Before an audience of friends, family and supporters, local attorney and political newcomer Jenna Nand launched her campaign for Edmonds City Council Sunday afternoon at Anthony’s Homeport. Nand is the sole challenger to incumbent Diane Buckshnis for Council Position 4.
The event was emceed by the candidate’s sister Arleen Nand, who introduced Jenna as her “best friend,” and a person passionate about helping people.
She was followed to the podium by Maizy Bear, indigenous programs director at the Farmer Frog Maltby education center. Bear acknowledged that the event was being held on the ancestral lands of the Coast Salish people, and reminded attendees that “we are on sacred land and it is fitting that we honor where we came from.” She then led the group in a Native American blessing.
Next to speak was former Washington State Senator and Nand’s political mentor Maralyn Chase.
“People often ask me ‘what’s new in the political sphere,’” Chase began. “I’ll tell you what’s new — it’s Jenna Nand.
“Jenna is a shining example of our democratic principles at work in our community,” she continued. “I’m fond of telling people that if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu. Jenna believes in inclusion — she’ll make sure we all have a place at the table. It’s not just for wealthy folks; it’s for everyone who makes a living in our society. It’s the kind of representation we need to see.”
Chase went on to praise Nand as an environmentalist who cares about the Edmonds Marsh, clean air and water, as a forward-thinker who cares about future generations, and as a person who will bring freshness, openness, transparency and accountability to the Edmonds City Council.
“I wholeheartedly commend her candidacy to you,” Chase concluded. “I think this is going to be a great campaign.”
Next up was Nand’s former UW Political Science professor Talal Hattar, who is now her legal client, and identified on the agenda as owner of Renton’s North Star Treatment Group.
“I’ve known Jenna since 1988 when she was my student, and she is now my business attorney” Hattar began. “That should tell you a lot about her exceptional nature. She’s highly competent, intelligent, disciplined. Her mind is luminous, her effort is total. In her legal practice she takes the time to treat each client as a person, and each person as a human. I know she’ll do the same for the City of Edmonds. She is rich in decency and compassion, and sees the unlimited value of the human person. I urge you to run, not walk, to the polls and vote for her. You will not regret it. You’ll be conscientiously and well represented.”
The next speaker was Dr. Moses Howard, an author who has known Jenna’s family for decades. Writing under the name of Musa Nagenda, he has authored books for adults and children for more than 50 years.
“Jenna is a listener,” he said. “She wants to hear all sides of an issue, she’ll ask you what you think, she examines all aspects, and only then will she make a decision.”
Last to speak was the candidate.
“The next few years will set the tone for the coming decade,” Nand began. “That’s why I decided to run. I’m from the community — I was raised here, and my family still lives here.”
She went on to stress that there needs to be a strong connection between our representatives on the council and residents of Edmonds as we face the challenges of the next four years.
“Edmonds is a very beautiful area, and we need to keep it that way by preserving such assets as our tree canopy, the marsh and the beach,” she said. “Yes, we are going to experience growth, but we need to grow responsibly and make sure that Edmonds is still recognizable 25 years into the future.”
She sees the recent controversy over the Edmonds Waterfront Connector as one example of the disconnect between the government and the people. “This is something I’m trying to heal,” she said.
She also pledged to work for more good jobs in the Edmonds area.
“I’m part of the generation raised to believe that if you want a good-paying job you need to leave Edmonds for Seattle or Palo Alto,” she said. “We need to develop good jobs right here at home by doing things like bringing in tech startups via business incubators, providing internships and apprenticeships. We now have 300 local businesses operating out of homes. A hub like an incubator would bring these together and create a synergy.”
She also spoke strongly about preserving our culture, noting that Edmonds is a nice place, but that things have happened lately that are out of character with who we are such as hate crimes, white supremacy flyers flooding neighborhoods and long-time, valued city employees resigning because they’re feeling targeted.
“I believe we need to address this by setting an example,” she said. “That needs to start at the top, where our officials showcase appropriate behavior, and that it be allowed to percolate into our culture.”
In conclusion Nand reiterated her core campaign themes.
“I want to keep Edmonds beautiful and affordable; I want us to expand and grow responsibly, and I believe that everyone who is here belongs here,” she said. “I want to make sure we’re still a nice place and recognizable 25 years from now.”
— Story and photos by Larry Vogel