Local immigration attorney Minal Ghassemieh to run for Sammamish City Council

Local immigration attorney and Sammamish resident Minal Ghassemieh announced her decision to run for Sammamish City Council on Tuesday.

“Sammamish is a community with so many incredible assets: good schools, a strong parks and recreation system, beautiful surroundings and a palpable sense of community. However, I believe that our city can and should be more proactive about building an environment of … inclusion and respect for all residents,” Ghassemieh stated in a press release. “With the surge in hate crimes and divisiveness across the country, now is our time to be a leader.”

As an immigration attorney and board chair at Seattle nonprofit API Chaya, which supports domestic violence survivors, Ghassemieh said she is no stranger to the stories of those who have been, and will continue to be, most impacted by the Trump administration. Ghassemieh recently spoke before the Sammamish City Council about her concerns regarding hate-related incidents.

Among her targeted priorities, Ghassemieh mentioned she wanted to ensure that working parents spend less time stuck in traffic and more time with their families. She said she wants to continue investing in strong educational and after-school programs. She also aims to balance growth with infrastructure improvements.

“Our city and region have grown quickly. We must make sure that we have the infrastructure in place to support that growth,” Ghassemieh said. “I also believe in the importance of ensuring that we don’t lose the neighborhood character that makes Sammamish such a vital and vibrant community. As a mom, I want our city to be a place where families can thrive and a place my children, and all of our children, are proud to call home.”

Ghassemieh lives off of Louis Thompson Road in Sammamish with her husband and their three children. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington School of Business and her Juris Doctorate from Gonzaga University. She has practiced immigration law for eight years, focusing her practice on employment and family-based immigration. Ghassemieh is also a pro-bono attorney for the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, where she assists refugees and other individuals in need of immigration assistance. Ghassemieh has served on the API Chaya board for five years, an involvement she said she finds deeply personal as a childhood survivor of domestic violence.

This story was updated to include that Ghassemieh recently addressed the Sammamish City Council regarding hate-related incidents.