Abel Pacheco
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Abel Pacheco
Credit: Andrew Lopez

Newest Seattle City Council member will have to dive into zoning

Abel Pacheco Jr. has replaced Rob Johnson on the Seattle City Council.

That plops the University District upzone right on his desk.

Several rounds of voting by council members on Monday put Pacheco in the District 4 seat.

Pacheco directs strategic engagement for a STEM program at the University of Washington.

With his elevation, there are now four people of Mexican descent on the City Council – a first. Members Lorena Gonzalez, Debora Juarez and Teresa Mosqueda also have Mexican heritage.

Council members cited Pacheco's previous experience in land use and affordability planning. He’ll head the land-use and zoning committee, meaning he'll face some big issues in coming months, including a proposed upzone for the University District.

Johnson left last month to take a job with Seattle's new, unnamed hockey team.

Voters will elect a new council member for the district in the fall. Pacheco had planned to run for that seat, but now he plans to step down after the election results are certified.

Correction, 4/25, 1:10 p.m.: A previous version of this story gave an incorrect number of council members with Mexican heritage. It omitted Teresa Mosqueda.