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EDITOR’S NOTE: Charles Schaefer is not related to South King Media Founder/Publisher Scott Schaefer.
I’m Charles Schaefer and I am asking for your vote for Burien City Council position 3. I grew up in Burien. I went to Salmon Creek, Sunnydale, and Shorewood elementary schools, Sylvester middle school, and I am a Highline Pirate. I am an accountant and am active in many community civic groups.
I see the homeless out on our streets almost every day. Through volunteering at Transform Burien and our Severe Weather Shelter I have gotten to know many of them and their stories and I know that these are people who are worthy of our compassion. I know that they are no different than the rest of us. Burien is a community where we care for our neighbors in need. One of the reasons I am seeking office is to ensure we take a compassionate approach that recognizes the dignity of all our residents and provides them the tools to create a better life for themselves.
I am also very concerned about public safety and I agree with Burien’s police chief that we cannot arrest our way out of our public safety challenges. I think it is important to provide a variety of options to our youth to deter them from being led toward a criminal lifestyle. I will work on Council to support more apprenticeship programs and spaces and activities for youth. I support employing mental health professionals and caseworkers to respond to individuals in crisis instead of expecting law enforcement officers to shoulder that burden. I attended Burien’s youth-led rally last summer because I believe that public servants, whether police officers or elected officials, should be held accountable when they make a mistake. I propose creating a public safety advisory committee and appointing individuals from a diverse range of backgrounds to study Burien’s needs and make recommendations to council to ensure that everyone in our city feels safe.
I have been attending city council meetings for years and offering testimony on a wide range of issues, yet I recognize that many members of our community experience barriers to participation in our democratic process. As our public facilities reopen and we return to in person meetings of the council and our advisory boards, I would direct staff to make sure we retain the option of remote testimony and that all council and board meetings are streamed online and recorded for later viewing. I support public outreach on major decisions in languages spoken by significant portions of our community. I also support responsible stewardship, both of our city’s limited funds and our natural resources that are one of the things that make this city such a great place to live.
If elected, I will always remember that my job is to serve the residents of Burien. I’m running because I care about our city and I want the best for everyone here. Please reach out to me through my website VoteCharles.info/contact or at (206) 880-0928 with any questions about my campaign or to let me know how I can serve you.
– Charles Schaefer
Candidate, Burien City Council position 3
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