Ready to Vote: Learn About Your Candidates
On Tuesday, September 26th, The Bellevue Downtown Association hosted a Candidates Forum as part of our BDA Breakfast Series. This breakfast featured a Q&A with the Bellevue City Council candidates and gave them a platform to discuss their agendas in and after the upcoming election.
With the election coming up in the November, it's important to get informed about your candidates. We've gathered some of the highlights from our Candidates Forum for you to peruse and to get to know your candidates better.
City of Bellevue, Council Position 2
Randy Grein Conrad Lee*
City of Bellevue, Council Position 4
Karol Brown Jared Nieuwenhuis
City of Bellevue, Council Position 5
Phillip Yin Janice Zahn
City of Bellevue, Council Position 6
Steven Fricke Lynne Robinson*
*City Council Incumbents
What are some of the top issues facing Bellevue?
- Randy Grein - Traffic and housing costs. We need more and better bus routes, to make public transportation a more feasible solution for commuters, and we need to lower our housing costs.
- Conrad Lee - Managing growth in housing and transportation. We need to do this through fiscal management and a prudent fiscal policy.
- Karol Brown - Affordable housing and transportation. Increases in housing costs have made it hard for people to live here - we need to increase the supply of affordable housing and access to public transportation.
- Jared Nieuwenhuis - Homelessness and keeping out safe injection sites. We don't want to follow in Seattle's footsteps and there is no concrete evidence that safe injection sites have a positive impact.
- Janice Zahn - Housing and transportation, "dealing with growth." We need to move forward with the I-405 Master Plan for reducing congestion and focus on creating more affordable housing.
- Phillip Yin - Managing our own destiny and dealing with growth. We need to remain an independent city where citizens are well-represented and we need to continue to keep people safe by investing in our police.
- Steven Fricke - Making citizens heard. Bellevue citizens are feeling marginalized and we need transparency from the City Council. We also need to give more support to the police and fire departments to ensure a safer city.
- Lynne Robinson - Transportation and housing. The city is already looking at improving transportation and currently working on pedestrian and bike programs. We need to incentivize and create a budget for affordable housing.
In the face of Amazon's recent decision to open a second headquarters, how will you make Bellevue more attractive for businesses, and retain existing business?
- Randy Grein - Our diversity is our strength, it's dangerous to be a 1 business town. We need to foster small businesses and think ahead for the next decade and onward.
- Conrad Lee - We already have or are building the best infrastructure and road systems in the state. We will just need to mitigate our housing costs.
- Karol Brown - We need to focus more energy on energy, transportation, and housing. We need to foster our diverse community and create an environment that supports business, without government regulations getting in the way.
- Jared Nieuwenhuis - We've already made tremendous improvements to our transportation and infrastructure, I believe we will begin to reap the benefits of that.
- Janice Zahn - We need to focus on creating local jobs and attracting talent. We should be combining physical infrastructure with human capital.
- Phillip Yin - We need to make Bellevue feel like a supportive place for large businesses. At the same time, business leaders need to do their part to advocate for and advertise the city to non-local industry leaders.
- Steven Fricke - We need to provide incentives to large and small businesses. We should use the space in Eastgate for small businesses rather than building a homeless shelter.
- Lynne Robinson - We have already invested in Bellevue's infrastructure. This will begin to pay its dividends.
What will Bellevue Look Like in 20 Years?
- Randy Grein - We will finally have caught up with affordable housing and will have the units to satisfy demand. We will be a diverse blend of blue and white collar workers and business owners. We will work more closely with our neighboring cities and will have an improved infrastructure.
- Conrad Lee - Bellevue will truly be a global city - a center for technology where people are united. Bellevue will be a desirable place to live with great schools. Bellevue will continue to be a place which balances quality of life with economic vitality.
- Karol Brown - Bellevue will be a place that balances growth with a high quality of life. We will have a connected, caring community which is safe and secure. Citizens will be able to afford to live close to where they work because of better housing solutions and an integrated and effective transportaion network. We need to grow but also embrace our uniqueness.
- Jared Nieuwenhuis - We need to think big. We will use partnerships like the GiX to attract new jobs and new companies while still providing for and protecting the unique character of our neighborhoods and our quality of life.
- Janice Zahn - Bellevue will be a national leader in innovation and technology. We will be a center of arts, culture, and economic development. I am confident we already have the talent, vision and leadership to achieve this.
- Phillip Yin - We are already on the right path. Any future we have should be guided by the needs of our citizens - a mix of business interests and neighborhood and family interests. We will also see new and creative transportation solutions.
- Steven Fricke - Bellevue will feature a diversity of business including technology and manufacturing. It will be the center of competition that makes the city stronger.
- Lynne Robinson - Bellevue will have a new skyline, a variety of safe transportation options, more restaurants and arts, and people will be able to afford to live here.
- Check out this article from the Bellevue Reporter, written by Raechel Dawson.
- Watch the whole Q&A courtesy of Bellevue Television.