It may be early February, but Edmonds City Council election season is well underway, with Position 1 candidate Alicia Crank holding her campaign kickoff remotely Monday night to an enthusiastic audience gathered via Zoom and Facebook.
The event included several speakers — from business owners to community leaders — who offered their unqualified support for electing Crank to the council in November.
They included Andy and Kristen Cline, owners of downtown Edmonds’ Cline Jewelers. Kristen Cline said that Crank is “completely invested in our community,” and pointed to the range of efforts the candidate has immersed herself — including the upcoming Edmonds International Women’s Day event, which Crank founded three years ago.
“I think Alicia is incredibly approachable and I think that’s highly important for a candidate and a councilmember in our community, especially right now,” Kristen Cline said.
“We need a balanced council that can bring different perspectives, and I think Alicia can definitely bring that,” Andy Cline added.
Next to speak was Dedie Davis, a wedding and event planner who has lived in Edmonds for more than 20 years.
“Alicia is such an amazing human being,” Davis said. “She was meant to serve her community.” Davis said she first met Crank shortly after the Edmonds Black Lives rally last summer. “Immediately I could tell she was very dialed into how social justice issues affect our community as a whole. Having someone who understands this because she’s lived it, represented on city council is critical to moving our city forward,” Davis said.
“Alicia has displayed the ability to look at any issue that may arise in total perspective,” Davis added. “Meaning she can see all sides and not just one.”
Crank’s goal, Davis said, “is to serve this community and bring its residents together — not further divide it.”
Downtown Edmonds’ Ombu Salon and Spa owner Beth Sanger said that Crank “does a lot to support our community just by being present, and posting and shopping and just really being there for the business owners in the downtown core as well as the surrounding neighborhoods.”
From a book club Crank started for community members to her creation of the annual Edmonds International Women’s Day to the organization of Black in Edmonds online panel discussions, Crank “teaches in very meaningful ways, she talks in meaningful ways and she listens in a very constructive way,” Sanger said.
Longtime Edmonds resident Nichole Sargent spoke to “the themes of community building and trust and authenticity — just those kind of things that make Alicia authentically her.” Through her efforts, Crank “is bringing a lot of different people, different ideas and she’s putting all of us sort of on the same page to have the conversations that could create a lot of positive change for Edmonds.”
Edmonds has seen many changes in the years since Sargent first moved to the city in 1980, including an increasingly diverse population. “Voices like Alicia’s are really important,” Sargent said. “It’s important that we have diversity in our city council to speak to all of our residents. Representation is important.”
Megan Wolfe, Executive Director of Snohomish County Girls on the Run, cited Crank’s “creativity and her adaptability. She is one of those people who sees a problem in our little town and she’s like oh, ‘I’ll do something about it.'”
Edmonds City Council President Susan Paine pointed to Crank’s experience on the Edmonds Planning Board, where she serves as vice chair, and on the Snohomish County Airport Commission, which she currently chairs. “She would be a delightful addition to the council,” Paine said. “We absolutely need her vision, her voice and her perspective on council now.”
Richard Taylor, Edmonds speaker and author, said Crank’s leadership style will be important to the city council. “You actually lead from a space of love and empathy,” Taylor said. “You represent people on so many different sides and I think that’s going to be important moving forward.”
“I am humbled,” Crank said in addressing supporters gathered Monday night. She said she believes her efforts to create community have built trust and understanding. “We can all take our differing opinions or perspectives and put them all on the table and not yell at each other, and not think less of each other. We can learn,” she said.
She then touched on three issues in her campaign:
Policing and public safety : Crank said that policing is “obviously ia a hot button issue here and we have a longer road in terms of finding out what’s going to happen with getting a new police chief and navigating what that’s going to feel like. Community safety is established far before the first responders are called. We have to feel safe amongst each other.” She also said that “we do need to look at ways of how we can seriously uplift our community,” and that includes “demanding civil discourse smong those who are not being civil.”
Mayor and council relations: “It’s clear that all of our elected officials are not on the same page on certain issues regarding recent social unrest,” Crank said. “OK — but I want to be able to be one of those people that can bring criticial representation and a collaborative attitude.”
COVID and the economy: “We are not coming out of this as fast as we would like,” Crank said. “We know that our local businesses took the brunt of this. We need to rebuild our local economy and I think we are geting there but we also know that we need to do it in a way that we build it better and also safer.”
In conclusion, Crank said, “I just really want to take everything that I’m doing (in the community) and put a title on it. Nothing that I’m going to do is going to change whether I’m elected or not. This is the person that I am and I think this is the comunity that we are and that we want to be.”
This will be Crank’s third try at a council seat since she moved in Edmonds in 2014. (She lost to Dave Teitzel in 2015 and Vivian Olson in 2019.) Crank has more than 20 years experience as a business and nonprofit leader, most currently as chief development officer for AtWork. In addition to her current work on the Edmonds Planning Board and Snohomish County Airport Commission, she has served on the Edmonds Sister City Commission, Edmonds Noon Rotary, Edmonds Senior Center and the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce. She is also a member of the Snohomish County Tomorrow Steering Committee and the Highway 99 Task Force and a new board member of the Hazel Miller Foundation.
In declaring for Position 1, Crank could potentially run against incumbent Councilmember Kristiana Johnson, a retired transportation planner who has been on the council since 2012. Johnson has not yet said whether she is running for re-election.
In addition to Position 1, two other council seats — Positions 2 and 3 — are up for election this year. Position 2 is occupied by Luke Distelhorst, facing election after he was appointed to fill out the remainder of Edmonds Mayor Mike Nelson’s council term. Position 3 is held by three-term Councilmember Adrienne Fraley-Monillas, a retired state government manager who was first elected to the council in 2009.
Two others who have already launched their council campaigns — but have not yet declared which position they are running for — are former City Councilmember Neil Tibbott and community volunteer and local business owner Will Chen.
You can watch the full video of Crank’s campaign launch via this Facebook link.
— By Teresa Wippel