I am running for County Council to meet the future with a good plan in place. That means more than a list of projects generated in reaction to current circumstances. When my daughter has children, I want them to be able to look around the islands and know that I was thinking of them when I cast my votes.
But we have practical challenges to meet, especially around housing. We must find ways for working islanders to buy affordable homes. We live in a beautiful place the world wants to visit. We need to house seasonal workers to staff our tourist-dependent small businesses. But we must receive tourists in ways that keep our rural lifestyle intact.
I am running to ensure your tax dollars are carefully spent, with the future in mind. Public spending should be in the public interest, to improve our environment, and our island quality of life. I want to make certain every penny we spend takes our carbon footprint, our future climate, and our economic health into consideration.
There are very real possibilities for reducing our carbon emissions and rethinking our infrastructure. For example, right now we could explore public-private partnerships for kelp farms that sequester carbon, provide jobs, and even generate electricity. In the future, if we plan properly and have good regulations in place, there could be drones capable of bringing cargo to our airports and fleets of shared electric vehicles so visitors don’t have to bring their individual cars. We need to be creative and resourceful in our planning.
For the past three years I have served as Vice Chair of the San Juan County Democratic Central Committee, working to make sure all the voices in the room get heard. In 2017 I helped found Orcas Women’s Coalition. We have worked together to pass several school levies, draft a county ordinance, and elect some wonderful candidates who now serve as state legislators, judges, and port commissioners.
I look forward to meeting as many of you as I can and I hope you will consider voting for me.