Girmay Zahilay is a King County Councilmember, an elected position governing 2.4 million people in King County, Washington. Girmay was born in Sudan to Ethiopian refugee parents and was raised in low-income public housing in the “South End” of Seattle, Washington. After graduating from Franklin High School, he received degrees from Stanford University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and worked in the Obama White House. His experiences growing up in public housing and going to public schools inspired him to pursue anti-poverty work through the Congressional Hunger Center and also to found Rising Leaders, Inc., a nonprofit that equips underserved middle school students with mentors and life skills training. Girmay ran for King County Council to offer bold solutions to problems that need immediate regional leadership. He has worked to build and maintain affordable housing for communities experiencing displacement, invest more in youth opportunities, build public transit in neighborhoods that have the highest need, reform the criminal legal system, and make the political process more inclusive across communities and generations.