The Mayor and Seattle City Council recently announced the initial 13 appointees selected to serve on the City of Seattle’s new Community Involvement Commission (CIC). The CIC will ultimately be comprised of 16 equity champions who will work to ensure that our City departments are creating and implementing equitable engagement strategies that lead to more relevant and impactful public participation. They will also provide feedback on the development of City departments’ community involvement plans. All the appointments are subject to City Council confirmation.
Mayoral Appointee: At-large Member
Emily Kim grew up in the U District and attended the University of Washington. She received a degree in journalism and political science and then attended law school at Seattle University. She currently serves as the Community Relations and Marketing Director for Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream. Previously, she worked as a legislative aide for former Councilmember Jean Godden, as well as clerked at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Her previous experience with the City has given her insight as to how the City operates and currently does outreach and engagement. Her current work for a small local business has given her more hands-on experience in working with other businesses, community groups, and non-profits. At Molly Moon’s, Emily recently worked with the Molly Moon’s team to help develop a successful new hiring campaign to broaden their applicant pool and remove barriers to the application process. Emily has a strong understanding of equity issues and current gaps in the City’s outreach processes.
What inspired you to serve on the Community Involvement Commission?
I was inspired to serve on this Commission because I have had such amazing mentors over the years, showing me the passion and commitment it takes to fight for equity in our city. I’ve seen both how equity and inclusion is approached at a larger policy level working for the FCC and the Seattle City Council, and also how it is approached at a small, progressive, equity-focused business at an internal level and through real hands-on community work. Equity work everywhere and in every sector is so important. I want to build off these experiences to help engage those most in need through strategic outreach and to include those whose involvement is often missing in our City processes!
We’ve taken to calling our Community Involvement Commissioners “EQUITY CHAMPIONS!” Do you accept this superhero moniker and what does it mean to you personally?
Of course, I will wear this badge proudly! As I mentioned, I’ve spent the last five years working for organizations and companies that really value equity and that are doing the hard work it takes to help promote it. My previous role as an aide to Councilmember Godden at the City Council focused on gender equity. I was a part of the amazing team that helped create the City’s first paid parental leave benefit, for both mothers and fathers. I was so glad to see it expanded this year and really do think that it is an important step in closing the gender wage gap. Being raised by a single mother, I know first-hand how important policies like this are in promoting equity. Now I’m working for Molly at Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream who I always joke is like working for a Councilmember all over again, but in a good way! She fights for worker’s rights and women’s rights. Molly Moon’s as a company really focuses on equity. Every employee in the company is required to go through equity training. Every policy, benefit and partnership at Molly Moon’s is thoughtfully implemented using an equity lens.
What is your unique real-life superpower?
I believe my real-life super power is being able to talk to people while making them feel comfortable and heard, not only because I’ve worked in communications and outreach most of my career, but because I genuinely care.
What do you hope the Community Involvement Commission will bring to the City?
I hope that this Commission brings a new passion and perspective that boldly breaks down the barriers preventing equitable and inclusive engagement by everyone, in all communities, all over our city. I hope this Commission not only ensures more voices are heard, and that there is more participation in our civic process than ever before by diverse communities, but that it finds ways for diverse communities to be excited about being involved in our City policies and to be truly engaged.
Which local organization or person do you consider to be a true superhero and why?
There are so many people and organizations I consider to be true superheroes, it’s hard for me to even just narrow it to four. But I’d have to say Jean Godden, Molly Neitzel, the U District Food Bank and FareStart (my former boss, current boss and the two main places I volunteer). I could literally write pages upon pages about all of them…I’ve been so lucky. Jean created amazing political change. Molly creates awesome political and community change every day and gives back so much. The U District Food Bank serves hundreds of families and children each week and is filled with the most caring staff. And FareStart builds up and provides jobs and job training for people in our community that need it most. They all inspire me endlessly.
Learn more about the Community Involvement Commission at seattle.gov/neighborhoods/community-involvement-commission.