Calling her council work “a labor of love,” Kristiana Johnson began her bid Tuesday night to retain the Edmonds City Council seat that she was appointed to last year following Michael Plunkett’s resignation.
Johnson has one declared opponent for her Position 1 seat: Randy Hayden, an Edmonds resident who unsuccessfully ran against 32nd District State Rep. Cindy Ryu last November.
Noting her strong Edmonds roots, Johnson told a crowd of supporters gathered at The Loft that she was born and raised here, graduating from Edmonds High School. She talked about how her father built the Edmonds family home near Yost Park, where he and Johnson’s mother still live, from a Better Homes and Gardens plan in 1954. He dug out the basement first, so the family had living quarters, and then everyone worked together to build the rest of the home on weekends, Johnson recalled.
“At that time there were dirt roads,” she said. “The neighbors had horses, they had chickens. We heard the coyotes at dawn and dusk. This (the house) was unincorporated Snohomish County but right now, it’s in the heart of Edmonds. ”
“From my father I learned how to work hard, and from my mother I learned about community,” Johnson added. “She was a great volunteer and set a wonderful example for me.”
The now-retired Johnson cited her “decades of experience” in transportation, environmental and land use planning as assets she brings to the council. A former King County and City of Bellevue transportation planner, Johnson had been an active volunteer on City of Edmonds boards and commission, including the Edmonds Planning Board, the Edmonds Economic Development Commission and the Edmonds Transportation Committee, prior to her council appointment.
“This is a labor of love because this is my hometown, and I really treasure it,” Johnson said. “I love the beautiful views that we have and I love the sense of community, and this is why I want to continue on the city council — because I really want to work hard, and with your help, I think I will win.”
At the end of her speech, the crowd serenaded the beaming Johnson with “Happy Birthday to You.” She decided to take advantage of a rare non-council meeting night (usually held on Tuesdays except when they fall on the fifth Tuesday), to celebrate her birthday along with her campaign kickoff.