When you choose who you want to represent Edmonds on the council, I hope that you will base your decision on more than what you hear candidates talk about, but what they stand for, and have demonstrated time and time again through their actions. Actions speak much louder than words. My actions and commitment to our community not only make me the best candidate for the position, but the only candidate truly ready to represent the voices of the entire community. I can assure you that I am not only prepared to lead on day one, but I am also ready to listen and lead for the entire term.
I recognize that finding common ground is not always easy, and that collaboration requires parties to work together to find meaningful solutions to our problems. I am not only an experienced and proven collaborator, but I also bring an entirely different perspective to the council. A perspective that has been missing for too long! I don’t just claim to be ready on day one, I have proven capable of answering the call of the community when it is needed most. For example:
- Do you remember when there was little to no PPE to be found in any store or online during the height of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic? I was able to secure and distribute thousands of masks and gloves to the Edmonds Police Department, adult care facilities, small businesses, and other friends and neighbors in Edmonds. I stood up and answered the call. Actions, not just words.
- When the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce was facing serious financial challenges that put them in a real threat of potential bankruptcy, I stepped up and answered the call by raising more than $107,000 as a part of the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce Task Force. This funding was critical to help carry the Chamber through one of the most difficult times in their history. In fact, Will Chen CPA, PLLC was the very first contributor and Gold Member. Actions, not just words.
- As a certified public accountant, I have helped many small businesses in Edmonds succeed. During this pandemic, I helped several businesses in Edmonds apply for and obtain the desperately needed PPP funding to stay afloat, and subsequently apply for loan forgiveness. In addition, I also helped small businesses and individuals apply for the American Rescue Fund distributed by the City of Edmonds. Most recently, I assisted businesses that were impacted by the arson at Plum Tree Plaza by reaching out and helping them get support from the Edmonds Chamber WISH Fund. Again, I am there when local businesses needed help the most. Actions, not just words.
- When our city called for volunteers to serve on the citizens housing commission to come up with recommendations to solve our housing issues, I served as a commissioner and volunteered many hours to develop recommendations for the city. This volunteer service has been attacked by many of my opponents’ supporters because they are not happy with some of the policies that were brought forward by the commission, and I respect the fact that not every policy has been widely accepted and needs further input from our community before deciding whether to move many of them forward. Still, I saw a need and I stepped up. And I voted against an upzone of single-family zoning policy recommendations. Actions, not just words.
- My campaign team and I have shown up time and time again to actively participate in environmental cleanups in Edmonds at the Edmonds Marsh, Hutt Park, Mathay-Ballinger Park, and the beach at Brackett’s Landing. We have pulled out invasive nightshade in Edmonds Marsh and cleaned up our waterways so that salmon can travel through the creek and find safe haven to promote an ecological balance. I volunteer right here, in Edmonds. Again, actions not just words.
I have been attacked for receiving campaign contributions from those who live outside of Edmonds, as if Edmonds is a gated community and those that don’t have an Edmonds address don’t belong here. The people that support me, do so because of my many years of community involvement both here and in the other places I have lived and worked. They do not have any agenda, other than their belief that I will work hard to better the lives of those I am elected to serve. You can look at my website and see all the Edmonds residents, Community members, small business owners and current and former elected leaders that have shown their support. It’s not just about the people that donate the most money from Edmonds. My support is broad, and significantly broader than the pockets of influence that have been most vocally in support of my opponent in these comments online.
I simply ask that you look at the facts when you vote. My opponent might deny the fact that Edmonds has any housing issues, but I am realistic, and I know that a good leader plans into the future. Our region and our city will experience growth, and we must plan for that growth whether we like it or not, or it will hit us so hard that we won’t be in a place to protect our city’s unique character and charm. Let’s explore options where they make sense, like along the Highway 99 corridor and areas that have access to mass transportation options.
Mrs. Cass said in the primary debate that she doesn’t expect that her own children would be able to afford to live here fresh out of the military. While this may be true, I should hope that it is all our goal to make our community better for our children and to create a place where all are welcome because it is our diversity that is truly the strength of our community.
Finally, I lead by focusing on the issues, and not the person. I did not agree with how the police chief hiring was handled during the pandemic; I did not agree with the decision to close Main Street on both Saturday and Sunday; and I publicly expressed my objection in testimony on how the hate portal is handled. Yet, I did not resort to personal attacks or accusing individuals of untoward behavior without evidence. I address each issue based on its merits. I do not side with anyone. Some areas we have agreement and others we won’t. Our community deserves better than candidates who claim to be collaborative yet condone behaviors that are the exact opposite from the very members of their campaign team. This is not consistent with the claim of approaching the council from a place of collaboration. Actions speak louder than words.
I do agree with the mayor and the council when it comes to focusing on Highway 99 revitalization. Improving this long-neglected area will benefit not only Highway 99, but also provide affordable housing while protecting single-family housing in other areas of Edmonds. I love the Uptown Market—it is a good start that we can build upon and improve in the future with more frequency and vendors. I enthusiastically joined the task force to contribute to the design of the Welcome to Edmonds sign. I did not see my opponent there. Actions speak louder than words.
I am not waiting to be elected to start contributing and supporting ALL of Edmonds. ne can have an impressive resume to secure the job, but it is the actions that make someone effective. If you still have questions about my qualification or intentions, please do reach out to me, as you should for all candidates that want to represent you.