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

Nov 19 2021
By 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 and working for the betterment of all.

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 to receive a full academic scholarship to obtain his Master in Public Affairs at Princeton University.

In spite of his credentials, 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, as a volunteer with the Spokane Food Fighters during the Coronavirus pandemic, Zack has witnessed the extent of income inequality and hardship in the community while helping to deliver over 100,000 meals to citizens in need. 

In his 2020 campaign, Zack’s campaign stayed focused on ideas to lift up working and middle class families, while record-setting amounts of outside money funded smear campaigns against him. Zack’s win showed that City Council seats aren’t for sale. He will continue to serve the people of Spokane to make sure everyone has a fair shot.

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


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