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.
City Council Appointee: District 2
Thais Marbles was born in Monroe, Louisiana and moved to Seattle at the age of 2. She grew up in the Beacon Hill area, attended Beacon Hill Elementary, Madison Jr High, and graduated from Cleveland High School in 1986. She attended Grambling State University as a Computer Information Systems Major and a minor in Business Administration from 1986-1989. She is currently employed with the State of Washington, Community Service Division, Region 2 as an Abled Bodied Adult Without Dependents (ABAWD) Financial Service Specialist III. She has 25 years of solid experience providing Public Assistance Services within the communities of Seattle. In her current role, she empowers individuals to thrive, demonstrate fiscal and resource accountability, increase public awareness and trust in the programs administered, and assure timely and accurate delivery of benefits. Her community involvement entails: Executive Board Member – Coalition of Black Trade Unionist (Puget Sound Chapter), A. Phillip Randolph Institute Organization (APRI)– Member, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLLA)– Member, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle – Guild Member and Volunteer, Women’s/Equal Partners Statewide Committee – WFSE.
What inspired you to serve on the Community Involvement Commission?
Initially my passion and interest in community engagement and participation sparked my interest. I look forward to bringing a fresh perspective, based on my life experiences, in hopes that my contributions will result in positive change. I am excited to be a part of this Commission where I can be pro-active. I look forward to being a liaison with a positive resolve.
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?
Yes, I accept the superhero moniker. An Equity Champion understands the need to move beyond diversity towards human equity; making the distinction between diversity, inclusion, and human equity. I have that gut level understanding for the issues surrounding inclusion because I myself have experienced exclusion. My ability to reach an executive agenda, keep it on the table and make it happen, while walking the talk, ensuring that my actions speak louder than words are my passions. A champion demonstrates the traits of a truly equitable and inclusive leader. I recognize these qualities in myself and look forward to taking on this role.
What is your unique real-life superpower?
My real-life superpower is my ability to speak up and take a stand for something I believe in and feel passionate about. I am that stand up person who will lead and learn with an understanding, without stepping away from gender equality, improved race relations, and LGBTQ rights. I want to help the people in my community through my willingness to advocate, learn, serve, and be the best that I know I can be.
What do you hope the Community Involvement Commission will bring to the City?
My hope is that a broader spectrum of people will have interaction and access in terms of dealing with city services and city policies. This will help the city do better in serving all its residents, especially those in communities who feel that their voices have not been heard.
Which local organization or person do you consider to be a true superhero and why?
I consider Jacquie Jones-Walsh to be a true superhero. She has displayed tremendous strength and motivation like no other. She is an activist in both the labor movement and her community. She has showed enormous strength as a three-time cancer survivor. She has lost her son and, through it all, she still maintains to be diligent in working, spending time with family and friends, and going to endless meetings. She has been a great mentor to me and has also taking me under her wing as a daughter. She is a great supporter and friend and a true superhero.
Learn more about the Community Involvement Commission at seattle.gov/neighborhoods/community-involvement-commission.