Marli Larimer is the newest member of Kent City Council, but she is not new to Kent. Born and raised in Portland, Marli’s family lived in Arizona and California during her teens, before settling in Kent when she was a junior in high school. Marli graduated from Kentwood in 1992, left for college, and lived in Seattle where she met her husband Terry. Wanting to move back to the suburbs to raise their family, the couple returned to Kent 10 years ago. They have two children in Kent schools, who are active in soccer, tennis, ballet and scouting.
Like many Kent residents, Marli balances work, family and community life. With a bachelor’s degree in mass communications, an associate’s degree in non-profit management, Marli works for Amazon, providing digital marketing support and guidance for small- and medium-sized businesses to help them be successful globally.
When Kent City Council announced a vacancy last spring, Marli knew she wanted to apply to help the Council develop creative solutions for the City’s financial challenges, address the housing affordability crisis, and find ways to connect Kent’s youth to high-paying jobs in space-tech and advanced manufacturing in the Kent Valley.
“I want to be sure we are securing housing for all economic levels and that we have a fair and balanced approach that suits all residents,” Marli said. “From regional and economic perspectives, we need to take our place at the table and push for Kent's transportation, funding and programming needs."
When not at work, Marli is an active community volunteer, working with Evergreen City Ballet, Girl Scouts of Western Washington, her kids’ schools and the school district.
She was recently appointed to serve on the Seattle-King County Advisory Council for Aging & Disability Services. "My experience growing up with a sister with cerebral palsy and a father who is a disabled Vietnam vet has given me a unique passion for issues impacting these communities," says Marli.
Every year, Marli and Terry take their kids, who are avid Harry Potter fans, to Emerald City Comic Con. The family also enjoys camping, tabletop gaming, and exploring Kent parks and green spaces, often geo-caching as they do.
“I think Kent is a hidden gem in the south end, and I don’t think people realize all the amenities we have,” said Marli. "Our City is diverse and dynamic, we are growing and are well positioned to be the community of choice in South King County. I want to see Kent realize this potential without sacrificing the small town, family-focused character that is Kent's foundation and history.”