Cynthia was born and raised in Seattle, the daughter of parents who immigrated from the Philippines. Cynthia and her husband, James, put their roots down in Tukwila where they are raising their sons Isaac (5) and Isaiah (3), and their cat Barry. They are happy to call Tukwila home.
Cynthia is a lawyer and an advocate for justice. Her journey to the law began in high school, where she was introduced to the power of the law by a class called Minorities in America. When learning about the civil rights movement, she was inspired by the work of Thurgood Marshall, who used the law to advocate for systemic changes to end legal discrimination. Seeing that racism and discrimination was far from over, she decided to dedicate her life to fighting injustice through the law.
Cynthia received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington and went on to study law at Seattle University School of Law. While in law school she interned with the Seattle Office for Civil Rights, investigating complaints of discrimination in the City of Seattle. She was a policy intern at Team Child and the Center for Children and Youth Justice, where she worked on juvenile justice policies around reentry and the school-to-prison pipeline.
She was honored with scholarships from multiple minority bar associations for her commitment to seeking justice through the law, including the Asian Bar Association of Washington, Loren Miller Bar Association, Association for Justice, and the Filipino Lawyers of Washington. She currently serves on the Board of the Filipino Lawyers of Washington.
For the past five years, she has worked on policy around identifying and addressing racial and ethnic bias, gender bias, and language access in the justice system. She’s been able to employ strategies to effect changes in policy and works collaboratively with various justice system partners. She’s successfully helped secure grant funding to support innovative projects and has helped expand opportunities for youth of color to learn about careers in the justice system because she knows that representation matters. It is Cynthia’s life’s work to seek out justice, particularly for communities of color whose voices have historically not been included in policy.
Cynthia is ready to bring her policy expertise and love for her community to the Tukwila City Council.