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A message from Burien City Council candidate Hugo Garcia, who is running for Position No. 1:
Public Safety for All in Burien
In the past four years I’ve made it a priority to be involved in our Burien community, attending City Council meetings to testify on issues I care about, serving on and chairing both the Planning Commission and Burien Business and Economic Development Partnership (BEDP).
Since launching my campaign I’ve been fortunate enough to deepen my community involvement: hearing about the issues my neighbors are most concerned with. Through door knocking, community events,social media messages and just plain listening I’ve heard a lot from residents of Burien about how to make our community better.
I also continue to be the only candidate for Burien Council position 1 to attend all of the candidate forums this election cycle because I know that as an elected official and someone seeking office I need to be accessible and listen to those that both agree and disagree with my perspectives. I also listen to better shape and inform my point of view.
As I said before the primary, those discussions are not always easy. In fact, I knew from day one that signing up to run for city council meant that I would value public comment and input from everyone, especially those that disagree with me.
Over the coming few weeks here in The B Town Blog I’ll be highlighting priority issue areas – defined by our community – with initial policy proposals. Public safety is one of these key issues that resonates with voters today. Appropriately, some of the hardest, but most impactful conversations I’ve had during this campaign is on the issue of public safety.
When our community talks about public safety, it’s more than the hot button issues you read about on social media platforms and hear from the loudest voices. It often boils down to members of our community feeling like they have a safe community where they and their families can live, work and play.
Our community needs investments in its infrastructure to make sure we have safe places for our youth to gather and play. We need deeper focus on community safety measures like the L.E.A.D Program to keep our community safe. We also need deeper investments in mental health professionals to support our Burien Police when members of our community are in distress and need support that is better provided by someone in public health v. public safety.
Strengthening L.E.A.D and Focusing Policing Efforts
I’m proud of the leadership that Chief Boe has provided to our community and the change that he’s trying to bring to how our community is policed. I want to invest in solutions that enable Burien Police officers to focus on residential and commercial property crimes, Burglaries, Mail theft, catalytic converter thefts etc.. while hiring mental health and behavioral specialists to handle lower level offenses.
As a member of the City Council I will be invested in policies that directly support that goal. I want to push to expand L.E.A.D and mental and behaviroal health support to be a 24-hour resource for the police department. That shift would allow our officers to focus on high level crime, because we know that it can impact all of us. A stolen catalytic converter for a working family means they can’t get to their job or to visit an elderly relative. More resources dedicated to serving those with mental health needs, provides our police with the time and resources they need to tackle other issues of crime in our community.
Strengthening Our Parks and Community Infrastructure
Additionally, we can’t talk about public safety without talking about investments in our community infrastructure.
Our youth need safer places to play and they need easy ways to get there. I’m committed to securing funds to provide more investments in our local parks, including:
- Building splash pads at two parks around our community with improved lighting
- Working with city staff to pursue grants and funding opportunities for park improvements, like what is currently underway at Lake Burien School Park
- Adding more sidewalks and residential speed bumps and traffic calming tools throughout the local community, especially on routes that lead to our parks and schools
Public safety is something that impacts all of the neighborhoods of Burien, often in very different ways. In asking for your vote, I’m making a commitment to pursuing actual strategies and policies to address the challenges with that viewpoint. It’s not something that can simply be solved with scare tactics or divisive rhetoric. It’s something that needs to be solved together and in collaboration with our community.
I’m promising to be a part of that dialogue and push policies forward that will make the community better. In asking for your vote I realize we may not always agree, but I hope that you will always find me open to a conversation, listening to your concerns and then pursuing policies that will be best for all in our community with your feedback in mind.
To learn more about me and our campaign, please visit:
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