Mother of children at Ingraham shooting announces run for city council

Mar 10, 2023, 12:25 PM | Updated: Apr 13, 2023, 10:02 am

Maritza Rivera Ingraham High...

Maritza Rivera is a new candidate for Seattle city council. (Photo provided by Maritza Rivera)

(Photo provided by Maritza Rivera)

The deadly shooting at Ingraham High School sparked a mother’s decision to run for Seattle City Council.

Maritza Rivera said her two daughters were inside the school when a student was shot and killed in a hallway last November.

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“I’m a working mom of two teenage girls, and I will never forget the hours waiting and worrying outside Ingraham High School as my girls were in lockdown inside,” said Maritza Rivera. “The fact that my daughters are growing up in Seattle and they don’t feel safe, now there’s trepidation.”

A 14-year-old and a 15-year-old were later charged in connection with the shooting.

Rivera, who currently works as Deputy Director of the City of Seattle’s Department of Arts & Culture, is running for the council seat in District 4, which includes the neighborhoods of Laurelhurst, Maple Leaf, Ravenna, Roosevelt, University District, View Ridge, Wallingford, and Wedgwood.

She stated one of her main focuses, if elected to office, is to improve public safety.

“It really brought home to me that our city has gotten off track. I want to restore Seattle to the safe and vibrant city that drew me here more than twenty years ago,” Rivera said.

To help address public safety, Maritza’s priorities will be five-minute response times for priority 911 calls, taking home and car break-ins more seriously, getting guns off our streets and out of schools, and ending open-air drug markets.

“The decision from seven of the nine City Councilmembers in 2020 to defund the police was a huge mistake and has led to our staffing crisis today,” Rivera said.

Four other candidates have also announced they are running: George Artem, Ron Davis, Matthew Mitnick, and Kenneth Wilson.

Maritza stated she went to law school and then had the opportunity to work in the White House as President Clinton’s Hispanic liaison. Later she worked for the National Hispanic Chamber of Commerce before moving to Seattle, where she went to work for the ACLU post-9/11 to protect Muslim communities from xenophobia.

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She said she believes her experience working for the city, for former City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, for Mayor Jenny Durkan, and now for the Harrell Administration, qualifies her to understand the important issues.

Current Councilmember Alex Pedersen has announced he will not seek reelection.

Kate Stone contributed to this report

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Mother of children at Ingraham shooting announces run for city council