Your voice and your vote can make a difference in our local mental health systems.    

On October 19th at 6:30pm, NAMI Seattle hosted a  Candidate Forum for the Seattle Municipal Court Position 7 which oversees the Mental Health Court. Candidates are incumbent Damon Shadid and Nyjat Rose-Akins. This was a nonpartisan educational forum focused on mental health issues. The forum was moderated by Dr. Becky Bay of Binnacle Psychiatry.

Topics covered included: how mental health court works and what needs improving, medication in jails, the current system for involuntary holds, therapeutic jurisprudence, the role of judges in determining or monitoring treatment and medication, the right of informed consent, how to protect autonomy, and more. Thank you to everyone who asked questions. There is still time to use your voice and vote!

This was a hybrid event, in-person at Aspire Kinetic Arts, 11030 8th Ave NE, Seattle. Live on Zoom.

Date: Wednesday, October 19th

Time: 7:00pm – 8:30pm

Refreshments will be provided in person at 6:30pm 

Location: Aspire Kinetic Arts/Zoom 


Meet the Candidates

Damon Shadid 

Judge Damon Shadid was proud to be the first popularly elected judge of Middle Eastern descent in the state of Washington. Judge Shadid began his legal career giving free legal services to refugees from Somalia, successfully winning asylum for multiple clients after horrific ethnic cleansing in their own country. He provided free legal work for abused women in Houston and Seattle, helping to win custody battles against their abusive partners.

Before taking the bench, Judge Shadid co-founded the Middle Eastern Legal Association of Washington, served as a board member for the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Race and Social Justice Roundtable, the Racial Justice Report Card, as well as many other grassroots efforts seeking social justice for marginalized people.

Since being elected to the bench in 2014, Judge Shadid has served as a board member of the District and Municipal Court Judges Association and the Legal Financial Obligations Consortium. Learn more about Judge Shadid:

Nyjat Rose-Akins

Nyjat has worked for Seattle as an assistant city attorney for 12 years, including time in both the criminal and the civil divisions. In the criminal division, Nyjat’s wide and varied duties provided her with valuable firsthand knowledge of how misdemeanor crimes are handled in Seattle.Currently, Nyjat serves in the civil division, advising and defending the City on matters involving a range of issues. Nyjat’s awareness of how a criminal case impacts all those involved has further deepened since serving regularly as a pro tem judge within King County.

Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Nyjat immigrated to the United States when she was seven years old. She received her undergraduate degree from Howard University in Washington, DC. 

She served as pro bono volunteer for home foreclosure clinics. Nyjat has also served as executive board member of the Loren Miller Bar Association, treasurer of the Dynamic Urban Opportunities Foundation, and 22-year member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, the first intercollegiate historically African American sorority. Learn more about Nyjat Rose-Akins: