Elections

Olympia City Council Position No. 2

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Candidates are listed in the order they will appear on the Aug. 6 primary ballot.

Phyllis Booth

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Phyllis Booth Courtesy photo Phyllis Booth

Age: 58

Occupation: Volunteer

Have you run for public office before? If so, for what office?

Olympia City Council Position 5 in 2005

Please list any other experience you think is relevant to the position you are running for.

In my three decades of volunteer work, I have attended 7 years of City Council meetings, worked with the Friends of the Waterfront, the Carnegie Group, Public Funds for Public Purposes, the local Hospice services; served social justice and homeless organizations, and fund with two United Methodist Churches in Olympia and Centralia (Centralia UMC is one of the only churches that welcomes the LGBTQ community), and Quixote Village from 2007 to the present (my husband and I were recently awarded a “Tiny House Hero Award”). I’ve been a school volunteer at three schools for twelve years, a Legislative District 22 Chair and Democratic Platform Chair in 2018. I am currently serving as a volunteer nurse at the Olympia Free Clinic, and I am serving my eighth year as a Democratic Precinct Officer.

Why are you running for this position?

My primary goal is to welcome all citizens to the table of political decision-making at City Hall. I will push for more public outreach so everyone can be heard. Public outreach can include more information with utility bills, a citizen education course about how to be involved and effective, and direct conversations between citizens and city officials and staff.

I worked with Olympians for Smart Development and Livable Neighborhoods (OSD&LN) in asking the City to redo the Missing Middle upzoning which violates the City’s Comprehensive Plan for growth. The State Growth Management Board recently ruled in favor of OSD&LN.

What are the top three issues you see facing the district you are running to represent?

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, we will have eight feet of sea level rise by the end of the century. We need to encourage development away from the low-lying areas of Olympia.

I will vote against city implementation of House Bill 1923, which is Missing Middle upzoning on steroids, as it cuts citizens out of an appeal process. Instead, I will promote alternative housing that modifies current city codes. This will include: building KOA-style communities, with shared bathrooms, kitchens in one common building, and heated cabins; preserving mobile home parks for affordable housing; and promoting shared housing for singles.

I want to prevent socialized costs (taxpayer money) and privatized profits (developer deals). If the City sells city-owned property where tax monies were spent on cleaning up contaminants left by previous owners, I will require the new owner to reimburse the city for the cost of clean up. I will push for policies that make developers pay their impact fees and not push costs off in the form of higher property taxes. Impact fees pay for infrastructure needs such as roads, sewers, schools and parks that serve new development.

Alyssa Humbert

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Alyssa Humbert Courtesy photo Alyssa Humbert

Age: 32

Occupation: Stay-at-home mom

Have you run for public office before? If so, for what office?

No

Please list any other experience you think is relevant to the position you are running for.

I have previously worked in public education assisting special needs children in predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods. I have also managed a children’s literacy nonprofit that taught immigrant/refugee children in low-income neighborhoods how to read. I currently serve on the Board of the Family Support Center of South Sound which operates the largest family homeless shelter in Thurston County and provides services to survivors of domestic violence. I serve on the Board of my neighborhood association and volunteer with Washington Trails Association maintaining local parks as well as maintaining trails in our broader area. My parents immigrated to the United States and while serving in the United States Navy, my mother gave birth to me. After her time in the Navy, my mother has spent her career as a United States Postal Service letter carrier.

Why are you running for this position?

My two-year-old son is my inspiration for running for city council. I want to make sure Olympia is safe, inclusive, and sustainable for him so that he can come to love Olympia as much as I do. Based on my conversations with Olympians from all walks of life, there is still a lot that needs to be done in our city. My friends and neighbors know me as someone who cannot sit idle when things need to get done. I want to do my part to make sure all voices are heard and represented in our city council.

What are the top three issues you see facing the district you are running to represent?

I believe the City of Olympia still has a lot of work to do in addressing affordable housing, the houseless, and supporting a living wage. I want to hold the city to building affordable housing units and following its comprehensive plan, which puts housing along transportation hubs and encourages multi-use structures. This has the added benefit of encouraging the use of public and alternative means of transportation. In regards to the houseless population, I support the evidence-based approach of Housing First, which prioritizes supported housing to help facilitate the achievement of other goals. It’s only when a person has shelter, a safe place, a place to use the bathroom and shower, a place to store their belongings, and a place to sleep that they can be successful in other areas of life. Finally, the cost of housing and rent are rising, as well as the cost of other commodities but wages remain stagnant. I will fight for a $15 minimum wage because wages need to be in line with the rising cost of living. It is time we provide a living wage to support food and housing security, boost morale and reduce turnover, and reduce poverty and inequality.

Jessica Bateman

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Jessica Bateman Courtesy photo Jessica Bateman

Age: 37

Occupation: Health Policy Analyst

Have you run for public office before? If so, for what office?

Yes, Olympia City Council, Pos. 2

Please list any other experience you think is relevant to the position you are running for.

As an Olympia City Councilmember, I led a ballot campaign to create a municipal fund to build permanent supportive housing for our unhoused community members. I sponsored the legislation that made Olympia a “sanctuary city,” and worked to increase housing options for residents.

I’m a first-generation college graduate, and I hold a Masters in Public Administration and a B.A. in Environmental Studies from the Evergreen State College. Before being elected to City Council, I served for several years on the Olympia Planning Commission and the board of GRuB. I have worked as a Legislative Assistant to then-Rep. Chris Reykdal and as the Community Impact Director for the United Way of Thurston County. I currently serve as a policy analyst at the Washington Association for Community Health, where I work to ensure that everyone in our state has access to high quality primary care regardless of insurance status or ability to pay.

Why are you running for this position?

I’ve been honored to serve the people of Olympia for the last three years, and I’ve worked to fulfill my promises to address housing and homelessness, maintain our green spaces, and ensure we have safe and walkable neighborhoods.

I’m seeking re-election because we have much more work to do. I look forward to working with the community to enhance the vitality of our downtown core, build more affordable housing options, and prepare our infrastructure to deal with sea level rise. Our city is growing quickly, and we need experienced, forward-looking leadership to keep our community affordable, welcoming, and vibrant.

What are the top three issues you see facing the district you are running to represent?

Housing and Homelessness: Olympia is on track to become home to an additional 20,000 people over the next 20 years, and housing prices are increasing faster than many residents can reasonably afford. For rental homes, we currently have vacancy rates of just three percent. Although the root causes of homelessness are complex, there is no question that our housing challenges are linked to our regional homelessness crisis. I’ll continue to expand the continuum of care for unhoused community members while working to increase affordable housing.

Downtown Revitalization: Of the 20,000 new arrivals we anticipate over the next 20 years, we expect that 5,000 will live in our downtown core. Olympia is fortunate to have a beautiful downtown that serves as the cultural and economic heart of the region, and Olympians deserve a welcoming and enjoyable backdrop to everything our community has to offer.

Climate Change: I’m proud to live in a community whose citizens are committed to protecting our climate and our region’s natural resources. Olympia has ambitious carbon reduction targets, and we’re currently working to meet those goals. Nevertheless, scientists anticipate that sea levels will continue to rise, so it’s essential we plan for the future now.

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