Stating his goal is to improve citizens’ quality of life and listen to their concerns, Edmonds City Councilmember Mike Nelson announced Thursday that he will be running for mayor in 2019.
“We are seeing Edmonds families struggle to keep up with increasing taxes and rising costs in housing, health care, child care, and transportation,” Nelson said. “We need to balance the needs of our citizens while making sure that our charming community does not lose its way to crime, traffic, and overdevelopment. We are at a crossroads and I believe the best path forward is to focus on creating a livable city, not a big city.”
In his announcement, Nelson said he is committed to giving Edmonds citizens “a voice in the future of our city. To have influence on where infrastructure investments are most urgent so our children and seniors are able to walk safely in our neighborhoods. To have a say on public safety priorities so our community feels secure in their homes and on our roadways. To have a voice on how we can best protect our natural environment to ensure our community is healthy. To have a say on how we can support our local businesses that serve a vital role in the strength of our economy.
“We need a mayor who will listen to you,” Nelson said.
Local government watchers have been expecting Nelson’s announcement. Two-term Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling said Thursday morning he has not yet made a decision whether he will run for a third term.
Nelson was appointed in March 2015 to fill the seat vacated by Strom Peterson, who is now in the state Legislature. Nelson was then elected to the City Council in 2015, and re-elected in 2017.
In his announcement, Nelson — a former Marin County deputy sheriff — said that during his time on the council he has advocated for a range of public safety issues, from traffic safety to police support, and noted he was the council’s “lone vote against cuts to our fire department.” Nelson also sponsored measures — passed by the council — to require safe storage of that firearms and prompt reporting of lost or stolen firearms.
Nelson said he has also advocated for environmental issues, “passing a resolution to make Edmonds the first city in Washington to be powered by 100 percent renewable energy and updated our climate action plan with measurable goals to reduce unhealthy emissions.”
Nelson has a bachelor’s degree from George Washington University and a law degree from Gonzaga University. He and his wife, Erica, live in Edmonds with their two young boys.