Alessandra Durham

Alessandra Durham

Alessandra Durham helps county address diversity, addiction

Outreach is key for this senior analyst with the Snohomish County executive’s office.

This is one of 12 finalists for the Herald Business Journal’s Emerging Leaders award, which seeks to highlight and celebrate people who are doing good work in Snohomish County. The winner will be named at an event on April 12.

Name: Alessandra Durham

Age: 30

Profession: Senior analyst, Snohomish County

Hate incidents and the opioid crisis are two of the most daunting issues facing Snohomish County and the U.S. today. Alessandra Durham has had a hand in addressing both.

The senior analyst with the Snohomish County Executive’s Office has helped to put together efforts on equity and inclusion and separately treat the drug epidemic much like an outbreak of an infectious disease. She undertook both at the behest of her boss, Dave Somers.

For the first, Durham worked both in county government and in the community to connect with diverse leaders. Because of this work, the county co-sponsored a “Rally Against Hate” last summer as well as roundtables with Latino community and interfaith leaders.

More events this year include a Coffee, Cake and Islam session prior to Ramadan and Snohomo Pride at Willis Tucker Park this summer.

“We still have a distance to travel to achieve a more inclusive and equitable county, but we have started the process to adapt as a county to our changing demographics and needs,” Durham writes.

She worked on creating a coalition that brings together public health, law enforcement and emergency management officials to confront the ongoing addiction crisis.

“It was important that we find a way to lead across the region without giving our local partners reason to doubt our intentions or assume we were working to take resources away from anyone’s efforts,” Durham wrote.

Outside of that work, Durham also has volunteered for or supported a wide variety of organizations including Habitat for Humanity, United Way, Dawson Place and in various roles at her church, St. Thomas More Parish in Lynnwood.

“These organizations have something in common: they serve those in our community who are sometimes pushed to the margins and need space to grow and celebrate their lives,” Durham writes.

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