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- Karen Ristvet
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Karen Vialle was born in Tacoma in 1943 to Leo and Arline Ristvet. She graduated from Wilson High School in 1961 and from the University of Puget Sound in 1963. In 1988, she launched her first run for office and was elected to the Tacoma City Council. In 1990, she became the first woman elected Mayor of Tacoma, serving in the role until 1994. She was elected to the Tacoma Public Schools Board of Directors in 2011 and 2017. She also served as an Assistant Professor at the University of Puget Sound, a consultant for the Puyallup and Muckleshoot tribal school systems, a substitute teacher, executive director of Centro Latino, assistant director of the State Budget Office, and deputy chief for the State Insurance Commissioner. In 2019, former Mayor Marilyn Strickland credited Vialle for making it possible for other women and diverse candidates to run for office in Tacoma. As Mayor, Vialle arranged for the purchase and cleanup of the Foss Waterway and led urban renewal and mass transit projects.
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Written by Anna Trammell, 2021
Needles, Allison,"Vision and Guts: First Woman to Be Elected Tacoma Mayor Remembered as Tough, Hardworking,", The Tacoma News Tribune, July 23, 2019.
Karen Vialle Obituary, The Tacoma News Tribune, July 30, 2019.
Driscoll, Matt "Vialle Had the Sharp Elbows It Took to Break Barriers: It's Never Easy to Be First,",The Tacoma News Tribune, July 23, 2019.