Last week, Bellevue was awarded a National America Cities Award, one of only 10 cities in the country, for our resilience and equity demonstrated during 2020.
During a pandemic, when local government became a 24/7 job as emerging needs revealed themselves by the hour, council’s first action was to allocate over $1,000,000 of our council contingency funds to Human Services to address housing and food insecurity as well as childcare needs.
We supported our women and minority owned businesses with grant dollars to help them weather the storm as an entire economy shut down.
Mid-pandemic we launched an outside investigation into our Bellevue Police use of force policies, to ensure that all people in Bellevue are treated with fairness and respect by BPD. The recommendations from the consultants will be moved to adoption within a month.
We launched Centers Communities of Color, initiated by Councilmembers Zahn and Barksdale and with full council support, to ensure that all voices in Bellevue can be heard and influence policy.
In April, we adopted the Hate Has No Home Here campaign, engaging the BDA and Bellevue Chamber to help distribute signs and stickers to businesses and homes vowing support for all people in Bellevue who feel threatened, disrespected, or marginalized.
And we continue to develop and implement our popular Diversity Advantage programs.
We were also honored for past work, which included the preservation of an entire low income community at Highland Village apartments; Inspiration Playground which is a supportive and accessible children’s play area for people of all abilities; Bellevue Network on Aging (I was a founding member) and Youth Link citizen advisory boards; our Bellevue Police Community advisory boards; Neighborhood Walks with City leadership staff; and the installation of hearing loops (my first council initiative) in many of our civic buildings including City Hall and the Botanical Gardens learning center.
Since my time on the Parks and Community Services Board, all park designs are now universally accessible. During my time on the Bellevue Network on Aging, I helped to create a non-commercial senior housing guide that is still updated annually on the ARCH website. And since I my election to Bellevue City Council, we have doubled our affordable housing stock in Bellevue and are on track to significantly increase that number. I initiated our city’s Adult Family Home vaccination program and vulnerable senior outreach in partnership with King County and our Bellevue EMT’s. I led the effort, with full council support, to improve our affordable housing incentives and increase affordable housing in all transit-oriented development and high frequency transit areas in Bellevue. And outside my council work, I helped create and chair the League of Minority Voters Washington.
I continue to lead with my goal of creating an equitable opportunity for everyone in Bellevue to have a high quality of life, and I believe that any policy that benefits a child is a policy that benefits our city.
I am proud of my record of creating relationships that generate broad support for democratic values.
I believe our City’s biggest challenge today is permitting, building and funding the men’s shelter, supportive housing and low-income housing in Eastgate next to the Seattle Humane Society. A person cannot recover if they are not stably housed.
My top priority is to house our 300+ Bellevue School District children and their families who are currently homeless. A child cannot make their academic milestones if they are not stably housed.
In my career as a physical therapist, I have always led with my heart and mind to help anyone I can to have a better quality of life, focusing on treatment, education, and prevention. As a Bellevue City Council member, I use those same tools to address the evolving needs of our city and community.
Bellevue has won many awards during my two terms, but we have much more work to do. I ask for your support in my re-election campaign.