Olympia mayoral and city council candidates will face off in the Aug. 4 primary election. The top two vote-getters in each race will advance to the Nov. 3 general election. Here’s a brief look at the candidates’ platforms and endorsements.
Cheryl Selby was elected to the Olympia City Council in November 2013. In addition to her role on the council, Selby serves on the city’s finance and general government committees, and is the council representative to the Olympia Arts Commission. She also has represented the city on a range of county committees and boards.
Selby owns a small clothing business called Vivala in downtown Olympia. She has volunteered for local nonprofit organizations including SideWalk, which finds housing for the homeless.
Her campaign platform includes a pledge to “reinvigorate our tax base with new revenue” by leveraging assets such as the local arts and business community, for example, along with supporting the city’s Downtown Strategy. This includes promoting partnerships between the public and private sector.
One issue that has surfaced this election season is whether the city needs an oversight committee for the police department. Selby said she is waiting for results from a recent investigation, along with help from a now-forming “ad hoc committee on police and community relations,” to determine how to proceed.
High-profile endorsements include Congressman Denny Heck, 22nd District State Reps. Chris Reykdal and Sam Hunt, 22nd District State Sen. Karen Fraser, the Olympia firefighters union (IAFF Local 468), three former Olympia mayors, and multiple council members from Lacey and Tumwater.
Selby has raised the most money among all local candidates with $17,803, and has spent $5,785 so far, according to the state Public Disclosure Commission. Top donors include Dennis Adams of Virgil Adams Real Estate, IAFF Local 468 union, Lacey Mayor Andy Ryder and Tim Seth of the Washington Landlord Association.
Marco Rossi is a medical assistant at Planned Parenthood in Olympia with a master’s degree in political science who is making his first run for public office.
Rossi is running on a progressive platform called Olympia For All, which is focusing on issues including a $15 minimum wage, urban planning, police accountability and public involvement. Two city council candidates are running on the same platform.
In addition to publishing a book titled “A Politics for the 99 Percent,” Rossi has worked with several nonprofit organizations, including the Emma Goldman Youth and Homeless Outreach Project, the Cold and Hungry Coalition, and Partners in Prevention and Education.
Rossi said he wants to call attention to issues that have been neglected in Olympia, such as the city’s poverty rate and the need for a higher minimum wage. He supports the creation of a tenants bill of rights as well as guaranteed sick leave for all workers in the city.
Rossi also is calling for more police accountability, including the establishment of a citizen review board, the addition of body cameras for officers and more cultural training for police. As for economic development, he supports policies that encourage urban density, walkability and more green space as the city prepares for population growth.
Rossi has raised $3,002 and has spent $1,703 so far, according to the PDC. High-profile endorsements include Olympia Mayor Stephen Buxbaum, the Thurston-Lewis-Mason Central Labor Council, NARAL Pro-Choice Washington and Washington Federation of State Employees Local 872.
Prophet Atlantis has been a frequent candidate for City Council in the past. He comments frequently on The Olympian’s online stories, but has not returned multiple requests for an interview.
Atlantis has reported that he hasn’t raised or spent any money on his campaign, according to the PDC.
OLYMPIA CITY COUNCIL POSITION 2
Judy Bardin works as an epidemiologist for the state Department of Health, where she studies environmental issues. She also has 20 years of experience as a registered nurse.
Bardin previously served three years on the Olympia Planning Commission. She has volunteered with the Olympia Utility Advisory Committee, the Heritage Commission and the Coalition of Neighborhood Associations. She has a doctor of science focused in epidemiology, master’s of science in environmental and occupational health and a bachelor’s of science in nursing.
Bardin said her priorities for the city include acquiring more park land, giving the public a bigger voice in city decisions, and fostering a more open and responsive government. Other priorities include maintaining city infrastructure and buildings, supporting strategies to combat sea-level rise, creating more bike and walking paths, and increasing opportunities for urban agriculture and tree preservation.
She wants to help strengthen downtown Olympia by promoting small businesses, addressing homelessness and developing more green space. She has expressed support for a $15 minimum wage and a citizen review board for the Olympia Police Department.
High-profile endorsements include the Washington Federation of State Employees Local 443 and Local 872, Thurston-Lewis-Mason Central Labor Council, National Women’s Political Caucus of Washington, Thurston Environmental Voters, SEIU Healthcare and 1199NW, and former Olympia mayors Mark Foutch and Bob Jacobs.
Bardin has raised $13,379 and has spent $8,270 so far, according to the PDC. Top donors include WFSE Local 443, Thurston Environmental Voters, former Tumwater City Councilmember Walter Jorgensen and former Thurston PUD Commissioner Jim Lazar.
Jessica Bateman works as a legislative aide to 22nd District state Rep. Chris Reykdal and has been a member of the Olympia Planning Commission since 2013. She has a master’s degree in public administration from The Evergreen State College and an undergraduate degree in environmental science.
Bateman also serves on the board for the nonprofit Garden-Raised Bounty (GRuB).
Her top priorities include creating safer and more walkable neighborhoods, including downtown Olympia. She cites the need for more urban density downtown ahead of the city’s anticipated population growth. This includes creating more housing options that serve all income levels so that more people can afford to live downtown, she said.
Other priorities include working to build a stronger local economy and expanding public park space. She also supports a $15 minimum wage as well as the formation of a citizen review board for the police department.
Bateman has raised $13,018 and has spent $7,389 so far, according to the PDC. Top donors include Craig and Krista Ranta, Council 2 Washington State Council of County and City Employees, WFSE Local 443, dentist Jared Persinger, and the Reykdal Education PAC.
High-profile endorsements include 22nd District State Reps. Chris Reykdal and Sam Hunt, Olympia City Councilmember Jim Cooper, NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, Thurston-Lewis-Mason Central Labor Council, Olympia firefighters, Service Employees International Union 775NW and 1199NW, National Women’s Political Caucus of Washington, and the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 367.
Political newcomer Ray Guerra is one of three candidates running on a progressive platform called Olympia For All, which is focusing on issues including a $15 minimum wage, urban planning, police accountability and public involvement.
Guerra works at the Fish Tale Brew Pub. He has experience fundraising for the Rachel Corrie Foundation and has volunteered for a handful of local nonprofits.
A top priority is addressing poverty and raising the standard of living in Olympia. To that end, he supports investments in social services as well as a higher minimum wage, paid sick leave, more affordable housing and expanded rights for tenants. Reducing poverty can help reduce addiction and health issues, he said. He said raising the minimum wage also can have a positive impact on the local economy.
Guerra also advocates for urban density and less sprawl, and has noted that a more walkable downtown and west side would attract more residents and employees.
Guerra has called for a citizen review board for the police department, especially in light of the May 21 officer-involved shooting that is still under investigation.
Guerra has raised $1,835 and has spent $1,026 so far, according to the PDC. High-profile local endorsements include local businesses Marchetti Wines, Obsidian and Day’s Worth Garden Service.