Okamoto takes oath as new Seattle City Council member

SEATTLE - John Okamoto took his official oath on Monday to begin his short term stint on the Seattle City Council.

The former Port of Seattle and Washington Education Association executive was appointed to replace Sally Clark, who left for a job at the University of Washington.

In an interview, Okamoto says he puts affordable housing, transportation, and human services among his priorities.

He also deflected criticism from his now-colleague Kshama Sawant. She accused Okamoto of being part of a "cesspool of corruption" while at the port.

"I've said this before, what she had to say was quite disappointing," Okamoto said Monday.

Council President Tim Burgess indirectly criticized Sawant after Okamoto's oath.

"There is no need for personal attacks or disrespectful labeling that degrades our civic discourse," said Burgess. "We see too much of that in Olympia and Washington, D.C."

All nine council seats are up for grabs in the general election this fall.


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