I really like Russ Whidbee, the candidate running for the at large seat of Bellingham’s City Council. He is fiscally astute, pragmatic, and a man with a 40 year legacy of bringing people together to solve issues. Russ’s style is collaborative rather than divisive and our council can only benefit from his participation. I’ve picked four areas I think Russ will serve us well, but believe he is far more talented than I can sum up in a simple letter.
- Russ is aware and concerned about racial justice yet he would never divide us. He is about bringing people together. He doesn’t need to riot and destroy societal trust to be heard. Russ is a soft spoken man who has been meeting with city leaders for years to improve Bellingham’s racial justice and help underserved communities.
- A pragmatist, Russ will not defund Bellingham’s Police (BPD). Russ himself was profiled by BPD in the 80’s. He met with BPD to lodge his complaint and he has kept in contact with BPD ever since, making sure they are aware of any possible bias issues. Russ knows public safety is essential and will make sure we have adequate first responders .
- Russ values the environment. As a student at WWU, he started the first recycling program on campus with his colleague, former mayor Dan Pike. Russ will protect our shorelines and trail systems. He knows that our quality of life is dependent on our environment and is our responsibility to protect.
- As an accountant and financial advisor, Russ will provide excellent stewardship for our city’s budget. This will be increasingly challenging with the demands placed on our growing city and I believe Russ will ensure every penny is spent wisely.
Bellinghamsters are friends. We know each other and while we don’t always agree, we solve problems with civility. 2020 momentarily seemed to change the rules, but with Russ Whidbee working for us, we can get back to solving issues rather than fighting fires.
Ginger Decker, Bellingham