Calling for a new direction and a new path for Edmonds, two-term City Councilmember Mike Nelson officially kicked off his mayoral campaign in a well-attended Wednesday evening event at the Salt & Iron restaurant in downtown Edmonds.
“I believe our city is ready for a new direction and new path,” he said. “I believe I am the person. We’ve been investing in a lot of other things, and we really need to focus back on our citizens. I’ve been listening to our community, and our community is looking for change. I hope to be part of that.”
The evening included a short program featuring remarks by Edmonds City Councilmember Adrienne Fraley-Monillas, Snohomish County Council Chair Terry Ryan, and Salt & Iron owner Shubert Ho.
So far, Nelson is the only declared candidate for mayor. Current Mayor Dave Earling isn’t running for re-election in November.
“If I’ve learned one thing in my 17 years on the Mill Creek Council and six years on the Snohomish County Council, it’s that we can’t go it alone,” said Ryan. “Those days are over. Today we need to partner. I see great opportunities for Edmonds in economic development. I know Mike will make a very good partner, and I look forward to working with him toward that end.”
“Welcome to our house,” remarked Shubert Ho. “We’re a small family operation here in Edmonds. Despite this, Mike was the only councilmember to actively reach out to us and specifically ask our opinion of an action that was under consideration by council. No one else on council had ever done that. Mike is a new generation of politics for the City of Edmonds who’ll bring reliability and accountability. He’s the right guy for the job.”
“I’m in awe of everyone who’s here tonight,” Nelson began. “We live in a special place with great places to eat and shop, lovely parks and beaches, a strong arts community, good schools where every child is loved, and charities are generously supported.
“We also have the best Little League team in the state,” he added to much applause.
“But we face challenges,” he stressed. “We have homes that our children will never be able to afford to own, a salt marsh that our salmon cannot access, a workforce where eight out of ten workers commute to jobs outside our city, schools practicing with our babies every week to prepare for an active shooter, and parents who work full time paying for child care that costs more than their mortgage.
“I believe we can do better,” he continued. “It’s time to prioritize our citizens. It’s time for a new path where every street is safe for pedestrians to walk, where every child has a roof over their head, where every school educates for our future, where every energy source we use helps our climate, where businesses create more jobs, less traffic and more time with our families.”
He went on to propose his vision to achieve these through measures including child care tax credits, property tax relief for senior and disabled citizens, small business incentives, federal and state infrastructure grants and public and private partnerships.
“These are all things that lift people up by creating a foundation based on community involvement and investment,” he said. “The foundation is us.”
Learn more at the Mike Nelson for Mayor website.
— Story and photos by Larry Vogel