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King County City of Bellevue Council Position No. 3

The 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 enactment of the city's annual budget. City council sets fiscal policies and approves all spending , whether for operations or capital items, street repairs, or other public improvements. The council also sets salaries for Bellevue employees.

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    Jeremy Barksdale

  • Candidate picture

    Stephanie Walter

Biographical Information

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

How would you describe your vision for Bellevue in the next 5, then 10 years?

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

How much weight to residents’ voices will be given when determining changes to any zoning as the Council works on the Neighborhood Subarea Plan?

How much growth can realistically be confined to the ‘growth corridor’?

How do you think Bellevue could best respond to homelessness and affordable housing?

How do you think Bellevue should approach legal and illegal immigration issues?

Phone (425) 405-5612
YouTube Video
Town where you live Newport Hills (Bellevue)
Experience (300 characters max) User Experience Researcher for Unity Technologies (formerly Microsoft) Chair of the Bellevue Planning Commission Co-chaired Bellevue’s Wilburton Commercial Area Citizen Advisory Committee 2019 alum of Leadership Eastside Board member for Leadership Eastside Board member for Fuse Washington
I have lived a lifetime of service--serving my community since my youth. I began by lending a hand wherever needed at a nearby museum--later supporting causes such as building houses through Habitat for Humanity, volunteering at a local food bank, cleaning highways via Adopt a Highway. My service later evolved into also serving on boards for non-profits and local government. When I moved to Bellevue to work for Microsoft, I looked for opportunities to engage in the community, which led to serving on the Planning Commission, serving as co-chair of the Wilburton Commercial Area Citizen Advisory Committee, and other opportunities. The Planning Commission and Wilburton CAC provided opportunities to deeply learn about the City and our community. I believe my passion for serving my community, my experience on the Planning Commission and CAC, my skills in engaging people impacted by decisions, and my experience in the tech industry align with the needs of our community at this time.
My vision for Bellevue is that people across all income groups that want to live in Bellevue can afford to live in Bellevue, that retail micro-businesses are third places where the community gathers, that our community is continuously engaged in creative ways that inspire participation and that each of us work toward a degree of connectedness that fosters a sense of belonging for everyone in our community, that we are constantly looking for ways to improve processes and better leverage data and technology, and that we are collectively working together to reduce our carbon footprint in the only environment we have. Over the next 5 years, I believe we can continue making progress on our affordable housing strategy while exploring other ways to improve affordability, adopt and begin implementation of our climate action plan, increase community engagement. Over the next 10 years, achieve our 2030 GHG emissions target and begin to see improvements in other areas of affordability.
The only way that we can sustainably and effectively realize our vision is to do it together. I believe our biggest challenge is ensuring that we bring the community along on the journey to achieving the vision. Working with so many people with different experiences, perspectives, ideas, and interests is difficult, but it’s necessary to make lasting change in our community.
As a User Experience Researcher, I believe input from our community is critical to effective decision-making. That’s why engagement is a priority of my platform. People impacted by decisions should be a part of the discussion. I will actively seek to engage our community early and often as part of Neighborhood Area Planning, and in general.
Much of the growth corridor is still prime for development--Eastgate, Bel-Red, and the Wilburton Commercial Area have yet to experience the growth planned for those areas. Although development has begun Downtown, there is still opportunity for further development.
We must proceed with building the shelter necessary to ensure people experiencing homelessness can have a place to go and receive the services they need. We must also provide housing choices that people across all income groups can afford. This means ensuring that we have sufficient transition housing, low income housing, and middle income housing. We should also explore ways to further reduce the cost of living as well as ways to help people earn more and become more economically mobile.
Immigrants, documented or undocumented, are valuable and contributing members of our community and we must protect their rights. As a community, it is each of our responsibilities to ensure we foster a sense of belonging for every member of our community--appreciating the diverse lived experiences that contributes to a more diverse and welcoming community.
Phone (425) 650-1022
Town where you live Bellevue
Experience (300 characters max) I have served as Planning Commission Chair, East Bellevue Community Council Vice Chair, Girl Scout Parent, Neighborhood Leader and mother. I have worked in healthcare service for most of my career. I have made successful contributions in land use, technology, business, finance and neighborhoods.
I have been a long time Bellevue resident, wife and mother, I know firsthand the wonderful things Bellevue has to offer. To give back, I have been a neighborhood leader, Planning Commission Chair, Vice Chair of the Community Council, Girl Scout mom and board member of the Eastside Baby Corner.
My vision for the next five years in Bellevue maintains the predictability, safety and opportunity we depend on today. Technology innovation and small business will thrive, we will have increased the number of affordable housing units and we will have fluidity of all modes of transportation. Ten years out will bring new faces, choices and engagement.
Lack of communication and coordination are always obstacles to any initiative. I have been successful in listening to all sides, finding common ground and creating plans that meet the different objectives. Placing value on all contributions goes a long way in getting to the best outcomes with the least conflict.
The residents are the closest to the needs and desires of their neighborhoods. I have seen neighborhoods use herculean efforts to bring the best things to their neighborhoods. Rather than giving that a percentage weight, I would rather reflect on the importance of neighborhoods’ interests being reflected in each zoning change. Including all parties in the decisions, creates a spirit of collaboration and the outcomes are welcomed rather than resisted. This saves time, money and frustration. Happy residents equals a happy City.
The growth corridor as created by the City Council has one hundred years of development opportunity. Neighborhoods will be flexible in allowing infill, sub-platting and other density increases as long as residents are included in the discussions from the start.
Homeless and affordable housing are best tackled in sections. Homelessness needs to be addressed by collecting data on the needs as well as the causes of our homeless. Each of those needs will require separate and unique solutions. Once the systemic causes of the homeless are understood they can be addressed and those once homeless will be seeking transitional and most likely affordable housing. Affordable housing will take creative solutions from the public and private sectors including but not limited to creation of a wide range of housing types such as condos, duplexes and triplexes, attached accessory dwellings and multi-family units in Transit Oriented Development, Neighborhood Mixed Use and Office and Limited Use zones.
Immigration issues must be addressed keeping in mind the safety and security of all involved. Legal immigration needs to be streamlined for ease and efficiency that would reduce the time, effort and cost to people migrating to the US. Immigration is also a key driver of our economy. Illegal immigration is a larger issue and one that is expensive to schools and service providers. We must create a compassionate, effective and efficient approach to address those seeking asylum in the US. Living here with an illegal status causes people to have a lower quality of life including lower wages and fear of contacting first responders or others outside the community for help. The answer must be found in compassionate enforcement of our laws. Whether you are a citizen, here legally or illegally, you will be subject to the same treatment under the law.