SHORELINE, Wash. – A young woman is running for Shoreline City Council on the premise she used to be a heroin addict. It’s one of the most unlikely platforms you’d think of for politics, but it’s exactly what Jin-Ah Kim said every city needs.
“Whenever I put down yard signs, I am still finding little orange caps, needles and syringes and things like that,” said Kim.
Because of her past, Kim knows what that garbage points to — she said the opioid epidemic is in Shoreline. She said dealers are moving, along with addicts, to the suburbs.
“They can’t afford to live in Seattle. Nobody can afford to anymore,” she said.
Kim said before she discovered Oxycodone, she was a Sunday school teacher and college student. At the same time her high became a habit, she said the price of pills skyrocketed. “The next best thing was heroin,” she said.
Kim said death was certain if it hadn’t been for treatment in Tacoma four years ago. She said she found her way in 12-Step Fellowship meetings, and she’s hoping to use what she learned there on the city council.
“With any decision I make, I have 12 steps to go through,” she said.
Kim said if she’s elected, she’ll be focusing on what she knows: homelessness, diversity and the growing drug problem in Shoreline.
Kim said she knows she’s a nontraditional candidate, but she’s hoping to use her rock bottom to her benefit and hopefully inspire others to do the same.
“There’s this huge group of people that literally woke up broke every day, and were rich by noon. Every single day. These are the people that can get things done. Use them,” she said.