Why I'm running

Dear Neighbors,

It was my honor and privilege to be unanimously appointed by my fellow councilmembers to serve on the Kent City Council in 2018. 


I'm running to retain my seat because we have more work to do on the issues that matter to Kent – public safety, homelessness, affordable housing, workforce development, code enforcement, and more. 


I want to continue to serve on Kent City Council because I want to make Kent the community of choice in the southend.
 

Kent has changed a lot since my parents moved here in 1990. At that time, if you lived in Kent you were most likely white, middle-class and worked for Boeing. I moved away after high school to experience a more diverse world. And guess what, while I was off doing that, a bright, more diverse community was developing right here in Kent! 


I came back to Kent in 2009, because I wanted my kids in school with kids that didn’t look or sound exactly like them. I wanted them dancing and playing soccer with kids from all economic and cultural backgrounds. I was so excited to find this diversity in my own hometown - and wow, had Kent grown! 


Kent went from being a sleepy, bedroom community to the 3rd largest city in King County and one of the fastest growing and most diverse mid-sized cities in the nation. 


But rapid growth often brings growing pains. We have to shift our strategies and up-level our response to the big city issues we now face. 


I support the density and growth we are building in the valley, but we can't do it at the cost of East and West Hill. Unless we address the safety and cosmetic issues facing Kent’s family neighborhoods, these young renters in the valley are not going to stay in Kent when it comes time to start a family or buy a home. 


As new monies for affordable housing are being created by the state, county and private sector, I'm committed to working with my fellow councilmembers and the mayor to ensure Kent gets a fair share of this funding. We need affordable housing in every neighborhood in Kent. If we are not smart about our housing strategy today, we are going to end up creating the same economic segregation Seattle is experiencing. 


We need to position Kent as a community for residential longevity – a Kent for the generations. 


To accomplish this, I have already: 


  • Passed emergency zoning ordinance to protect Dick's and Lowe's and the important commercial redevelopment happening on West Hill and successfully lobbied to have the site removed from consideration. 
  • Protected our valuable green spaces by voting to maintain the Urban Separator (US) zoning code.
  • Approved the mayor's biennial budget which puts 3 new police officers on our streets each year and funds important recruitment benefits insuring we get the best recruits.
  • Approved measures to speed-up code enforcement infractions.
  • Lobbied King County for additional Metro bus routes on East Hill and Panther Lake, specifically to help address "food desert" and food access issues.
  • Hosted a tour of the Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee (AJAC) training facility in Kent for school district leaders to discuss ways to connect Kent's youth to high paying advanced manufacturing and space-tech careers in the Kent Industrial Valley.
  • Represented Kent at the Business and Higher Education Roundtable to connect trade programming providers to the needs of Kent employers.


I was just appointed to the newly formed King County Affordable Housing Committee. I can't think of a more important issue for our region and am beyond honored to be chosen by leaders from other communities to be part of this conversation. And I continue to represent Kent elders, vets, and disabled adults as a member of the King County Advisory Council on Aging and Disabilities Services.


I need your vote to retain my seat so I can continue the important work I'm doing on your behalf, as your current Kent City Councilmember.

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