Chris Eck formally kicked off her campaign for Edmonds City Council Position 1 Monday evening at Edmonds’ Salish Sea Brewery Boathouse. An estimated 50 attendees — including elected officials past and present, friends and supporters –turned out to hear her ideas for bringing values of inclusion, compassion, empathy and collaborative problem-solving to the council.
Former City Councilmember Dave Teitzel was appointed by the council to fill the remainder of the late Kristiana Johnson’s Position 1 term. Teitzel is not running to retain the seat and has endorsed Eck’s opponent, Roger Pence. No other candidates have filed for the position.
Formerly of Lynnwood, where she chaired the Lynnwood Planning Commission and ran unsuccessfully for city council in 2021, Eck and her family moved last year to Edmonds, where she has continued her passion for public service on the Edmonds Tree Board. Professionally, she has served for almost three years as deputy chief operating officer for the Western Washington Volunteers of America, where she has led a team that has played vital roles in projects such as the new 988 emergency services phone line, a new food distribution center in Arlington, the Lynnwood Neighborhood Service Center, and creating transitional housing for women and children in Everett. Eck’s previous work experience included 13 years in health care administration with Premera. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Washington.
Eck was introduced by Edmonds City Councilmember Susan Paine, who is also running for reelection to her seat and who has endorsed Eck’s candidacy.
“It has been my particular pleasure to get to know Chris over the past few months,” Paine said. “Her intellectual curiosity, critical-thinking skills and level-headedness are very impressive. In her position with Volunteers of America she has become a true community powerhouse for our county. Her job is to understand all the details of the projects that fall under her scope, bring together the right mix of stakeholders and line up funding to bring them to fruition.
“She understands what it means to put projects together for her community – it’s what she’s been working on all her life,” she continued. “I’m proud to endorse her as a candidate.”
Next to speak was Edmonds businessperson and long-time friend Jen Dragoo.
“I’ve known Chris for more than 20 years,” she began. “We first met when she was with Premera, but her dream was to move into the nonprofit sector where she could make a difference in her community, which eventually led to her current job with Volunteers of America.
“Her passion is to help people, especially those who do not have a voice,” Dragoo continued. “I’ve seen her in action – she listens, she cares, she mentors others, she’s a connector. She’s determined, honest and committed to serving her community.”
Eck then took the podium, first expressing her thanks to all those who came out to support her and learn about her candidacy.
She related how she and her family love living in Edmonds with its “beautiful neighborhoods, parks, shops and art,” and how this is made possible by the many people who contribute their time, energies and resources to the community.
“Yes, we have challenges,” she continued. “And I will use the collaborative problem-solving skills I’ve learned over the decades to find and promote solutions that will benefit everyone. My values are based in empathy and serving those in need. I know how to bring people together to tackle tough issues – to me this means prioritizing research, collecting essential data, and ensuring that everyone is heard. This approach will ensure that our solutions make sense as we move forward.”
She went on to outline her three priorities:
1. Service to the community – She explained that this would entail “developing policies and build programs to help the most vulnerable, tackle issues head-on, and make progress together.”
2. Housing affordability – “I firmly believe that everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to live,” she said. “People who work in Edmonds deserve to live in Edmonds. We’re a better community when we all have a better place to live.”
3. Inclusion – “I will make sure that all residents have the opportunity to be included in council decision-making,” she pledged.
“Everyone in Edmonds needs to stand up and get involved,” she concluded. “Edmonds can find a way to help those who are marginalized, keep our community thriving, and preserve the things that make Edmonds special. I will bring folks together, listen to your priorities, tackle tough issues, and get everyone involved to address these challenges together.”
Last to speak was another Eck supporter, State Representative, County Councilmember and former Edmonds City Councilmember Strom Peterson.
“I’ve seen a lot of folks run for office,” he began. “And every once in a while a candidate comes along that you know you want in your community – Chris Eck is that candidate. There’s lots of folks in our community who are really, really suffering. Chris leads with compassion, professionalism and knowledge that will resonate with people, and we need that right now. She will make a fantastic city councilmember.”
Learn more about Chris Eck at her campaign website here.
— Story and photos by Larry Vogel