Laura Johnson may be new to running for office, but don’t call her a political newcomer. Johnson, who kicked off her campaign Sunday afternoon for Edmonds City Council, is no stranger to local issues. She has been a strong voice in the community for many years on topics including the environment, immigrant rights, social justice, gun safety legislation and governmental transparency.
A founding member of the Edmonds Neighborhood Action Coalition, she has been involved at the local and state levels on the issue of crumb rubber infills on athletic fields, has served as the legislative lead for the Edmonds group of Moms Demand Action and is current chair of the Edmonds Historic Preservation Commission. Johnson is running for the Position 7 seat now occupied by Neil Tibbott, who is running for Edmonds mayor.
“I have worked with many of you over the years on these issues,” she said in remarks to supporters at the Edmonds Senior Center. “As your city councilmember, my priorities will include increasing transparency and accessibility in local government; making it easier for residents to understand, get involved in and make a difference in local government; fostering an engaged citizenry and working with my fellow councilmembers to be responsive to citizen needs.”
Johnson went on to outline her roadmap for achieving this, stressing the critical importance of including all Edmonds citizens and communities. Pledging to bring neighborhoods outside the Bowl into the mainstream, she stressed the importance of encouraging opportunities for economic growth and community-building throughout our jurisdiction, citing the Lake Ballinger and Highway 99 neighborhoods as two examples.
“By increasing retail and business opportunities throughout Edmonds, we can reduce tax dollars lost when we leave our city and spend our money elsewhere,” she added. “One goal will be to provide incentives to enhance our Highway 99 International District into a destination that will draw customers right here to Edmonds.”
Moving on to the environment, she pledged to make protection and enhancement of the Edmonds Marsh a top priority.
“The Edmonds Marsh is among the last remaining salt-water estuaries in our area,” she said. “By protecting the marsh and its buffers and prioritizing the daylighting of Willow Creek, we can play a vital role in crucial salmon recovery efforts.”
She also promised to build on Edmonds’ current commitment to 100 percent clean energy by looking for additional opportunities to reduce the city’s environmental footprint and address climate change.
“On council I will always keep in mind the future generations who will inherit the impact of our decisions today,” she concluded. “By working together, we can create an Edmonds that continues to recognize and celebrate our unique heritage, while at the same time committing to sustaining and enhancing a high quality of life for all of our citizens.
“I ask you to join me in committing to an Edmonds that promotes economic health and vitality throughout our city; that welcomes and celebrates diversity and opposes hate and discrimination; that takes pride and makes concrete steps to protecting the environment; that encourages citizens to take part in local gov by increasing transparency, accessibility and civic engagement; that cares about building welcoming communities from Meadowdale to Seaview to Chase Lake to Lake Ballinger to Westgate to Ardenwood to downtown and the waterfront.
“One person can make a difference, a few of us can make a bigger difference, but when we work together we can create a movement.”
Learn more about Laura Johnson’s campaign for city council at her Facebook page.
— Story and photos by Larry Vogel