When Ruby Brabo was the president of her homeowner association, she fought with county officials who she says were rude and unengaged. They told her that if she didn’t like them, she could vote them out of office. Instead, she decided to run herself. At the time, Brabo had only lived in the county for five years: a Louisiana native, she had moved around thanks to her husband’s military career.
Brabo has remained enthusiastic about challenging the status quo. To recruit people without political experience, she’s organized biannual candidate workshops to walk them through the responsibilities and processes of becoming government officials. After one term on the council, in 2016, she defeated a 12-year incumbent and became the first supervisor-at-large to have a social media presence.
Brabo wants to work with the county Economic Development Authority to create a downtown area in her otherwise suburban county. Other priorities include fostering local entrepreneurship and building a new sewer line, all according to the strategic plan she has outlined -- the first in King County. “If you have a strategic plan, the citizens actually have something they can hold you accountable to,” she says. “And I’m not afraid of that."