Nominations for the International Special Review District (ISRD) Board election closed on Nov. 2 and nine candidates were nominated. Five board positions are up for election:
Position #1 for a Business Owner, Property Owner, or Employee
Ryan B. Gilbert is the Chief Operating Officer of the Seattle Indian Health Board, an indigenous community health center located in the Chinatown-International District (CID). He believes it is important to be part of the vital work put forth by the ISRD Board.
Position #2 for a Resident, Tenant, or Community Participant
Matt Chan is currently seated on the ISRD Board and is interested in a second term. He has worked and volunteered with many organizations and nonprofits, including CISC, ICHS, International Examiner, InterimCDA, and Wing Luke. He is dedicated to making sure the CID continues to be a place where all Asian Americans can celebrate and honor their cultures.
Ming Zhang is an architect who worked with three community organizations to fundraise and assist in the design and construction of the Chinatown Gate. He is also a participant in Chinatown Chamber of Commerce events. By serving on the Board, he hopes to contribute more to make the community a better and proud place for all people.
Position #3 for a Business Owner, Property Owner, or Employee
Brian Chinn is a property owner with family ties to the neighborhood that go back four generations. He has a strong desire to help guide future development in a way that preserves its cultural character and makes it economically viable.
Michael Le and his family own multiple businesses in the CID. He wants to see policies that respond to the city’s growth, help employees and customers feel safe to enjoy the CID, address the homelessness crisis, and the preservation of culture.
Position #4 for a Resident, Tenant, or Community Participant
Dean Kumiko Ninja Kawena Kubota is a resident of the CID who would like to bring his knowledge of the neighborhood and passion for the community to the Board. He is passionate about protecting the community and giving the community the tools needed to protect itself. He has experience in housing, disability, and transgender activism, and a passion for historic restoration, preservation, and senior citizens’ rights.
Andy Yip has served in a leadership capacity in organizations such as the Greater Seattle Chinese Chamber of Commerce, the Greater China Hong Kong Business Association of Washington, International Examiner Board, ICHS Foundation, and Seniors in Action. He is currently seated on the ISRD Board, where he serves as vice-chair. He would like to serve one more term to support the community.
Position #5 for At-Large
Nella Kwan has been a volunteer with the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce since 2013. She is a board member of Kin On, a representative for Seafair and member with the Seattle Center’s Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month. She considers the CID her second home and wishes to apply her knowledge, understanding of the community, and unbiased insight and perspectives to her work with the ISRD Board.
Tanya Woo is currently seated on the ISRD Board and wishes to carry on her family’s long tradition of service to the neighborhood. She has spent the last 10 years working on the redevelopment of the Louisa Hotel, which is owned by her family. She recognizes the importance of honoring the past while helping to make historic buildings useful for the future.
The special character of the CID is recognized and protected by City Ordinance. The ISRD Board was created in 1973 to preserve, protect, and enhance the cultural, economic, and historical qualities of the District. Due to continued impacts of COVID-19 and ongoing public health concerns, the 2021 election will be held by mail-in ballot only. There will be no in-person voting.
Ballots must be received by the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods by Nov. 30. Community members who are registered for this election will receive a ballot and self-addressed stamped envelope by mail.