Courtesy photos
                                Stephanie Walter and Jeremy Barksdale.

Courtesy photos Stephanie Walter and Jeremy Barksdale.

City council candidates vie for position 3

Jeremy Barksdale and Stephanie Walter answer Reporter questionnaire.

  • Friday, September 27, 2019 1:30am
  • News

Bellevue City Council candidates campaigning for position 3 are Jeremy Barksdale, a user-experience researcher, and Stephanie Walter, an East Bellevue Community councilmember and health care finance professional.

How will you support affordable housing for Bellevue residents?

Jeremy Barksdale: Affordable housing is key to ensuring that the people who serve our community can live where they work and that our aging population can age in place in the community where they’ve built their relationships. Bellevue has an affordable housing strategy that seeks to help people stay in affordable housing, create housing choices, create more affordable housing, unlock housing supply by making it easier to build and prioritize inter-governmental funding for affordable housing. I would continue to support our existing affordable housing strategy — continually evaluating and collaboratively looking for ways to help us achieve the desired outcomes.

Stephanie Walter: I have been honored with the affordable housing council’s endorsement. As a city councilmember, I would support affordable housing through the following: Prioritizing surplus, city-owned, non-park land for affordable housing consideration; easing the permitting process of sub-platting reducing the time and cost of building new housing; encouraging the development community to take full advantage of the Multi-Family Tax Exemption; supporting efforts of nonprofits to maintain residences for low-income homeowners; seeking government and private grants that encourage affordable housing.

Having safe and secure housing is a basic human need for all of us.

How will you support services for the unhoused in the city?

Barksdale: Everyone in our community deserves an opportunity to thrive. This includes people experiencing homelessness, substance use disorder and mental health issues. Providing a year-round shelter, along with mental health and substance use disorder treatment services, is key to helping people experiencing homeless move out of homelessness and thrive. I support the development of a permanent year-round shelter that provides housing and services for people experiencing homelessness in our community, as well as partnering with nonprofit organizations, businesses and other government agencies to holistically address the needs of people experiencing homelessness. In addition to helping people who are currently experiencing homelessness, I would support and advocate for programs and services that help prevent people from experiencing homelessness or help them quickly exit homelessness, such as rapid rehousing.

Walter: As a city councilmember, I would facilitate the missions of our outstanding local social service nonprofits by allocating funding to them based on the Human Service Commission’s recommendations. Social services in Bellevue are compassionate, effective and well respected. Providing robust and targeted social services in Bellevue assures we will not have tents on our sidewalks.

Anyone who calls Bellevue home wants a safe place to lay their head at night. As a community, we have a responsibility to assure the safety and well-being of every one of us. To do this, the unhoused need to be met where they are to have their needs and abilities assessed. Their needs would be matched to the appropriate set of services, facilities and caregivers with the goal of helping the person gain their highest level of self-reliance in order to thrive.

How do you intend to foster transportation availability and accessibility around the city?

Barksdale: Public transportation helps make Bellevue more affordable by reducing the cost of living and increasing economic mobility. Light rail further increases economic mobility because it makes it easier for people to access jobs throughout the region. Focusing density around public transportation and improving bike and pedestrian infrastructure makes transportation more accessible by helping to mitigate first- and last-mile challenges. I would partner with our regional transportation organizations and advocate for transit-oriented development and multi-modal transportation throughout our community to make it easier for people to access transportation and navigate our community and the region.

Walter: As a city councilmember, I would prioritize freely flowing transportation in the short and long term. I would ask our Transportation Department to challenge assumptions, look for innovative efficiencies, and raise the mobility level of service throughout the city. In the short term, this means syncing traffic lights, working with the state Department of Transportation to ease traffic between Eastside cities on Interstate 405, encouraging employers to allow flexible work schedules, and offering circulating vans throughout the city center and beyond. In the long term, this means championing Bellevue as a transportation innovator for both technology and roadway systems.

My goal as a city councilmember is for Bellevue residents to be able to go where they want, when they want and how they want.

How do you strike a balance between development and nurturing what already makes Bellevue unique?

Barksdale: Bellevue has several urban growth areas where density is planned. Further concentrating density in the urban growth areas, where light rail will support navigating the city and the region, helps with retaining the natural beauty that makes Bellevue a “city in a park,” while also helping achieve our vision of welcoming the world by making it affordable for our diverse population to live and thrive in Bellevue.

Walter: Striking a balance between development and nurturing what already makes this city unique depends on engaging the people of Bellevue. The people are this city’s best asset. We are what makes our city unique and such a desirable place to live. As new people come to Bellevue, our community fabric gets even better — more vibrant and more diverse. The development community helps meet the needs of new arrivals by providing places to live, places to work, things to do and places to go. Without development, there would be less housing affordability and fewer jobs.

I am non-partisan, pro-Bellevue and pro-neighborhoods. Serving all of Bellevue residents, businesses and visitors is my only goal in running for Bellevue City Council. What matters to you matters to me.

The General Election is Nov. 5.

Jeremy Barksdale. Courtesy photo

Jeremy Barksdale. Courtesy photo

Stephanie Walter. Courtesy photo

Stephanie Walter. Courtesy photo

More in News

Sarah Abdullah is a pharmacist who left Iraq as a refugee. She joined the Welcome Back Center at Highline College and is now only two tests away from gaining Washington state certification to practice her trade. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo
Recredentialed: Barriers face Washington’s immigrant, refugee professionals

Even with degrees from abroad, it can be difficult for many to get certified in the state.

“Animal Tales” will debut at Theatre33 Jan. 25. From left, Alex Agadjanyan, Oliver Mickelson, Olga Kuturga, Lilli Agadjanyan, Aleksey Morozov, Valeria Prudnikova, Alina Arslanova, Andrei Morozov.
Theatre33 debuts new play

A new kind of reality will be taking center stage. “Animal Tales,”… Continue reading

File photo.
Body found along Bellevue-area trail

As of Jan. 21, no foul play suspected.

If passed, Senate Bill 6254 would limit the nicotine concentration of vape products, ban certain flavoring chemicals and require vape manufacturers, distributors and retailers to obtain licenses from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board. File photo
Lawmakers propose sweeping regulations for vaping industry

Bill supporters cite concerns over health issues and teen use.

A proposal by Senate Democrats would require concealed pistol license applicants in Washington state to complete a safety course. File photo
Democrats seek firearm training requirement for concealed carriers

Republican senator calls proposal ‘unconstitutional.’

Snohomish County man is first U.S. case of new coronavirus

A man in his 30s was hospitalized in Everett after contracting the virus during a trip to China.

Matt Marshall, leader of the Washington Three Percenters gun rights group, addresses a crowd rallying for Second Amendment rights Jan. 17 at the state Capitol in Olympia. Marshall condemned Republican leadership in the House of Representatives, which expelled Rep. Matt Shea from the Republican Caucus. Marshall announced his candidacy for the 2nd District seat held by House Minority Leader J.T. Wilcox. Photo by Cameron Sheppard, WNPA News Service
Gun rights advocates rally at Capitol

Criticism levied at Matt Shea investigation, Republican leadership.

Planting away on MLK Day of Service

From top to bottom: Father and son Jose and Joaquin Garcia plant… Continue reading

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson (center) announced a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson in a press conference Jan. 2. Debbie Warfield of Everett (left) lost her son to a heroin overdose in 2012. Skagit County Commissioner Lisa Janicki (right) lost her son to an overdose of OxyContin in 2017. They are joined by Rep. Lauren Davis of Shoreline (second from right), founder of the Washington Recovery Alliance. (TVW screenshot)
AG Bob Ferguson talks lawsuits, gun control

Washington state Attorney General stopped by Sound Publishing’s Kirkland office.

Most Read