[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, submitted by a verified resident. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions of The B-Town Blog, nor its staff:]

A Very Personal Perspective – Why I’m Voting for Hugo Garcia

I met Hugo four years ago right after Donald Trump got elected, when many of us wanted to stand by our immigrant community and to stand against racism. What I learned about Hugo that year was that no volunteer task was too small for him. If we needed mics for a rally, he would get them; knock on doors in large apartment complexes to register new voters? He went to every single door.

We needed an emcee at a City of Burien meeting when elected officials from King County stood by us, in defense of our mayor who was physically attacked. Hugo was ill at that time from overwork and over-volunteering, his voice hoarse, but he took on the role to emcee anyway. Who did I vote for, for Citizen of the Year that year? You bet it was him.

We were part of a group called Burien Represent, and there was a small meeting once when we went around the table to say why we were doing this work of amplifying the voices of the voiceless. When it was Hugo’s turn, he broke down in tears. Hugo is an immigrant himself. I’m sure the struggles many people go through, the sacrifices many families make for their children to live better, runs very deep for him.

What else is key? Hugo can’t say no to an important community meeting. A group formed in Burien called Community Visions, and strong coalitions with our churches were formed. If the advocacy at City Council or the meeting involved our youth at Highline High School, affordable housing debates, the tenants protections process the city was leading, if the question was how to keep more people from falling into homelessness, or meet with Chief Boe on policing issues, he not just “showed up,” his sensible views led us.

But what’s the #1 reason I will vote for Hugo? One word: competence. To be honest, he is a policy wonk. Serving on the Burien Planning Commission, the Business and Economic Development Partnership, and chairing both – and these are volunteer jobs with no payment and no glory – means to me not only that he understands infrastructure, zoning, transportation issues, environmental challenges, codes and regulations for housing, but that he actually likes that stuff. His utter determination to be a real public servant – to work hard to learn and master everything it takes to run a city well mean a lot.

Finally, do you like Ideologues? I don’t either. Do you want City Council Members fighting with each other because they care more about their philosophy than about you? The beauty of a competent person with a strong moral compass is that they can be a consensus builder. That is Hugo. They can be a progressive who as a matter of principle reaches out to moderates and conservatives. Why? Because they dig for facts and shed light on complexities, because they want to solve problems – for you and for everyone in the city.

Hugo, above all, is highly respectful of all people and all views. If you attack him, he will respond with kindness and dignity, and bring us all back to the facts.

The fact is, if you want a highly competent, moral person running our city who will not just listen to you, but take your voice and your needs very strongly into consideration, whether you are a Republican, a Democrat, or neither of the above, you’ll want him on our Council.

– Dr. Irene Danysh

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