The city of Mattawa has a new administrative assistant, having recently hired Norma Avalos to fill the position. Avalos will be the community’s main point of contact with city and law enforcement administrations, and will help get out the word out about upcoming events and programs.
Avalos, 31, is the mother of three girls and one boy. She has lived since 1998 in Schawana, located just seven miles away from Mattawa, and she enters the job well acquainted with both the community and the local police department.
“It’s a lot of fun, I know the whole community, and the people in the department already know me, so they feel good talking to someone they know already,” Avalos said.
Avalos has worked in the past at Wahluke School District as the central registrar, bilingual program secretary and district homeless liaison.
In her new role, Avalos will help city agencies communicate with the public, including by creating flyers and social media posts for events, such as the upcoming Trunk or Treat.
“The most important thing is serving the community, and getting to see them all and getting them the best customer service,” Avalos said.
In some ways, Avalos hopes the new job will be good practice for a possible future in law enforcement. She has twice submitted applications to join the police academy, but had to withdraw her application in both cases – first in 2008 because she became pregnant, and once in 2016 because her children were concerned about their mother entering dangerous work.
Though the dream was put on hold, Avalos is still working actively toward becoming more involved in law enforcement and plans on taking criminal justice classes from Columbia Basin College.
“I’ve always been interested in law enforcement,” Avalos said. “That’s something I’d really like to be a part of.”