King County Councilmember Larry Gossett serves on the Metropolitan King County Council, representing many Seattle neighborhoods, including the Central Area, Capitol Hill, Beacon Hill, the Rainier Valley, Seward Park, UW, Fremont, Ravenna, Laurelhurst, and the Skyway neighborhood in unincorporated King County.
Councilmember Gossett is Chair of the Law and Justice Committee and Vice Chair of Government Accountability & Oversight. He serves on Health, Housing and Human Services, and Planning, Rural Service and Environment committees. He is also a member on the King County Affordable Housing Committee and the Flood Control District Board of Supervisors.
Born and raised in Seattle, Councilmember Larry Gossett has been a dedicated servant of the people for over 45 years. Gossett’s Council district represents an area where he has lived and worked on issues his entire life.
Councilmember Gossett is a graduate of Franklin High School, and after two years at the University of Washington, he became a VISTA volunteer in Harlem (1966-1967) and worked with poor youth and families. Following his service obligation to VISTA, he returned to the University of Washington, where he was one of the original founders of the Black Student Union (BSU). As a respected student activist, he fought to eliminate racial discrimination and increase the enrollment of African Americans and other students of color at the University. After graduation, he became the first supervisor of the Black Student Division in the Office of Minority Affairs.
Councilmember Gossett is extremely proud that in 1999, 13 years after the 1986 change of the County's name to honor the slain civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., he spearheaded the campaign to change the King County logo from an imperial crown to an image of Dr. King. In 2007, the King County Council unanimously adopted the change, becoming the only governmental entity in the nation to have as its logo the likeness of Dr. King. In the summer of 2008 the University of Washington Alumni Association gave him the esteemed honor of being selected as one of the “Wonderous 100,” one of the most influential UW graduates over the past 100 years.
Prior to his election to the King County Council, Councilmember Gossett was the Executive Director of the Central Area Motivation Program (CAMP), one of the oldest and largest community action agencies in the City of Seattle. He was at CAMP from 1979 until 1993, when he was elected to the King County Council, representing District Two.
Councilmember Gossett is a highly respected community leader who has long advocated for the underrepresented and underprivileged in King County during his entire career. He is an advocate for programs that help inner-city youth and reduce racial and class disparities in our local criminal justice system. He has also spearheaded efforts to eliminate black-on-black violence and other manifestations of self-hatred by poor and disenfranchised populations.
Councilmember Gossett has traveled around the world in various community and political capacities. As a community activist, he traveled to Japan, Canada, Russia, and Nicaragua. He represented the King County Council on various trade missions to many countries in Asia (India, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, and South Korea), several countries in South America and South Africa, and most recently, Kent County in England.
Councilmember Gossett is a dynamic speaker, prolific writer, administrator, and political activist. He has the ability to motivate and inspire people of all races and walks of life. He is dedicated to the cause of equal rights and economic freedom for all people.
He is married with three adult children and four beloved grandchildren.