Aileen Sison, left, is pictured with her mother, Erlinda Aparis Sison, under the Chihuly glass sculpture at Benaroya Hall, both of White Center. Aileen is the new District 8 Civil Rights Commissioner, which includes Northern Burien, White Center, West Seattle, Vashon Island, and northern Sea Tac.
Aileen Sison, District 8 advocate, confirmed as Civil Rights Commissioner
Community organizer & John L. Scott real estate agent
Lifelong White Center resident Aileen Sison was confirmed as District 8 Civil Rights Commissioner June 12 by three King County Council members of the Law, Justice, Health and Human Services Committee for a three year term. They included Joe McDermott, District 8, Larry Gossett, District 2, and Kathy Lambert, District 3.
District 8 includes Northern Burien, White Center, West Seattle, Vashon Island, and north Sea Tac.
There are nine total, one for each county district, and three at-large commissioners. She was appointed with the assistance of George Pieper, the current District 6 Commissioner and District Chair.
"George Pieper and I met through Camp Wellstone workshops," said Sison. "He said it would take a while, but it is soon to come together. Through the commission meetings, I plan to learn of a lot of opportunities to bring resources to the West Seattle and White Center area."
"The Council members asked me how to bridge the racial disparity due to the economic condition," she said. "Another gentleman was being confirmed with me."
She is referring to Justin Walsh, Esq. He will be representing Council District 4 and replacing Heather Villanueva.
"He had gone first, and was talking about how NPO's have lost their funding which is true," she said. "For me being on a few nonprofit organization boards such as the White Center Food Bank and the White Center Chamber of Commerce I've definitely seen tremendous cuts to budgets.
"I became aware of an available grant to non-profit organizations in unincorporated King County areas, but it requires that we have to be willing to work with each other," she said. "The Council members had not heard about this. I heard about the grant from an associate, Bong Santo Domingo ( a King County program manager). That's a good example of our willingness to help each other. The nice thing about White Center is that everyone works together. Instead of fighting over the same grant money we do things to help each other. That's what I really like with our area. We keep open communications and try to collaborate.
"It's great to be heard, to have a platform, to be speaking on behalf of your area, and I really do care for the White Center area where I grew up. It's nice to relay good ideas and priorities that need to be met here. I don't have any future political plans. There is plenty of work to do here and I'll make the most of it and doing what I can."
Sison is a community organizer and John L. Scott real estate agent who specializes in Burien, West Seattle, White Center properties.
According to the King County Government website:
Monitor and review the implementation of civil rights ordinances and policies to determine compliance and effectiveness.
Cultivate relationships and work in collaboration with a variety of groups including community, business, civic and religious organizations, County leadership and County departments to ensure civil rights protection.
Build community awareness about Equity and Social Justice in King County’s diverse communities.
Civil Rights Commission webpage