EDITOR’S NOTE: Since our creation in 2007, The B-Town Blog allows residents running for local office one free post for when they announce their candidacy:
Burien Deputy Mayor Kevin Schilling, whose term in Burien City Council’s Position No. 4 expires Dec. 31, announced this week that he will be running for reelection.
Schilling has served on the council since Jan., 2020, and as Deputy Mayor since 2022.
According to the City of Burien’s website, Schilling is a fourth generation King County resident and third generation Highline area resident. He attended St. Francis of Assisi School, graduated from Aviation High School in 2012, South Seattle Community College, then graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Washington State University in history with a concentration in politics in 2017. In May of 2019, Schilling completed a dual M.A./M.Sc. from Columbia University and the London School of Economics and Political Science where he focused on the different approaches to America’s role in the world between Democratic and Republican federal administrations, public-private partnerships in international development, and history of 18th to 20th century economic theory.
His name will be on the ballot for Position No. 4 on the Primary Election on Aug. 1, 2023, with the top two vote getters moving on to the General Election on Nov. 7, 2023.
As of April 24, 2023, his only opponent for his reelection so far is Patricia Hudson. The filing deadline is May 19.
Below is the full text from Schilling’s announcement:
“Dear Burien neighbors,
“It has been a privilege serving you on Burien City Council. In my first four years, I’ve worked hard to deliver for the city I grew up in.
“As a third-generation Burien resident, graduate of St. Francis of Assisi School and Aviation High School in the Highline School District, I have a deep care for the future of the city. My parents worked hard in life, my dad as a Navy veteran and career long Boeing SPEEA engineer, and my mom as an accountant in a school, and they instilled in me values of hard work, responsibility, and compassion.
“I’ve brought those values to my work on City Council. I’ve built relationships with our representatives in D.C. and Olympia, and I take advantage of every opportunity to lobby for Burien’s interests. From utility tax relief for seniors and workers, to expanding low-income broadband access to students and families, to coordinating meals during the COVID pandemic, I’ve always looked for ways to make a positive impact for the betterment of my hometown.
“Today, I believe Burien needs positive, professional leadership more than ever.
“I’m running for re-election because I’m concerned about Burien’s future. We live in an incredible city. However, Burien is increasingly struggling with homelessness issues and public safety. Dealing with these problems are City Council’s core mission. I believe we must ensure our neighborhoods are safe, clean, and vibrant. The City Council needs to do better.
“Burien is also facing a budget crunch, and understandably, people are frustrated. We can’t continually raise property taxes on working families. I’ve heard from seniors who lived in Burien for decades, but have been priced out of their homes. City government needs to be more efficient and effective. We must do more with the resources we have.
“Here’s my plan to address our challenges:
• “Make Burien the best place to do business and to be a worker. Strong neighborhoods start with strong neighborhood businesses. They provide jobs, amenities, and ‘eyes on the ground’. I’ll work to make Burien the best place in Washington to do business. That includes reducing permitting time, plus allowing offices and light manufacturing in Burien’s commercial zones. Additionally, I will work to make Burien a great place to work. I will continue to champion our service sector union workers at grocery stores, hospitals, and schools.
• “Fully fund first responders. Burien first responders are responding to more calls than ever. Our neighbors, especially immigrants, people of color, and working families, are struggling with increased crime. We need to ensure Police, Fire, and other emergency support units have the staffing necessary to respond and protect those most at risk.
• “Continue to invest in community policing. In my first term, I implemented the Downtown Core Police Co-Responder model, to tackle the linked issues of public safety, mental illness, and substance use. There’s more work to be done. I will work to expand this model, in the Downtown Core and beyond to ensure Burien is safe for all who live, work, and play here.
• “Address gun violence. Unfortunately, Burien has experienced an increase in crimes involving firearms. Lives have been lost, and many more have been changed forever. As someone who has witnessed gun violence in Burien first hand, I know how traumatizing and difficult it can be to live in places that have high rates of gun violence. Gun crime needs to be addressed on multiple levels, from state-level policies, to increased enforcement and gang reduction initiatives. I will work to find common-sense solutions and curb rising rates of gun violence in our city.
• “Addressing homelessness. Addressing homelessness is mostly the responsibility of regional government – but that is not an excuse for local leaders to do nothing. I’ll continue to pressure county and state governments to aid cities like Burien in this fight, while also working to improve our own ability to coordinate shelter beds and overnight stays to reduce outdoor camping and get people the housing and services they need in accordance with Martin v. Boise.
• “Doing more for veterans. As the proud grandson and son of veterans, I understand the sacrifice made for our country and communities. I want to create a Burien Veterans’ Committee to better inform policy that impacts veterans, coordinates with the VA, and can bring more resources to folks who need help navigating services.
• “Port of Seattle and Air Quality. As chair of the Airport Committee, I have worked hard to keep Burien having a seat at the table at the Port of Seattle as they make major decisions that impact the health of our community. I’ll keep ensuring Burien’s voice is heard as we keep pushing for regulations that minimize negative environmental and health impacts.
• “Finally, but most importantly: I’ll never stop listening. I want to understand what’s happening in every neighborhood. If you have questions or concerns about Burien, you can reach out directly to my personal cell phone, 206-948-0381.
“Over the last few years, I’m proud that my work has earned support from community leaders, in Burien and beyond. I’m proud to be endorsed by Congressman Adam Smith, King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove, State Senator Joe Nguyen, State Rep. Tina Orwall, Former Governor Christine Gregoire, and tons of Burienites. I’m truly energized by the support.
“Working together to tackle challenges is in Burien’s character. Together, we can build a better Burien that’s safe, prosperous, and vibrant. It has been an honor to do this work, and to have the trust of my hometown.
“I ask for your vote.“
– Kevin Schilling
Burien City Deputy Mayor and Councilmember
P.O. BOX 838
Seahurst, WA 98062