Background

DanWindow1My name is Dan Shih. (That’s pronounced “She.”) I’m running for state representative because I love our state and want to make it a more just place for everyone. I want to help pass progressive legislation that makes people’s lives better and improves opportunities for everyone in Washington.

Growing Up

1978-07
Dan, age 6, with his family

I was born and raised in the Seattle area. My parents were Chinese immigrants who had to borrow money to make their voyage here. They arrived in Seattle with nothing but two suitcases and hope for a better future. Their courage and struggle to build a life here inspired me to value opportunity, work hard, and take nothing for granted.

My first job at age 12 was as a paperboy for The Seattle Times—making their endorsement especially meaningful to me! Later jobs included working in food service, retail stores, and as warehouse labor.

I attended public elementary schools and then high school at Lakeside School, where I currently serve on the Alumni Board.

I went to college at Princeton University, working various jobs during all four years to make ends meet. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in computer science. I won a fellowship to attend graduate school at Stanford University, which allowed me to earn a master’s degree in economics and later a law degree. Prior to law school, I worked for several years in management consulting and venture capital, including with The Boston Consulting Group.

Champion for Justice

After clerking for a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, I returned to Seattle to practice law at Susman Godfrey, where I am a partner. Susman Godfrey has been rated the nation’s No. 1 litigation boutique for the last five years in The Vault’s annual survey and a “Most Feared Plaintiffs Firm” by Law360. My colleagues at the firm successfully defended the City of Seattle against a U.S. Chamber of Commerce challenge to the city’s $15 minimum wage and represented the Texas Clean Air Cities Coalition to stop the construction of coal-fired electricity plants.

I have dedicated my legal career to fighting for people who have been treated unjustly by those in power.

  • I fight unjust treatment by big business. In my law practice, I help people take on big corporations and banks for cheating customers, underpaying employees, defrauding investors, and other corporate misconduct. My class action lawsuits have recovered, in the aggregate, over a hundred million dollars for customers, employees, and investors.
  • I fight unjust treatment by the government. On the board of the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, I advise on our civil rights and civil liberties advocacy work. I also volunteer my legal services for constitutional and civil rights cases. Most recently, I represented Lambda Legal and a coalition of other minority and civil rights organizations on an amicus brief in the Washington Supreme Court arguing that antidiscrimination law cannot yield to a seller’s moral beliefs—in that case, a florist’s refusal to provide flowers for a gay couple’s wedding. I also serve on the board of QLaw Association, where I lead our advocacy efforts to make the legal system fairer for LGBTQ people.
  • And I fight unjust treatment by other oppressors. I serve on the board of API Chaya, a non-profit supporting survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking, primarily in refugee and immigrant communities. We help survivors understand their options, escape from their oppression, get stable housing, and rebuild their lives. I also serve on King County task force working to improve the implementation of H.B. 1840, which allows a judge to order the surrender of firearms of domestic abusers.

My passion for justice has motivated my legal career, my nonprofit work, and now my desire to be your representative!

Dropping off the girls at school

My Family

I live with my husband Ted and our three daughters, who attend public school in Seattle’s Eastlake neighborhood.

As a working parent, I know how hard it is to work a demanding job, provide for a family, and make time to be a good parent and serve our community. Many families face even greater challenges, and that is why I support policies that help working people and at-risk children and ensure everyone has the chance to succeed.

My hobbies include distance cycling, stand-up paddleboarding, playing board games with my girls, and volunteering at their public school.