As Sound Transit celebrates Latinx Heritage Month (from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15), we meet Community Outreach Specialist Jefferson Rose.
It’s the latest in our regular series introducing you to the people who work here at Sound Transit trying to make it easier for you to get to where you work, live and play every day.
Before joining our outreach team, Rose worked in the nonprofit sector, mainly on programs supporting food-insecure families in Washington state.
When I heard about the ERGs at Sound Transit, I wanted to get involved and felt LIT was the best fit since I love the language, music and, of course, the food.
Rose connected with Sound Transit's Latinx in Transportation (LIT) Employee Resource Group shortly after he started working at the agency in May 2018.
"I joined as an ally and supporter, as I myself am not Latinx. In my family we celebrate my wife’s Mexican heritage, my major in college was Latin American Studies and I lived in Central America and Spain for years, so Latinx history and culture are very important to me," he said.
He also speaks Spanish and listens to and play a lot music from those regions, he said, "and my first meeting was a potluck, so that brought me to the table!"
Q: What do you tell your friends you do for work?
A: I tell them I am the point of contact for the Federal Way Link Extension, bringing light rail south from SeaTac to Federal Way. When people in the community have questions, comments or concerns, I am who they can call or email to get information. Since most of my outreach is in South King County, as a Spanish speaker with a history of working in this community, I have been able to reach a lot of people and organizations to let them know what happening with the project.
Q: What’s your passion outside of your job?
A: My wife and I had a son this year, so that is number 1, my family. I also have an 8-piece band with my wife called The Pazific that plays Latin and other warm weather music, mostly in Spanish, but we mix some songs in English in as well.
Q: What attracted you to work at Sound Transit?
A: I grew up in Seattle and have witnessed the dramatic changes since I was a kid. I want to see transit expanded here to create more equitable opportunities across the region. After living in Europe, I saw how transit can transform people’s ability to work, travel and create community. The opportunity to be a part of something that is bringing that mobility-for-all to this area is really exciting.
Q: How do you get to work?
A: I ride the 113 from the Olson-Myers Park and Ride in White Center that drops me a few blocks from the office.
Q: What three things would you take with you to a desert island (besides food and water)?
A: A photo of my wife and kid, my bass (with extra strings), and a fishing pole.