Shukri Olow, King County Council District 5 Candidate — 2021 General Election

CANDIDATE: Dr. Shukri Olow, King County Council District 5 Candidate


In my current work with Best Starts for Kids Program Manager, I support efforts to invest in promotion and prevention work spanning 31 community-based organizations who serve about 5,000 families per month.

My priorities are reflective of community and my lived and professional experience with a human services background across multiple sectors including refugee resettlement, housing, workforce development, school partnerships, and managing prenatal to five programs.

Investment in the arts is an upstream social investment. Through lived and professional experience, I have seen the types of impacts that these investments make – and it’s obvious that we need to increase funding for arts programming, especially for youth of color in South King County. Utilizing the arts to help develop and shape afterschool programs and youth enrichment is one way for us.

Question response: How will you support Seattle’s arts and culture sector in its reopening and revitalization?

The economic downturn caused by COVID-19 caused a rush to get government funding lifelines out the door as fast as possible meant that many small businesses, Women and Minority Owned Business Enterprises (WMBE), and arts organizations were left behind.

As we recover from the economic impact of the pandemic, we must prioritize equitable outreach with these voices in mind to understand how these disparities have impacted their ability to thrive and increase investments to address these inequities.

For arts related organizations, we need to be attentive to COVID-19 safety measures so venues can feel secure in re-opening and individual artist financial support to ensure that we are not creating one-size-fits-all related COVID relief.