On a Healthy, Thriving Economy:
Long time proponent and supporter of comprehensive economic development strategy. Promotes fostering a business culture that promotes a strong, local economy. Committed to city’s goal of building and maintaining a positive, competitive, and sustainable business-friendly climate that will retain, grow and attract high-quality, living wage businesses.
In 2004, sponsored and co-founded, with former City Councilwoman Barbara Ryan, the Bellingham Growth Forums which sought to create recommendations for how Bellingham could thoughtfully densify in ways that would make Bellingham an even better City and reduce pressures to expand into our finite countryside. The effort won an American Planning Award for outstanding public process and the recommendations were incorporated into the Bellingham Comprehensive Plan as the preferred method for infill.
On Affordable Housing:
In 2007, sponsored and co-founded, with the late City Councilwoman, Joan Beardsley, the Countywide Housing Affordability Taskforce that worked painstakingly with a politically diverse cross section of citizens to create recommendations on how to deliver affordable housing. The recommendations included a proposal to establish a publicly funded housing fund which was later cited as authority by the proponents of the highly successful Bellingham Home Fund which has assisted thousands of low income Bellingham residents.
On Towards Zero Waste:
In 2011, worked with Jill MacIntyre Witt and Brooks Anderson to draft, sponsor, and promote the Bellingham Plastic Bag Reduction Ordinance which was passed 7-0 by the Bellingham City Council. The ordinance was later adopted by the City of Seattle and described by the New York Times as the “Bellingham Model.” The bag reduction movement observes that when we discuss ‘bags’ we really are discussing the whole throw away culture and urges us to support efforts to create strategies that minimize all single-use materials.
A long time proponent and architect of Bellingham Greenways Program with experience chairing the Greenways Advisory Committee and also chairing multiple campaign levies. The Greenways program has protected important environmental corridors while building open spaces for people, wildlife, and vegetation. Greenways, perhaps the most popular program in our city’s history, has created new and beloved public parks and trails throughout our community and established the form of a vital green infrastructure for our citizens.
On A Vibrant Waterfront:
As President of the Bellingham City Council in 2013, collaborated with fellow council members, city staff, Port officials, and citizens to oversee the process, negotiation, and timing of the final adoption of the Waterfront Master Plan after a decade of planning and consideration. The completion and adoption of this document, known as The Waterfront District Sub-Area Plan, has permitted the beginning steps of what promises to be an exciting and thriving mixed-use area that brings people to the waterfront.
On Climate Change:
In 2015, as an Al Gore trained member of the The Climate Reality Project Leadership Corps, had the good fortune to volunteer at the UN Paris Climate Conference, known as COP21, where the entire world for the first time committed to convert to renewable energy. Currently, Chair the Whatcom County Climate Impact Advisory Committee that is authorized and empowered to offer bold recommendations that will help the residents of Whatcom County achieve energy independence through 100% renewable energy and prepare for needed adaptations.
On Protecting Lake Whatcom:
Throughout the 1990’s, worked with the Watershed Defense Fund and the Clean Water Alliance to urge needed protections for Lake Whatcom. In the 2000’s, as a member of the Whatcom County Council, supported and promoted a range of substantive protections to help build a full protection program for Lake Whatcom. In 2006, drafted and sponsored the resolution and funding amendment that resulted in creation of the Comprehensive Stormwater Management Plan for Lake Whatcom.