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King County City of Bellevue Council Position No. 7

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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  • James Bible

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    Jennifer Robertson

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?

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Phone (206) 919-5283
Town where you live Bellevue
Experience (300 characters max) Jennifer is a municipal attorney and three-term Bellevue City Councilmember. She was first elected in 2009 and re-elected in 2011 and 2015. She serves on the Medic One Task Force, the King County Growth Management Planning Council, and on the Puget Sound Regional Council Transportation Policy Board.
I have served the City of Bellevue as a public official since 2003, the past 10 years of which have been as a City Councilmember. In addition to serving the residents of Bellevue, I am an attorney specializing in land use and municipal law with the firm Northwest Urban Law PLLC. Over the course of my legal career, I have served as legal counsel to over 20 Washington municipalities.

Prior to being elected to Council, I served on the Bellevue Planning Commission from 2003 to 2009, including chairing the Commission during the award-winning BelRed planning process. I also served as co-chair of the Bellevue Light Rail Best Practices Committee which spent a year studying light rail and crafting a comprehensive set of policies for light rail planning.

In addition to my work for Bellevue and other cities, I am a long time Girl Scout troop leader and am currently leading a troop of high school freshman. I am currently running for my fourth term.
I co-authored the Bellevue City Council Vision 2035 statement which envisions Bellevue as "the City where you want to be" and starts: "Bellevue welcomes the world. Our Diversity is our strength. We embrace the future while respecting our past." I support this statement and the Council vision. I envision Bellevue as a city with a strong sense of community: close knit neighborhoods, a safe and clean place to live and a healthy business community. We will be experiencing significant growth in terms of development and in terms of adding jobs and new businesses. But we will keep what makes people choose Bellevue: great schools, an abundance of parks and open space, and a thriving business community. It's a great place to raise kids, launch your career or retire. Our transportation system will be multi-modal: bus and light rail transit and safe for pedestrians and bicyclists but also you can still get around by private vehicles. Technology will improve our transportation system.
Growth is happening faster than we expected so keeping ahead of the impacts is a fiscal and logistical challenge. Working closely with the development and business community is essential. We need to keep investing in our transportation infrastructure but we can't do it alone. We need the State to invest in the 405, 520 and I-90 corridors as these are the transportation life lines for Bellevue. We need light rail and Sound Transit and Metro bus lines to work well.

Affordable housing is also a challenge. Using the tax exemptions and land use incentives are achieving our goal of building new units but the lower income units are still needed. This will be achieved through partnerships with various nonprofits and government subsidy. We need King County and the State to be part of this partnership.
My expectation is that the residents will drive the subarea planning process. This process, now called Neighborhood Area Planning (NAP), needs to be done thoroughly and correctly. This means taking the time to really listen to what these neighborhoods want and considering the development pressures for the commercial areas in these subareas and what will work with, not against, the neighborhood culture.
Even if the City did not change the zoning code again, there will be significant growth both inside and outside the growth corridors. That is because many areas are not developed to their maximum potential as they sit today. However, most of the highest density growth will go into the growth corridors as that is the plan. That is the commitment I have made to the people of Bellevue.
We need to get our men's shelter open year round. This is happening and should reopen in November. We should work with CFH to develop the permanent location and mitigate impacts.

We are currently on track to achieve our 10-year affordable housing goal for 2,500 units. Actually, we are on track to exceed this goal by about 10%. Using the multi-family tax exemptions and land use incentives are working but the lower income units are still needed. This will be achieved through partnerships with various nonprofits and government subsidy. We need King County and the State to be part of this partnership.
These are federal issues and not local issues. We work with all Bellevue residents regardless of whether they are citizens or non-citizen immigrants. Our policy for our police is that we do not inquire as to legal status of victims or witnesses as we do not want to dissuade people from coming forward to report crimes. We leave immigration enforcement to the federal government.