Shoreline boasts nation’s first female Korean-American mayor

  • Enterprise staff
  • Friday, February 29, 2008 6:58pm

When Shoreline City Council members selected the mayor and deputy mayor in January, they knew they were setting new history for the city. What they didn’t realize was that they were also setting national history.

Shoreline’s new mayor, Cindy Ryu, is the first female Korean-American mayor in the United States, according to Don Nakanishi, Ph.D., director and professor of the UCLA Asian American Studies Center. Ryu is the first Korean-American mayor in Shoreline and Deputy Mayor Terry Scott is the first African-American to serve on the Shoreline City Council since the city incorporated in 1995.

“I am proud to serve on a city council that reflects our diverse community,” Ryu said. “I’m looking forward to bringing our various viewpoints together to make the best decisions for the whole community.”

The Asian media were the first to note Ryu’s achievement; she is being featured in many publications across the country, including Korea Times, The Korea Daily, Seattle Chinese Post, Northwest Asian Weekly, Christianity Daily and Media Daum.

Ryu was elected to the Shoreline City Council in 2005. She moved to Washington state in 1969, and has lived in the Puget Sound area since 1976. For the past 25 years, she has lived in or near Shoreline, where her children attended local public schools. Ryu has a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in microbiology and immunology, and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Washington. She has worked in the public and private sectors, insurance sales and service, and health care. Besides serving as president of the Shoreline Chamber of Commerce, she served on the Shoreline Bond Advisory Committee, Council of Neighborhoods and Richmond Beach Community Association Board.

Deputy Mayor Terry Scott was elected to the Shoreline City Council in 2007. A 10-year resident of Shoreline, Scott is a physician assistant faculty member at the University of Washington MEDEX program. He is a primary care provider and has practiced in rural and urban settings in Washington. He has served as president to the Washington State Academy of Physician Assistants; delegate to The American Academy of Physician Assistants House of Delegates, University of Washington Graduate Medical Education Committee; Dean’s Strategic Leadership Conference; and vice chair of Shoreline’s Housing Advisory Committee.

Shoreline’s seven elected part-time city council members choose a mayor and deputy mayor every two years from among their members at the first meeting of the new year following an odd-year election. The mayor presides at council meetings and represents the city at ceremonial functions and inter-governmental meetings. The deputy mayor presides in the mayor’s absence.

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