I am passionate about a sustainable, vibrant, diverse, Kirkland where all belong. To realize that vision, the City Council has passed a policy framework with Resolution 5434 that declares our commitment for equity and racial justice and outlines the work ahead. We need to especially listen to Black voices, indigenous people, and people of color, learn from everyone’s experiences, and co-create solutions with the community. In addition to police reform and co-responders, we will be looking at city policies and decision-making with recommendations from a citywide equity assessment that will be completed this year.
This work includes building more housing attainable for our workforce. If you work in Kirkland, you ought to have an opportunity to live in Kirkland, but currently about 75% of Kirkland’s workers come from outside the city. Kirkland’s award-winning “missing middle” housing code provides new options for both homeowners and renters by allowing duplexes, triplexes, and detached and attached ADUs throughout the city. But we must do more for our workforce, seniors, and our kids future. Housing is an equity issue.
We are creating places that make Kirkland a stronger community with exciting new opportunities to live, eat, shop, and play downtown and in Totem Lake. As we grow, we’re investing in parks and open space such as the new Totem Lake Park with a playground and boardwalk circling the lake. We’re connecting those places with more ways to walk, ride and roll by fighting for regional transit, building neighborhood greenways, and investing in the Cross Kirkland Corridor. I will look for further opportunities in our neighborhood centers and during our station area planning for Bus Rapid Transit.
As we bounce back from the pandemic, we need to help the small local shops and restaurants recover—the places that make Kirkland special. We also have focused on services to help people who are struggling and at risk of losing their homes. We also will be shifting city operations to a hybrid model, continuing the opportunity for remote meeting attendance and online city services even as we City Hall reopens for business in person.