EDITOR’S NOTE: Since our creation in 2007, The B-Town Blog has allowed residents running for local office one free post for when they announce their candidacy:

My name is Stephanie Mora and I am running for Burien City Council Position 7. As a mother who works for a local small business in Burien, I believe Burien deserves better representation than what it is currently receiving. My family moved to Burien in 2000. It was then I had a chance to see the welcoming and diverse community I have come to love so much. As the daughter of an immigrant, I watched how hard my mother worked to learn English. I attended school in the Highline School District while my mother supported us working in cosmetology. I have become stronger because of the challenges I have faced throughout my life. Without the help of some amazing teachers in the Highline School District, it is very possible my life would be very different today.

After having my second child, I knew I wanted to give back some of the generosity shown to me. I started working in public health to help expectant low-income families. I worked for both Open Arms Perinatal Services and Neighborhood House. Working in public health has reinforced for me what low-income families need. I have also been volunteering my time to serve our local homeless population through our community organizations. I believe I can help our community based on my experiences because I know what is needed from our Council. I want others to be empowered and help themselves to have a better life in our beautiful, generous community.

As a mother, I have a vested interest in a safer Burien, especially for children. Everyone deserves a city where they can thrive. For too long we have heard that our crime rates are down. However, this is not the case. Burien’s growing population is far too large for the number of first responders we have. At some times during the day there are as little as three police officers working on shift for the entire city. We must increase the number of first responders and decrease response times. Our police department has to feel like they are actually supported. They are not the total solution but they are certainly an important and valued part. We also need to fund and support outreach programs. In the instances where it makes sense, these programs can treat the root cause of the problem, alleviate pressure on municipal resources, and save taxpayer money. However, these programs should focus on addressing the challenges Burien already has. We must avoid allowing other cities and King County from taking advantage of Burien. Our community has and will continue to do its fair share, but our assistance needs to match our resources. It should be focused on people who actually live in our community.

Burien is a diverse and rapidly growing city. We have so many great, local businesses that form the backbone of our community and make it alive and vibrant. As a long-time employee at one of our local small retailers, I will focus on being an advocate in City Hall for small businesses. Small businesses are struggling to survive. The needs of our small businesses seem to be treated as an afterthought by many on our current City Council. I will actually listen to business owner’s concerns and bring them to the forefront of all City Council discussions. Succeeding as a small business is difficult. I want to ensure that our policies help keep these small businesses open and thriving in our community.

It is time for honesty, transparency, and accountability to return to the Burien City Council. I am not seeking higher office and I am not interested in making a name for myself in politics. As a concerned mother and community volunteer, I feel compelled to work locally to make a difference in our community. I am running for Burien City Council because this is my community and if you believe that Burien deserves better, I respectfully ask for your vote.

stephanieforburien.org