Town where you live
Experience (300 characters max)
Elected Precinct Officer, Pastor and pioneer of four churches, Bible College Teacher, Sales and Marketing of Recreational Properties, Social Worker, Light House Mission Chaplain, Counselor, and Aerospace Interior Construction.
We may be needing some solutions in the future in creating a few more options to help speed up traffic at rush hour periods. Some of the older buildings are starting to be salvaged in the former Georgia Pacific area. I favor continuing to do this in the Old Town area. We could look forward to a new, vibrant and thriving area downtown, both for living and business.
The Birchwood area, where Albertsons used to be, could use some upgrade and attention. Perhaps another grocery store could go in there, if the City could make it more attractive to do business here. The area where Costco used to be (on the Guide Meridian,) could also use some attention, as several businesses
have departed. While some new businesses may be going into that area, the parking lot needs to be more easily accessed both for entering and leaving.
We need high speed internet available to all, in order to attract business, industry, higher paying jobs, and economic growth.
As a community, we have made it attractive for homeless people to come here from many other places. We actually provide many services for the homeless here. However, many of those services don't facilitate a transition out of homelessness.
We could do much better on the following:
1) Mental health treatment
2) Substance abuse treatment
3) Job training and placement
4) Affordable housing
While there is good work being done in our city for the homeless, still far too much of the help does not curb the problem, as homelessness has steadily escalated from 2012 until now. As long as we make it easy to stay homeless in Bellingham, we won't see a reversal. We can do much better.
We could use private shelters (redirect wasted city funds) that require:
1) Clean and sober
2) Work, look for a job or go to school
3) A target date to become self sufficient
I am very much committed to senior citizens. I am one. I can relate to their needs and concerns. We should do all we can to ensure affordable housing and other services that we are able to provide as a city. Our city should reflect diversity. Age is one aspect of diversity. We need to respect and care for our seniors.
Legal and illegal immigration are Federal issues. As a city, we should work on city issues and cooperate with the Federal government in terms of legal and illegal immigration.
Affordable housing is a big issue in Bellingham. Whatcom county ranks right at the top for unaffordable rents, in comparison to other counties in our state. We also are at the top for unaffordable owner occupied homes. The real estate for sale inventory is very small, as are the listings for rentals. Prices continue to climb, as wages stagnate. Since 2012, in Bellingham, this problem has continued to grow.
The average wage in Bellingham is considerably lower than other places in our state the have similar housing and home prices as ours. The City needs to learn how to attract higher paying jobs and opportunities.
Affordable housing, affordable homes, and solving the homeless crisis are, as group, the most urgent.
I would work as a team with both the other council members and the mayor to solve Bellingham problems and ensure a better Bellingham. Listening is a very important part of working together. As a new council member, I would start by doing a lot of listening to the mayor. I believe I would bring a healthy diversity to the team. We are stronger together and I would do my part.
Town where you live
Experience (300 characters max)
Two terms on the Bellingham City Council. Ten years of experience working for local government. Bachelor's degree in communications from Central Washington University, and a master's degree in public administration from The Evergreen State College. Enrolled member of the Nooksack Indian Tribe.
Bellingham is in the constant process of updating aging streets and infrastructure, and I’m proud that our City manages with Complete Streets values so that when roads need to be dug up or redone, many utilities and types of infrastructure are updated at the same time. I have supported our infrastructure improvements in so many ways in serving on the City’s Public Works and Public Safety Committee. I’m also dedicated to infill and economic development.
The City is in the process of looking for a location for a low-barrier homeless shelter. I also support the City’s Homeless Outreach Team in their work to help homeless and other individuals. The City maintains a Home Fund that voters approved to help with affordable housing. In addition to our current affordable housing, I’m dedicated to finding more locations and funding for affordable housing. It will also help if our City allows for more types of housing types: Big, medium and small.
I was adopted by 55 year olds and helped with caring for them throughout the aging process. As such, I’m dedicated to protecting our senior citizens in terms of housing and anything we need to do to keep our seniors as healthy as can be and out of harm’s way.
I'm committed to supporting the pathway to citizenship. Our Nation and our region will not survive without the direct involvement of our Immigrant community. I also support our Bellingham Police Department’s policies in protecting Immigrants in Bellingham. If anyone, at any time, finds a problem with the way our Police Department has treated an Immigrant, or ANY person of color, I hope people will file a complaint with the Police department so we can all work to protect our community.
We have to preserve our environment and drinking water; support our business community and improve it to increase jobs; gain all types of housing to have an impact on our housing crisis; reduce incarceration; reclaim Bellingham’s waterfront; create people-centered transportation; and strengthen our city center.
Housing, infill and economic development.
I appreciate the partnership I have with our Mayor of Bellingham, Kelli Linville, and her staff. I work to stay in regular communication with our Mayor, especially to notify her of initiatives that I’ll be bringing forward. Our current Mayor has helped me so much, and I’ll always be grateful for Mayor Kelli Linville and her leadership. The job of the Mayor of Bellingham is anything but easy, and I’ve worked to be one Councilmember that hopefully reduces stress in our Mayor’s life.