Employee takes passion for equity and social justice beyond King county 

Pictured: Lily with other members of the Washington State School for the Blind Board of Trustees.

Lily Clifton joined King County to provide administrative support to Deputy County Executive Rachel Smith and the Executive’s Senior Leadership and Government Relations team, while being part of an organization that can make a difference in her community, but her passion for equity and social justice is helping her make a difference beyond her County position.

“I have worked in public service, campaign, and nonprofit roles for years,” said Lily. “I was really excited to come work at the County and learn more about regional government.”

Since starting in January, Lily has participated in the annual Point in Time Count of people experiencing homelessness, assisted with the organization of the Executive’s State of the County address, and has been learning about the County’s work on the 2020 Census.

She has also started a new role that is making a difference outside her King County career. Lily was recently confirmed by the state senate as a board member on the Washington State School for the Blind (WSSB) Board of Trustees, one of 10 trustees who represent their U.S. Congressional District. She represents the Congressional District 7 seat for the school, which encompasses most of Seattle and Burien and all of Vashon Island, Lake Forest Park, Edmonds, Shoreline, and Normandy Park. It’s one way that she is giving back.

“The School for the Blind provides academic, employment, social, and community support to students throughout Washington State,” Lily said. “I attended Seattle public schools, and because I am legally blind, I received additional support and outreach services from WSSB. The school hosts an annual track meet that brings students from across Washington State to Vancouver (WA), and they run summer employment programs in coordination with the Washington State Department of Services for the Blind; so, I spent some time down there.”

The board serves educational needs of visually impaired and blind students throughout the state. It also develops comprehensive curriculum to maximize and develop students’ skills to live, work, and become capable, contributing, and independent members of their community.

“Anytime I’ve ever joined a board my biggest thing is, it’s really about service to others and service to something larger than myself,” Lily said. “Often these spaces are missing really unique voices and people with diverse and intersectional backgrounds. Barriers do exist in participating in these spaces so I try to serve and impact not only the community, but the structure that’s in place. I am really excited to serve on this Board, because it is a community that will always impact my personal and professional life.”

Lily is hoping to learn and grow from the experiences serving her community in both of these positions.

“I hope that my experience on this Board and my role at King County can shape my professional development and strengthen my service in both roles,” said Lily. “I am really excited to learn and grow from these opportunities.”

Lily also currently serves on the Board of Directors for Legal Counsel for Youth and Children (LCYC) in Seattle. LCYC aims to improve the well-being of youth and children by advancing their legal rights.