Here's a bit more about me.
My passion is for Lynnwood to continue to grow and change into being the place where we are all proud to live, work and play not just for this region today, but for generations to come.
Our city is growing and changing at an ever quickening pace. In 2020, Covid has taken a toll on our businesses and our community. Sound Transit Link Light Rail is on track for being completed in 2024. The national tone of the country has highlighted our needs for housing and diverse inclusion of all people. In Lynnwood, we remain resilient in the face of these challenges and we need collaborative, attentive, hard working leaders to continue to make tough choices to enrich the lives of all who live, work and play in our city.
With my finance background spanning over four decades, I will continue to shed a bright light on budgets, accountability and transparency with our city finances. In years prior to my elected term, I attended monthly meetings to learn how monies are collected, distributed and used. Each year I have been on council I have been part of the Finance Team as I continue to understand and give input into all things financial.
Our city’s Growth Management Act estimates that 16,000 additional people are expected to move into Lynnwood in the next 15 years! We need our transportation systems prepared to accommodate even more people. Our city should also be working diligently to meet the safety and accessibility needs of those that walk or bike. Of additional concern is the concept that if we build it, we have a responsibility to maintain it. I will work to be certain we address this with proper financial reserves.
With increased population growth comes an increase in the need for housing availability and affordability. In the last 20 years our housing supply has not kept up with the increases in our population. Housing prices have skyrocketed, outpacing the average Lynnwood family income. Currently more than 1 in 3 families spend more than 30% of their income on housing alone. In 2020, I initiated and co-chaired our Housing Policy Committee to work with our Development Department to consider how we can address both availability and affordability as we move forward.
We live in a diverse part of the country and as we encourage and embrace that diversity in Lynnwood, it needs to be done in an atmosphere of acceptance and safety. From the Mayor’s office to our Police Department, from our Community Development Department, to our Parks and Recreation Department, and all departments in between, we have led the way in the areas of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Each of us has a personal responsibility to be kind and care for all of our fellow human beings. I have been intentional in learning about diversity and will continue developing, understanding and addressing these concerns in thoughtful and compassionate ways and work them into our city policies and practices.
I have been a strong supporter of the Lynnwood Police Department and its Officers for many years and have been a champion of the Lynnwood Community Justice Center (CJC) since its inception. I joined former Chief Tom Davis and former Deputy Chief Jim Nelson in their initial presentation and partnership proposal to the board of Community Health Center. The concept behind the CJC of helping men and women on the wrong side of the law to move past just serving jail time will be a game changer for our community. CJC is committed to partnering with other organizations to get people assistance with medical care, mental health counseling, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, job and living skills, and more.
As with any growth and change, we have some challenges and they are challenges that I know our city is ready to meet. We have amazingly talented and passionate employees at every level in every department that every day are ready to meet the needs of our city. Building on my time of serving on City Council, being on and chairing the Finance Committee, holding Council Leadership positions of President and Vice President, serving as a Commissioner on the Regional Fire Authority for two years and on the Snohomish County Board of Health since January of 2020, I am more than ready to lead the growth and change that will shape us the next four years and beyond.
My roots are in Lynnwood. I live in the same house I grew up in. I graduated from Meadowdale High School as did both of my daughters. My first job was with Lynnwood Library, which was followed by employment with Winchell’s Donuts. I attended Edmonds Community College and then transferred to the Central Washington University program on the Edmonds campus where I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. I next worked for a Lynnwood CPA firm and then I worked for my uncle’s landscaping company as his accountant and also helping to install playground equipment at South Lynnwood Neighborhood Park and watering trees that are still part of Alderwood Mall. Since then, I have worked as an accountant for a variety of large businesses and went on to be self-employed for more than 30 years serving accounting and tax needs of medium and small businesses and individuals while raising two amazing daughters, primarily as a single mom.
Volunteerism is at my core. I have spent decades volunteering and working with people experiencing homelessness, mentoring single moms, visiting with women in and out of jail, taking blood pressure checks at the Lynnwood Fire Department, cooking for the Kids Fire Camp, serving on the boards of a number of non-profit organizations, volunteering with Lynnwood Rotary and more. These volunteer opportunities continue to provide me with a unique view and understanding of our community.