A Friendly and Welcoming City
I want Olympia to be experienced as a friendly and welcoming city. This will be felt through a strong sense of belonging and a high quality of life enjoyed by all. I support the things that make our city unique, including our thriving arts scene, local businesses, and shared open spaces. I am excited about creating places for people to come together, like our work to establish new community gardens and turn the Armory into a creative campus.
Olympia has made genuine progress on creating a more inclusive culture at city hall. I have helped to remove barriers to participation in local government, such as offering stipends to those who serve on our advisory boards. I am excited to implement our community-led plans to reimagine public safety, advance social justice and equity, and respond to homelessness.
I celebrate the growing friendship between Olympia and the Squaxin Island Tribe, whose flag now flies above city hall and the rose garden at Squaxin Park. I will continue to advance the commitments outlined in the accord between our governments, including thoughtful consultation throughout the upcoming update to Olympia’s Comprehensive Plan.
To be a welcoming city, we need more affordable housing. I have worked on policies that diversify housing options, protect tenants, and provide pathways out of homelessness. I am proud that Olympia is home to the first units of permanent supportive housing in Thurston County, and that we have partnered with Habitat for Humanity to build 120 townhomes, condos, and senior cottages for affordable homeownership on Boulevard Road.
In my second term, I will continue to advance creative solutions to the housing crisis. I will continue to pursue strategies that leverage community partnerships, prevent displacement, increase access to homeownership, and build affordable housing while addressing the overall lack of supply.
Housing is a regional issue that requires an “all hands on deck” approach. I have the honor of representing Olympia on the Regional Housing Council, which enables the cities and county to leverage our resources for greater outcomes. I support a collaborative approach that stabilizes cost-burdened households and provides services to vulnerable people in our communities.
Climate Change and the Environment
Olympia has ambitious goals to respond to climate change, including a sharp reduction of our greenhouse gas emissions. I support the electrification of buildings and vehicles to reduce emissions and our reliance on fossil fuels. I will continue to support dense urban housing, alternative modes of transportation, and programs that support low-income households to become more energy efficient.
Olympia also needs to adapt to climate change. Downtown is particularly vulnerable to flooding from sea level rise. It is critical to protect vital infrastructure, such as the LOTT water treatment facility and the transportation corridor across downtown. I will pursue creative funding opportunities to implement our Sea Level Response Plan.
As an urban community with a connection to the Salish Sea, we have a responsibility to care for the water. I advocate for the restoration of Puget Sound and recovery of salmon. I am proud that Olympia took a strong stance to support the restoration of the Deschutes estuary. I will advocate for the funding to make it happen, along with other projects to improve the health of Budd Inlet.