During a recent Candidates Forum held on Lummi Island, it became clearer to me who the best candidates are for County Executive, the At-Large Council seat, and the Coastal District Five Council seat.
As a candidate for County Executive, Tony Larson said that county workers’ wages, pensions, and medical benefits were crowding important items out of the discretionary budget. Although he advocates for affordable housing in other contexts, as a union member, I see this as a direct attack on the ability of workers to be able to pay for housing. People who work for local government deserve a living wage just as we expect local industries to pay living wages.
Candidates for the Coastal District Five Council seat, Ben Elenbaas and Natalie McClendon couldn’t be more different. Ben Elenbaas erroneously claimed that from 1999 to 2016, the earth cooled while the earth actually warmed in that time period and continues to warm. It may be incidental that he works for the fossil fuel industry, but I wonder how I could expect him to govern the County into the future at a time when we need a transition to clean energy. Natalie McClendon on the other hand, supports both protecting living wage jobs and a transition to clean energy.
Running for the At-Large Council seat, Carol Frazey gave a poignant account of County Council members helping to staff an impromptu overnight homeless shelter during this past winter. She has spent a good deal of time thinking about ways to reduce homelessness in our County and has specific ideas on how to accomplish that goal.
I plan to vote for Satpal Sidhu for County Executive, Natalie McClendon for County Council District Five, and Carol Frazey for Council-At-Large.
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