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City of Yakima/Ciudad de Yakima Council/Concejo, Position/Puesto 5

The city council sets the general policies of the city, which are implemented by the city manager and staff. One of council's main duties is the adoption of policies and the enactment of the city's annual budget. City council sets fiscal policies and approves all spending , whether for operations or capital items or public facility maintenance and improvements. The council also sets salaries for city employees.

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  • Liz Hallock

  • Candidate picture

    Soneya Lund

Biographical Information

What experiences have you had that qualify you for this position?

How would you describe your vision for your city?

What are the obstacles in the path of achieving your vision?

What do you think is your city/town’s role in dealing with issues surrounding the environment?

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

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

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

How would you propose the council communicate with the citizens of your city or town?

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Phone 509.307.4615
The City Council operates much like a board of directors – managing the direction of and ensuring the financial stability of the City of Yakima while the City Manager acts as a type of executive director making the day to day operational decisions. I have served as a board member for two different nonprofit organizations. I am comfortable with budgets and making strategic and forward-thinking decisions. Additionally, I have run a fiscally responsible business which has grown over the years. Part of my work is to listen and engage with a diverse group of clients. I am an excellent listener and can respectfully dialogue with people from different backgrounds well.
My vision for the City of Yakima is for this community to be the place everyone wants to call home. A place where everyone works together to make this the best city for families and businesses and young people to thrive. I desire for Yakima to be business friendly in order to boost revenue and encourage entrepreneurs in their dreams. My goal is to see fun activities for people who call Yakima home – and for those who visit. I want to see better access to city government – through excellent customer services and access to interpreters when needed. I want to see affordable housing and an end to homelessness in the City of Yakima.
We need to, as a City, realize how great Yakima is and become comfortable dreaming about what Yakima can be. I think we get too comfortable with hearing and internalizing the negative things about our City and refuse to believe (or hope) that any problems could be solved. It’s not that we don’t have problems (every city does), it’s that people don’t realize we deserve better than our problems. Revenue is also an issue – we need to create revenue producing projects so we aren’t funding City programs through heavy taxes on individuals.
I believe that although the scope of City Council is limited, we can – and must – create a community that values our environment. I am supportive or more recycling programs in Yakima. I understand that there are costs associated with recycling but the costs associated with destroying our beautiful city are much higher. It’s important that we take care of the land and valuable resources we have in this City.
Yakima is growing and the City hasn’t prioritized upkeep of out community and, although this may in part be a revenue issues, we need to make sure the roads and sidewalks and lighting are the same in east Yakima and west Yakima. Every individual living in Yakima deserves to live in a community they can be proud of. As the City grows – in land size and population – we need to prioritize the infrastructure.
Yakima needs to take a collaborative and holistic approach in addressing the homeless situation. It will cost money to reduce and/or eliminate homelessness but it will cost our city ore to ignore the problem. Every human in Yakima is valuable and deserves safe and stable housing. One nonprofit organization built two tiny homes that are now each housing a single mother and her children and the cost was higher than anticipated due to city and permitting fees. Yakima needs to get creative and remove barriers so that housing can be affordable.
Immigration is a federal issue which is mostly out of the purview of the City of Yakima. However, City services should never be dependent on immigration status – everyone deserves to have heat, electricity, water, garbage pickup, etc. regardless of their country of origin. Also, too many domestic violence victims don’t call the police because their abuser scares them by using their immigration status to silence them. Yakima Police Department is not a federal agency and does not enforce immigration laws. The City needs to support messaging that encourages victims of crimes to come forward regardless of their immigration status.
As part of my campaign, I spend every weekend and several nights a week knocking on doors and meeting and speaking with constituents. I believe communication should be transparent and open. I commit to answering my phone, responding to emails, making time to meet with constituents and holding regular community listening forums. My role as City Council Member is to represent the people of Yakima, and that can’t be done without listening to my constituents.