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I am an engineer and attorney. I worked as a Boeing engineer, Deputy King County Prosecutor and Microsoft Attorney. I have been advocating for Bellevue neighborhoods before the City Council and School Boards. I plan continue to be a strong advocate for neighborhoods as a City Council member.
As with most cities in the Seattle Metro Area, traffic is major issue. Sound Transit construction is affecting traffic flow patterns and the lack of multi-modal transportation options, people have to rely upon personal vehicles to get to/from work. Because of the traffic issues, people are using neighborhood streets to avoid traffic jams on 405 and other arterial roads. Neighborhood streets were not constructed to serve as major arterial roads. Thus, these neighborhoods are complaining that their streets are not safe. Bellevue needs to do a better job alleviating traffic and to use both low tech and high tech solutions to help the neighborhoods.
The council’s decision making should be one that is data driven and embedded within the needs and wants of our community. It seems of vital importance that we no longer stride to be another Seattle, but that we distinguish ourselves apart from what the larger cities might need. So our response to homelessness should be uniquely Bellevue and in our own way. As in to not have low barrier shelters near schools and parks where our children play, and to not settle for simple and easy band aid to this pervasive community situation.
To acknowledge and respect their contribution to our beautiful community. As a young man I would shake the hands of men who served in our armed forces. It’s important to remember that our ability to prosper today was put before us by men and women of the generation before us. So treating them with our utmost respect and acknowledging their presence, needs and desires.
I have been a strong advocate for all people, including people who crossed our borders without proper documentation. I am a former deputy criminal prosecutor. We need to make sure all people who are victims of crimes can feel safe communicating with the authorities. If these people do not feel safe communicating with the authorities, these people will continue to victimized and the people who are victimized will not be prosecuted. We need cooperation between local police and federal authorities in charge of enforcing our immigration laws. I agree with Bellevue Police Chief Steve Mylett who has stated that Bellevue police officers won’t be asking residents for their immigration status and won’t use police resources to apprehend undocumented immigrants unless they are suspected of a serious crime.
I've been speaking with several different neighborhoods throughout Bellevue. Throughout Bellevue, people are upset that they are not being listened to by City Council members or City Staff. Whether it's the location of the proposed fire station, proposed location of the Low Barrier Men's Shelter in Eastgate, the process of choosing site location for Energize Eastside, or Meyenbauer Community's proposed closing of streets in their neighborhood, people state that they do not have an effective voice in city affairs that directly affect their enjoyment of living and working in Bellevue. As a result, I want to be a strong neighborhood advocate and give the neighborhoods a strong voice that is currently missing.
Of all the issues listed above, I think we need to make sure the City is listening to the neighborhoods. Each of those issues need attention and it is the City itself that brought these issues upon itself. As a result, I would make neighborhood outreach a priority for City government.
The Bellevue Mayor is selected among the members of the City Council. As such, Bellevue City Council has a city manager and I have a good working relationship with the city manager. The city manager has called me a number of times throughout the years to discuss neighborhood issues. I believe we would continue to have an effective dialogue to address issues before the city council.
Town where you live
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Dr. Lynne Robinson joined the Bellevue City Council in 2014, and she has a long history of public support in both her political and physical therapy careers. Lynne advocates for the environment, parks and open spaces, human services, small business and affordable housing in Bellevue.
Bellevue is experiencing a significant amount of growth. Our growth needs to be managed by preparing our infrastructure for the impacts of increased demand. The City of Bellevue can do that by building needed infrastructure in advance of development; by creating alternative forms of transportation; and by incorporating sustainable resources whenever possible. For the next 7 years, Bellevue will be experiencing significant growth while Sound Transit is constructing our light rail line. This means more road construction, increased congestion, and a 7 year lag time before we have the opportunity to utilize light rail. In the meantime, I am excited to open up the East Rail Corridor to Ped/Bike traffic in 2020, and to rapidly implement our Transportation Levy funds for increased bike lanes, sidewalks, congestion projects and safe routes to school.
I think that our city, and every city, should analyze their homeless population, determine their specific needs, then develop a game plan for addressing those needs. In Bellevue, we partner with other Eastside cities to provide shelter for children and young adults up to age 22 (in Redmond), women and families (in Kirkland) and men (in Bellevue). Bellevue is currently seeking a permanent site for a men's homeless shelter with supportive services and housing. This site will be best located near transit as well as health and support services. King County has offered a site to build in Eastgate, adjacent to the County Health Clinic and next to the Eastgate Park and Ride. We are currently analyzing that site to see if it can meet the criteria for getting these men into stable housing without risk to the surrounding area. I am hopeful that with a comprehensive program, we can have success for our homeless population and our surrounding community.
As a physical therapist who specializes in treating older adults and helping them age in place, I have a strong commitment to our senior citizens. I was a founding member of the Bellevue Network on Aging and worked hard to lobby for laws that protect seniors from elder abuse and scams. I was able to get hearing assistive devices installed at City Hall, the Bellevue Youth Theater and the Bellevue Botanical Gardens meeting rooms. And I support funding for our Home Repair Program that serves the older adults in Bellevue. I also support affordable housing that allows people on fixed incomes to live in Bellevue despite rising housing prices. I believe that our older adults are a valuable part of our community and my goal is to enable them to stay active and engaged..
Our city functions as a sanctuary city. Although we have not formally adopted that title, we have educated the public and assured the public that we will continue to function as one.
I think that dealing with the homeless in Bellevue is a major issue facing our City. Our homeless population is not going away, and until we are able to create a shelter with services and until we develop affordable housing at 30% of Area Median Income (AMI), we will continue to have people unable to live in stable housing. Most of our homeless men work minimum wage jobs and could afford low rent housing. I was instrumental in passing an affordable housing strategy last year that includes development of low rent housing as well as work force housing.
Affordable housing in all ranges is another issue in Bellevue. We are currently working to create incentives for developers to create 80% AMI housing in all multifamily development, and are creating a budget that will fund affordabilities deeper than 80% AMI.
With all the current construction, traffic congestion will be an issue until people are offered safe and viable alternatives to driving their cars.
We already have a plan and budget in place to address transportation, and a proposed plan and budget for addressing our affordable housing. I feel the most urgent issue now is our homeless.
I will continue to maintain my excellent rapport with our Mayor and Deputy Mayor as well as with our City Manager to advance the interests of the community that I serve.