Vote Russ Whidbee For The At-Large Seat Of The Bellingham City Council

Russ is a decades-long resident of Bellingham. He knows our city much better than most and his record proves it.

Russ is a decades-long resident of Bellingham. He knows our city much better than most and his record proves it.

• Topics: Bellingham, Elections,

Whereof what's past is prologue… (The Tempest, Act 2, Scene I by William Shakespeare)

“I have had the honor to serve my community through volunteering on dozens of nonprofit organizations and charities. You may remember me from my previous service on the Whatcom County Board of Equalization, or as a board member and community activist with the Bellingham Technical College Foundation; Kulshan Community Land Trust; Whatcom Volunteer Center; the Community Leadership Advisory Board at Woodring College, WWU; or on the basketball court mentoring the Western men’s basketball team.”   (Source

This is the voice of a candidate for the at-large City Council position who can hit the ground running due to demonstrated experience over the last 40 years. No need for Russ Whidbee  to learn Bellingham's political “lay of the land,” to learn how the city operates, or to learn who does what so he can go directly to the one in charge to get things done. And he himself has gotten things done through his work on many boards, non-profits and academic committees. The 42nd Legislative District Democrats, among many other organizations, have noted this and consequently endorsed his candidacy. Below is a comprehensive list of Russ's community involvement taken from the candidate's website. Russ is an individual whose 40 years of involvement in, and dedication to, the community is manifest:

    Emeritus member,* former vice-president and president; Bellingham Technical College Foundation  

*The new classification was recently adopted based on the following criteria: served as foundation board member with distinction and excellence, held an important leadership role and made or makes significant contributions, engaged in advocacy activities in service on the board, completed their terms, and participated in one or more Foundation activities in the past year. 

    Member; American Federation of Teachers

    Mentor coach; WWU Men’s Basketball

    Former president; Whatcom Volunteer Center

    Former co-chair; Community Leadership Advisory Board, Woodring College WWU

    Former co-chair; Brothers and Sisters of Whatcom (BASOW)

    Former vice president of academic affairs; Associated Students of WWU

    Former business manager; Western Front

    Former president; Black Unified Society (BUS) of WWU

    Board of Equalization; Whatcom County

    Citizen Advisory Board; Bellingham Police Department

    Citizens’ Advisory Committee; Bellingham Public Schools

    Dollars for Scholars; Bellingham Public Schools

    Kulshan Community Land Trust for Affordable Housing

    Racial Justice Coalition, City of Bellingham

    Birchwood Food Desert Fighters

    National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

Russ Whidbee truly has grass roots support; you can verify his Public Disclosure filings. His campaign money comes from local supporters (only about 8% of individual donors are from areas outside Bellingham). High-priced consulting firms and advisors are not part of his method of operation. His expenses are modest and reasonable. Russ will work effectively to represent his constituents.   

And to that end, these are just a few highlights of his 40-year career: Russ Whidbee worked successfully to have the Western Washington University (WWU) Foundation divest from South Africa. And he and his fellow students at WWU formed the basis of what was to become curbside recycling in Belllingham. And he worked behind the scenes with many of our police chiefs, advising them on Black experience with the police such as DWB (driving while Black), while actively defusing many encounters. And he has raised significant funding for the Kulshan Community Land Trust. And he was instrumental in founding the Birchwood Food Desert Fighters. And he has literally saved lives of the homeless while working with Salt on the Street Ministries.  

Further, he is the only candidate with a degree in accounting and decades of financial and fiduciary experience that will prove useful when the council pours over the city's budget.

No wonder Russ Whidbee has been endorsed by many, including unions who recognize his union membership and support over the years! Read more at this campaign website TrustRuss.

Forty years of contributions to this community!

Vote Russ Whidbee on November 2nd!

About Dick Conoboy

Citizen Journalist and Editor • Member since Jan 26, 2008

Dick Conoboy is a recovering civilian federal worker and military officer who was offered and accepted an all-expense paid, one year trip to Vietnam in 1968. He is a former Army [...]

Comments by Readers

Ray Kamada

Oct 05, 2021

I support Whidbee.

I also read during 2020 that the other candidate endorsed Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (movie star/ex-pro wrestler) for president. What serious person would do such a thing while our very democracy is under relentless attack? 


Dick Conoboy

Oct 05, 2021


Can you enlighten our readers who might not be familiar with the personage named The Rock?


Michael Lilliquist

Oct 05, 2021


You don’t know who Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is?  😊    😊

I like and respect Dwayne Johnson, by the way.


Steve Harris

Oct 05, 2021

I’ve met with Russ and he definitely has all of the experience and qualifications necessary to best represent the residents of Bellingham.  He’s a welcome voice for the moderates in the party. 

I like watching “The Rock” on television and the big screen, but I wouldn’t want him as the POTUS. 


Dick Conoboy

Oct 06, 2021


Notwithstanding my ingorance of current cultural icons and if there is going to be any Rock around these parts, I think you will agree that Rock will be Russ Whidbee who has stood firm in his dedication to the welfare of Bellingham’s residents for decades.  We need his voice and presence on the council. 


Liz Marshall

Oct 07, 2021

I have voted for Russ Whidbee before and plan to do so again. Thank you for the article, Dick.


Karen Steen

Oct 08, 2021

I see that all politics are local, and if we get it right locally - especially at this critical juncture in American society and national politics - we’ll generate scalable solutions.

Whidbee is a grass roots public servant - a 40-year local resident, professional, teacher, and community volunteer. As a black man having arrived here in the 70’s, he is a true pioneer with extraordinary life skills. We don’t need to fact check his credentials - he’s been here contributing to Bellingham for decades.

Whidbee is running for Bellingham City Council  with a commitment to pragmatic, inclusive solutions and a track record of the same. Honesty, transparency, humility, and authenticity - check, check, check, and check.

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