With much excitement I am looking forward to the arrival of Election Day on November 8th , and of course to the final results of the election!
It has been a wonderful few months of outreach across San Juan County. I have learned a great deal from all the people I have met! I have gone back over my calendar and communications in the past six months and here is a brief summary of the outreach I have done:
I have had conversations with more than 200 people across the county. This includes: multiple ‘meet and greets’ and small group conversations with constituents on San Juan, Orcas, Lopez
and Shaw Islands. I have also had numerous personal one-on-one discussions with constituents on all the islands; meetings with the executive directors of all three county Land Trusts and Family Resource Centers, the Lopez Island Seniors Center, and the San Juan Island Lions Club; email exchanges with constituents who have reached out to me through my website; meetings with all three sitting SJC council members, as well as the county manager, department heads and the prosecuting attorney (elect); meeting the Friday Harbor Town administrator and the mayor, and the head of the SJC Economic Development Council during the Annual EDC Luncheon. I also took the opportunity to meet with and introduce myself to both candidates for the election of Sheriff in our County.
Additionally, I have attended numerous county council meetings (special and regular) both in person and online, joined a number of virtual meetings of SJC commissions and committees, and was so grateful for the opportunity to tour 4 SJC Land Bank preserves and meet with staff of the SJC Land Bank.
My biggest takeaways from all this outreach are:
1. We live in an amazing county full of incredible people who all share a deep love for the place we collectively call home;
2. As a county ‘community’, withstanding our unique and diverse island cultures, we have more in common than we realize and can be stronger because of that if we can forge a shared vision for our county and its future and work together to realize the future we
3. It will be my honor and privilege to serve this county and all who live here, and work in collaboration and respect with those who have committed their service to the county’s government as officials and volunteers to achieve our shared goals! Finally, I want to thank the friends who reached out late in 2021 and into 2022 to encourage me to seriously consider taking on this very important role of San Juan County council member. Your encouragement, support, inspiration, and guidance has brought me to this point in my journey. To all those who provided me with very meaningful donations early on, you enabled me to set up a website that made an outreach campaign possible – thank you so much! I have learned a lot from that experience in and of itself, and from Tif and Gif of Friday Harbor who have accompanied me on that campaign design and website / social media journey – thank you!
And most of all, to my loving family who have been there by my side through this journey thus far, and who I look forward to experiencing it with going forward. Ultimately, you are my guiding light in all I do and always have been!
I should be clear and say that my ‘county wide outreach’ does not end after the Nov. 8 elections. I already have meetings scheduled this week and after Nov. 8 with both local constituents and organizations as well as county government officials (elected and appointed),
and more conversations planned with the sitting county council members.
So, I look forward to continuing my outreach up to and following Election Day! Stay tuned, and as always please reach out if you would like to connect.
With an abundance of gratitude!
Get those ballots in if you haven’t already and make your voice heard!
It is hard to believe it has been six and a half months since I declared my candidacy for the position of San Juan County Council, District 3 in April, and five and a half months since I filed in May uncontested, surprisingly.
Since then, it has been an exciting and meaningful journey of campaign outreach with the support of folks in this county who encouraged me to run for election and have supported me throughout, and those who I have met along the way.
At the same time, I have continued my professional work as a consultant, which I am working to wind down before the end of the year, and enjoying raising an active Lopez Island high school student with my husband! It has been a busy time but of course very rewarding!
As I marked my ballot this past week for San Juan County elected officials I found myself reflecting on two observations, that: 1) five out of the seven positions, all uncontested, had women as candidates; and 2) the only contested position was for that of Sheriff, both candidates happen to be male – not surprising given the number of female deputies in our county.
The first of these two observations is interesting to me because I have had many people in recent months remark what a big job it is and ‘thanking me for the sacrifice that it entails’. I don’t feel that way, quite the opposite. I believe that all of us who are running for local office are doing it because we want to serve our community, as civil servants. I can at least speak for myself in this regard.
Regarding the second observation, I encourage everyone to vote whether a candidate is contested or uncontested and vote with your conscience based on an informed mindset. Every vote matters.
So, in the coming week I am looking forward to meetings with the Lopez Seniors Center district committee, as well as more Lopez constituents, and trying to re-schedule missed meetings last week in Friday Harbor.
Stay tuned and please reach out if you’d like to connect!
Well, this past week did not unfold as I had hoped in terms of campaign outreach due to COVID! The arrival of the virus in my household forced me to cancel a week full of in person meetings with people on Shaw, Lopez and San Juan Islands.
Fortunately, I was still able to have some of those meetings on Zoom and by phone. This provided me with my first opportunity to hear directly from a group of Shaw Islanders (via Zoom). They shared with me their hopes and challenges, and to express that their needs often feel overlooked in the county. I hope to be able to re-schedule my in-person trip to Shaw soon so that I can meet a greater number of community members. But it was wonderful to have that initial connection.
I also had the opportunity to meet by phone with Ken Burtness, co-chair of the County’s Ferry Advisory Committee (FAC). Ken gave me an introduction to the multiple challenges our islands’ ferry service is facing now and in the future. It was an illuminating discussion about the scale and scope of the problems that exist and what inroads might exist to tackling some of those in the coming year(s).
Unfortunately, the seven meetings I had scheduled for San Juan Island yesterday, Oct. 27 th , will need to be re-scheduled in the coming weeks. And the in-person ‘meet and greet’ event I had oped to have at the Lopez Library this Saturday, October 29 (12 – 2pm) has been re-scheduled as a Zoom meeting for anyone who would like to join and have a conversation. The link to the Zoom meeting is: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8724447000 / Meeting ID: 872 444 7000 / One tap mobile +13602095623,,8724447000# US
Next week I look forward to joining the Lopez Island Seniors Center monthly board meeting at Woodman Hall 10 am – 12 pm. I hope to learn of their plans for the year ahead. I also look forward to an introductory meeting (online) with the SJC Superior Court, Judge Katie Loring and her staff to hear about the work of the Superior Court in our county. More small group meetings with Lopez Island constituents are also lined up, and then I will be planning to reschedule those meetings I had to postpone this past week.
There will be a County Council meeting at 9 am October 31 to continue discussion of the updates to the SJC Comprehensive Plan and a regular meeting at 9 am of the SJC Council on Tuesday, November 1.
Have a wonderful last week of October and Happy Halloween!
Also on my calendar today is a trip to visit some Public Works project sites on Lopez Island with Council Member Cindy Wolf and the Director of Public Works Colin Huntemer. There are some important projects being planned on Lopez in 2023. Information about forthcoming projects can also be found on the Public Works website once the projects are deemed ‘current’. I also look forward to further conversation with Council Member Wolf.
Next week I continue to have meetings with Lopez and Orcas constituents. I am also planning a visit to Shaw Island with the help of Shaw Island resident and Ferry Advisory Committee member Jennifer Swanson. I am hoping to make that trip on Sunday, October 23 or October 30th. Also in the plans is one more trip to San Juan Island on Thursday, October 27 to have meetings with a number of county government officials, both elected and appointed.
Stay tuned for news of my ongoing outreach next Tuesday!