Letter to the editor: Will Chen understands diversity, value of hard work

Dear Editor:

I am writing to support Will Chen for the vacant position on the Edmonds City Council. We have lived in Edmond for almost eight years and we love this community because it is a great place to have a family and a business. My husband and I run a non-profit organization to support refugees and migrants in the state of Washington, who are essential for the Washington economy and we are very proud to have our offices here in Edmonds in the international district.

Will Chen is an example for many of us, he overcame childhood by obtaining two master’s degrees in the U.S. and establishing his own accounting firm. Will Chen loves Edmonds community and contributes to the education of our children by teaching in our college. He is definitely a professional man who can bring many years of professional experience to the City Council. Will Chen advocates for Hwy 99 development, diverse housing options, public safety, and marsh restoration in a financially responsible manner.

I strongly support Will Chen, because he is also a person who will bring the requisite skills to make this community even better. As a professional woman, it is important to me that the people who represent us understand the professional works of non-profit organizations and small businesses. Will’s strengths include an understanding of diversity and the value of hard work to maintain Edmond’s family’s values and economic growth.

I am very excited about Will Chen nomination and I know he will be a great advocate for family values and business in our city.

Ileana Maria Ponce-Gonzalez

17 Replies to “Letter to the editor: Will Chen understands diversity, value of hard work”

  1. Diversity certainly means something different to each of us. Since the city council is only made up of women we certainly need a man to represent something close to diversity. Since we only have one opening to obtain diversity how do we cover all the bases? We need a single man, not an American citizen, that of color, an imigrant who is transgender, gay, and has a child that was adopted from either Zimbabwe or if a boy was adopted from China.


  2. We only need a councilmember that brings more diversity if that person is determined to be the most qualified candidate.


  3. The only way we will ever have true diversity and representation of all the people who live in our city is to get rid of the at large system and vote by districts oriented to seven of the various neighborhoods as much as possible. That said, it looks to me like all of the people currently applying for the vacant position are more or less qualified in one way or another. Actually, the only qualification under the at large system as it exists should be that one’s official residence is in Edmonds WA. Everything else is just someone’s opinion of what “qualification” is. The council members making the decision are human and, all things being equal, will try to choose the candidate who most represents what their particular path for Edmonds looks like. Their is no way to make this an unbiased decision short of a special election which is not legal I’m told.


  4. In a perfect world, voters would select the new council member to represent the 42,000 people (Clint would remind us that we have 7 “districts”, with 6000 people in each “district”). Each time the appointment process seems filled with so many negative issues we end up with hard feelings all over the place. One of our last council appointments took 58 votes to finally get the needed majority.

    My bet is most citizens would prefer an objective set of criteria which would lead to a clear consensus and ideally a unanimous vote. We could even develop a voting process that would lead to a consensus after only a few votes.

    One of the early positives are the letters from supporters providing added information about the candidates. There have been negatives remarks against some applicants already, and there will be more as selection day nears. Council could use the city’s polling capability to gather community input, but they won’t. Almost anything would be better that what we are about to go though as a community.

    What is not clear is the role the Mayor may play in any tie breaking vote for selecting a new council member. We just saw the tie breaking process not go according to the agreed plan for selecting the council president. Individual council members were to nominate someone, and when all nominations were complete, voting was to be for each candidate in order. If a tie occurred after voting, then and only then was the mayor allowed go to vote to break a tie. After the first vote and before the city clerk could call for the second vote, the mayor interrupted the process to break a tie that did not yet exist. One or more of the remaining council members may simply have not voted or decided to cast their vote for the first candidate. In either case no tie would have occurred.

    A review of the council minutes and the tape shows that the second vote was note taken and the mayor simply jumped the gun in casing a tie breaker vote. We can chalk it off to the fact that many are new to their jobs. Council, Mayor, and Staff are our government. They are not a business that can make assumptions or bend rules, or not follow rules. They are our government and we all want it to be a good government.


  5. “There is no way to make this an unbiased decision short of a special election.”
    This is certainly a strong statement Mr. Wright. Four women are not able to make a fair unbiased decision, voted in by the residents of Edmonds? Are you saying that whatever our present city council votes on is not going to be unbiased and therefore not in our best interest? So a special election will only have voters in Edmonds that are unbiased voting?
    Are you having difficulty accepting that we have four women on the city council? Why spend more money to have a special election for just one item. As a Republican I think we should be satisfied when residents vote in four people whom they feel best for the position. We certainly should not try to change the rules to get different results. We are all too familiar what some Democrats are doing on the national level. Changing the rules to get different results.


  6. Normally I wouldn’t respond to such a blatantly partisan comment as Mr. Brecht’s but I don’t appreciate people putting words in my mouth. I have absolutely no problem with any of the people on the city council and/or the Mayor making the selection from the group of people being considered as I consider them all qualified in some way or another. I don’t know where Mr. Brecht gets his comments about my somehow thinking this is a male/female thing, but a careful reading of my prior comments will show that this is just some sort of figment of his over active and highly partisan imagination. My simple point is that the only truly unbiased choice for the 7th. council member would be a vote of the people. In my opinion, the council people and possibly the Mayor will tend to vote for people with the same views as themselves about what is good or not good for Edmonds. While it’s certainly none of Mr. Brecht’s business who I vote for or why, I’m quite happy with the six council persons and Mayor we now have. It is fair to say I would like to see a change in how our city government is constituted but I’m not holding my breath for that to ever happen.


    1. Clint, you need to post your comments with a bunch of empty lines so folks who want to try to “read between the lines” in your comments will have the space to insert their views of what you wrote. Your comments a typically complete and understandable.

      Council could help us all feel more comfortable about their process if they develop some criteria they feel is important to be a council member. The could also craft a plan to use a “ranked” voting process. The goal is to create the perception of fairness and not just a political vote.


      1. “The goal is to create the perception of

        fairness and not just a political vote.”

        I certainly do not think this process should be to make us “feel” better. Each of the six council members is an individual that have their own personnel idea of whom they would like to work with. For each member to share a made up criteria of their thinking process, or their ranking of criteria really is not any ones business.
        Love the idea of creating a perception to make us all feel better. Is it really important for the city council to create an appearance of objectivity? In other words create a list of ten items so we can be happy that an objective formula was used and that resulted in a candidate. Maybe a selection of a candidate is subjective, and just a gut feel of how this individual person might fit in. Interesting to see six women on the city council. Not certain they would feel comfortable having the seventh person a man. You know how men just like to take over.


  7. Asians have more white privilege than white people do. Read some Vox.

    Andrew Yang is the last person claiming diversity on the DNC platform, and I’m pointing out that being Asian is the opposite of diverse if we follow the latest and most absurd definition of diversity. Diversity is a dead idea. Alicia Crank tried that platform already, and it created animosity and accomplished nothing. I’ve heard good stuff about Will Chen, and couldn’t care less what his 23-and-Me says.

    Who cares the most and can do the best job?


  8. The foundation of any good democratic government is the overwhelming majority of the citizens believing the process is honest or at least an honest attempt at being honest. As Stalin or some other such dictator once said, ” it’s not about who votes, it’s about who counts the votes. ” Democracy is fragile and it doesn’t take much to loose it.


    1. Overwhelming majority? Maybe 25% of the possible electorate participated, maybe half of them voted on whomever had the neatest yard sign. The fate of out fragile democracy doesn’t balance on whomever manages to fill a vacant Edmonds City Council seat. The overwhelming majority of the citizens actually wont care who gets appointed. Really, a government that does a good job is one that doesn’t get noticed. The Port Commissioners, for example, must be doing a terrific job because almost no one knows who they are. 🙂

      Hopefully the appointee isn’t a white dude, though.


  9. I totally agree with Matt that complacency of the electorate in general could be described as a problem (or an asset depending on which major party dogma you prescribe to at present) and in the great scheme of things the Edmonds elections and appointments don’t mean a whole lot. That’s not what I was getting to in my earlier comment here about strong democracy.

    The current state of political affairs in our democracy has us all so divided that about 45% of us think another 45% of us are dishonest and crooks and that the system is rigged to favor the opposite 45%. That leaves about 10% of us in the middle trying to keep the whole thing glued together and it isn’t working very well to solve real problems such as homelessness, substance abuse and affordable health care. If we don’t have a fundamental broad based belief that our system is good and fair to all, we will never solve our problems and our democracy will decline toward strong man rule such as you see in Russia and the so called “Bannana Republics.” Dictators thrive in situations of political chaos and economic inequality and insecurity of the masses. Dictators nearly always come from either the extreme Right or the Extreme Left. I know I will be ridiculed as an alarmist for stating these views but I’m old enough and seen enough that I don’t really care.


    1. Clinton, you’re Republican. Voting by districts, effectively limiting “votes” to just your neighbors, to those you have access to and know personally, is the republican form of government. Capital “De” democracy sux, and all the problems you’re talking about are a by-product of that.

      Edmonds Dictators? The City Council? This really isn’t that serious. Dogs are elected mayors of some cities and things run fine.

      In defense of the extreme right (which I am), this ideology is Jeffersonian, and more aligned behind ideas of extreme individualist like Lysander Spooner. Extreme right-ists can barely dictate their own life tomorrow, let alone dictate the lives of others. As Chair of the local Republican Party I found it nearly impossible to get 6 Libertarians to be in one place at one time, as it’s like herding cats. They’re usually independent to a fault. Even if we consider Sovereign Citizens a component of the extreme-right, I can’t think of any of those wackos who is wealthy, or powerful, or influential assuming at least one of those traits is required to be a dictator. The contemporary extreme right is more like the late Lavoy Finicum, who I admired. If the political spectrum were linear (which it is not), extreme right is Individualism, extreme left is Collectivism. There’s no such thing as an individualist dictator.

      Dictators only come from two places: 1) Democracy [people will actually vote for their dictator], or 2) Military Generals/Intelligence Organizations. Neither are extreme right.


  10. Whatever you say Matt. I’ll let you split the hairs as you see fit. All I know is I’m out of this lousy weather tomorrow heading South and quite happy about it.


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