Tim Douglas, Chair – A three-term mayor of Bellingham I worked closely with other Whatcom cities, the Council of Governments and Port to restore economic health to the County during its deep economic slump in the late 1970’s. I helped attract over 3,000 new jobs for Whatcom residents, secure the Alaska ferry terminal, and take steps to protect our drinking water. As the Director of Community, Trace & Economic Development under Governor Locke, I helped spearhead the state’s first-ever rural economic development initiate. I have demonstrated my commitment to developing strong communities and involving citizens in shaping them. The 5 Council District Charter amendment assures that diverse points of view always will be at the table when we tackle tough County issues. We need to focus on what’s best for all of us who live and work here, not on partisanship.
Alie Morse Walker, Vice Chair – My family and I live on Lake Whatcom near the North Lake Whatcom Trailhead. We know firsthand what an exceptional place Whatcom County is to raise a family, build a business, and enjoy breathtaking natural resources. I regard service to this community as a core value, having volunteered and worked for organizations that build local self-reliance and protect our environment. Serving as a Charter Review Commissioner was a natural extension of this service and I am proud to have represented the diverse voices of District One on the commission. Unfortunately, I do not feel that this diversity was reflected in the proposed Charter amendments put forth but this commission. I support the 5 Fair & Equal Districts plan because it will truly reflect our county’s diversity and actually establish better representation on County Council.
Iris Maute-Gibson, Communications Director – To grow up in Bellingham is to love Bellingham. I have always been deeply invested in our County. After graduating from Bellingham High School, I earned my degree in Political Science and Womens Studies at Western Washington University. I led lobbying efforts in Olympia to protect funding for WWU and access for students like me, who were being priced out of higher education. Since graduating, I have worked professionally on local and legislative races in Bellingham and Seattle. I am now building my future here in Whatcom County, living in Bellingham’s historic Lettered Streets neighborhood, working for the Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center, and serving on the Lake Whatcom Watershed Advisory Board. I support 5 Fair & Equal Districts because I want my friends and family who live across Whatcom County to feel represented by someone who understands their unique needs.
Mike Estes – My family and I live in the Sunnyland neighborhood and enjoy long walks around North Bellingham. In my day job I lead a team working at a technology company in Downtown Bellingham. In recent years I have been very involved with political campaigns and candidates in both Bellingham and Whatcom County. My pragmatic approach to politics means listening and bringing many viewpoints to the table. We need such diverse views on the Whatcom County Council. I support the five district plan because it will bring leaders from all corners of this great County to represent US!
Shasta Cano-Martin – Shasta Cano-Martin was elected to the Lummi Indian Business Council in November of 2013. Currently, Shasta also serves on the boards of the Center for Ethical Leadership, Western Washington University Foundation, and the Lummi Cultural Arts Association. In addition to her community leadership, Shasta has held a number of other roles with the Lummi Nation, foremost of which was the Executive Director of the Lummi C.E.D.A.R. Project, a non-profit organization focused on youth leadership and development. Shasta obtained her Master of Education from Western Washington University in 2010 and Bachelor of Arts from Western in 2004. She lives in Lummi with her husband and two children. I support the five fair and equal districts, as a way to be truly inclusive of the communities within Whatcom County.
Judith Akins – I live in District 1 in the Silver Beach Area of Whatcom County. I have spent summers here since 2004 and lived here for past 3 years. I believe the 5 district plan allows communities of interest to vote together. It gives the county areas as well as the city to have a voice at the council for particular issues effecting their communities.
Max Bronsema – I grew up in the foothills of Sumas attending Nooksack Valley high school. I spent summers working in the berry fields of Rader farms and officiating soccer matches at Northwest Soccer Park. I received a Bachelor’s in Management Information Systems (MIS) with a minor in computer science from the College of Idaho. I moved back to Whatcom County and worked in Ferndale for three years before attending Western for a Masters in Teaching with an emphasis in economics. After moving to Oregon with my wife for her graduate studies, we returned again to Whatcom county after she completed her studies, living originally in Bellingham for a year before relocating to Lynden. I now work at Western Washington University.
Rebecca Boonstra – I have lived in the Columbia Valley UGA for almost 15 years. I am involved with several community organizations in East Whatcom County. I approached the Charter Review Commission to share my comments, I felt like my requests fell upon deaf ears. Now I am seeking to determine what change would be best for Whatcom County and my foothills community. 5 Fair & Equal districts feels to me like a move forward for our county, a move that will bring us representation as diverse as the regions of our county. 5 Fair & Equal Districts will allow us to tailor the County Council more authentically to the character of each district.