Newly appointed Seattle City Councilmember Tanya Woo • Courtesy of City of Seattle

Seattle City Council member and CID community leader Tanya Woo launched her re-election campaign March 12 in a bid to represent Seattle at-large on the Council for another year.

Woo was joined by community leader Bettie Luke and others in Hing Hay Park for the announcement. Her campaign’s statement was short on policy specifics, but raised the alarm about city-wide crises in affordable housing, public safety, and drug addiction.

“My community work on the streets of the Chinatown International District gave me firsthand knowledge of the problems in CID, problems that also plague the City of Seattle,” Woo said in a written campaign statement. “The CID is small, but is a crucible of all the problems that ail our city; affordable housing, public safety, and drug addiction.”

The news comes as no surprise. Woo declared her intent to keep her seat for another year as soon as she was appointed in January to replace outgoing Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda for the rest of 2024. Woo was chosen out of eight finalists for the seat, after she ran against Councilmember Tammy Morales to represent District 2 (the CID and South Seattle), losing by 403 votes. 

No one else has filed for election in the race. If they do, a primary election will be held in August. If Woo wins, she will serve until December 2025, the remainder of Mosqueda’s term. Mosqueda ran and won election to the King County Council Position 8 (which includes the Chinatown International District) last year.

If Woo wants to then serve a full four-year term on the Council, she will have to run for re-election again in 2026, for a third time in as many years.  

On City Council, Woo is chair of the Sustainability, City Light, Arts & Culture Committee, Vice Chair of the Libraries, Education, and Neighborhoods Committee, and a member of the Housing and Human Services, Land Use, and Transportation Committees. 

Woo continues to join CID Community Watch on weekly patrols of the neighborhood, a group she co-founded in 2020 to keep an eye on public safety in the neighborhood and connect people outdoors with resources. 

In 2019 and into the pandemic, Woo served on the International Special Review District (ISRD) Board, reviewing and questioning developers about new projects in the CID, including controversial high-rises.

In 2022, Woo led a successful effort pressuring King County to back down from expanding the Salvation Army shelter in SoDo. Woo said the County had not adequately consulted the CID community or heard its public safety concerns. 

Woo grew up in Beacon Hill and her grandfather and father ran businesses in the CID. Her father opened the Mon Hei Bakery in the CID, and purchased the Louisa Hotel building in the 1960s. She co-owns the Louisa, and oversaw its restoration into a building with workforce housing and retail after it was gutted by a fire in 2013. 

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