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14 years as a small business owner in Snohomish County District 5; 15 years working for two the county’s environmental organizations on land use policy and environmental regulations; elected in 2005 and 2015 as Snohomish County Charter Review Commissioner in District 5.
The District 5 Snohomish County Council seat has been held by a Democrat for most of the last 20 years, and that has been a good decision by the voters for the district and all of Snohomish County. I’m running as a Democrat to unseat Republican Sam Low, who has only held the office since the beginning of 2017 in a special election, because I want to re-establish the values and integrity of the Democratic platform back into our county’s decision making.
There are many issues Snohomish County is facing and will continue to face as we plan for another 200,000 people to move here in the next 20 years. Three that I want to work on are the stronger protections for the environment, building our economy and provide more affordable housing to our current and future residents, and ensure our communities remain great places to live by tackling traffic problems, the opioid addiction problem and homelessness.
With another 200,000 people expected to move to Snohomish County in the next 20 years, (with another update to that population projection in 2023) I feel it is most important that we better plan our communities for the expected growth and development. How we use our land has a direct effect on people’s abilities to afford homes, provide for their families, get around on roads for their jobs, schools, shopping and activities, and enjoy the beauty, all of which also can affect people’s happiness.
Snohomish County has a done a fairly good job in some respects trying to keep up with roads, but there are certainly problems in some areas of the county. Allowing large developments to go in without knowing there is funding to fix the major arterials to handle more traffic is a huge problem, exacerbated by state highways that lack funding for expansions. Highways 522, 2 and 9 have terrible choke points for traffic, and this will only get worse. We need to work with our state legislators to fund these problems, and we need to ensure when we allow new development that our roads will be up to standard. The county also needs a Complete Street policy and implementation so as our county grows we have roads being built that will also include sidewalks that actually connect to other developments, bike lanes and bus pullouts. The other issue is planning for ST3, to ensure that the light rail stations will also include opportunities for transit oriented development and there are enough lots
Senior citizens are often neglected, even more so as senior citizens of different cultures in our county. Providing the services they need is essential. I am committed to ensure our senior citizens can continue to live in their homes if they choose, or have adequate housing, services and assistance they need to live in dignity in our communities.
Currently, Snohomish County is one of many counties in Washington State does not honor detainer requests by ICE officers. I am supportive of that policy. I am opposed to what is happening at the federal level. Snohomish County is a diverse county, which is one of our strengths. I support human rights for all people living in Snohomish County. I will work with our diverse communities to ensure they can live happy, healthy and productive lives.
This is a difficult issue with no one clear answer, as each person may have a different reason as to why they are homeless. There will need to be many different ways to help based on the individual reason. Much of homelessness has to do with mental illness, drug and alcohol addiction, veterans who have been ignored, children of abusive homes, and people down on their luck. We need to work with all the cities to find different solutions that will solve this very solvable problem.
Town where you live
Experience (300 characters max)
Elected to Snohomish County Council in 2016.
Elected Lake Stevens City Council in 2013; Council President 2016.
Snohomish Health District 2014; Chair 2015.
Lake Stevens Rotary member; Rotary President 2016-2017
Small business owner in Lake Stevens past 10 years.
Having been born and raised in Snohomish County, I have always had a desire to make my County a better place to live for all. Snohomish County is a beautiful and incredible place to live. We must be responsible in how we grow, yet we must plan for our infrastructure needs accordingly. We must address rampant drug use, mental health, and homelessness in a kind and loving way. We must spend our tax dollars wisely instead of raising taxes on our seniors and families.
#1 Transportation and Infrastructure. We need to add additional lane capacity on the Trestle, Highway 522, Highway 2, and Highway 9.
#2 Drug Use, Mental Health, and Homelessness. These are separate issues, yet many times they are interrelated. We need a comprehensive plan that includes health professionals, The Snohomish Health District, law enforcement and our court system.
#3 Out Of Control Spending. We must look at ways to stop taxing our seniors and young families to fill budget holes.
I think all three issues are equally important and related in their own way. Because of out of control spending at the county in the past we have not had the funds necessary to truly address drug use, mental health, and homelessness. Furthermore, we have also not had the money necessary to work on transportation issues and infrastructure.
We as a county and state have invested heavily in busses, van pools and HOV lanes to help address our transportation needs. As a county our community transit support is larger than the entire county public works budget which is for roads and infrastructure. We need to see a balanced approach to transportation and infrastructure that includes more lane capacity. Highway 522 needs to be completed and made safe once again in and around the Paradise Lake Road area. Highway 2 needs to be widened to 4 lanes from 2. The trestle needs upgraded lane capacity and safety headed westbound from Lake Stevens and Snohomish toward Everett. The completion of widening of Highway 9 between Cathcart and Clearview must be addressed . Rebuilding the Snohomish river bridge on Highway 9 and increasing capacity between Snohomish and Lake Stevens is also needed. Many of the needed improvements have been neglected by the State Of Washington and I will continue to fight to get our infrastructure completed.
My commitment to our seniors is I will be watching and stopping taxes and fees that take so much away from many on fixed incomes. Most of our Seniors who live on fixed incomes cannot afford to see their property taxes increased and their sales tax increased. It is my goal to make sure our seniors are taken care of after spending so much time and effort taking care of us to get us to the point we are at today.
First and foremost we need to follow local, county, state and federal laws. If a law needs to be changed, then lets work on it together to change it. We need to educate others on immigration and welcome those who have come here following our laws. Those who have disregarded our laws should face whatever legal consequences the law allows. I am thankful to those who have come to America like my great grandparents to make a better life for them and their families.
First and foremost we need to have a comprehensive plan that includes health professionals, our county health district, law enforcement, our elected, and our courts. We need to educate the public that being homeless is not a crime. However, many who are homeless are struggling with drugs, mental health or both and some are homeless because of poor choices. We must be firm yet compassionate at the same time. We need to make sure we as a county are not becoming enablers to those less fortunate.