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VOTE411 Voter Guide

City of Renton Council Position No. 2

Salary $11,400Term: 4 yearsThe City Council is the legislative body for the City. The Council adopts local laws (ordinances) to secure the safety and assist the well-being of the city residents, the city's physical environment and amenities, and the city economy. The Council is responsible for approving financial expenditures and adopting the city budget as well as establishing policies and regulations in order to guide the city's future. The elected mayor serves as chief administrative officer for the city.
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    Diane Dobson (NP) Paralegal

  • Max J. Heller, III (NP)

  • Armondo Pavone (NP)

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Biographical Information

What are the issues surrounding your city/town's infrastucture?

How do you think your city/town could best respond to homelessness?

What is your commitment to senior citizens?

How do you think your city/town should approach legal and illegal immigration issues?

What are other major issues facing your city or town?

Of those listed above, which one is the most urgent?

What methods will you use to work with the mayor (if you have an elected mayor) or the city manager or administrator(if you have an chief administrator hired by the council)?

Phone (425)652-7344
Email dianedobsonforrenton@gmail.com
Town where you live Renton
Experience (300 characters max) 28 years in a family law firm reading contracts, preparing documents and acting as an ear and representative for people and their challenges. 20 year member Renton Lions Club, founding member Renton Downtown Partnership, former North Renton Neighborhood Association Vice President, h.s. swim coach +
One of the biggest challenges to our city's infrastructure is growth. The rapid growth within our communities has led to development and construction which often exceeds the capacities of our schools, our roads and our resources.

I am a big proponent of "local" - living, working and playing - as much as possible. This not only helps support the communities we live in but lessens the burden of traffic and congestion (more time at home with our families or doing what we enjoy). Not everyone has that luxury so attention needs to be paid to things such as traffic, public transportation, street design and improvements. I support small businesses so people can live that same dream and have the time to give back to their communities in the same way I have been afforded.

Growth is inevitable but having the foresight for responsible growth is crucial. Advance planning to support the development to minimize the impact upon the residents who live and work in our communities is imperative.
I think the City of Renton could best respond to homelessness proactively. Too often we see a municipality and community respond reactively and it starts our process toward solution behind from the get go. Having the ability to see the challenges that face our community and set tools in place to address those challenges is so important – but this also involves getting to know your community.

Aside from supporting local businesses, the development of jobs for all skill sets and the ability to have and provide affordable housing, a proactive approach to address the homeless as PEOPLE is what I believe to be key in making connections to help people off the streets. To find out their stories and what their actual barriers are and work with them to remove those barriers. The ease of accessibility to social services and mental health care is crucial - not just to resources without shelter or assistance.
My commitment to senior citizens is great – I plan to be one some day and I have 2 parents who currently deny they fit that description.

Coming from a Pioneer family in Renton, I appreciate and respect the history of the families in our areas and what they have contributed to build Renton what it is today. I work with seniors, volunteer for seniors and serve as a representative for seniors who are unable to care for themselves.

Our property taxes, vehicle tabs and other assessments are increasing at an alarming rate – much faster than our social security benefits might provide for many of our seniors.

I believe an emphasis should be placed on reducing the impact to our resources and building community to absorb some of those burdens (ie community based policing and volunteering in your community).

I commit to being an ear to the challenges seniors face, a voice at the table to represent their interests and a conduit to remove barriers in their process for solutions.
Immigrants of all sorts from all areas built Renton and as a result, it has become one of the most diverse and culturally rich places to live and raise our families — learning from each other’s perspectives, experiences and cultures. (My family too immigrated to America at one point, settling in the Renton area in the 1870s - before Renton was even a city).

These relations are important to me. The Renton-Nishiwaki (Japan) Sister City Association was co-founded by my father, Wyman Dobson, in 1969 and I was founding secretary of the Renton-Cualtla (Mexico) Sister City Association in 2001.These associations work to enhance citizen understanding and appreciation for other cultures and promote international goodwill and cooperation through people-to-people relationships worldwide—especially within the city of Renton.

It is important to continue to foster that feeling of welcoming inclusivity, promoting legal steps toward citizenship while respecting the laws keeping our communities safe.
Other major issues facing the City of Renton include public safety; affordable housing; deteriorating communities (while some are on the upswing, there are still others who are being demoralized by things such as crime, nuisance properties, development, etc); homelessness (we have a plethora of resources in Renton but no shelters once people arrive and limited mental health services/social services readily available or easy to navigate); poverty; destruction of natural resources; some lack of confidence in our public school system (while my daughter attended Renton Public Schools and I coached at Hazen High School and have full confidence in the school system, there are many families within the City who elect to send their children to private schools and cite the "quality of the public school system" as the catalyst for that choice) and a perceived disconnect in the communication between some residents and our City government and leadership.
While they all have components which are "urgent," public safety and the ability to feel safe and secure in the world we live in is most urgent to me. I have been actively working with our City Departments to not only clean up various nuisance properties, but close up houses that are known for their criminal and drug related activity. These houses attract people of like-minds from out of the area and they walk on our streets, use the public transportation and access our resources. Often they prey on the vulnerable, commit crimes of opportunity and cause a general unease in our neighborhoods. Their presence and the activities they bring with them, adds to an overall perception of the existence of crime throughout many parts of the City and not only drives away good neighbors who move away, but also discourages people from coming into our city and accessing some of the wonderful amenities we have available to us (like the Cedar River Trail, the dog park, the transit center, etc).
Open communication - whether it be written, verbal or nonverbal - with a level of respect for the position they hold. Unspoken words, misinformation and wrongly conveyed messages are all not just barriers in communication but can also work backwards in an effort toward forward progress with your city. Each individual involved in City leadership, is there for a different reason. Hopefully, somewhere is the desire to make Renton a better place in a position of service. To work with an individual effectively, I like to understand where that person is coming from - what passions drive that person to be there - to better understand their perspective and approach.
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