Katherine Festa announces run for Federal Way City Council

Festa is running against incumbent Jack Walsh.

Katherine Festa, a longtime public servant and 30-year resident of Federal Way, has announced her run for Federal Way City Council Pos. 5. If elected, Festa will be the first Native American elected to the Federal Way City Council.

For 21 years, Festa has helped people with intellectual/developmental disabilities live successfully in their community through her work for the King County Department of Community and Human Services as a housing coordinator.

Festa also serves as chair of the Human Services Commission for the City of Federal Way; is the chair and founding member of the Native American Leadership Council; and is the president of the Soroptimist International of Federal Way organization. She also serves on the Chief’s Call advisory board and as a community representative and is a board member for FUSION transitional housing.

“With two decades of work in the public sector, I know firsthand the challenges our community faces,” Festa said. “I am ready to bring my expertise to the Federal Way City Council and ensure our city meets the needs of everyone in our community.”

Festa grew up in South Seattle and graduated from North Seattle Community College with an Associate of Arts Degree. Her father was a Local 32 union plumber and her mother owned a hair salon.

Festa said she believes homelessness is a regional problem and requires regional solutions. She said the city needs to utilize connections with other cities and aggressively pursue funding through the county and state for specific projects. Festa said she is also passionate about ensuring no veteran is homeless and supports housing for veterans.

In her six years participating in the Federal Way police chief’s advisory call, Festa said she supports adding officers to the force.

“A safe and peaceful community is one where businesses want to do business,” she said. “I also support partnering with unions to provide apprenticeship and labor training opportunities here in Federal Way to ensure that employers can find skilled labor within the city and residents can access living wage jobs.”

Festa said she supports parks and green spaces, and prefers responsible maintenance of existing infrastructure instead of demolitions and rebuilds.

“I’ve known her for many years and don’t believe I’ve ever seen someone more dedicated to making our community better,” said Christi Keith, Edgewood City Councilmember. “Katherine has the heart of a public servant and the tenacity and skill to get things done, but more importantly, she works diligently across the aisle – with integrity, kindness with her ever-present, warm smile – to get good ideas to become real policy.”

“Katherine is an amazing friend, but she is truly an inspirational leader,” said Federal Way leader Amanda Miller, who met Festa through community work and has worked with her at Soroptimist for the past several years. “Through this, I was able to experience her leadership firsthand. I was struck by her ability to humbly relate to any walk of life, and express thoughtful insight to the highest level. From her work to the roles she carries in our community, to her service of the community.”

Miller said Festa holds the wisdom of experience, an informed perspective, direct acknowledgment of issues, the aptitude to learn, and most all, the ability to inspire.

Festa brings financial and government experience through skills learned from decades of doing the work.