Dolores Sibonga, Filipina American lawyer, is appointed to the Seattle City Council in August 1978.

  • By Cynthia Mejia-Giudici
  • Posted 6/10/1999
  • Essay 1319
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In August 1978, Dolores Sibonga (b. 1931), the first Filipina American lawyer in Washington, is appointed to replace Phyllis Lamphere on the Seattle City Council. Sibonga will be elected to the post the following March, 1979, for a four-year term and will serve for a total of 12 years.

Sibonga -- who became the first Filipina American lawyer admitted to the Washington State Bar in 1973 -- ran unsuccessfully for Mayor of Seattle in 1989. She then failed to win the city council presidency. Still, her mayoral campaign brought many Asian Americans together to rally for her cause. When her political career ended, she returned to her law practice. She also began writing for a Filipino American community newspaper. In more recent years, she served on several public commissions, including the Washington Horse Racing Commission (for a two-year term ending in January 2000) and the Human Rights Commission (for a five-year term beginning in June 2000).


Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS); Isabelo T. Crisostomo, "Dolores Sibonga" in Profiles in Excellence: Filipino Achievers in the USA and Canada (Farmington Hills, MI: Brookhaus Publishers, l996), 309; Cynthia Mejia-Giudici Phone Interview with Dolores Sibonga, June 28, 1999. Note: This entry was updated on August 29, 2004.

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