Eck kicks off Edmonds City Council campaign with message of compassionate leadership

Chris Eck addresses attendees, outlining her priorities of service to the community, housing affordability and inclusion.

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.

Chris Eck, center, with supporters (L-R) Mindy Woods and Councilmember Susan Paine.

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.”

Long-time friend Jen Dragoo spoke of Eck’s passion for public service.

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.

Chris Eck with Edmonds Planning Board Member Judi Gladstone.
Edmonds Mayor Mike Nelson was in attendance to support Eck.

“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.”

State Rep. and County Councilmember Strom Peterson described how Eck’s approach will address the big issues facing the community.

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

  1. Ms Eck it would be helpful if you could tell us when you became a resident of Edmonds. Thank you.

      1. Thanks for posting this link. It’s an important window into the background of this candidate.

    1. Chris Eck has followed all legal requirements to run. That’s all you really need to know.

      1. I’m still expecting a precise answer from Ms. Eck. When I’m assessing election candidates I’ll decide what I need to know, not you Ms. Damron.

  2. Some of the comments I’ve read on My Edmonds News about Ms. Eck remind me that even local politics can get ugly. I’ve never met her opponent, Mr. Pence, but I’m sure he’s a decent and sincere guy. However, I’ve known Chris for 32 years and can attest without reservation she is super smart, tough, honest, and sincerely cares about our community. She’ll make a terrific councilperson and is ready to prove it.

    My goodness, honestly, some of y’all need to get outside and take a walk!

    1. I’m sure Ms. Eck is a decent enough person too, just noting that her love and “commitment” for Lynnwood ended right after she came up short in the Lynnwood City Council election. Frankly I disagree with her assessment that housing affordability and rezoning is a priority issue for Edmonds. If I wanted sprawl or massive apartment buildings I would move to Lynnwood.

      1. 1. Somehow you’ve magically read her mind to know why she moved to Edmonds? That, sir, is a fascinating skill. How do you do it?

        2. Typical of the “no progress for any reason” mindset. The recent changes along the Aurora corridor are fantastic (thank you Mayor Nelson!) and we certainly could tolerate more density in that area with a nice commercial / residential mix. It would be leaps and bounds better than the pay-by-hour drug motels currently there. You’re welcome to disagree, of course.

      2. It seems to me that there is no need to second guess Chris Eck’s intentions, or to minimize her accomplishments. After all, quite prominent leaders think she would make a strong leader, one who is used to advocating for the interests of others. Her strong family ties, mutually respectful friendships, career accomplishments, and extensive community involvement point to a solid person. No one should fault Eck for living in a city that borders Edmonds. Her previous efforts at serving her city and county show fortitude and self confidence. Her job at Volunteers of America is a big one, but they say the busiest people get the most done. I would be thrilled if Edmonds gave her the opportunity to serve her city, because she certainly wants to lead, and is qualified to, given her leadership and commitment in her careers so far.

        1. I have not made any determination about Ms. Eck’s ability to do the job, I am simply asking exactly when did she take up residence in Edmonds.

    2. Not the first time local politics has gotten ugly (not my choice of word). Do you recall when Mayor Nelson was running 4 years ago & someone anonymously mailed Mr. Nelson’s private income tax info to The Edmonds Beacon? I had just moved here (via Seattle, Southern California & Kenmore). How the anonymous person even got ahold of the tax info is beyond me. The Beacon, after contacting Mr. Nelson, with his permission, revealed what had been done. I called it a political “hit job” & wrote same to The Beacon, which they published. I have no way of knowing if things in local politics have gotten unpleasant before that, but local, state or federal, IMO, running for office takes courage, a thick skin & an ability & willingness to be open & honest with voters. It’s not softball. The Voter’s Pamphlet arrived today. We can all study it and visit each candidate’s website. Ms. Damron’s name is familiar to me and with apologies in advance, her response to the person who asked abt residency was rather abrupt and took me aback. Perhaps she is Ms. Eck’s campaign manager? Fasten seatbelts, it’s election season. Try & enjoy the ride.

      1. Hi Pamela! First of all, I am sorry I came off as abrupt. It’s been a long few days of watching Chris Eck, who is an excellent, highly qualified candidate and upstanding person get drug through the mud in the comment section. I remember the 2019 antics well, unfortunately. It’s going to be a long summer/fall. Just for clarity, I am not managing any campaigns this season. Just supporting where I can.

  3. I find it fascinating, on both sides at times, people’s reaction to the opposing viewpoint is to gaslight and talk down to folks instead of uplifting the priorities and policies that they support. You’d think that candidates would encourage their closest supporters to have some decorum and promote civic discourse in a positive way. I’m influenced greatly by the type of people that support a candidate and want to align myself with certain ethical standards that are important to me. Im sure that is true for other voters as well. Here is an example in action: I am supporting Roger Pence because he has outlined public safety and local community engagement and listening into his policy structure, and that is supremely important to my family and I in the people that represent us. I find him very approachable, caring, and a good listener who cares about the city, and would govern in a non-partisan way representing multiple voices in the city.

    1. Thanks Tom — I really appreciate the example you are setting and I would hope that others do the same during election season. — Teresa

    2. I agree with you in principle, Tom, with one quibble. I invite you to take a minute and compare the comments on articles about Mr. Pence vs Ms. Eck. (Go ahead, I’ll wait!) By your standards you’d decline to support him because make no mistake, the attacks are entirely in one direction. Luckily, MEN comments don’t represent Edmonds voters or the candidates so we shouldn’t hold it against Mr. Pence.

      1. Scott – not only do I disagree with your assessment, you are focusing on one aspect of my comment and not holistically to the spirit of what I was trying to communicate. Furthermore, you are perpetuating exactly what I’m describing above. I don’t feel like I owe you nor anyone else any further explanation, have been cordial and thoughtful in my presentation, and urge you to vote for whoever you would like to.

  4. Tom glad to hear through your positive message that Roger Pence would govern in a non-partisan way.

  5. The mayor and CM Paine were there in support that gives me a idea of how she would govern so for me she is a no vote.

    1. Mr. Fairchild, could you please spell out specifics of “how she would govrrn”? I can guess what you mean but I’d prefer specifics as guessing means I could draw conclusions & make assumptions. Specifics would be moat appreciated. BTW, support & endorsements work both ways. Thank you.

      1. Pamela in the simplest terms CM Paine’s voting record and the mayor’s policy and leadership.

  6. Look at these pictures and think a little bit. We have a sitting Mayor (literally and figuratively here) and someone on the Edmonds city staff payroll openly and actively supporting a person running for our city council. Is this ethical? Is this a possible conflict of interest that will not be a benefit to ALL of the people of Edmonds? Is it not illegal for federal public employees to openly support people running for office ( the Hatch Act)? If so why is this a good idea for local paid employees and politicians? It might not officially be bad, but it sure looks bad in my opinion.

  7. I have a tough time accepting a candidate who is not from the community or moved in for an election. Also if we get too many more like minded with our current mayor we could see police unsupported and crime go crazy like Seattle has seen under that type of leadership. We deserve law and order. We don’t need RVs and campers in our neighborhoods.

  8. Matt, I sure hope you aren’t referring to our R/V Camper plaything that is now a basic part of our yard and patio design and a spare bedroom when needed. I do agree that we don’t want Mayors openly supporting their personal choice for Council Persons to try to achieve an unbreakable voting block that supports all their total control latest planning fad initiatives and political party leanings.

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