Meet Dani

I arrived in Olympia nearly two decades ago, drawn by the natural beauty of the rainforests, glaciers, and shorelines of Washington. After only a couple days in town, I stumbled upon the Fall Arts Walk. The creativity, community, and joy I experienced in the streets of downtown made me feel welcome. I knew I had found a special place to call home. 

I didn’t think I would ever attend college, but I became intrigued by the Evergreen State College. With a scholarship from the National Science Foundation, I earned a Bachelor of Science and Arts with a focus in chemistry and sustainability. I later returned to earn a Master of Public Administration, where I studied public policy and local government.

I live in the Northwest neighborhood where I raise my teenager. My career has centered on issues of sustainability and the environment. I work for American Farmland Trust, advocating for policies that protect farmland, advance climate-smart agriculture, and support farmers in the Pacific Northwest. Previously, I worked at the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission to support treaty tribes in implementing their priorities to recover Puget Sound. 

I have always felt curious about challenging and seemingly intractable community issues. Following that curiosity, I completed the 40-hour conflict resolution through the Dispute Resolution Center. I also served on The Olympian editorial board for two years. With respect, I debated with board members who have very different perspectives on issues of local, state, and national importance. We’re all still friends today.

I am passionate about local food, which stems from my work with Sustainable South Sound over a decade ago to support the Food Summit. In my first term on the city council, I coordinated a work group with city staff, Thurston Conservation District, and the Community Farm Land Trust to assess urban agriculture and access to local food. This work has led to a partnership between Olympia and Thurston Conservation District to plan new community gardens, incorporate urban agriculture into our parks, pursue food production on vacant land, and remove barriers to urban agriculture in city code.

The committees I have served on during my first term include:

  • Land Use and Environment Committee
  • Tribal Relations Work Group
  • Regional Transportation Policy Board
  • Regional Housing Council
  • Sea Level Rise Governance Committee
  • Deschutes Watershed Environmental Stewardship Coalition
  • Finance Committee
  • Nisqually River Council
  • General Government Committee