Celebrating alumnus Zack Zappone MPA '19 on his election to Spokane City Council

Nov 19 2021
SPIA Graduate Admissions Office

Zack Zappone was born and raised in Spokane to a working-class, union family who has served Eastern Washington for generations. Zack comes from a modest but proud line of public servants, from wheat farmers, teachers and bus drivers to public school secretaries and members of the armed forces. Growing up, Zack learned the pride of serving his community.

Through hard work and dedication at his alma mater North Central, Zack overcame challenges as a first-generation college student at Georgetown University, where he worked nights and weekends at McDonald’s to support himself. Zack’s passion for education led him to become a Fulbright Scholar, and obtained his Master in Public Affairs at Princeton University in 2019.

Zack has never forgotten his commitment to serving his community. After college, Zack returned to Eastern Washington to be a middle school English and History teacher, where he advocated for changes to help students ignored by the public school system. He worked with school district officials to implement curriculum changes that were more representative of his students’ background and experiences. He increased family engagement with new school-wide activities, creating three after-school programs in order to expand college and career opportunities. Zack created win-win opportunities for his students and the community by forging partnerships with local businesses, law firms, and organizations like the YMCA, the Superior Courts, and World Relief. 

However, Zack saw first-hand that no matter how hard his students worked, they continued to face obstacles to upward mobility outside of the classroom. He saw that the lack of access to healthcare services, safe walking routes to school, or living-wage jobs continued to be a barrier to equity and a stronger community for his students. More recently, Zack saw the extent of inequalities laid bare during the COVID-19 pandemic, so he stepped up to serve his community as a core volunteer in the newly created Spokane Food Fighters, which delivered 100,000 meals to residents in need. 

In his campaign for Spokane City Council, Zack's campaign stayed focused on policies to lift up working and middle class families, while record-setting amounts of outside money funded smear campaigns against him.

Zack's term begins on January 1st, 2022, where he will continue to serve the people of Spokane so that everyone has a fair shot. He will bring his SPIA training to focus on policy proposals for affordable housing and homelessness, public health and safety that prioritizes mental health, and building 21st century infrastructure and workforce. 

At Princeton SPIA, we celebrate Zack on this momentous victory!


Article originally featured here: https://zackzappone.com/meet-zack.