Mayor Jenny Durkan on the Book that Made the Difference

This past November, Seattle swore in a new Mayor and City Councilmember, and we here at ShelfTalk thought this would be a great opportunity to continue our series of posts in which we invited your representatives to share books that have meant a lot to them. This time, we asked them “What book was most influential in your life or career and why?” Mayor Jenny Durkan reflects on a book that has had a powerful influence on so many readers, herself included.

“What book was most influential in your life or career and why?”

To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

I have read this book many times, and each time I am struck by something new.  Two scenes were particularly influential on my career. The most significant is Atticus’ closing arguments, in which he refers to the courts as the “great leveler”. To him this means every person has a right to justice, regardless of race, personal circumstances, station in life, or background. This view of justice has inspired me to work on issues of inequality and discrimination. While we have not achieved Atticus’ vision of universal justice, I have fought to realize this goal for my whole career. Continue reading “Mayor Jenny Durkan on the Book that Made the Difference”

Mark Twain’s Seattle Doppelgänger

~posted by Jade D.

While looking through the portraits in our Seattle Historical Photograph Collection online, I came upon a photograph of an older man with wild white hair and a moustache and momentarily wondered what we were doing with a photograph of Mark Twain in our collection. After performing this double take, I looked more closely at the photograph to see that it was in fact a portrait of Seattle Mayor Thomas J. Humes. Humes was first elected to office by the City Council in 1897 to fill the unfulfilled term of William D. Wood, who resigned in favor of seeking his fortune during the Klondike Gold Rush.  On March 13, 1900 Humes was re-elected, this time by popular vote. Continue reading “Mark Twain’s Seattle Doppelgänger”