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  • What improvements would you support in public safety?
    As a decorated combat veteran, I deeply believe in keeping our community safe. While serving on city council, community safety is, and will continue to be my top priority. I am committed to ensuring that our first responders are well-trained and reflect our city’s values when they are called to service. POLICE USE OF FORCE. I served on the city’s task force to review and recommend improvements to our city’s policing practices, specifically to fulfill our commitments to equity and accountability. The task force centered our work on review of a report provided by the Police Executive Research Forum, which included a set of 84 recommendations. Additionally, this task force was directed to develop the policies and procedures for the new camera program, which includes dash, interior and body worn cameras. I championed funding for the camera system to be included in our 2021 budget package, as this expenditure reflected our city’s values and reaffirmed our city’s commitment to accountability. FIRE DEPARTMENT RESPONSE TIMES. Response times by our city’s fire department and emergency teams has been declining. Some of the reasons for this decline includes aging fire stations (not located in high call areas), aging equipment, and insufficient staffing. For these reasons, I served on the council's subcommittee to develop the ballot resolution for Proposition 2, which was approved by voters in 2022. It will provide a dedicated and sustainable source of funding that can be used for critical services our community needs. This includes building new facilities, purchasing equipment, and hiring more staff. EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER. I joined the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) — a regional task force — as City Council’s representive at the start of my term in January 2020. The EOC is typically activated during a natural emergency such as floods or wildfires. While in the military, I jointly served with FEMA during a statewide flood emergency, and later was deployed to a war zone. I believed that this experience prepared me well for serving in this role and I was confirmed. In March 2020, the EOC was activated to manage the public health emergency of the COVID-19 pandemic. For the first few months the EOC was faced with new information daily, along with many unknowns as to how best to keep our staff and community healthy. CHILDREN’S JUSTICE CENTER EXECUTIVE BOARD. I have served on the executive board since 2022. This first year was focused on a search for a new location for the facility. Given their mission, their facility has unique needs. The Children’s Justice Center is a safe place for child victims of criminal-level abuse to seek refuge. The center brings together a multidisciplinary team of trained responders to address crimes against children, including holding perpetrators accountable through the judicial system and sensitively helping children work through traumas associated with abuse.
  • What strategies do you support for increasing housing affordability and reducing homelessness?
    Everywhere Everything All At Once. I believe that we need to empower our homeowners, land owners, and small builders to make investments in a variety of housing types in order to create a more affordable city for everyone. Our city’s land area is primarily zoned and built for single-family housing (70% of the area) and the zoning rules are outdated. I support adjusting our residential zoning policies and permitting to promote a diversity of housing types that would accommodate an array of living arrangements through infill development and incentivizing the building of middle housing types. We can, and should, be creative with the design of duplexes, townhomes, and accessory dwelling units, allowing them to add vitality to our city. Here are a few of my ideas: Neighborhood-scale rezoning. Let’s focus on subarea planning in key neighborhoods, which will include unique zoning standards, such as were developed with the Heights Subarea Plan. Let’s include pre-approved designs that would be available at no-cost for construction of an ADU, duplex, or other infill project. More Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU). We need more housing throughout our city, not just in our commercial centers. Let’s provide grants or low interest loans to property owners with the land available to add an ADU to their property. First, we need to remove permit barriers and encourage more small construction companies to add this building type to their portfolios. Then we need to have our development review staff armed with tools to make this an easy, low stress project on both sides of the table. Oh, and by the way: Did you know that the state provides a property tax exemption* for new ADUs? I spoke to city staff and the county assessor and discovered that this is an entirely under-utilized exemption. I mention this law as one example of combining my professional experience with my unique position on council to make progress on issues of top concern. Let’s elevate this and other affordable housing tools to bring more affordable options to our city. *Note: For more information on this tax law see RCW 84.36.400. In brief, the county assessor may grant an improvement exemption for up to 30% of the current assessed value of your home for three years. No one should be unsheltered. I joined council in January 2020 and at that time, the Navigation Center had been in operation for a little over a year. This center was envisioned to be a day center for our unsheltered residents where they could be connected with services, do laundry, eat a meal, and find a path into safe housing. Instead the city learned many lessons -- the center ended up negatively affecting the surrounding neighborhoods, their target clientele, and our own city staff. I supported closing the center, not just in response to the health emergency of the pandemic, but for good. In the aftermath, those hard lessons resulted in something better. We stood up the Safe Stay Community as a model that is being replicated all over the country. These are small communities that are intended to be temporary at each location and serve up to 40 residents. These centers aim to provide a safe place to live 24/7 as they heal, stabilize, are connected to services, and are placed in a permanent home. I am proud of what grew from our mistakes and look forward to supporting more progress on this front. Affordable Housing Fund. I believe that everyone should have a home they can afford. I joined Council at the beginning of the inaugural affordable housing levy and am proud of its many successes. Primary among them is that for every $1 that we collect, it leverages $8 in grant funding from other state and federal sources. Our city was one of the few proactive communities that united and agreed that housing affordability and reducing homelessness was our top priority.
  • Do you support a replacement I-5 bridge?
    We needed a replacement to the I-5 bridge yesterday. As we are all aware, the drawbridge causes backups that can last hours during peak commute time and hinders emergency response. Walking or riding a bicycle across the bridge feels dangerous with vehicles mere inches from you on one side, and a low guardrail the only thing between you and the river on the other. I support a replacement bridge because our city and its residents should be able to move safely across the river for jobs, shopping, and other forms of interstate commerce. This isn’t a time to shift focus, but to dig in and work out all of the many details that are needed to get this bridge built. A preliminary economic analysis noted that the total employment created or sustained by the I-5 bridge was approximately 43,700 direct/indirect/induced jobs across many industries. The most recent design endorsed by council includes additional lanes, specifically auxiliary lanes that will make it easier to enter and exit the freeway than it is today. I will continue to advocate for and support efforts to build a modern, earthquake-resilient, multimodal replacement solution that improves safety and mobility for people, goods, and services.
  • Where do you stand on environmental issues?
    I have been actively involved with environmental issues throughout my life and am currently leading a policy team at the WA Department of Commerce as its first Climate Program Manager. The legislature directed the department to lead an intergovernmental team of six other state agencies to develop a model climate element that could be voluntarily adopted during their periodic comprehensive plan updates. Jurisdictions must update their Growth Management Act compliant comprehensive plan every ten years and this requirement is scheduled in phases by region beginning in 2024. Other initiatives that I would like to share include: CLIMATE ACTION PLAN. In Decemember 2022, the city council adopted the City of Vancouver’s Climate Action Framework, a blueprint to reduce greenhouse gas emissions within the city and build resilience to climate change impacts. Though many concessions were made throughout the adoption process, adopting this plan was crucial to gaining access to grant funding to support this important work. EPA LOCAL GOVERNMENT ADVISORY COMMITTEE. In January, in recognition of my environmental leadership, I was invited to join the Local Government Advisory Committee (LGAC), which is an independent, policy-oriented advisory committee that provides advice and recommendations to the EPA Administrator on critical environmental issues impacting local governments. The LGAC is comprised of 30 elected and appointed officials from local, state, tribal and territorial governments. URBAN TREE PROGRAM. While serving as a city planner for the City of Camas, I developed an urban tree program that was initially highly contested and later embraced by many engaged residents that I was bursting with pride. My involvement in tree preservation at the city began ten years ago when I was assigned to create a tree preservation plan, which was met with insurmountable political opposition at the time and was put on the shelf. Fast forward to nine years later, when I was directed by a new mayor to develop an urban forestry plan. The adopted urban tree program not only protects street trees but also increases fines for illegal removal in public open spaces, while requiring tree preservation during development. We had overwhelming support during this effort and it was adopted in September 2018. STEWARDSHIP. My passion for creating a lighter footprint on the earth began in high school when I started a recycling program with a plastic collection barrel near the soda machine. Each week the number of recycled bottles grew, reducing the amount of plastic bottles going into local landfills. I also organized the school’s first Arbor Day event where we planted a tree on campus. NATURAL STEP. In college, I was the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for College Housing Northwest. During my tenure, we implemented an inaugural sustainability program (“The Natural Step") as the policy for management and development of student housing at Portland State University. I believe a similar blueprint could be utilized in Vancouver. FAMILY VALUES. As a parent and homeowner in Vancouver, I enthusiastically compost, volunteer at a community garden, and participate in tree planting efforts organized by Friends of Trees. My old pick-up truck, dog Benny, and I have been regular volunteers for Friends of Trees for many years.
  • How will you support business growth?
    I am committed to economic development and creating more jobs on this side of the river. Every year, the number of Vancouver-to-Portland commuters increases, and the domino effect (less time with family) from traffic congestion worsens. Part of the solution is strengthening our commitment to apprenticeships, internships and other programs that provide opportunities for careers that pay a living wage — not just minimum wage. SW WA JOBS. I serve on the Columbia River Economic Development Council (CREDC) Board of Directors because I believe we need strong partnerships in order to grow our economic base north of the Columbia River. The CREDC strategically recruits businesses in key sectors that support living wage jobs and our region’s commitment to clean technology and a sustainable environment. SUPPORT FOR TRADES. Through my family’s small business, I learned welding and construction skills which has served me well throughout my life. My small business experience combined with military experience and, (later) a college degree make me well suited to advocate for a diverse workforce. In particular, our youth need to be supported and encouraged to choose a career path in skilled trades equally as often as they are encouraged to pursue a college degree. For that reason, I regularly attend high school and college career fairs to meet with students and highlight the validity of alternatives to the college pathway. UNION STRONG. I am currently a member in good standing with AFSCME Local 443, Washington Federation of State Employees. Prior to joining AFSCME as a state employee, I was an active member of Camas Public Employees Association for 16 years and served as their president for six years. If you would like to share your thoughts on any of these issues or others, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Email me at or call me at 360-499-6036. Let’s make Vancouver vibrant together.

Let’s make Vancouver vibrant together.


If you would like to find out more about my thoughts on any of these issues, as well as others, please do not hesitate to get in touch. What are your big ideas for Vancouver? Share them with me today! Email me at or call me at (360) 499-6036.

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