Bellevue City Council candidates vying for position 5 are James Bible, incumbent Jennifer Robertson, and Margie Ye. Bible is an attorney and small business owner and Ye is in project management, quality assurance.
Why are you running for Bellevue City Council?
James Bible: I am dedicated to working together to help Bellevue become the best city that it can possibly be. As an attorney, I have worked tirelessly to support the rights of all people to be treated fairly. I am the former president of a major civil rights organization and firmly believe that we all have the responsibility to work with one another to create the fairest and best society possible. I have a 6-year-old child and nephews that live in Bellevue. I recognize that their future and the future of their classmates will be linked to the direction that we choose for our city. I have been endorsed by the King County Democrats, SEIU Local 925, King County Young Democrats, the 41st and 48th LD Democrats, and King County Councilmember Claudia Balducci.
Jennifer Robertson: I am running for re-election because I am passionate about our city and want to make sure Bellevue continues to provide a high quality of life for everyone who calls Bellevue “home.” We have a special city with excellent schools, abundant parks and open space, wonderful neighborhoods, and a vibrant business community. Our city is safe and clean and our first responders are the best in the nation. We have planned for significant growth in BelRed and Downtown but there are challenges with how quickly the growth is happening. My experience as a three-term councilmember coupled with my long career as a municipal and land use attorney means that I can be effective at guiding the growth to make sure that our quality of life remains high.
Margie Ye: I am running because it is the right thing to do. Bellevue deserves leaders who take the time to talk with and hear our neighbors’ concerns, and will advocate for the families that make up our great city. Bellevue is developing quickly with rapid investment from the tech industry. We need councilmembers who understand the council’s municipal duties, and the interconnected variables that inform our city’s growth. I understand the intersectionality between developing technologies and the nuance of the problems our city faces. Our residents deserve an innovative inclusive model that solves real problems.
What does Bellevue mean to you?
Bible: Bellevue is my home. I first moved to Bellevue in 1985. I grew up here. I’ve seen Bellevue from every side. I’ve been a student and a service worker here, and now I am a lawyer and a business owner here. I am the proud parent of a 6-year-old who attends a Bellevue Public School. Bellevue is an innovative city with the ability to implement creative solutions to all of the challenges we face.
Robertson: Bellevue has top-rated public schools, welcoming neighborhoods, well-run government and is one of the most diverse and inclusive cities in the state. Bellevue is “choice city” for people and businesses — whether coming from across the globe or across Lake Washington. Bellevue is a city that “has it all” from large swaths of natural areas to single family neighborhoods to high rises, and we provide an excellent quality of life for all our residents. We are a safe city and wonderful place to call “home.”
Ye: Bellevue to me means family. My husband and I moved here because we fell in love with the city’s beauty, and its wonderful, diverse culture. We knew immediately that we wanted to raise our family here. We had our daughter here, and are proud to be raising her in one of the best places in the world. When you care about your family, you listen, empathize and have hard conversations when you have to. I care about my family, I care about Bellevue, and I want to work with all of our communities to keep Bellevue an amazing place to live.
What are some goals for this upcoming term on council?
Bible: In the upcoming term I would push for living wages, affordable housing and protection of green spaces. I would also seek creative solutions to our current traffic woes. Ultimately, I believe that the Bellevue City Council should focus on issues that address quality of life for all and basic human dignity.
Robertson: My goals include carefully managing the significant growth and investing in amenities that keep quality of life high for our residents. I will continue to listen and advocate for our residents and our neighborhoods. My priorities include:
· Fully funding police and fire to keep Bellevue a safe city
· Investing in neighborhoods
· Keeping growth in the growth corridors, like Downtown and BelRed, and out of neighborhoods
· Improving our transportation system for all modes
· Encouraging more affordable housing so that our kids can also live in Bellevue
· Bringing a regional aquatics center to Bellevue to provide recreation and water safety to all of our residents
Ye: I intend to work with the council in its effort to improve public transportation, as well as create more options to ease traffic in our congested city. I will do my part to make sure that we stop wasting taxpayer money deliberating over arbitrary disagreements concerning ST2. The light rail is coming, and it is unfair to the residents of Bellevue to delay the project at their financial expense. I plan to work closely with Bellevue’s Diversity Advisory Network (BDAN) of which I am currently a member, to ensure that we make every decision without disproportionately affecting our most vulnerable communities.
The Primary Election will be held on Aug. 6. Two candidates will proceed to the General Election on Nov. 5.