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Human rights activist Cindy Domingo receives MLK Medal of Distinguished Service


“Cindy Domingo epitomizes public service with her tireless dedication and long string of accomplishments in representing communities so often left from the table”


 Councilmember Kohl-Welles with Martin Luther King, Jr. Medal of
Distinguished Service recipient Cindy Domingo and her family


Cindy Domingo’s activism is a family tradition buttressed with tragedy. Cindy’s lifelong fight for civil and human rights has included working to ensure that those who were responsible for the assassination of her brother, Silme Domingo, and fellow union officer Gene Viernes, were brought to justice. Domingo today received the District Four Martin Luther King, Jr. Medal of Distinguished Service from Metropolitan King County Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles for her work in District Four, throughout the region, and globally.

“Cindy Domingo epitomizes public service with her tireless dedication and long string of accomplishments in representing communities so often left from the table,” said Kohl-Welles. “Even after many decades of exemplary commitment to her community, she continues to empower the marginalized by giving her time and energy to a myriad of organizations committed to a better King County and a better world. Cindy truly honors the legacy of Dr. King and has answered his call to service with strength, grit, and determination.”

Cindy’s parents were active in Seattle’s Filipino Community, which inspired her interest in the history and politics of the Philippines, and to work to end the repressive regime of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos. Cindy’s brother Silme was active in organizing Filipinos working in the fishing and cannery industry, union activity that lead to Marcos arranging the 1981 assassination of Silme and Gene Viernes. For the next decade, Cindy spearheaded the Committee for Justice for Domingo and Viernes (CJDV) in its successful efforts in exposing Marcos’ role in the murder and winning a landmark federal court judgement against Marcos of over $20 million.

“If you didn’t know Cindy and had just met her, you would be taken by her kindness, helpful nature, and her smile that can light up a room,” said Kohl-Welles. “But make no mistake, Cindy Domingo is a dragon slayer.”

Cindy has been active in a number of efforts supporting underrepresented communities and communities of color, including serving on the boards of several prominent national women's organizations, including the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum and the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. On a local level, Domingo has worked with organizations such as the Church Council of Greater Seattle, LELO (A Legacy of Equality, Leadership and Organizing), and the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA).

The annual presentation of the MLK Medals of Distinguished Service, one in each of the Council’s nine districts, is the Council’s tradition of recognizing those who have made a particularly strong impact on the county and to encourage others to renew their dedication to serve their community.

This is the fourth year Councilmembers have recognized individuals in their districts who have answered the question asked by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “What are you doing for others?”

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