Basu and Yang-Abreu help Mosqueda win Seattle City Council seat

Last November, Teresa Mosqueda became the newest addition to the Seattle City Council, and recent graduates Aretha Basu (’17, Society, Ethics & Human Behavior) and Tai Yang-Abreu (’17, Global Studies) were critical to her victory.  Basu served as Mosqueda’s campaign manager and Yang-Abreu, her field director. 

Yang-Abreu graduated last summer and described the intensity of her last few months:  “I haven’t had a break since I graduated in June. Two days after graduation, I began an intense fellowship with The Washington Bus, a nonprofit dedicated to youth advocacy and voting accessibility. Those three months became my training ground for running large-scale campaigns and getting plugged into the Seattle political need-to-knows. Within two weeks of wrapping up my team’s campaign against I-1552, fighting to curtail Tim Eyman’s infamous anti-trans initiative, I received a message from Aretha, a former coworker and Mosqueda’s newly minted campaign manager. “What are you doing right now?”

I had limited knowledge of Mosqueda’s campaign beyond the fact that she was running—but joining it was a no-brainer, to be completely honest. One badass, accomplished woman of color versus a milquetoast populist. I knew Aretha kept good company.

The campaign gave me whiplash. In a good way! It was tough, which made it so much more rewarding when we won by a landslide. Over the entire course of the election, we knocked on 34,000 doors, called 14,000 Seattle-area voters, and won by a 20% margin. That is a mandate by the Seattle electorate.

I credit the School of IAS and my experiences in the Associated Students of the University of Washington Bothell (ASUWB). Having a diverse pool of classes and knowledge lent itself well to the commanding presence, networking ability, and credibility needed to execute this role successfully. I’m excited to see what comes next after a whirlwind of six months.”

And a whirlwind it’s been.  Yang-Abreu was thrilled to accept an associate position for Northwest Passage Consulting, a major campaign consulting firm in Washington state. Basu, a seasoned anti-racist organizer, has joined Mosqueda’s team as Legislative Assistant and Community Outreach Manager. Says Yang-Abreu, “Aretha has always been my inspiration for the values that anchor my social justice work. She will do a tremendous job serving on Councilmember Mosqueda’s office.” 

Council member Debora Juarez, State Senator Rebecca Saldaña, Tai Yang-Abreu, Council member Lorena González, and Council member Teresa Mosqueda
(L-R) Council member Debora Juarez, State Senator Rebecca Saldaña, Tai Yang-Abreu, Council member Lorena González, and Council member Teresa Mosqueda