Michael K. Vaska
Mike Vaska is a member practicing antitrust law and business litigation at Seattle's Foster Pepper & Shefelman. He represents clients on a range of issues, including price-fixing investigations, mergers, foreign competition law, and complex business litigation in courts around the country. He has been selected as a "Super Lawyer" for several years running by Washington Law & Politics magazine.
For more than a decade, he has been a leader on transportation issues in the Puget Sound region. He led a coalition of business, civic and environmental groups who reshaped the region's light rail transit plan, then campaigned successfully for voter approval. Mike was honored for his contribution by the Municipal League of King County.
Since the election, Mike has worked to seek federal funds for the program, chaired the joint Seattle Chamber�Downtown Seattle Association Task Force on Light Rail, and served on Sound Transit's Project Review Committee, chaired by former Mayor Charles Royer (and including Senator Slade Gorton, Governor Booth Gardner and Jim Ellis).
Mike has also worked on efforts to provide adequate and stable funding for that highway and other transportation projects. He was Treasurer for Referendum 49--a measure placed on the ballot by the Legislature and passed by the voters--that funded more than $2 billion in highway projects. He was also Treasurer and a spokesperson for the unsuccessful campaign to defeat Initiative 695, the measure that effectively repealed R-49 and eliminated funding for highways, ferries and transit. He served on the Steering Committee for the Washington Transportation Alliance, a coalition of labor and business working for transportation solutions.
His other volunteer civic contributions include: Republican Member of the King County Redistricting Committee; Board Member, Chief Seattle Council, Boy Scouts of America (Mike is an Eagle Scout); King County Special Deputy Prosecuting Attorney (prosecuted felony drug cases).
Mike grew up in Redmond, Washington when its single stoplight was the only monopoly in town. Mike's father was a Russian immigrant who, as a young boy, was separated from his family by the Nazi's to serve as forced labor. The first in his family to go to college, Mike attended Stanford on a financial need scholarship (working summers as a clerk at Safeway). Mike was Managing Editor of The Stanford Daily and a correspondent for The San Francisco Chronicle. He graduated with honors and distinction with a degree in History and Economics.
Mike graduated from the University of Chicago Law School (also on a financial need scholarship) where he was a member of The University of Chicago Law Review.
Mike lives on Cougar Mountain with his wife and two boys, and likes to climb, ski and play soccer whenever he gets a chance.