Zak Idan, Tukwila city council member
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Zak Idan, Tukwila city council member
Credit: KUOW/Katherine Banwell

From 'people feel you don't belong here' to City Council

In early January, Zak Idan was sworn in to the Tukwila City Council. He's the first Somali refugee to be elected to office in Washington state.

Tukwila is one of the most racially diverse places in the state. But when Idan and his family arrived in the city in the late 1990s, the city was considerably whiter. As Idan told Katherine Banwell of KUOW's Race and Equity team, his family didn't experience any racism back then.

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