By Emma Notkin

For Mother’s Day, for my mom

Cathy and Emma in 1996

My mom was setting up new bookshelves for my room, using her skills from her time as a carpenter in Pittsburgh. She showed me how to measure wood planks for shelving accurately, and how to install the brackets so my Bill Bryson and Regency romance collections wouldn’t slide off the shelves. As we worked, we talked. I learned about the fear, the exhilaration, and the hazard pay mom got working the catwalks on big construction jobs – and the determination she needed to convince the men on the job that she was capable of working 100 feet up in the air. I learned that the floor-to-ceiling shelves housing my father’s spy novels, my mother’s books on local communities, and my and my brother’s childhood picture books were built by mom when she was seven months pregnant. I learned, yet again, of my mother’s determination, strength, kindness, and vast knowledge.

I am thrilled my mother is running for Seattle City Council. I cannot think of a person I would rather have represent me and the people of District 4 on City Council. I see this every day on the campaign trail. I watch her eagerly dive into policy, speaking with experts and reading articles every day to develop wise and functional policies for Seattle. I hear the passion she feels speaking with the people who share the hopes, fears, and stories of their neighborhoods. I see the care she puts into turning those stories into Facebook posts, so the whole city can understand what it means to live in District 4. I was proud to sign my Democracy Vouchers to Cathy Tuttle, and I will be proud to cast my ballot for my mother on August 6th.

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