By Ruth Bayang
Northwest Asian Weekly
“I have some really big shoes to fill.”
That’s what Sofia Aragon said in her speech on Jan. 10, after the Burien City Council voted to elect her as mayor for a two-year term.
Aragon is the executive director of the Washington Center for Nursing, a nonprofit organization focused on building a strong and diverse nursing workforce.
She is the first woman of color to be mayor of Burien.
Aragon praised the outgoing mayor, Jimmy Matta, who became the city’s first Latino mayor in 2018—for his “willingness to outreach to community members whether or not they are in agreement on issues debated by the city council.”
Matta will continue to serve as a council member.
Aragon, who is Filipino, was nominated by council member Kevin Schilling, and received support from newly elected council member Stephanie Mora, as well as Matta and Schilling.
Newly elected council member Sarah Moore, who was nominated by newly elected council member Hugo Garcia, received support from Garcia and council member Cydney Moore.
Immediately after the council’s vote, Sarah Moore congratulated Aragon, who then lauded Moore for her own willingness “to exercise that leadership.”
Aragon called the mayoral role one of “servant leadership. I’m really here to support the entire council to make sure we function the best that we can as a whole… I want to continue our momentum to assure that community input and diverse opinions are brought forward… I think we’re united in wanting to work for the best in the city. But in order to do that, my task is to make sure we have those thorough discussions, that everyone is heard.”
Ruth can be reached at email@example.com.