Shukri Olow is a mother, and a community organizer here in South King County.


For the last 14 years, she has worked directly in service to the residents of South King County on a variety of issues including housing, education and human services. 


Shukri was four years old when her father died in a tragic car accident and a Civil War broke out in her birth country of Somalia. She fled her home with her mother and siblings, and then spent six years in a refugee camp, praying for an opportunity to find peace and security.

In 1996, at the age of 10, Shukri arrived in the United States, and found a home in South King County, in the city of Kent. Shukri's family accessed the food bank and had social workers connecting them to additional resources in the community. Their family was surrounded by helpers who laid the path for a brighter future in their new home.


As an immigrant, refugee, and product of the Kent public housing system, Shukri has seen and lived the challenges that so many members of our community face. She has also felt the beauty of this community which supports one another, and that supported her when her family needed it most. It is that resilient love that inspires Shukri to represent the people of South King County.

Shukri works at King County with the Best Starts for Kids Initiative, a voter-approved initiative to support every baby born or child raised in King County to reach adulthood happy, healthy, safe, and thriving. The initiative was approved by voters last year and has raised close to $900 million over the next six years to improve access to child care, prevention, and other services for children and families in the county.  Shukri leads the Youth Development Strategy, a strategy supporting 32 youth-serving organizations, many of them in the district. She has served on a number of boards and organizations including Kent Youth and Family Services, Kent Rotary, Kent YMCA, and the Steering Committee for the Kent Education Levy in 2022.


Shukri Olow graduated from Auburn High School. She has a B.A. in Public Affairs, a Masters in Public Administration, and a Doctorate in Education from Seattle University. She lives in Kent with her two children.