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Whatcom County City of Bellingham Council Ward 3

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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    Daniel Hammill

  • Ashanti Monts-Treviska

Biographical Information

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

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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?

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Phone (360) 441-3665
Town where you live Bellingham
Experience (300 characters max) 5 years on City Council, served on over 20 community boards, small business owner, about 10 years in non-profits, broad and deep connections with community leaders, worked on multiple campaigns for progressive candidates and causes over the last 20 years.
This is my fifth year on Bellingham City Council. I’ve been council president since August, 2018. I’ve chaired Lake Whatcom and Natural Resources and Finance and Personnel Committees. I am the co-chair of the Behavioral Health Committee of the Incarceration Prevention and Reduction Task Force and have served on IPRTF since its inception. I have served on over 20 boards and commissions since being on council.

I have been a leader on multiple pieces of legislation and intergovernmental policy. I brought forward a Ban the Box law for the City of Bellingham that provides an equal chance for felons seeking gainful employment. I led the way on tenant’s rights by introducing a ban on Source of Income Discrimination and an extension of notifications for rent increases and lease terminations. I am the co-founder of the GRACE program.

I am honored to be on the Bellingham/Whatcom team that was awarded a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur grant for our work on criminal justice reform.
What’s best for people and the environment isn’t best served in the political sphere’s two and four year cycles. I envision generational change where we focus on the social determinants of health that lead to people’s success - quality schools, a built environment that is more fair and equitable when it comes to safe, stable housing, healthcare that unequivocally protects women’s reproductive rights, more emphasis on public health, transportation that supports non-motorized choices and deep investments to get us to 100% renewable by 2030. When we focus on the success of people and the health of our environment, it creates a vision that serves everyone - with fairness, equity, opportunity and resilience. I support making investments in children and families - universal Pre-K and daycare near the beginning of life, parenting and dialectical behavioral and trauma-informed therapy during the adolescent stage and free community college and apprenticeship opportunities after high school.
The answers to many of the problems we face in a capitalist system are socialist by nature. We have chosen not to tax ourselves as a state at the level we need to address basic public health issues. While dollars and subsequent resources that they can deliver are always needed, good intergovernmental relationships between City, County and the State with a clear vision moving forward are also linchpins to good governance. I have good relationships with several County Council members and staff and am encouraged by some recent collaborative work on criminal justice reform that Councilmember Buchanan and I had with Representatives Shewmake and Goodman.

We face significant challenges on climate change for a multitude of reasons. I believe we have an obligation as a City and a community to do everything we can to address climate change despite this, and I have supported a multitude of environmental protections for our community as a councilmember over the last five years.
We need to continue the environmental protection and mitigation measures that we have undertaken. I voted to purchase the conservation easement for over 2,000 acres to protect Galbraith Mountain from development. I continue to support the removal of the diversion dam on the Nooksack River to open up over 16 miles of pristine spawning habitat for salmon. We need to continue with Lake Whatcom protections like the Homeowner Incentive Program and Aquatic Invasive Species Program. I’ve voted for strategic purchases of over 100 acres of land in the Lake Whatcom watershed to further protect the drinking water supply for over 100,000 people. I will continue to support stormwater investments outside of the watershed to protect the Salish Sea. I supported the formation of the Climate Action Task Force to create the pathway to 100% renewable by 2030. Climate change is caused by human beings and we need to continue to be a leader in climate solutions.
Growth is one of Bellingham’s biggest challenges. We are constrained by water, mountains and farmlands. While we continue on our annexation phasing plan and bring in new land in our Urban Growth Areas, over 40% of our growth has been in our designated urban villages since 2006. We should continue on this path as well as prioritizing transportation-oriented development along transit lines. I voted to purchase the former JC Penney building on Cornwall as a means to continue to revitalize our downtown. I believe that a vibrant downtown must be firmly in place as the Port develops the waterfront. Equity also needs to be present in parks, amenities and transportation. That’s why I supported the development of Julianna Park in Cordata and the pumptrack in Whatcom Falls along with the new one going in Birchwood Park. We need to continue to prioritize adding bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure like bike lanes, HAWK redlight pedestrian street crossings
Bellingham voters have responded to the housing affordability crisis by passing the Bellingham Home Fund twice, adding or preserving hundreds of units of affordable housing. Bellingham spends about $5 million on homelessness and housing services annually. It’s important to factor in the importance of the City’s collaboration with the County - who has a Health Department - in addressing the issue of homlessness. The County spends an additional $5 million per year

I support the County exercising its authority to council-manically adopt House Bill 1406 that was passed this session. This would allow for the retention of $650,000 of sales tax for housing. Much of this amount is bondable with a ratio of 14:1, allowing for housing to be constructed or purchased outright on the open market.

House Bill 2263 allows for a 1/10 of 1% sales tax for mental health, 60% of which needs to go towards housing. I support this being put in front of County voters next year to bring in about $4.8 million.
Bellingham Police Department does not enforce civil immigration issues or conduct sweeps or work on behalf of federal law enforcement by virtue of ordinance. Bellingham and Whatcom County governments should follow the lead of San Francisco and Spokane and prohibit federal law enforcement officers from arresting people on civil immigration detainers on City or County properties, including parks, the library and administrative buildings. I support creating a workgroup to address immigration issues and provide recommendations for protecting residents as enforcement at the federal level continues to change.
I have been an op-ed contributor to the Cascadia Weekly. I’ve written on a range of subjects including housing, criminal justice reform, mental health and substance abuse and safe biking and bike theft prevention. I’ve co-authored op-ed pieces with Greg Winter, Executive Director of the Opportunity Council, Eric Richey, Whatcom County Prosecutor and my wife, Kelly Bashaw, a three-time elected School Board Director.

Government should always strive for improved communication with residents. Council typically holds its annual retreat in an offsite location with only an audio recording as public record. I opposed this as council president and this year, for the first time, we held the retreat on camera, in council chambers. I believe that council needs transparency when conducting the business of the people. We need to invest in closed-captioning for all City meetings.

I am the only council president to present a land acknowledgment statement at the beginning of every meeting.
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