Councilmember Alex Pedersen's Staff

Alexa Halling

Alexa Halling

Legislative Aide

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Alexa joins Councilmember Pedersen’s team at the City of Seattle after working at Harborview Medical Center, Washington State’s only Level 1 trauma center and safety-net hospital. As a registered dietitian at Harborview, Alexa worked along the intersection of public health, mental health, and homelessness. While there, Alexa saw first-hand how local legislative decisions impact Seattle’s most vulnerable people, including refugees and people experiencing homelessness. In 2018, she led a successful effort to unionize her department to join SEIU 1199NW and then led her team in bargaining for better working conditions and as a union delegate.

As the former Chair of the 43rd District Democrats, Alexa spearheaded Get Out the Vote (GOTV) efforts in her legislative district for the 2018 midterm elections. She currently volunteers as the Director of Policy and Advocacy for the Washington State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (WSAND), where she has been working on the policy agenda for the Washington State affiliate.

For Councilmember Pedersen’s team, Alexa will work on several issues including our city government’s Budget, Labor Relations, Public Health, and Major Civic Projects.  Alexa will also manage the Councilmember’s schedule and intergovernmental relations.

Alexa holds a Master of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University, and a Bachelor of Art’s degree from the University of Washington. In her free time, she enjoys backpacking in the Pacific Northwest.

Cara Kadoshima Vallier

Cara Kadoshima Vallier

Legislative Aide

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Cara brings a broad range of experience in the public and private sectors to her work in Councilmember Pedersen's office. She previously worked in government at the Seattle City Attorney's Office as a paralegal in the Torts and Environmental Protection sections and also on regulatory compliance, cost-recovery actions, city ordinances, state and local planning, and public records requests.

Cara has participated in several statewide and local political campaigns, and has enjoyed working in public affairs, development and advocacy. She formerly served at the City of Los Angeles on the Committee to Apply the Convention to End Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), and served on the boards of the League of Conservation Voters and the Little Tokyo Service Center, an organization committed to improving the lives of underserved individuals and families and promoting the equitable development of ethnic communities and their rich cultural heritage.

For Councilmember Pedersen's team, Cara will focus on issues related to Homelessness, Affordable Housing, Economic Development (including the downtown waterfront), Libraries, Education, Technology, and the Criminal Justice System. 

In her free time, Cara is a volunteer for StolenYouth whose mission is to end child sex trafficking in Washington State. Cara grew up in Seattle where she attended Franklin High School. Cara earned her Masters Degree in Public Policy from UCLA and her Bachelors Degree from the University of Washington. Cara enjoys time with her family and the New York Times crossword puzzle.

Lhorna Murray

Lhorna Murray

Legislative Aide / Community Liaison

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Lhorna Murray is a community advocate and professional artist whose primary goal is to ignite change through hyperlocal and citywide community engagement, activism, and organizing. Recent professional experiences include her work as an organizer for the 2018 Seattle Women’s March 2.0., forming a community led advocacy group in Magnuson Park, and organizing a grassroots effort to successfully lobby city hall to fund children’s programming and safety. Lhorna’s experience involves a variety of approaches to community engagement gained through the planning,  creating, and executing of various local events. Recently, Lhorna’s deep appreciation for the transformative power of art led to her curatorial debut at the Magnuson Park Gallery in North East Seattle in a show titled Redlined, The art of Protest.

Lhorna is currently the Vice President of Magnuson Community Center Advisory Council, is the North East Regional Co-Director for the Seattle Council Parent Teacher Association (PTA), is on the board of directors at the Sand Point Arts and Cultural Exchange (SPACE) radio station and gallery. She was recently appointed by the Seattle City Council as an ARTS Advisor at King Street Station,  is a member of the Magnuson Park Advisory Council (MPAC). Lhorna also serves as the President of the Stronger Together Community Council as well as a member of the North East Seattle Social Justice & Equity Council,  the District Four Presidents Council.  Lhorna also has been the Treasurer of the Seattle Action Network.  Seattle Parks and Recreation recently named Lhorna as an “Equity Champion,” and awarded her a 2018 Denny Award for her commitment to volunteer work and community advocacy on behalf of residents living in Magnuson Park.  

Lhorna grew up in Bremerton, Washington and has lived with her two children in Northeast Seattle for several years.

For Councilmember Pedersen’s team, Lhorna will focus on connections with constituents and community groups in District 4 as well as issues related to Police, Parks, Arts & Culture, Civil Rights, Immigrants & Refugees, and Neighborhoods. District 4 residents will frequently see Lhorna and the Councilmember in the various neighborhoods to listen to residents and small businesses.

Toby Thaler

Toby Thaler

Legislative Aide

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Toby Thaler, an attorney and long-time community leader, has had an extensive career focused on land use and environmental issues.

Toby volunteered on the team that prepared the 1999 Fremont Neighborhood Plan for incorporation into the City Comprehensive Plan. Early implementation plan elements included study and reconfiguration of bicycle and vehicle routing through ‘downtown’ Fremont. He has continued to be engaged in transportation planning and project advocacy, with a focus on creating a functional network of safe non-motorized routes such as neighborhood greenways.

Toby’s career as a lawyer began as an advocate for Native American Treaty Tribes in Western Washington. During that time he also started serving as a board member of the Washington Environmental Council (WEC). Toby the first staff attorney at the WEC, helping to organize and prosecute numerous cases concerning conservation of forests, waters, and other natural resources. For another eight years, Toby was staff counsel for the Washington Forest Law Center.

Into the early 1990s, Toby was as an environmental analyst at Seattle City Light, serving on the team preparing the application for and negotiating the Skagit Hydro Project’s new 30-year federal (FERC) license.  In recent years, Toby has been an independent attorney and policy analyst. He has represented a variety of clients around Washington State. He has worked extensively with communities around the country on climate adaptation planning. Toby also sits on the board of Washington Conservation Voters.

Toby served on the board of the 36th District Democrats (2009-2011) and the board of the 43rd District Democrats (2012-2016.)

Toby is passionate about the quality of life of Seattle neighborhoods, preventing displacement, protecting our urban forest, and helping to make our community more truly sustainable. 

For Councilmember Pedersen’s team, Toby will focus on Land Use, Transportation, and Environmental Issues which include Utilities as well as reducing emissions and improving resiliency to address Climate Change.  Toby, an avid cyclist and transit rider, is a dad and has been married for 25 years.  He resides in the Fremont neighborhood.  Toby earned his JD degree from the University of Washington School of Law and his bachelor’s degree from Columbia University.