BLOG: Watch out for gutsy Asian female politicians

By Assunta Ng

Kshama Sawant at the API forum. (Photo by George Liu/NWAW)

Who is Kshama Sawant? “Wow” was my reaction when I first saw her at the API forum.

Sawant, an economics professor at Seattle Central Community College, is challenging incumbent Seattle City Councilmember Richard Conlin.

Never mind that she speaks with an Indian accent, she was the aggressive coyote making Conlin look like a weak dog. I might not agree with everything she said, but I have to say she knew her issues and platforms well and backed them up with convincing facts. And her army of volunteers — black, white and Asian — were out in force at the forum.

Mia Gregerson (Photo by Assunta Ng/NWAW)

The other star is Deputy Mayor Mia Gregerson of the SeaTac City Council. No, her name is not on the ballot, but her pet issue is Proposition 1, pushing the City of SeaTac to increase its minimum wage to $15/hour.

Originally from Taiwan, Gregerson is an adoptee of American parents. She has already announced that she will seek the seat of State Rep. Dave Upthegrove on the King County Council if he succeeds in being elected to King County Council member Julia Patterson’s seat.

“I am the accidental politician,” Gregerson said. “I never thought about getting into politics. I believe in giving back, volunteerism … fighting for social justice for all.”

At age 40, Gregerson is the first and only person of color at the SeaTac City Council. She ran unopposed in 2008, at the suggestion of her friend Julia Patterson, and won. “I was stunned. I ran without any platform.” Two years ago, she won her reelection by a margin of about 38 votes, out of 5,500 votes cast.

Gregerson has a bachelor’s degree in European history from the University of Washington. No, she has never been to Taiwan, she came to this country at the age of two. She has lived in SeaTac and Tukwila area all her life. (end)

2 Responses to “BLOG: Watch out for gutsy Asian female politicians”

  1. Earl Gipson says:

    I think this article may be confusing gutsy with zealotry which serves no one.

  2. Michael T Kovacs says:

    Strange a gutsy politician? Go to and read the public disclosure request of emails from The Port of Seattle. Unelected Mayor of SeaTac Tony Anderson has an email called “Tony needs a fix posted”. The email conversation is between unelected Mayor Tony Anderson and unelected deputy mayor Gregerson. Both are married but not to each other. Looks pretty fishy to me about rendezvous. Also see for more of Gregerson antics of discrimation against minorities.


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