Jenna Nand appointed to Position 7 Edmonds City Council seat

WIth the appointment of Jenna Nand, center, the Edmonds City Council again has seven members. Nand joins, from left, Diane Buckshnis, Neil Tibbott, Will Chen, Susan Paine, Dave Teitzel and Vivian Olson.

Edmonds attorney Jenna Nand became the newest member of the Edmonds City Council Monday night.

Compared to other council appointments in recent years, Nand was appointed quickly to the vacant Position 7 seat — receiving four of six council votes on the third ballot of the first round.

Nand was nominated in the first round by Councilmembers Dave Teitzel and Will Chen and supported on the first and second ballots by Council President Vivian Olson. Then, on the third ballot, she also gained the support of Councilmember Susan Paine — giving her a four-vote majority. Other candidates receiving nominations and votes were Janelle Cass, Natalie Seitz, Lauren Golembiewski and Michelle Dotsch.

Immediately after being appointed, Nand was sworn in by Mayor Mike Nelson.

The 38-year-old Nand is a business attorney with an office in downtown Edmonds. She has lived in Edmonds’ Lake Ballinger neighborhood for 19-plus years, having moved to the city with her family when she was 12. She also ran for the city council in 2019, losing to incumbent Diane Buckshnis, and also applied in 2020 for the Position 2 seat left vacant when Mike Nelson was elected mayor. (That seat went to council appointee Luke Distelhorst and is now held by Councilmember Will Chen.)

Nand had applied for the Position 1 seat left vacant following the death of Councilmember Kristiana Johnson in July. Councilmembers in September appointed Dave Teitzel to that position — although Nand was one of the candidates nominated. Shortly after that, another vacancy was created with the resignation of Position 7 Councilmember Laura Johnson, and Nand indicated her interest in filling that seat.

“We need a broad base of representation, I believe, on council,” Teitzel said in nominating Nand. “We need diversity of thought, we need a diversity of opinion, diversity from an ethnic perspective, diversity of age — many, many dimensions — and I think that Jenna would bring those elements to us. She’s very diplomatic, she’s an independent thinker not wedded to any particular ideology, she makes decisions on a fact basis as opposed to emotions.” Noting that she is caring for aging parents, Nand also is focused on the needs of seniors, Teitzel said, which is important given that Edmonds’ population is one of the Snohomish County’s oldest in terms of age.

Nand has been active in local politics, serving as first vice chair of the 32nd District Democrats until 2021, and has volunteered to support Edmonds’ LGBTQ and unhoused communities.

After graduating from Shorecrest High School in 2002, Nand earned her AA degree from Edmonds College. She went on to the University of Washington to major in political science and Latin, and finally to University of Minnesota Law School, where she received her JD in 2012.

Following a brief stint at a law firm in the Twin Cities, family considerations brought Nand back to Edmonds to help care for her ailing father. She was admitted to the Washington State Bar in 2014 and was hired as a staff attorney for T-Mobile.

Nand started her solo practice, Fortuna Law PLLC, in Lynnwood in 2015. She moved her office to downtown Edmonds in 2020.

During her council interview for the Position 1 seat, Nand said that as a longtime resident of the Highway 99 area, she believes the city needs to “find a way to overcome the siloing of people into different neighborhoods.” Given the fact there’s a large minority population in the Highway 99 neighborhood, “I think we have to do more to try to integrate.” She also noted that most people don’t realize Highway 99 generates more tax revenue for city than the Bowl does. In general, Nand said, there should be more beautification projects — such as public art and green spaces — in neighborhoods throughout Edmonds.

Nand’s top three priorities, as listed in her council application, are maintaining affordability for residents, environmental preservation and inclusion. For the affordability piece, Nand said during her council interview that the federal government led the way during the pandemic by offering direct grants to people in need through the CARES Act. She said it’s important to find ways to “route more of these subsidies to our vulnerable residents, especially our senior citizens who have made a long time and energy investment in our community and now feel like they are being priced out.” As for environmental preservation, Nand stressed the need to preserve Edmonds’ mature tree canopy and supporting salmon runs by restoring the Edmonds Marsh.

You can read more about Nand in her interview here.

The appointed Position 7 term will expire after results of the November 2023 general election have been certified. Nand is eligible, but not required, to campaign for election to maintain her seat next year.

– By Teresa Wippel

 

  1. Congratulations to new City Councilmember Jenna Nand.

    One correction to the story – Council President Vivian Olson voted for new Councilmember Jenna Nand in all three rounds of voting. Council President Olson did not vote once for her own nominee, Lauren Golembiewski.

    Councilmembers Teitzel, Chen and Olson voted for new Councilmember Jenna Nand in all three rounds of voting.

    A total of 18 votes were cast. New Councilmember Jenna Nand received a total of 10 votes over the three rounds, Michelle Dotsch received a total of 3 votes, Janelle Cass and Natalie Seitz received 2 votes each and Lauren Golembiewski received one vote.

  2. Congratulations to Jenna Nand and the Edmonds Council. I met Ms. Nand in the run up to the Anti Hate/Call for Unity rally held in March of 2021 in the Highway 99 International District. I found her to be sincere, hardworking, well-prepared, collaborative, well-intentioned and principled. These are all qualities that can contribute to the positive and balanced consideration of challenging issues by Edmonds Council. Wishing you all the very best.

  3. Congrats Jenna. Edmonds will be well served by Jenna and her perspective. I’ve known her to be smart, dedicated, and pragmatic.

  4. There are many reasons to be hopeful with Jenna on the council, the primary one being her residency outside of the Bowl, and more specifically, in the Lake Ballinger neighborhood. As a 99 adjacent neighborhood, I am sure she is quite aware of what needs to happen to make this a more livable and safe area for residents, even though I probably disagree with her on some of those tools needed. My concern here is the way I have seen her interact with individuals on this public forum, particularly when she has been in disagreement. I have been a personal target of that as well which was a simple misunderstanding that could have been clarified if she just asked me a single clarifying question. Instead it was a tirade I received from someone I had never met. I hope that now since she is representing all of Edmonds, some of that cools down so she can focus on the difficult work that needs to take place for our city.

  5. “We need a broad base of representation, I believe, on council“
    What does this really mean? What I hope this means is Jenna, congrats btw, will represent all Edmonds citizens. What i expect will happen will be the opposite based on the current political climate but I am willing to trust this selection. I just hope my gut is wrong. Please let my gut on this decision be wrong.

  6. First of all, thank you to everyone for your kind words. I’m deeply honored by the privilege to serve my city and community in this appointment until the next general election, which will be in Nov. 2023.

    As I was explaining to a young Edmonds resident on Twitter on Monday night after the meeting, this is a time of change for our society and our political system due to external pressures like the pandemic and internal pressures like distrust of and alienation from our political process. Modeling the values inherent in our constitution at all levels of government matters.

    I am proud by this opportunity to represent our community, our residents, our taxpayers, and our passionate citizens in local government.

    1. Quite a noble and very well balanced response given a mix of support and concern (from myself included) found above. I am looking forward to seeing the potential impact you will have on the city. For the record, I too live in Lake Ballinger, which is why I am and have been so highly been focused on what happens in that area. I am sure you will continue to advocate strongly for public safety improvements to keep us and our families safe which I see as the single biggest immediate concern.

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