Edmonds attorney Jenna Nand is the latest to declare her intention to run for Edmonds City Council. She has yet to indicate which council position she will seek, but says that this will be forthcoming when she makes a formal announcement of candidacy within the next several days.
While a new face in the political arena, Nand is no stranger to Edmonds.
“I’ve lived in the Edmonds/Shoreline area since I was six years old,” she said. “My parents moved from Shoreline to Edmonds when I was 12, and still own the same house. I grew up here, remember Edmonds when it was a much smaller town, and have watched it change over the years.”
After graduating from Shorecrest High School in 2002, Nand earned her AA degree from Edmonds Community College, where she remains an active alumni association member. She went on to the University of Washington to major in political science and Latin, and finally to University of Minnesota Law School, where she received her JD in 2012.
After a brief stint at a law firm in the Twin Cities, family considerations brought her back to Edmonds to help care for her ailing father. She was admitted to the Washington State Bar in 2014, was hired as a staff attorney for T-Mobile, and through her professional contacts met Washington State Supreme Court Justice Debra Stephens.
“Debra became something of a mentor to me,” she said. “It was she who first suggested that I start my own law firm as an independent practitioner, and it turned out to be the perfect fit for me.”
Nand started her solo practice, Fortuna Law PLLC (named for Fortuna, the Roman goddess of luck), out of a Lynnwood office incubator space in 2015. On her business card is the famous Latin saying Audaces Fortuna Iuvat — fortune favors the bold.
“I really like working with clients who are aspiring to go out on their own in the world of entrepreneurship,” she explained. “Working with startups and small businesses and helping these folks realize their dreams has become a passion for me.”
And it is this passion combined with her love of the community that moves Nand to seek a place on the Edmonds City Council.
“I see many folks who want to live here, to start a business here, but simply find the monetary point of entry too high and end up going to other areas,” she said. “This is a missed opportunity to expand the tax base, support entrepreneurship, and encourage economic growth. And it opens the door for government to step in and start healing these fractures in the community.”
Nand sees business incubators — places that offer office space, shared administrative services, training and more geared to small startups — as a viable strategy that would work in Edmonds. By providing fertile ground for new businesses to take root, she believes that they help diversify the local business base, create a physical place that is a locus of entrepreneurship and provide opportunities right in the community.
“When I decided to locate my business in Edmonds, I couldn’t find affordable space,” she continued. “My solution was to set up shop in a business incubator where I could have office space, a place to meet clients, a place to build synergy with other new businesses — a great benefit for me is that many of my clients came from the same incubator. Right now there are two incubators in Lynnwood, and at least a score in Seattle. I believe this is something from which Edmonds could benefit.”
Beyond this, Nand points out that Edmonds will be facing important challenges over the next four years including budget allocation, the waterfront, the environment, development and population growth.
“I grew up here and I love Edmonds,” she stressed. “As we meet these challenges it’s important to keep our character intact. We want Edmonds to still be Edmonds at the end of the day.”
Other issues that are important to Nand include disability access, increasing our walkability, maintaining and enhancing our green spaces, and preserving our natural beauty.
Nand promises that her website will be live and that she will formally announce her candidacy within the next several days.
Nand currently serves as second vice-president of the 32nd District Democrats.
— By Larry Vogel