Bellevue City Council candidates vying for position 5 are Mark Wilson, incumbent Janice Zahn, and JD Yu. Wilson is a financial manager and Yu is a principal engineer system architect.
Why are you running for Bellevue City Council?
Mark Wilson: My decision to run for city council was very straight forward. I have lived in Bellevue for most of my life. I grew up here, went to school here, started a business here, and have been an active resident and neighbor. Because of this I feel it is my duty to contribute back to the community. As a council member I feel that I can make a positive contribution to the growth and quality of life that the city of Bellevue provides us.
Janice Zahn: Serving our community as your councilmember is an honor. As a regional leader in transportation, construction and public policy, I have brought a unique and much-needed perspective to the council. Together, we’ve worked to keep Bellevue one of America’s most innovative and vibrant cities while taking meaningful action to address the challenges stemming from growth. Proven leadership matters. Getting things done matters. Giving back matters.
JD Yu: I love Bellevue, and I have been pursuing my American Dream here. As an immigrant, I strongly feel that running for city council is an important step to give back and serve community and the city. I have been involved in the local community and city activities in recent years, so I have a good understanding of local residents’ concerns and interests. We should take every step to improve quality of life of our residents and promote economic development. We need accountable and trustworthy leaders to get the right things done in the right way, and I’m very excited to have this opportunity.
What does Bellevue mean to you?
Wilson: To me Bellevue is a city and community of opportunity. To have witnessed its growth over the years has been an incredible journey. But at the same time it’s been a journey with its own challenges. I am continually impressed with how we, as residents of Bellevue, have met many of these challenges. We welcome growth but we also take responsibility for it. We cherish the beauty and the environment. We welcome different and diverse cultures. We work to preserve our traditional and historic neighborhoods. We look to our future and we honor our past.
Zahn:As a 25-year resident, Bellevue is home. As an immigrant, mom and long-time volunteer, Bellevue means family, friendships and community. As your Councilmember, I am guided by our motto – “Bellevue welcomes the world. Our diversity is our strength.” To engage and harness the strength of our diverse neighbors and communities, I meet frequently with Bellevue residents, community groups and businesses to listen, understand concerns and look for workable solutions. By doing so, I believe we can ensure a thriving Bellevue that remains innovative, affordable, and livable for everyone. Bellevue matters.
Yu: Bellevue is my home and I have deep roots in Bellevue. I live in Bellevue with my wife, 13-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter, both born in Bellevue. Bellevue is the city where I work and grow my career. I have seen the fast growth of Bellevue in the past 20 years, and I am proud of participating and contributing to the growth. I want to see that Bellevue grows in a good way and issues are handled properly. I want to take responsibility to serve Bellevue.
What are some goals for this upcoming term on council?
Wilson: My professional background is in financial management. As a councilmember, much of what I will try to accomplish deals with equitable business taxes, reasonable property taxes and overall financial responsibility. Another area of concern that I have is the preservation and integrity of our different neighborhoods. Neighborhood growth and change is not necessarily a bad thing. But at the same time it needs to be responsibly managed so that the quality of life that Bellevue provides each of us is preserved and allowed to flourish. Bellevue is a great place to live and as a member of the city council my pledge to the people of Bellevue is to make it even better for all of us.
Zahn: Transportation choices. Housing affordability. Vibrant and engaged communities. I continue to be our voice for regional transportation solutions that keep Bellevue moving, while ensuring neighboring safety, congestion relief and mobility options. We must move forward more quickly to address the shortage of middle- and low-income housing for an affordable and livable Bellevue. In addition, I will continue to implement new technology throughout Bellevue. This includes implementing Smart City elements like public, outdoor city Wi-Fi and video analytics that support Vision Zero, a strategy to eliminate traffic fatalities and keep Bellevue safe — and of course ensure Bellevue is a leader in 5G deployment. All this while championing for forward action on our Environmental Stewardship Initiative to address climate change.
Yu: I believe Bellevue can be a city where businesses can grow and thrive, and neighborhoods are peaceful and safe. Bellevue is thriving and provides an excellent environment that welcomes business and attracts talents from all over the world.
My goals include:
– Neighborhood safety — Bellevue is a safe city, but it can be better by promoting safety education, lowering crime rate and prohibiting drugs.
– 5G Smart City — Start pilot programs with Smart City concept and 5G technology.
– Inclusive environment for diversity — increase sense of belonging and ownership of residents from different backgrounds and situations.
– Wise use of taxpayer money — No increase of tax and improve financial efficiency of spending taxpayer money.
The Primary Election will be held on Aug. 6. Two candidates will proceed to the General Election on Nov. 5.