Metropolitan King County
Council District No. 9 Candidates

Ubax Gardheere

ubax gardheere.jpg

Education: Masters of Public Administration, Seattle University, BA, Management Information Systems and E-Commerce, WSU

Occupation: Equitable Economic Development Director, Policy Analyst; Nonprofit Executive Director, Organizer

https://www.redmond-reporter.com/news/king-county-council-candidate-responds-to-criticism-over-2011-arrest-for-school-bus-threats/

Statement:

 

I am a single, Black Immigrant mother and homeowner in the unincorporated area of Renton. I came to King County 25 years ago as a 15 year-old refugee. My values are shaped by my lived experiences lacking adequate housing, mental healthcare, and food security throughout my childhood.

For decades, we’ve seen police brutality against Black people, continued erasure of Native people, cruel separations of Latino families, rising anti-Asian hate crimes, and high suicide rates and opioid addiction in white communities. These problems peaked last year with COVID and a renewed reckoning of systemic racial injustices. Today, we need bold vision rooted in the community to reimagine how King County functions. I bring forth decades-long experience building policy to tackle systemic issues in our region.

I’ve consistently delivered wins such as the $15 minimum wage campaigns in SeaTac and Seattle. I’ve managed million-dollar funds to build an infrastructure of community-based groups. I successfully introduced bills in Congress. I’ve directed offices to create equitable economic development and COVID recovery. 

As your Councilmember, I will rebuild from our economic, housing, climate, and health crises by increasing infrastructure access, transforming our criminal legal system, and preserving our farmlands, forests, and waterways. I will lead in creating equitable economic opportunities and public health resources for our unincorporated areas and BIPOC communities. I will prioritize land usage and housing policies to center environmental justice and homeless, mobile homeowners, and renters. To tackle these issues, we need strategies designed to be deployed concurrently for transformative change. 

To achieve justice, we must be transparent in our values and actions. My aim is to build a movement that will hold me accountable to constituents, social movements, and working class communities. Endorsements: Senator Rebecca Saldaña, City Councilmembers Tammy Morales, Mike O’Brien, Zak Idan, Lydia Assefa.

Chris Franco

Education: BA in Political Science, Central Washington University; proud graduate of Washington public schools

Occupation: Program Manager, King County Government; former Paratrooper Commander, US Army

https://www.courierherald.com/letters/time-for-dunn-to-go/

Statement:

 

My life has been defined by service. My grandfather immigrated to the United States from Mexico and joined the Army to serve his new country. Following in his and my father’s footsteps, I joined the Army in 2007, continuing our family’s legacy of service. After eight years serving our country as an Airborne Ranger-qualified Infantry Officer, I returned to King County to build a life with my wife and four young kids. I’ve been proud to continue my public service within the King County government for the last six years.

I’m running to represent our community on the King County Council because the last 16 years of leadership has allowed too many of us to fall behind, through short-sighted policies and self-interest. Those failures have led to us being in a state of emergency on homelessness for the last six years with nothing to show for it, seniors at risk of losing their homes where they’ve spent their entire lives, and young families struggling to find housing that’s affordable. We need leadership that embodies service and actually delivers for our community.

Leaders don't show up with complaints, they show up with solutions. So here are mine: I’ll champion local economic recovery policies that create jobs with the wages, benefits, and safe working conditions that we need to thrive. I will invest in our local infrastructure and environment so that we have a community that is prosperous, connected, and healthy for all. I’ll make our government more accessible, transparent, and accountable so that we get the investments and representation our district deserves.

I’m proud to have earned endorsements from VoteVets, Laborers, Carpenters, Iron Workers, Painters, Machinists, Transit Operators; the 5th, 11th, 31st, 41st Legislative District, and King County Democrats; and many local community leaders.

Let’s get to work for our district.

Reagan Dunn

Education: University of Washington School of Law, Order of Barristers; Arizona State University, Magna Cum Laude

Occupation: County Councilmember; Former Federal Prosecutor; National Coordinator, Project Safe Neighborhoods

https://www.bellevuereporter.com/northwest/king-county-councilmember-proposes-waste-to-energy-alternative-to-cedar-hill-landfill/

Statement:

 

It has been my privilege to be your advocate on the King County Council.

I am troubled by the dramatic increase in crime and homelessness in King County, and I believe we can do better. The murder rate is up by a staggering 86% over the last two years and our crime rate is the highest it’s been in 30 years. I am one of the few voices on the Council fighting to give law enforcement the tools they need to do their jobs. I believe that we can fully fund our criminal justice system, and, at the same time, strive for increased accountability within it.

I am the only member of the King County Council with real crime fighting experience, having spent many years working for the Department of Justice. I was appointed by the President of the United States and served as a Federal Prosecutor with Top Secret clearance. In Seattle, I worked in the Terrorism and Violent Crime Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s office. I also lead the Justice Department’s national initiative to fight gun violence.  As you may know, voters recently placed oversight of the County Sheriff’s Office in the hands of the King County Council. Our County needs at least one Councilmember who understands the need to keep our neighborhoods safe.

I am proud to have earned the endorsement of all eight nonpartisan mayors in this district, plus firefighters and police. I have also been honored as Washington State’s Outstanding Local Elected Official of the Year.

County government faces significant challenges. I will work in a bipartisan manner to fight crime, reduce homelessness, protect the environment, recover from the pandemic, keep your taxes low, and continue to help those who suffer from drug and alcohol addiction. I work for you and I appreciate your vote.

Kim-Khanh Van

Education: BAs, Sociology and Law, Societies, & Justice, University of Washington; JD, University of Dayton

Occupation: Renton City Councilmember, Small Business Owner, and Immigration Attorney

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/renton-city-councilmember-kim-khanh-van-announces-run-for-king-county-council/

Statement:

 

As a refugee from Vietnam, my family came here seeking a better future. Working multiple jobs, and the first in my family to graduate college, I value hard work, the importance of opportunity, and the strength of community. 

Our district deserves leadership committed to these same principles, a County Councilmember dedicated to an equitable recovery for our district, and committed to addressing the unique challenges facing our suburban, unincorporated, and rural communities. Unfortunately, after 16 years in office, our Councilmember has lost touch with our communities’ urgent needs.

I’m the only Democrat running for this position with a proven track record as an elected official and small business owner. I’ve expanded access to apprenticeships and career pathways on the Renton Technical College Foundation Board; advocated for seniors and Veterans through Sound Cities Senior, Aging and Disability Council, and supporting VFW, Wounded Warrior Project, and more; and worked towards an inclusive region for all on the King County Coalition Against Hate and Bias. I’m also a mom, PTA President, and will be the first woman of color elected to the County Council in nearly 40 years.

I’ll build on my record of experienced leadership on the Renton City Council to coordinate regional action on homelessness and affordable housing, make overdue transit and transportation improvements, stand up for struggling local businesses, and step up safeguards to protect our climate and way of life. I will demand safety improvements, Sheriff’s Office reforms, and equitable investments to lift up our communities. Together, we can recover, grow, and move our region forward.

Endorsed: WA Conservation Voters; Democrats; SEIU 1199NW healthcare workers and transit drivers; Executive Constantine; Treasurer Pellicciotti; Senators Das, Wellman, and Kauffman (fmr.); Representatives Bergquist, Thai, Entenman, Santos, and Maxwell (fmr.); Councilmembers, School Board Members, and leaders Estela Ortega, Rich Stolz, Larry Gossett, Frank Irigon, Josh Schreck, Ingrid Anderson, Vanessa Pons McSheridan, more!