Full disclosure, I am one of the leads on Janelle Cass’s campaign.
How did my involvement with Janelle get me here and how did Janelle get in the running for Edmonds City Council Position 2 in February 2021?
In October or November of 2020, I was asked to join a group of Edmonds citizens that were coming together initially with the purpose to identify and recruit citizens to run for non-partisan elected office. We/they believed that non-partisan, good government is possible. That group is now known as the Edmonds Civic Roundtable. I am not speaking for them in this letter. We divided into committees and my committee (I was one of two) was tasked with going out into our community to see who was out there willing and qualified to run for non-partisan office. I, and my co-chair, spoke with and interviewed countless individuals. Out of these, we identified a handful who were willing to look at running for office — Port position, city council. One was Janelle Cass.
We had some good, solid candidates and I personally was asked to join, work and support their campaigns. I looked at all of them and knew that if I was to do any of them justice, I could only choose one to join, I chose to work for and joined Janelle Cass.
Allow me to digress for a moment. I had already witnessed the entire selection process of the chief of police and the cries by some to defund our police force. I had attended some housing commission meetings where rezoning our single-family housing was being talked about and apparently being pushed through without complete information or buy-in by our community a large. It seemed to me that decisions had already been made at city hall and these meetings were merely for show. I had heard some on Edmonds City Council and the mayor declare that Edmonds was a racist community and the entire police department needed to change and become more diverse, more responsive to our community, and better serve it. At this time, Acting Chief of Police Jim Lawless and Former Chief of Police Al Compaan had already made huge strides in this area over the past several years but this wasn’t acknowledged by Mayor Nelson or some on Edmonds City Council. These were just two issues of concern to me. So when I met Janelle a few months later and heard her views and concerns on these same issues, and others, I felt that possibly our beautiful Edmonds community had a chance at surviving; that we had a chance to turn things around and not face the struggles that some of our neighboring communities have had to experience.
So I began in earnest to try and convince Janelle to run for Edmonds City Council. She was deliberative in making her decision to run. As is her typical way in decision-making, she had to look at and analyze the many issues and reasons for her to take on this endeavor. In February she announced her candidacy and true to my promise to her, if she would run for this office, I would stand by her and work diligently to get her elected to bring back our Edmonds. To work to restore it, to make our city government more transparent, to reach out to our community on issues such as the selection of our chief of police, and housing issues, to look at and analyze the data before making critical decisions that affect our community — health and public safety and issues affecting Edmonds — were all at the forefront in Janelle’s decision to run for city council. And to look at just what rezoning would mean to Edmonds, how the building of attached and detached housing units would impact our environment were further concerns for her.
Janelle’s background and area of expertise is in civil and environmental engineering. She is analytical and will not jump to conclusions in decision making. She will not go along to get along, She is an independent, critical thinker. One of the things that is so refreshing to me about Janelle is that she will take a stand and then defend it. She won’t and doesn’t take a position because that is the one that is politically woke to take. She doesn’t put her finger to the wind, as they say, to see which way the wind is blowing before answering a question. Janelle is Janelle no matter what the issue, which day of the week it is, or who is asking the question. Your name or title don’t figure into how she will vote while representing you on council. She will vote to protect and invest in Edmonds and not allow influences outside of Edmonds to color her commitment to our city. She is for all of Edmonds. As a registered nurse I share this approach – look at the data, ask the questions that need to be asked, weigh the pros and cons, bring in the stakeholders, and then make a decision.
Janelle is a business owner — Ohana Hyperbarics. She knows the challenges of being a business owner. She knows what it means to look at the business finances and how dollars need to and will be spent. She won’t be writing checks from the tax dollars you have entrusted the city to spend without carefully weighing the need for the expenditure and how it will be paid for.
This is why you should vote for Janelle Cass today.
Theresa Campa Hutchison
Ret. Registered Nurse