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King County City of Burien Council Position No. 4

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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  • Lucy Krakowiak

  • Candidate picture

    Kevin Schilling

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 2069480381
Town where you live Burien
Experience (300 characters max) Pastoral Assistant for Youth Ministry Youth Leadership Non-Profit President Washington State University Student Senator Governor Jay Inslee Legislative Intern UFCW 21 Courtesy Clerk, PCC Restaurant Worker
I went to grade school, high school, and community college in Burien. I worked since the age of 13 at local businesses to support myself through high school and community college. I interned for Governor Jay Inslee during a legislative session. At Washington State University, I served as a student body senator protecting undocumented students, expanding access to feminine hygiene products, and lobbied successfully for hundreds of thousands of dollars to improve transportation infrastructure to reduce student deaths on the road. I recently completed a dual master's degree from Columbia University and the London School of Economics. My combination of local work experience and academic pursuits allows me to put theory into practice on the ground in my local community that raised me.
As the first suburb south of a growing metropolis, Burien is currently working to fashion itself as an affordable, family centered option to the expensive nature of Seattle life. Unfortunately, the economic realities are pushing hard against Burien's attempts to remain affordable. My vision for Burien is to keep it affordable to families and individuals. That means creating a culture in Burien that supports expanding and championing home, apartment, mixed, and multifamily housing to lower prices. The vision I see for Burien is to maintain its family focus on incentivizing local business creation, high quality schools, and improved youth activities. In order for this to happen, I support improving funding and oversight of our public safety initiatives to improve our emergency response teams, especially police, as well as installing information sharing between city services and non-governmental orgs to help our most vulnerable communities.
As city councilor, I would bring construction companies, city planners, and homeowners/renters together to bridge divides that keep each of these groups from working together. The people of Burien want affordable options to be built and available, so it is not obstacles of the people themselves. It is the obstacles put in place by the private sector. Landlords must remain accountable and responsive to the needs of their renters, and not act abusively or negatively toward them; renters deserve high quality options. Homes need to remain affordable for new owners and current owners, this requires communication and collaboration with construction companies and assessors to ensure that people can afford to remain in Burien. Non-governmental orgs must be open to working together to solve cross-municipal and inter-governmental issues relating to homelessness and opioid problems. Communication and trust must be built in the city to ensure the success of these initiatives.
Burien does an excellent job educating the public on our area's natural beauties. I want to continue this. So education is the first step to ensuring that we maintain and build a city dedicated to environmental protection. Another way that I continue to champion is to ensure that whenever infrastructural programs are rebuilt or newly constructed, that they are constructed and built in line with modern and necessary clean energy goals for the future, and that they do not obstruct the natural landscape. One area this is achievable is in our stormwater runoff and stream protections. Furthermore, Burien can work on a regional level with the port authority and surrounding municipalities to develop a more robust local/municipal climate action plan to make households determine goals for reducing waste and consumption so that we build a more mindful populace around climate and environmental usage.
Right now, the major conversation around our infrastructure is the building of a new community center. Over three million dollars would be used to construct it. I am not in favor of that kind of money being spent for that kind of project. Instead, three million dollars could be spent to expand and improve inter-city access to communities throughout the municipality to access services easier, to make our city more pedestrian friendly by constructing sidewalks, but mainly, our infrastructural issues must be focused on transitioning people from cars to buses, bikes, or walking. Congestion is a major issue in our city at the moment. With a growing population, more cars are populating our streets making it a safety concern. We must build our infrastructural future to meet, and then work to change, options for transportation within the city and outside of it.
I am a champion of information sharing between non-governmental organizations and city services. Right now, we do not collect information on individuals who are homeless or who the police come into contact with. In Burien, we have a large homeless population, as many surrounding municipalities do in King County. But these people are mostly in transitional communities, wanting to get into permanent housing. In order to do that, we have to work together to pool services and opportunities for people to get into permanent housing, find employment, and start getting on a path of security. The city itself has problems in regards to our response to homelessness. But the private sector and the non-governmental sector is doing excellent work with individuals experiencing homelessness, and working to ensure they transition peacefully and necessarily. With that, the city can work to be the bridge between the groups to information share and ultimately end homelessness.
The State of Washington is now a sanctuary state. Burien was one of the first municipalities to become a sanctuary city. As a student senator at Washington State University, I authored and championed efforts to make the university a sanctuary campus to ensure protection of undocumented students. As a city councilor, I am aware of the sensitive nature between some citizens and illegal and legal immigrants. Burien is over 20% migrant in its population make up. I continue to support efforts to not make the police ask for individual or family immigration status randomly without need. But if there is crime committed by anyone, immigrant or non-immigrant, they have to collaborate with the questions of the public safety professionals. In order to make sure that those police and public safety professionals are treating people with respect and dignity, I will work to place oversight and requirements on police to ensure they do not act aggressively or in a racist way to target immigrants.
Social media is obviously a new way of communicating easily. However, it is often one sided and difficult to communicate intersecting or nuanced ideas. Therefore, I would be present in the community, in different neighborhoods, in homes, at businesses, scheduling roundtables, and most importantly: listening. Communities want to know you hear them and act on their behalf. Listening first is more important than anything. In these small group settings, communicating decisions is much easier than on social media.