastern Washington. She moved to Redmond in 1998. Formerly a middle school science teacher, she earned a Master of Education from Heritage University and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology Education from Eastern Washington University. She lives on Education Hill with her husband and daughters.


Councilmember Ed Prince

Councilmember Ed Prince

City of Renton, Representing Sound Cities Association

A proud resident of the Cascade neighborhood. Ed believes the strength of our government comes from collaborating with our residents and community partners.

Ed is the Executive Director of the Washington State Commission on African American Affairs and previously worked for the Washington State House of Representatives.

Ed is a former chair of the City of Renton Planning Commission, past chair of the Renton School District Bond and Levy campaign and a founding director of the Renton Community Foundation’s “The Next Curve”.

Councilmember Prince was elected to the City Council in 2011. During his time on council he has served on several regional boards and committees including:  

  • Association of Washington Cities (AWC) Legislative Committee
  • Sound Cities Association (SCA) Public Issue Committee (PIC)
  • Regional Transit Committee
  • Regional Water Quality Committee
  • Growth Management Planning Council
  • SCA Legislative Committee
  • AWC State and Federal Policy Committee 

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