3 Reasons I Am Running for Mayor
I am running for Olympia Mayor to end encampments, make our city safe, and recover Olympia.
1. End Encampments. This is urgently needed in our community. This is not criminalizing poverty or homelessness, but instead methodically working to make Olympia an encampment-free city. Unpatrolled encampments carry with them an unprecedented amount of drug trafficking, overdoses, environmental damage, human trafficking, violence and sexual assaults, and theft. A recent city survey shows that 87% of our citizens feel our homeless response is on the wrong track. In 2005, Olympia joined a Homeless Housing Plan to reduce homelessness by 50% in 10 years. Needless to say, not only has it been a miserable failure, but we can improve things dramatically before we actually solve homelessness. We can deconstruct and dismantle encampments in our city, saving lives, saving money, and saving suffering.
2. Make Our City Safe. It is the most basic duty of a city, and Olympia is falling far short. A recent city survey showed 83% of Olympians did not feel safe downtown at night, while 70% wanted an increase in law enforcement. Some in our city government suggest police are the problem. I vehemently disagree: We love our police, firefighters, and first responders. They run IN to burning buildings while we run out. Police are heroes. While most police departments struggle with shortages nationwide, Olympia could be leveraging the quality of life and job satisfaction to lure the best and brightest officers to our community. That is, if we treated our police with the respect they deserve. I support more police, better training, and more funding. I would like to see Olympia Police resource officers back in Olympia schools. We especially need to make Olympia feel safe for women, children, and senior citizens citywide.
3. Recover Olympia. It means a focus on revitalizing our city and making it a safe, clean, welcoming community with economic development, environmental sustainability, and a bright future. We have lots of work to do, far beyond just responding to crisis after crisis. We need to plan for sea level rise. We need to diversify our economy and plan for changes in state employment due to telecommuting and AI. We need to lower our carbon footprint by building up, not out. With 20,000 new residents predicted over the next 20 years, we need to massively increase affordable urban housing by making our downtown a wonderful place to live, work, and play. We need to go from being the homeless capital to being a tourist and relocation destination with a strong connection to the Capitol campus, including a vibrant Sylvester Park and an active waterfront.