Town where you live
Federal Way, Washington
Experience (300 characters max)
Business owner for over 30 years and having served on many boards and commissions, currently the Federal Way Civil Service and Park Commissions, I feel makes me very qualified to lead Federal Way into the next decade. Federal Way is a city in transition, now ranked 5th largest city in King County.
3. Growing homeless population
4. Increased drug abuse
5. Apartment v. single family residences out of proportion.
6. Traffic mitigation
That's the top six that have been shared with me in visiting 10,000 plus homes going door to door. I would help the school district with community workshops regarding improving our schools.
As a civil service commissioner, responsible for hiring of police officers, we need more officers as we are currently down seven. The police department has commented to me that to significantly increase the number of police officers they need squad cars as our police department is an urban police department. I will work to find the necessary funding needed, perhaps a local improvement district fund.
Also mentioned as a high priority depending on where you live is the impact of air traffic noise. I would work with the Port of Seattle to help residents upgrade their homes for better sound protection as was done for the City of Sea-Tac
When I attended the homeless symposium sponsored by Columbia University in Seattle a few months ago now, I learned quite a bit in their discussion which included Seattle city leaders as well as people who were both recent and long-term homeless.
I believe that a sustainable regional solution needs to be provided in South King County among our sister cities but that individual cities should provide longer-term temporary shelters, be it what are referred to as small houses, and adult day care shelters (which I support financially now).
The issue of homelessness as described at the symposium is it's like an onion, a layered phenomenon; homelessness is due to recent job loss, individuals moving here to find work but cannot but are still searching, veterans and others who are suffering from a myriad of problems including mental health and physical disabilities, to the core of homelessness which are those who do not want any help and prefer to be homeless.
Strong and vibrant community-based programs to help seniors with the tasks of daily living is something I will always support.
I support DACA and worked/lobbied for the DREAM ACT in Olympia. I was present in the jammed-packed room when Governor Inslee signed the legislation into law. As a Federal Way City Councilor, I will insist that we harbor and help those that need assistance with immigration services.
One of the greatest changes that happened to Federal Way over the past several years was the departure of the Weyerhaeuser Corporation when it moved its headquarters to Pioneer Square in Seattle and over 1000 thousand local jobs left with that move. Industrial Realty Group purchased the entire corporate campus of 400 plus acres for $70M, which was a steal in every sense of the word.
I spoke with their local representative and he shared that it would cost today upwards of $130M just to build the corporate headquarters building which was a small piece of the 400 plus acres. Residents want the remainder to be developed with businesses that are a good fit for our community.
Warehouses, large warehouses, have been on the drawing boards and no one that lives here wants to see that happen. The local roads aren't built to handle daily of upwards to 1000 semi tractor trailers on roadbeds designed for passenger vehicles. Those roads will fail in a very short period of time.
I will use intelligent research and submissions, not only from our local residents, but what has been tried, both successfully and failure, in other communities that mirror our city. It's always been a strong and rewarding premise for me to communicate and educate on all issues, big or small.
Town where you live
Federal Way, Washington
Experience (300 characters max)
South King County Association, Mental Health and Drug Dependency Oversight Committee; Federal Way St. Vincent de Paul Parish; Federal Way Community Caregiving Network; City of Federal Way, Parks and Recreation Commission
Housing is the most important infrastructure issue to be addressed in Federal Way, and solutions to that challenge need to be determined thoughtfully and carefully with an eye toward our city’s future. Just “adding more” has already impacted our traffic, filled the classrooms at some of our schools to beyond capacity, and led to other consequences that affect residents.
On a successful note, I’m excited about the Town Center project and have advocated for it since the concept started coming together. I’d love to see some mixed-use development there, with a variety of retailers and eateries for people to come together and enjoy our Downtown, and I’d also like more options for young people. We need to give our early-career professionals some things to do near home as we attract the out-of-town dollars of a demographic we haven’t really focused on.
Finally, the incoming ST3 project will need to be closely monitored for local impact, careful construction, and easy accessibility.
Study after study shows that housing, or rather the lack thereof, is the No. 1 cause of homelessness. We need to address that regionally, but here in Federal Way we need to expand our shelter and service center options while continuing to focus on affordable housing options. We're trying to keep up with the issue -- I've helped maintain a community dinner service, and I'm currently working to open a homeless shelter and service center that caters to youths – most shelters are open for women with children or for men alone, and homeless youths are frequently turned away from these shelters (or are in danger if they’re admitted).
Deep and abiding. Senior citizens are the glue or our communities and are critical parts of family units, and strong families that can stick together are extremely important to me (I spent the first eight years of my life in a Bulgarian orphanage, finally getting a family when my parents adopted me and brought me to Washington).
I'm committed to diversity, a quality that Federal Way embodies with its 110+ different languages spoken, its vast mix of countries of origin, sexual orientations, gender identities, religions, ages, et al. I helped resurrect a long-defunct Youth Commission that advises the Council on issues important to youths, and I'm in the process of setting up a Senior Citizens Commission toward a similar end - I believe it will be an invaluable panel that will inform and advise the Mayor and Council on issues throughout Federal Way that are important to seniors, and I want to make sure their voices are heard in City decisions.
Again, Federal Way is an extremely diverse city. I recently tried to help keep a local high school student, a Korean immigrant in our community, from being deportaed, and I was proud recently to help pass a proclamation affirming my city’s status as a Welcoming City -- one that accommodates and invites all people without regard to their demographics or countries of origina
Especially in an age when the President of the United States incites fear and hatred against ethnic minorities and LGBTQ members (even those serving in the military), I will continue viewing it as a moral imperative to advocate for rights, respect, and dignity for all people. Our Hispanic, Muslim, Sikh, African, Korean, Vietnames, etc., brothers and sisters are human being like any of us, and they, whatever their immigration status, deserve all the protection and support the rest of us receive.
1. Local economic challenges.
2. Insufficient public involvement in, and familiarity with, what goes on at City Hall.
3. Public safety and the root causes of crime.
No. 1, because it leads to Nos. 2 and 3. Immediate priorities include accelerating the timeline of new business formations -- the byzantine application/permitting/licensing//inspection processes need to be examined to ensure new businesses aren't getting pointlessly tied up in red tape after they've chosen to come here -- and consistently supporting and communicating with our existing businesses must not get lost as we try to expand. Our Economic Development Department also needs more support after its funding and staffing levels were slashed during the recession, and having that department back at full strength will improve our efforts to help local business owners.
Finally, our lack of a B&O tax in Federal Way has worked well so far, and I will thus continue to fight against efforts to implement one.
The same I've used to this point -- I have a great relationship with Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell and am satisfied with our one-on-one and in-session cooperation. Our Mayor is the CEO of our city, and I respect that role, just as the City Council is the check on his operations and the board of directors of City policy, something Mayor Ferrell respects.