Cooper - As a Rotarian for 32 years, I have observed many organizations and issues contributing to the livability of community. I have participated in Rotary's Youth Exchange, Scholarship Programs, Jazz Festival, and many other youth programs supporting the future of community. The many churches of community, including my parish, St. John's Episcopal Church, support Camp Quixote and dozens more very beneficial community-based programs. I would like to be a council member who supports such policies and programs for youth and less fortunate. I have enjoyed the many benefits that city has to offer. Having lived here for 39 years in an area that is accessible to the downtown core and the many amenities this offers, I would like to preserve these attributes for generations to come.
Gates - I have lived in Olympia and have been an active community member for 27 years. My combined work, volunteer experience and involvement with a wide cross-section of the community makes me approachable and sensitive to the needs of many residents of various incomes and interests. In 2009, I ran for Olympia City Council Position #5. I personally visited 4,500 homes, speaking with thousands of citizens about their concerns and city issues. I took extensive, general notes and feel a great sense of obligation to carry through their perspectives. I still get emails and phone calls from people I met, asking me about a variety of issues. My campaign for public office was a positive experience, and I learned a lot about Olympia. My faith in the city government process was strengthened, and I gained a sense that a lot more people would be involved in city business discussions if they were encouraged. For those who cannot get more directly involved, I will remember what they told me and work hard to represent their interests. As a freelance writer and photographer, I created my own blog, www.janineslittlehollywood.blogspot.com, in January 2009 to educate the community about local events and issues and to help shine the light on community members who may not otherwise get recognized. These articles have received a great deal of praise from many community members. Over the years, I have cultivated a very good working relationship with numerous community organizations including non-profits, neighborhood association presidents and members, community groups, as well as city and other local, county, and state elected officials and agency staff. As an artist, my photography is integral to my writing, and is an extension of my community service because I document many ordinary and extraordinary events of historical significance, activities, meetings and physical places in Olympia. This helps build pride and confidence in community. I regularly participate in ArtsWalk. As a photographer, I often donate my work to various community auctions and fundraisers. Last month, I donated a framed 11x14aerial of Olympia to the Thurston Chamber of Commerce annual foundation auction. Since 2007, I have served as president of the South Puget Environmental Education Clearinghouse (SPEECH), a non-profit organization that is best known for publishing the South Sound Green Pages. I currently work with a board of seven who volunteer their time to contribute their skills and knowledge to the organization in a variety of capacities. I also contribute articles and photographs to the Green Pages and assist in the production process. In 2008, on SPEECH's behalf, I co-wrote and received a grant from the Community Sustaining Fund to coordinate a community forum called, "Envision Downtown Olympia." This event gathered a panel discussion of representatives from all sides of the Urban Waterfront/Isthmus issue. About 150 people attended. The event was taped for Thurston Community Television (TCTV) and aired throughout the summer. SPEECH hired the Dispute Resolution Center to document the comments. This nine page report was presented to the city's Planning Commission for its consideration. This event was a unique, successful opportunity for community members to feel heard by the city and the Planning Commission. I have significantly more experience - both professional and volunteer - that includes working with the Hands-On Children's Museum, the state departments of Community Development and Ecology, Evergreen student groups and the Evergreen Alumni Association Board.
Gray - I have served on the Olympia Heritage Commission (OHC) for the past three years, most recently as Vice-Chair. From 2003 to 2009 I was the historic preservation planner for the State Capital Campus. In that position, I engaged the Dept. of General Administration and the City of Olympia to cooperate more closely in addressing planning issues for the capital campus that affected both the State and the City. I believe my OHC is relevant for the perspective it gives me of reviewing historic properties and neighborhoods (including the downtown area) and seeing the evolution of the development of city from its earliest days to the present. This helps develop an understanding of economic development, the changes that have occurred to economy, how that has affected development in general and where it might lead city in the future. My work with General Administration helped further an understanding of the interaction of state government with city planning, including land use, transportation and business development.
Langer - I have been involved in the community for many years. I have been a member of the Olympia Downtown Association for over a decade, and the Thurston County Chamber of Commerce (I was active in the Business and Economics Committee for several years). I am currently a Precinct Committee Officer (Olympia 49) in the city and serve on the Thurston County Boundary Review Board (since 1999) and am currently the vice chair as a governor appointee. I have served a term on the Capitol Land Trust Board as well as on the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill/Thurston-Mason Board. I am a founding member of the Thurston County Critical Incident Debriefing Team, working with Olympia Fire and Police . Services among other agencies since 1986. From 1999 to 2004 I served on the Water Resources Inventory Area 13 Salmon Restoration Stakeholder Committee (WRIA !3 includes the City of Olympia) and was chair of the Henderson Inlet Watershed Council from 1989 to 2001, as well as a member and chair of the Henderson (2001-2003)and Henderson/Nisqually Shellfish Protection District Stakeholder Committee (2003-2007). The city of Olympia shares part of the Henderson watershed. I also was a public member of the Puget Sound Water Quality Management Plan Review Committee in 1994, making recommendations to the Puget Sound Water Quality Authority. In 1990 to 1991 I was a member of the Woodard/Woodland Basin Plan Committee, developing a water management plan for the area which includes the eastern part of Olympia. From 1985 to 1988 I served on the Thurston-Mason Mental Health Advisory Board, making recommendations how to distribute state funds for public mental health care. I have been a member of the Olympia Kiwanis since 1999, having served as a liaison to the Olympia High School Key Club. I was the first president of the Deschutes Psychological Association and continue to hold a membership in that organization. Since the 1990's I have been a volunteer faculty member of the Olympia-based International Trauma Treatment Program, which brings practitioners from conflict areas of the world to Olympia for training in trauma treatment. As a result of my community activities, I have had the opportunity to shape policy at the regional and local level. I have volunteered countless hours for the benefit of community, to improve water quality, serve firefighters and police officers, to improve services for the mentally ill and to create a vibrant economic climate for the Olympia area, as well as participating in democratic processes. I have become very well informed about environmental and land use issues and have worked in a quasi-judicial capacity as a Boundary Review Board Commissioner.
Lazar - I have served on three Citizen Advisory Committees (Electric Franchise Review, BPAC, and Ad-Hoc TDM), including two terms as Chairman of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee. In that capacity, I helped draft the City's Bicycle Improvement Program, and worked with the City Council to see that it was funded. bikeway network is now over 70% complete. I served as a member of the Steering Committee of Olympians for a Livable Community: Parks, Sidewalks, and Open Space, the committee that successfully campaigned for the Parks and Sidewalks utility tax. I serve as a member of the board of the Olympia Safe Streets Campaign, a pedestrian and bicycle advocacy organization, and am past-president of the Capital Bicycling Club. I am active in Olympia Climate Action, working to improve Olympia's carbon footprint. All of these organizations share goals with the City, as expressed in the Olympia Comprehensive Plan.
Richards - I have served on the City of Olympia Human Services Review Council, the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, and am a current member of the Olympia Planning Commission. These positions have given me key insight into the interworking of City and its various departments. Additionally, I serve on the Board of Directors of the Olympia Food Cooperative where we are currently undertaking a huge reorganization and expansion, which will culminate in the opening of a new store downtown. One of the most important experiences to come out of my work at the Food Coop is the opportunity to learn about and manage a large budget, which I believe would serve me well on the City Council. Other involvement in the community include serving as a board member of the Downtown Neighborhood Association, organizer of the annual A Table for Olympia event, and conducting a use of space study in downtown in conjunction with my academic studies. The City, ODA, and the PBIA are using the data from that study for planning purposes.
Selby - My community involvement as a director on the boards of the Olympia Symphony Orchestra, the Thurston County Boys and Girls Club and the Olympia Downtown Association further enhance my ability to work with people from diverse backgrounds that have passionate viewpoints. I enjoy the process of taking what might initially seem to be widely divergent positions and finding the commonality in the two (or more) sides to bring the opposing teams to a compromise and move the process forward. The key to success with coalition building is being an active listener. Listening is a life skill that cannot be over rated and as a public servant, vitally important. I currently serve on the Olympia Downtown Association board and the Olympia Rotary.
Smith - I have lived and worked in Olympia for over 30 years. I served on the Thurston County Planning Commission in the early '90s' and worked to develop the first comprehensive growth management plan, including serving on sub-committees that worked with municipal governments on issues of mutual interest. I have volunteered with the Olympia and North Thurston School Districts, the Thurston County Food Bank, Olympia Epilepsy Support Group and the Olympia Food Co-op to name a few. I have been in a leadership position with the Thurston County Democrats and helped to elect many public leaders for more than 25 years. As a former staff member of the state's largest • public employee union, I have over 20 years invested working to help people in their struggle for a better life including negotiation, dispute resolution, organizing and support services. My experience as a community activist gives me a reservoir of strength and experience to draw on to help create an atmosphere that encourages collaboration and problem solving techniques that get things done. I am committed to working with community's elected leaders to help them with the mission of their respective jurisdictions and as a Councilmember, I will continue that commitment.
Thomas - • I have been involved in the community since moving here twenty years ago. In 1994, I adopted a school age Spanish-speaking son from rural Ecuador, and worked closely with the public school district to ensure his success. I volunteered with the school system, and later taught English as a second Language to Latin American immigrants. • I have been on the board of Homes First for ten years, and President for six. We provide 42 units of high quality subsidized rental housing in Thurston County. • For f years I have been a volunteer for the Procession of the Species. • I am a Founder and five-year Steering Committee member of Olympia's Coalition of Neighborhood Associations • I was appointed to Olympia Planning Commission in March of this year. I have been closely involved with the scoping process for the Comprehensive Plan Update. • I have ten years of leadership experience with the South Capitol Neighborhood Association, which involves extensive discussion, negotiation, and coordination with state and local officials. • In 2007, I ran for a seat on the Olympia City Council, and I met with hundreds of community leaders and groups, and talked with thousands of people when I door belled in their neighborhoods. • I am presently a member of the Thurston County League of Women voters, and assisted last summer in sponsoring candidate debates for local candidates. These activities combine to give me a deep and wide knowledge of the assets and challenges facing Olympia. Also, the diversity of the groups I work with affords me a strong sense of toe variety of preferences and ideas about how City should develop and change.
Veldheer - My civic involvement began in my neighborhood and quickly spread to advocacy for policy making at the city, county and state levels. As I sought to educate myself about stormwater issues in my neighborhood of Cooper Crest, I began reaching out for answers to community groups and local government officials. I attended several Livable Thurston meetings and met community members who shared my concern for the environment and Thurston County. Through these meetings, I also learned about transfer of development rights and the complexities of setting land-use policies in a growing community. I founded the Cooper Crest Neighborhood Association and served as the organization's president for two years. I helped the organization register with the Secretary of State and become a recognized neighborhood association with the City of Olympia so citizens could be made aware of pending local land use issues and other city business. The Cooper Crest Neighborhood Association joined the Olympia Coalition of Neighborhood Associations and I served as a member of the Steering Committee on CNA. I became involved at the State level by attending hearings at the State capitol, meeting with Senators and Representatives and testifying before legislative committees seeking better consumer protection for Washington citizens as they buy new homes or significantly remodel existing homes. I helped form a grassroots organization called "Washingtonians for Safe Homes" made up of citizens, professionals, and social action groups. I am further involved in the community as a member of the Thurston County League of Woman Voters, through my church, my daughters' homeschool group and Girl Scouts as a co-leader. As a candidate for the Olympia City Council in 2009, I gained an even deeper appreciation of community; I doorbelled nearly 3,000 homes and wore out two pairs of shoes! This experience really gave me a personal connection to the community. The Olympia city council both sets fiscal and management goals for the city and serves as a legislative body. As a neighborhood President and community leader, my job was to manage the organization and ensure that it was meeting the goals of the membership. This experience, along with my work in drafting proposed laws to protect and help consumers will be helpful in working with other city council members to find solutions to complex problems.