Town where you live
I’m running for Mayor of Everett because I’m passionate about making Everett's streets safer and its economy stronger. For our city to prosper and grow, we must tackle the causes hindering progress. The opioid epidemic, crime, and homelessness are issues I am uniquely experienced to deal with. With my support from the business community, I hope to attract more high paying jobs in our city. Together with a safer and economically thriving city, our community will be at its best and brightest.
The major issues facing Everett are public safety, the economy and civic engagement. Public safety is stifling progress and the opioid epidemic, is fueling homelessness, property crime and gang violence. Our economy is lagging behind other cities. I will make job creation and economic development a top priority. Finally, I will increase citizen engagement by creating advisory groups to keep government informed on citizens’ priorities and provide feedback on decisions made.
Public safety is the most critical issue facing Everett. I have spent my career working on the issues of homelessness, addiction, and public safety. While we are making positive progress, I will go to next level to improve our community. I will hire more police and provide more treatment options to the drug addicted. We also have to reduce the supply of opioids to our community. Drug dealers and career criminals must be identified, arrested, and prosecuted.
Seniors are important contributors to our community. I support creating a Senior Council that can inform the city about the needs and interests of seniors, as well as getting seniors more actively engaged in their local communities. At the same time, many seniors live on fixed incomes and are particularly vulnerable to rising housing and other costs. Keeping housing affordable is critical. And as people become less mobile or have other issues, we need to ensure that they have access to supportive services to enable them to live active, healthy lives.
Making sure Everett is a safe and welcoming city is critical for multiple reasons. First, we want Everett to be an inviting city to all people no matter their religion, race, and immigration status. As a diverse community, we want to continue keeping Everett a diverse community. Another aspect is public safety. By making Everett a Welcoming City, we see reporting of crimes increase, both making the public safer and helping our officers work effectively as well as help them stay safe as well.
Public works may not be sexy, but they’re the foundation–literally–of everything that happens in Everett. Well-planned cities and urban places attract developers, creatives, investors, and businesses. I also want to help Everett by fast tracking the extension of the light rail. I also want to work on lowering commuting times, helping both businesses and citizens. Whether that is expanding road repair or investments in the Port of Everett, we need to make sure our city grows properly.
My experience on the Housing Consortium and as CEO of Cocoon House has given me insight into this issue. Homelessness has many causes, such as housing affordability, low wages, joblessness, addiction, and mental illness. I have discussed the importance of creating living wage jobs and solving the opioid crisis above. In addition, Everett is feeling the pressure from rising house prices. We must create diversified housing options to make sure Everett has affordable housing for all.
Town where you live
Experience (300 characters max)
In 1995, I took the helm at the Arts Council of Snohomish County, now the Schack Art Center. During the 22 years of leadership I grew the Center into a regional powerhouse, attracting 65,000 visitors annually. In 2014, I was elected to the Everett City Council and serve now as Council President.
I love my hometown! I believe that someone who has lived Everett’s history is uniquely qualified to lead it as we take on current challenges and prepare to accept the growth projected over the next decade.
I have a vision for Everett as a safe, inclusive, vibrant city with engaged citizens; where we have great housing and meaningful work; where we take access our natural beauty and our waterfront; and where safety is never a concern. I will work hard every day to make this vision a reality.
Social issues on our streets: homelessness, addiction, mental health and gang activities.
Budget challenges threaten our ability to expand parks, roads, transit and other services that are vital to maintaining our high quality of life. We must streamline city operations and find unique ways to fund these necessities.
Neighborhoods feel disconnected from one another and City Hall. I will seek new ways to engage our community: regular town hall meetings and voting districts for local elections.
Public safety issues are #1. If people do not feel safe on our streets, sidewalks, and neighborhoods, then nothing else matters. I will tackle this with compassion and resolve. I will expand access to treatment options, housing choices, and a day center to provide a safe place for the homeless population so they aren’t left to the sidewalks and other public places. At the same time, I will fully staff our police department so they have the resources to handle the crime related to this issue.
I remain committed to ensuring that the needs and voices of senior citizens and other vulnerable populations in our community are heard. For our seniors, the challenges of public safety, addressing the homeless population, safe affordable housing, recreational needs, and transportation challenges take on new meaning, since many seniors live on a fixed income, and cannot absorb additional expenses. I will remain committed to programs that help seniors fund home maintenance expenses so they can stay in homes they own, and the provision of new affordable housing as our city grows and redevelops. In evidence of my commitment, as a City Council member, I supported the creation of a fund to discount the combined water/sewer bill for individuals in our community for whom the increasing rates were a financial burden. I will always look at policy decisions through the eyes of each member of our community, including the many senior households in Everett.
Our immigrant communities offer valuable contributions to our city and no federal mandate will change our commitment to our diversity and their safety. I will continue to make sure:
- That all victims or witnesses to a crime, feel sale when talking to police. The police will not ask about anyone's status
- That all immigrants know where to access critical resources in their neighborhood
- To work with our congressional leaders so they can help address the challenges immigrants are facing
Everett faces a potential crisis in infrastructure investment. During the recession, the City nearly depleted its infrastructure funding reserves. Currently it’s not making budgetary provisions for restoring infrastructure planning. Also, federal and state governments are withdrawing funding for infrastructure. As Mayor, I will create a plan for identifying infrastructure needs, timing, and funding. As we saw in the north Everett sewer system failures, it’s critical to stay on top of repairs.
We need to be a leader in collaborating with Snohomish County, cities and non-profits to develop a regional plan for locating services so Everett doesn’t assume an undue burden. While we tackle the current challenges on our streets, we must address the underlying issues. We must be proactive in ensuring safe, affordable housing for families so they do not become homeless; attract good paying jobs so our citizens can work and support themselves; and ensure mental health care is available to all.