Each candidate running for the Burien City Council Nov. 7, 2023 General Election was asked ten questions by The B-Town Blog (read previous Q&As here), covering topics like their reasons for wanting to serve on the council, what they think about current issues in the city, and what kind of solutions they have.
The following responses to our questionnaire in our series are from candidates for Position 6, focused on challenger Alex Andrade (read her opponent Krystal Marx’s answers here).
Ballots will be mailed out on Oct. 18, and are due by 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023.
NOTE: Photos and links are to/from each candidate’s profile on the King County Elections website.
Why are you running for city council? Please explain what inspired you to run and why you are qualified.
“I Love, Love Love Burien! I have watched Burien thrive and have watched it struggle. Right now, we are struggling in so many levels: crime, homelessness, communications and lack of action from our current council. I wanted to run 4 years ago, but realized it was not the right time. I needed to be able to put my 100% commitment for not just myself but the residents and business owners as a whole. Now is the right time, time for me to step up and give back to my community. Having a business in the Downtown core, I see and feel the effects of these struggles. Having raised a family and living in Burien for the past 18 years, I have seen its growth and its tenacity and want to see it flourish.
“With my varied background, as a mother, small business owner, Latina, my experience and willingness to listen, problem solve effectively, I feel these skills are right for the Burien City Council. I have also served on the Discover Burien Board since 2019, volunteer my time at many community events, and fundraisers.”
What is the biggest issue facing Burien residents, and how can that be solved?
“We have many issues, but right now the biggest is crime and homelessness. The situation we find Burien in today did not just happen overnight, it became more of a problem since the pandemic. It will take time, communication and coordination to get us through this. We need to work with the organizations we contract with to get services to people who want them, we need to give the tools to the police to enforce our laws, we need to show respect to each other and to our community.”
What are your thoughts on conducting sweeps of homeless encampments? How would you balance the rights and needs of people experiencing homelessness and those of other residents and businesses in Burien?
“Sweeps are not good, but neither are encampments. Encouraging people grouping together is not a pathway to ensure a successful outcome. I personally engaged with many of encampment individuals and we need to be realistic that we are mainly dealing with addiction problems. Everyone has a story, they are all someone’s son, daughter, sister, brother, mother and father. We need to be respectful of that story, at the same time offering the services they need to get help. Addiction and homelessness does not make you above the laws of Burien which are in place to protect all citizens.
What are the best practices and models that Burien can learn from or adopt to address homelessness?
“I don’t think there is any one model to go by for achieving success, if it were that easy, it would have already be done. We need to work with each individual in order to understand what they might need for support to heal and lead more productive lives.”
How would you measure and evaluate the effectiveness and impact of Burien’s homelessness policies and programs?
“We need to hold our service providers accountable with regular updates and clear communication of expectations. We need to always look to improve on our programs and policies to meet the demands of our community.”
What are your thoughts on the job that Burien Police/King County Sheriff’s Office are doing?
“I feel we need to get laws in place to give our Police, the power to enforce the laws regarding criminal activity in Burien – i.e. bringing back the no trespassing ordinance and create a no camping ban to name a couple. We need to listen to the citizens of Burien, increase our police presence which will, in turn, decrease crime.”
Do you have any plans to help Burien businesses that are struggling from recent issues, like COVID or increasing crime?
“I personally will do everything I can to keep the funding in place for our commercial foot officer position and in fact work to increase the funding to add an additional officer for overnight / weekends. Creating a safe / walk-able commercial area is a must if we want to continue to see Burien prosper.”
How would you balance the needs and interests of different neighborhoods and communities in Burien?
“We need to listen to those needs and interests and empower our city staff to do their job to help our community. We need to be facilitators of action and communication!”
How would you engage with Burien’s youth and seniors?
“I would plan to attend, meet and listen with the groups of Burien representing the Seniors and the Youth of the community. Listening and respecting our past is key to understanding and embracing our future.”
How would you enhance Burien’s environmental sustainability and resilience?
“I plan to support the most recent Burien Climate Action Plan and I will continue to embrace new sustainability ideas as we grow to ensure that we are not putting further harm on our environment for all of us, our children and our children’s children.”