Anti-racism and equity work as guiding principles:
Systemic racism impacts everything in our society, from housing to climate change to policing, making it vital that we approach every issue through a racial justice lens. Beyond my personal commitment to approaching all issues with racial and economic equity in mind, I will advocate for all city staff to utilize equity tools and invest in hiring diverse staff.
In addition to approaching policymaking in a way that intentionally advances racial equity, I will prioritize being an accessible and responsive official to Bothell’s BIPOC communities. As an elected official, I will show our BIPOC community members that I am available to hear their concerns through regular office hours and I hope they will reach out to help me understand how I can take tangible actions to address their concerns. I’ve found that many elected officials force BIPOC Bothellites, especially Black Bothellites, into public meetings where they face harassment from racially biased community members, so I will prioritize one-on-one and small group meetings with BIPOC leaders for safe, productive conversations.
1. Small Business & Community Development
Bothell has the potential to be a place where people around the region come to visit, shop, stay and play. In order to boost our economic prospects, we need to attract new businesses in both the retail and corporate sector. In order for economic development to be equitable and climate-smart we need to create live/work/play areas around local business with a mix of housing types and improved transit options.
While on City Council, I will help the city:
adapt our licensing and zoning policies to not only better accommodate existing small businesses, but to also make our city a destination for new businesses.
improve the walkability of our downtown as well as provide alternative methods of transportation to minimize parking congestion.
Reform parking regulations, including eliminating parking minimums in zoning laws
Invest in communal spaces like parks, trails and a local community center.
Entrepreneurship should not be a privilege but an opportunity to build wealth for innovative people from all income levels. The city has a role to play in ensuring that affordable commercial spaces are available for new and growing businesses.
2. Affordable Housing & Homelessness
Our current development strategy leaves no room for middle-income housing.
I want my children to be able to afford to live in Bothell without working multiple jobs. Our current long-term strategy for development is failing us. Our city’s focus on accelerating the development of primarily single-family homes is further widening the wealth gap between those of us who can afford housing and those who can't.
Bothell needs to revise specific regulations to allow for the subdivision of some lots and encourage “missing-middle housing," such as duplexes, triplexes, row homes and more, especially near our downtown core. While building more apartments and rentals is an important part of an overall affordability plan, we must also increase the supply of owner-occupied housing to meet the current demand that is driving prices to unsustainable levels. The resulting premium on housing, and therefore on property tax valuations, has caused our seniors and those on a fixed income to struggle to keep their homes. We must face the reality: we live in a growing region in the midst of a population boom.
Studies have shown that smaller homes and condos appreciate in value when city governments make deliberate improvements on amenities and walkability. Coupled with savings on commuting costs and increased spending at local businesses, smaller homes can allow many in our community, including residents from historically-excluded , to start building their wealth.
For our community members who are unhoused, including the more than 200 Northshore School District students who will experience homeslessness in a given year, I support developing a Housing First policy to address homelessness. Winter shelters and local mutual aid efforts are valuable but ultimately short term approaches. Through expanding the North Sound RADAR program (RADAR stands for Response Awareness, De-escalation, and Referral), Navigators will be able to outreach to the unhoused and offer resources and referrals to help transition into permanent housing, instead of relying on the justice system to meet unmet needs. I will continue partnering with the interfaith community, affordable housing organizations and local government to fund a Housing First project, which will provide shelter and case manager services to those who need it most. On the City Council, I will promote land use policies and public-private partnerships to incentivize affordable housing construction so that people can have a better chance of avoiding homelessness and displacement in the first place.
If elected, I will work to root out systemic racism by implementing equitable zoning laws. King and Snohomish counties are not immune to the historic practice of redlining and exclusion based on race in local development. The effects of redlining are still felt in housing policy throughout the Puget Sound. As a member of City Council, I will advocate for evidence-based best practices to end racial inequities in housing.
3. Public Safety & Health
The topics of poverty, public safety alternatives to policing, and systemic racism deserve more attention from local policymakers. Through my campaign, I plan to engage the community in conversations around public safety alternatives through public forums and have conversations with members of the community who are most likely to benefit from public safety programs like RADAR (Response Awareness,De-escalation and Referral).
Many of the calls received by the Bothell Police Department are in response to behavioral and mental health crises facing Bothell residents, including homeslessnes, and substance abuse. Law enforcement officers do not have the kind of training and skills they need to handle behavioral and mental health crises that challenge many of our neighbors.
We need to redistribute the existing budget to fund full-time mental health professionals through the RADAR program who provide the community with Navigators working within our public safety system.
I also believe that people engaging in low level and non-violent crimes deserve a second chance. I support fully funding a community court to provide alternatives to incarceration using evidence based practices and compassionate problem solving.
4. City Planning for COVID Recovery & a Green Future
Bothellites have stepped up in beautiful ways, like neighbors putting up free “food pantries” for those in need. We need commitments from our City Council that human services will not be the first thing to get cut when we address inevitable budget shortages caused by the pandemic.
COVID has done a lot to reveal ways that some of our systems are fundamentally broken. If elected, I will also push for transformative change to the systems that put so many of us in dire circumstances this past year. Our city government should be the first to support community members in need. I want to see us increase human services funding, invest in COVID-19 testing and vaccinations for the long term, provide emergency childcare for essential workers and all residents who need to get back to work as we recover from the pandemic, and provide mental health services for residents to cope with the stress and anxiety induced by the unknowns of COVID-19.
work closely with the City Manager to disperse federal relief money to vulnerable Bothellites through rental assistance
work with the King and Snohomish County Councils to develop rental assistance programs and pilot programs that can provide economic relief to low-income and struggling residents.
continue working for the development of affordable housing and transitional housing programs for the homeless.
Help Bothellites access COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, emergency childcare and mental health services
A Green Future for Bothell:
Bothell is a growing city. We need our City Council to play an active role in guiding our development in a way that respects and conserves the natural resources that make Bothell such a vibrant, livable place. Our public parks, trail system, riverfront, and recreation infrastructure are all critical to both the physical and mental health of Bothellites and to the flora and fauna of our natural environment.
We’re also facing a climate crisis that demands that we simultaneously reduce our carbon emissions and prepare for the impacts of climate change that are already inevitable. At the city level, that means reducing sprawl, boosting mass transit options, building more infrastructure for biking and walking, rethinking flood-prone infrastructure, and incentivizing more density of housing and retail in the places where it makes sense.
It is our City Council’s responsibility to address environmental issues through the lens of environmental justice. This means ensuring that all Bothellites have the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards as well as equal access to the decision-making process. We must build “equity pauses,” into our planning process for new developments in order to understand the impacts on vulnerable communities and mitigate displacement. Specifically, many BIPOC and immigrant-owned stores and shops in Canyon Park are at risk of displacement as the subarea redevelops.