Our Future in Mind. Our Values at Heart.
As an Island mom and farmer, I recently became involved in local environmental advocacy here on Bainbridge Island. Through my efforts I had the pleasure of connecting with a passionate and caring community whose concerns for the future of our Island mirrored my own personal apprehension for the future of our world.
I was born in 1983, the eldest daughter of an immigrant to this county in 1967. I earned a bachelor's degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 2007 while working to afford my expenses. In the years following graduation I explored many career paths, including law, management, and journalism. These endeavors solidified in me a solid work ethic and a strong desire to be an active participant in life.
My husband brought me to Bainbridge Island, his family's home for over 30 years, after a 2 year tour of the world by bicycle. The insights gleaned from our extensive travels inspired a mutual dream to live simply and sustainably, and together we started a small organic farm.
Meanwhile I began working for the family business as a Certified Real Estate Appraiser Trainee here on Bainbridge Island. In 2016 we welcomed our son. His presence in my life has inspired me to rise on behalf of all our children: it is with respect to their future inheritance of our world that I base my campaign.
When my husband first brought me to Bainbridge Island I thought I'd found paradise. The immense beauty of the Island, the warm and welcoming community, the ferry ride to Seattle, and, of course, the trees, all conspire to make me feel a sense of awe and enchantment with this place I call home.
Our son is now 3rd generation Bainbridge Islander, and while things have changed since my husband was a boy, Bainbridge Island is still a wonderful and beautiful place to live, and the remarkable people in our community are a big reason why.
As a farmer, environmentalist, and mother, I share similar concerns as our community regarding the fate of our Island.
We're standing at a unique point in time, and with the reality of climate change bearing down on us, we must ask ourselves:
What vision do we hold for the future of Bainbridge Island?
Personally, I have a dream of Bainbridge Island developing in a way that preserves its unique island character, farmlands, environmental integrity, wildlife, wetlands, open space, air quality, and resources - with improved diversity and affordability.
HOW CAN WE GO ABOUT DOING THIS?
Our updated comprehensive plan can serve as a roadmap to the future, if we implement well. As councilwoman, I intend to provide leadership to implement the goals stated in the comp plan, working to update our ordinances and code to guide future development. This includes working on council to protect our Island from overdevelopment and from development that doesn't enhance the quality of life and character of the Island.
In a similar vein, I want to help restore confidence in our city government by bringing better transparency and improved decision making to city hall.
With the updates to the comp plan complete, the next four years are critical to implementing our vision and values by updating our development codes and regulations to better reflect the direction we want to go.
We need strong, fresh, and enthusiastic leadership here, and I am eager to get this job done, working with other council members and city staff to bring important changes to the way we do business on the Island.
We have the power to guide our Island's growth, to make sure we have infrastructure in place before adding to our population, and to make sure that all future development is congruous with our community's future outlook for Bainbridge. This means getting a groundwater management plan in place. This means better tree protections. This means making sure that future development and growth happen with sincere consideration of our Island's finite resources.
Our commitment to our goal of a sustainable future begins with environmental preservation, a core value in our community reflective of the greater collective imperative to move forward without interfering with the basic human right to clean air, clean water, and clean earth. It has become critical that we pursue options which allow and accommodate for responsible growth without compromising environmental integrity. Also, maintaining a degree of housing affordability is important to nurture a more balanced social system on our island; creativity and inventiveness will be key to integrating below-market housing options that do not conflict with our environmental goals.
How can we go about doing this?
More Coming Soon!
It's important to ask ourselves - are our leaders leading as they promised? Are they being honest and transparent regarding the decisions they make? Are their decisions reflective of the community's values, and are they rooted in compassion and concern for our most vulnerable population, our children? At the core of our campaign is the value of honesty. A leader diligent in her commitment to represent the community through not only words, but action, is essential to promoting a healthy democracy, where the citizen voices are heard and accounted for. Honesty and transparency during the decision making process is absolutely critical to promoting public faith in our local government. Inspiring community participation in municipal affairs is one of the primary goals of our campaign, and a value I will maintain throughout my service on council, should I be elected.
As housing prices continue to soar on Bainbridge Island, maintaining a degree of housing affordability is becoming increasingly important. In order to promote social balance, we need to implement creative solutions which ensure affordability without unnecessary developments or increasing taxes. Working with our newly formed Affordable Housing Task Force, developing strategies to produce affordable units that do not interfere with our environmental goals is one of the focuses of our campaign.
Fiscal accountability is important to Islanders - we want to see our tax dollars well managed and well spent. When considering this subject, we also have to keep in mind that an important part of promoting Island affordability means lowering the tax burden on our citizens, some of whom are young families, people of modest means, and seniors living on fixed incomes. As a farmer and mom, this is incredibly important to me, and ties in to a better and more prosperous future for our Island home.
As council member, I'lll work to understand the cumulative impact of spending on taxpayers to help inform financial decisions, also giving consideration to other taxing entities. I'll approach spending decisions from a holistic perspective, taking into consideration the big picture debt load on our community.
Take a leisurely drive around Bainbridge and you'll begin to see that our Island is in need of safer infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians. Our community has asked for better sidewalks in Winslow, and a more extensive network of bike lanes Island-wide. The Core 40 - which proposes introducing 40 miles of bike lanes along the island's most heavily cycled arterials - is an initiative I fully support. As an adventure cyclist and regular bike commuter, and as someone who now totes a toddler in a bike trailer, working towards the development of better and safer non-motorized infrastructure would be a top priority of mine as councilwoman. People - and especially our kids - should feel safe leaving their homes on two-wheels - I'm ready to work with our community and citizen groups to make this happen.