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Bellevue City Council candidates discuss the issues | Vandana Slatter, Position 6
1. What area of Bellevue should the city focus more on and why?
Protecting the unique character of our neighborhoods while still planning for appropriate growth and development.
The city’s major comprehensive plan update is currently underway and is an opportunity to examine neighborhoods/housing needs citywide. However, some neighborhoods have been experiencing pains demonstrating that this work is becoming more urgent. An example is the Eastgate/I-90 area where Bellevue College is situated. Bellevue College has recently become a 4-year college that requires student housing. This demand for student housing has placed pressure on surrounding single family neighborhoods. The housing and neighborhood challenge includes more than just meeting student housing needs. The city needs to continue to support growth in the downtown, in Bel-Red, and in the I-90/Eastgate corridor so that there will be more housing choices, and pressure on existing neighborhoods will ease.
2. What social services do you think are lacking in the city and how would you work to bring them here?
One important growing need for our multicultural communities is the need for translation services.
· 82 languages/dialects spoken in Bellevue schools.
· Communication is key to keeping us all working as “one community.”
As a Council member I will work to:
n Maintain current services such as the Community 2-1-1 hotline that are important and will serve as a building block for expanding these services across our community
n Mobilize partnerships with the county, other municipalities, school districts, private and nonprofit organizations to provide cost-effective translation services to address community needs including: starting businesses, participating in government, locating services, or helping families engage with their children’s schools.
Having translation services readily available for Bellevue residents and businesses will empower people to build a life, support their families and participate in their community.
3. How has your involvement with the city prepared you to serve on the city council?
I have deep roots in Bellevue. As a 10-year resident and mother of a public school student, I know what makes Bellevue such a wonderful place to live. I have listened to business and neighborhood leaders and have gained a deeper understanding of city issues. I am ready to serve all of Bellevue.
My city involvement includes:
n Work at Amgen – supporting health of Bellevue seniors in the area of osteoporosis/bone health
n Overlake Hospital Foundation Board – ensuring access to the best innovative healthcare right here in our own backyard
n Board member of Eastside CHILD School (for children with special needs)
n Bellevue College volunteer – advise on the skills needed in high-tech industries
n Master of Public Administration (UW) – prepared me for public sector leadership through courses in public policy and municipal finance; relationships gained can help forge partnerships with local leaders.