Meet Dani

When I arrived here in 2004, Olympia gave me an opportunity to succeed. I was once a single mother living paycheck to paycheck. At Evergreen, I studied science, sustainability, and public policy and earned a National Science Foundation scholarship. Now I enjoy an established career, stable housing, and strong connections throughout the community. I want Olympia to be a place where everyone has an opportunity to succeed.

I will use my community experience to help us have better conversations.

Better decisions come from better conversations. Many of the challenges in Olympia occur when people talk past each other. As a member of city council, I will help us have productive conversations that lead to agreement. I am trained in conflict resolution through the Dispute Resolution Center. I have skills in public outreach gained through the Center for Ethical Leadership. I also learned about restorative justice through the International Institute of Restorative Practices.

I served on The Olympian editorial board for two years. With respect, I debated with people who had different perspectives. The way I spoke about values and impacts influenced the newspaper. This ensured a progressive voice informed editorial opinions. This inspired me to offer better conversations on local issues more broadly. I now co-host a regular podcast called The Olympia Standard where we cover a variety of topics. Last election we offered voters a new resource by hosting opposing candidates for conversational debates.

I served on the board of the Olympia Food Co-op. I was responsible for member relations and responded to individual concerns. I worked with co-op staff and local nonprofits to find a fair strategy for fundraising in the stores. At Evergreen, I hosted discussions on a disputed renewable energy project on campus. I included voices from the broader community so everyone was heard. With Sustainable South Sound, I helped organize the South Sound Food Summit. It included an event at the Washington Center, followed by a retreat for people to share their values and vision for the future of local food.

Throughout my career, I have forged strong relationships.

I want people to see the Olympia city council as a partner in solving our biggest problems. I want to bring together everyone who wants to be a part of the solution.

I worked for the Community Farm Land Trust to boost enthusiasm for farmland. I built connections between farmers, local businesses, and the community for the annual Farms Forever event. With Thurston ECO Network, I led a team of environmental educators on a strategy to coordinate outreach. Together we organized a popular community event to celebrate Puget Sound. With the Deschutes Estuary Restoration Team, I organized educational events and outreach activities. With a theme of Imagine the Estuary, I raised awareness for a future of clean water and restored habitat.

I participated in the citizen workgroup on Complete Streets with the city. This group recommended innovative ways to pay for walking, biking, and transit infrastructure. I published an article with the Association of Washington Cities to share this work with cities across Washington. At the Squaxin Island Tribe, I worked with the education department to support a teen leadership program. As a community planner, I helped identify the needs of the tribe and worked with others to find solutions.

I now work for the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission to support treaty tribes as they carry out their priorities to recover Puget Sound. This work includes building effective relationships between governments. I regularly work with state and federal agencies to help carry forward the work to restore our watersheds.

I have watched the issues of Olympia evolve during critical years. Over that time, I have integrated myself into a community of broad coalitions. When facing issues of regional and national significance, local government is the first responder. Let’s find a powerful response together.