Each candidate running for the Burien City Council Aug. 1, 2023 Primary Election was asked ten questions by The B-Town Blog, 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 the seventh question in our series are from candidates for Position 4, which is currently filled by Kevin Schilling, who is running for reelection.
Ballots are due by Aug. 1, 2023.
NOTE: Candidates are listed in order as per the King County Elections online Voters Guide website. Photos and links are to/from each candidate’s profile on the same website.
Do you have any plans to help Burien businesses that are struggling from recent issues, like COVID or increasing crime?
“I grew up in Burien working jobs at local businesses. My first job at 13 was at the Highline Performing Arts Center as a student employee. I am proud to have spent my teenage years bussing tables at Mick Kelley’s Irish Pub and 909 Coffee and Wine restaurants. I know how hard our restaurant workers and owners work to keep Burien a thriving community for all to come to. That’s why I’ve worked to support Burien businesses by directing pandemic recovery dollars to businesses as grants to invest in property damage, repair, and investment funds.
“Burien city government needs to focus on the future of business, too. I have a plan to expand commercial zones and office spaces in Burien. Burien is already a city with a diverse array of residential and business districts. We should allow office buildings in strategic areas to grow our business sector and bring in additional revenue. Burien has had to deal with increased property values – we should also benefit from Seattle’s economic growth and ensure we are attracting more investments to grow our workforce and revenues.”
“Yes, COVID-19 and the economic crisis it induced, have devastated our communities. Millions of Americans have accumulated months of back rent and could face eviction at any time. Many of our neighbors have lost their homes and businesses, and homelessness is spiking across the country.
“It’s critical that the City of Burien take the opportunity to advance solutions while building on lessons learned. Funds are available and the City of Burien must partner with philanthropic organizations such as the Ford Foundation, Purpose Built Communities, Open Society, and other organizations working to support small municipal governments across the country. A few crucial ideas and priorities are:
1. “Aligning stakeholders on specific and measurable five-to ten-year goals and objectives in key areas for economic growth.
2. “Prioritize and fund programs and approaches that support businesses in reaching their economic goals.
3. “Form partnerships between unions, non-profit agencies, and varying business sectors while collaborating to design and implement and create business opportunities.
4. “Increase the minimum wage in Burien so residents can reinvent and recreate economic growth.
5. “Establish sustainable funding mechanisms and performance infrastructure to ensure economic goals.”
“COVID has been tough for all of us. My grandmother passed away alone in a nursing home in January 2021, just a day after my Congresswoman was cowering from pillagers in the people’s House. I think our city’s top issues of housing, democracy, and public safety have hit so many of our families in different ways.
“It’s great that many of us can use our resources to build businesses in Burien, and I will use my power on council to make that more available and more sustainable for more people, as part of our thriving and inclusive city. Public safety in public spaces all throughout our city is promoted through community engagement and belonging, and having businesses and customers thrive together is my long-term goal.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: Click here to read the answers to this same question by candidates for Burien City Council, Position No. 4.
Next up in our 2023 election series – we ask Burien City Council candidates: