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Whatcom County City of Bellingham Council At-Large

The City Council is the legislative body for the City. The Council adopts local laws (ordinances) to secure the safety and assist the well-being of the city residents, the city's physical environment and amenities, and the city economy. The Council is responsible for approving financial expenditures and adopting the city budget as well as establishing policies and regulations in order to guide the city's future. The elected mayor serves as chief administrative officer for the city.

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    Dana Briggs

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    Hollie Huthman

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?

Address Homeless
Phone (425) 516-3710
Town where you live Bellingham, WA
Experience (300 characters max) Public, private and non-profit experience as a military officer, director, manager, supervisor, white and blue collar worker. Currently a cook for PeaceHealth St. Joseph Hospital.
I have public, private and non-profit experience as a military officer, director, manager, supervisor, white and blue collar worker. I am currently a cook for PeaceHealth St. Joseph Hospital. I worked in the USAF; ITT Defense; contractor for IBM, Microsoft, Episcopal Diocese of Western Washington; SoftQuad; Holland America, other small businesses and non-profits. I am a member of SEIU Local 1199 and the Bellingham Tenants Union.

I have managed large and small budgets; spoken at numerous county and municipal meetings, forums, and work groups on a variety of subjects; and am a local activist and advocate on the climate emergency, affordable housing / homelessness, wealth inequality, and immigrant / refugee / asylum seeker civil rights.
I see Bellingham as a fragmented culture -- fragmented by economic class, ethnicity, housing status, and citizenship status among other divisions -- in need of proactive communication among these disparate groups to create a true sense of community. While it is a beautiful place to live, that beauty cannot not be fully enjoyed, if someone is constantly stressed wondering if they will have a place to stay and food to eat.

I intend as a council member to open and continue dialogues on any subject that residents feel is important; work towards comprehensive, equitable solutions; and provide safe and respectful spaces for everyone, most especially those negatively impacted, and provide them the avenue to have a voice, offer solutions and tear down the barriers that impede our shared humanity.
There is a lack of respect for and towards those who do not fit into the traditional mainstream socioeconomic groups. Too many "solutions" are proposed and implemented without the decency of asking those who are impacted what their thoughts, expectations and solutions are. Too many people are not able to participate in the community primarily because of economics -- two or more jobs; non-traditional work hours; working in Bellingham and yet living in Whatcom County proper because of job availability and housing costs. The community becomes stronger if everyone is at least given the opportunity and circumstances to be involved.
We are facing direct and indirect impacts in the ongoing and increasing global climate emergency. Urgency is needed; community education is key; collaboration necessary. We must implement solutions for the health of the Salish Sea, orcas, salmon and other marine life; the Nooksack watershed drought; air quality impacts from wildfires; sea level rise affecting the downtown waterfront and other shoreline areas; and many other environmental issues. We can and are fully capable of doing this because we have done so in the past.

The city of Bellingham is to be commended for having been proactive since 2007 with a climate action plan, two subsequent updates, and a current, ongoing climate impact task force. However, given the climate emergency, we need to recognize and urgently act upon this existential threat with whatever means we can, and push all levels of government above the municipal to do the same.
The current city council and administration have worked towards increased public and multi-modal transit, and bicycle and walking access. These efforts need to be continued and expanded to include looking at the restriction upon or outright ban of fossil fuel vehicles in certain sections of the city.

More needs to be done in the areas of re-greening / re-wilding those spaces with little to no vegetation to include rooftops. We need to structurally turn Bellingham into as green a city as we can, as quickly as possible.
We are facing a local affordable and public housing crisis which is caused by unregulated, “market driven” economics, and increasing wealth inequality because of continuing non-living wages for too many. Housing is a civil right and housing first works. All solutions to include rent control / stabilization, incentives to build affordable housing, public housing, tenant management, and other proposals need to be discussed, examined, and implemented at the earliest opportunity. Short-term solutions such as tiny homes, leased vacant building space for shelters, and safe parking areas for those living in vehicles need to be encouraged and established in all areas of the city.
Too many of our community members are under constant threat from the totally inadequate and unjust national immigration, refugee and asylum policies. Bellingham must be a sanctuary city.
I intend as a council member to open and continue dialogues on any subject that residents feel is important from one on one conversations to neighborhood groups to open public forums. This also includes our seniors especially if they are not living in their own residence, and youth in the final two years of high school who are about to be part of the solutions we need and whose lives will be impacted for decades to come.
Phone (360) 510-0782
Town where you live Bellingham, WA
Experience (300 characters max) Co-Owner, The Shakedown (2011-present) Consumer Loan Underwriter, WECU (2003-2015) Board Chair, Make.Shift (2016-present) Western Washington University, B.A. Sociology/Criminology (2003)
I have been a 20 year Bellingham resident, lived in 8 different neighborhoods (mostly as a renter), graduated from WWU where I studied Sociology with an emphasis in Criminology, worked as a lender with WECU for over a decade, and have owned a successful downtown business with 20 employees for over eight years. I’m involved in many ways with the downtown and creative community, board chair for Make.Shift all-ages arts and music space, and co-chair of the Bellingham Nightlife Association.
As a city council member, I’d like to focus on planning for the long term health and vitality of Bellingham for a future where we’ve invested in prevention and progress rather than needing to focus on addressing problems in crisis. We must comprehensively address the challenges of criminal justice reform, climate change, multi-modal transportation support, housing affordability and availability, mental health and substance abuse, and economic sustainability and treat them as the interconnected issues they are.
In order to successfully address our challenges and prepare for our future we must work collaboratively. Local, regional and state government officials, non-profit organizations, activist groups and residents are more successful with open lines of communication, exchange of ideas and sharing in the work. I’d like to be a leader that helps to bridge gaps and encourages collaboration.
We can be a leader restoring and protecting our environment. As a city we have a history full of industry that has polluted our land and water. Right now, we are working to correct these past mistakes through clean-up efforts near and in our bay. The Climate Action Taskforce is currently working on recommendations for our city to do our part in combating climate change and the City should set the example we expect our residents to follow. I would love to see us become a city that puts ourselves at the forefront of not only taking steps to protect our environment, but potentially even jumps at the opportunity to build an economy on clean and renewable energy.
We are a city that has a population that’s expected to increase very quickly. As a city, I think we need to plan around people, and not cars. We should be planning for a future where more people choose to bike, walk or take the bus. This means residentially dense urban centers and prioritizing safety and ease of use for bikers and pedestrians both in those urban centers and in neighborhoods. This also means focusing on a plan to add affordable and available housing to all areas of our city so those who want to live close to the places they work, shop and play can.
Those experiencing homelessness have a wide variety of circumstance and need. This also means we need a wide variety of solutions. To properly address the bigger issue we need available and affordable housing of all kinds, increased services of support that keep folks from losing their housing, increased crisis and long-term mental health and substance abuse services, a variety of housing-first model shelters to meet the need, and additional permanent supportive housing. I would like to see us prioritize prevention so that in the future we can avoid financing the very expensive alternative of waiting until someone is in crisis.
Immigrants are a benefit to our community regardless of status. In my opinion, immigrants of color are being unfairly targeted by our federal government as a tool to stoke fear. I believe as a community leader I have an obligation to prioritize the health and safety of all residents regardless of immigration status. I support policy that prioritizes the health and safety of undocumented resdents as well.
Transparency and open communication are extremely important for progress in our community. Using technology to give residents easy access to information is key, as is being available and accessible in person as well. Informed residents are not only potentially more trusting of the decisions being made, but can also bring new ideas and much needed perspective to the table.