Keeping Our Neighborhoods Safe
As a result of Defund the Police efforts, Burien is struggling to address crime. I support common-sense public safety measures, including assuring an adequate police presence so that residents feel safe in the midst of rising crime rates and providing mental health professionals to direct those with illness or in crisis to proper care and treatment.
Prior to the pandemic, the City of Burien was the second safest city in south King County. In response to the murder of George Floyd, I led national and state efforts through the nursing community to address racism as a public health crisis. While I agree that mental health crises should not be treated as a crime, those who intentionally break the law must be held accountable.
Valuing diversity, equity, and inclusion and taking a stand against discrimination
The diversity of King County is one of our greatest assets. Nearly a quarter of Burien residents are Hispanic or Latino, with Asian being the second largest group. Many being small business owners, I supported funding and technical business support to help the doors of businesses open. Due to racist remarks during the pandemic, hate crimes rose against members of the Asian community. As the first Filipino immigrant to hold the office of Mayor in Burien, I passed a proclamation against Anti-Asian Hate in Burien, being the first City in Washington to do so.
Creating Affordable Housing
I voted to increase affordable housing in the city. We have a variety of projects to meet the housing needs of low and moderate-income residents. This includes Habitat for Humanity, a mixed income apartment complex, permanent supporting housing that assures access to Burien residents, and a resident-owned village.
King county has to be a leader on increasing affordable housing opportunities. I will increase collaboration between community, government, and business in affordable housing.
Protecting Our Environment
Healthy communities require environmental preservation. Burien is one of 6 federally designated airport cities due to proximity to SeaTac airport. As the 8th largest airport in the United States, SeaTac is a major part of the region’s economy and a source of jobs for thousands. This must be balanced with negative impacts on the environment, including exposure of families and businesses located under the flight path who are exposed to air and noise pollution from airport operations.
As former Chair of the Burien Airport Committee, I lead federal and state efforts to lessen the impact of Sea-Tac airport on Burien residents, businesses and the environment. The majority of people of color in the state of Washington live within a 10- mile radius of the SeaTac Airport, raising environmental justice issues. This is why I support preserving green space as a buffer to air pollution, use Burien’s Climate Action Plan, work with the Port of Seattle so that residents have access to mitigation packages to insulate their homes against airplane noise, and educate residents on the risks of environmental exposure.
Real Action on Homelessness
The number of people who rent their homes are growing. I support housing laws that protect tenants fairly while respecting the property rights of landlords. For those who are homeless due to underlying reasons such as mental health, I’m committed to making sure they receive the needed health and social services.
We need 24 hour service for homeless people to access facilities and help. We will use transparent key performance indicators to analyze and improve our progress on bringing our unhoused population inside.
Prioritizing Public Health
We need a public health system that is more responsive to the increasing diversity of King County. Traditional strategies to reach out to communities fell short when for communities that were harmed the most by the pandemic: the elderly and people of color. I saw how data for cities like Burien were buried under the statistics of larger Puget Sound cities, making it difficult for us to tailor strategies for our diverse community, putting the entire community at risk. I bring the perspective of Washington Cities to the Governor’s Public Health Advisory Board to modernize our public health system to be more responsive and communities more resilient to prevent future public health threats.
Mental health, the opioid crisis, and homelessness
Many suffering from homelessness suffer have unaddressed mental health issues or are trapped in substance abuse. The opioid crisis is resulting in record numbers of deaths. Current strategies to address mental health and the opioid crisis need to be strengthened with preventative efforts so that we are truly saving lives and not just keep people from dying.
Expanding Workforce Development
Emerging out of the pandemic, King County faces workforce shortages in healthcare, construction, and many other occupations. With over a decade of experience in workforce development, I will pursue creating jobs with good pay, benefits, and safe workplaces for an equitable economy that uplifts all.