Governor Jay Inslee appointed her to be a commissioner on Hispanic Affairs, where she serves three counties: Snohomish and Whatcom, Skagit Valley Counties, and works with the community and all related agencies and stakeholders. “Everything that happens regarding Latinos is very important,” she says. “We are the advisors for Governor Inslee.” By working to build relationships and to create policies, Julietta was soon on the fast track for becoming a high profile public servant. Governor Inslee also appointed her to the Board of Trustees for Humanities of Washington. She is the only Latina who is part of that Board in Washington. Not many people are aware of Humanities Washington and what they do to raise awareness for cultural identities by using the vehicles of art and education. Her work is closely tethered to the belief that a person’s identity and growth are closely tied to their understanding and appreciation of both culture and language.
In 2012, she founded the nonprofit organization WAGRO to assist Latinos and Indigenous Mexican students and their families to achieve academic success in school. Today she is president of the WAGRO Foundation and works to break down barriers to education for Latinos in Washington state and Guerrero, Mexico. She is the radio host of “Conexion Contigo” (“Connection with You” in Spanish) for KSVR 91.7FM Skagit Valley Community Radio. She also is a member of the League of Women Voters of Snohomish County, the Advisory Board of Center for Washington Cultural Traditions and the Snohomish County Commission of Human Rights. Julieta was recognized by SPIRIT 105.3 as an “unsung hero” and was the Snohomish County Human Rights Award recipient in 2017.
The lessons learned on the road from El Ocotito to Chilpancingo continue to travel everywhere with Julieta Altamirano-Crosby. Making the decision to run for a seat on the Lynnwood City Council made her nervous, but only in the very beginning. She remembers doorbelling in Lynnwood and feeling self-conscious because English is her second language and she never knew who would answer the door. Then she remembered that her parents prepared her for this journey. Driving to another town for an hour to go to school and experiencing the uncertainty of the road prepared her for a challenging life. She learned everything from this experience. “It’s all about having courage,” she says. In November 2019 Julieta won a position as a council member for the city of Lynnwood. She is the first Latina to hold that office in Snohomish County.
Julieta Altamirano-Crosby, Ph.D
Commissioner Washington State Commission on Hispanic Affairs
Snohomish and Skagit Valley Counties
President of WAGRO Foundation
" A warm smile is the universal language of kindness."
--William Arthur Ward