Topic: Elections (585)

Candidate statement: Riley Sweeney for Meridian School Board

Meridian School Board election, position 5

Meridian School Board election, position 5

• Topics: Elections, Elections, Elections,

Hello Northwest Citizen Readers,

Since NWCitizen was one of the first places that gave me room to grow here in Whatcom County, I figured it was only fair that I return to your pages this year as a candidate. 

For those of you just meeting me, hello! My name is Riley Sweeney. For many years, I was a political journalist here on NWCitizen and then on my own site, The Political Junkie. However, if your last memory of me was as an occasionally humorous blogger, let me update you on the last eight years of my life. As they say in the movie business - cue the montage music!

In 2015, I was hired by the City of Ferndale as their communication officer which I took to like a duck to water. I wrote plenty of press releases, answered resident concerns, and tackled big projects. I recruited and coordinated volunteers for the construction of Star Park, the largest volunteer project in the history of Ferndale. I built a parks and recreation program from the ground up that now boasts over 5,000 attendees a year and features such unique events as Mystery in the Park and Operation Splashmob. I spearheaded the North Whatcom Poverty Task Force that developed boots-on-the-ground policy solutions for protecting our most vulnerable community members and I continue to serve with all the energy, enthusiasm, and whimsy you have come to expect. 

Steady employment with the city of Ferndale allowed me to buy a house out in the county next to some gorgeous raspberry fields where my wife and I are now raising our two beautiful children and semi-successfully growing vegetables in our garden. Our eldest just started at Irene Reither Elementary in 2022 and we love our new school community.

Okay, so why are you running for School Board?

As a proud Meridian parent, I'm impressed by the district’s dedicated staff and teachers who give it their all despite difficult budgets, a global shutdown, and the growing impacts of tough economic times. But they need our help and I am ready to fight for the health and well-being of our schools and children.

Our teachers are hanging on by their fingertips right now. Schools should be places where individuals are respected and creativity nurtured; where teachers are able to encourage inquisitive minds; where facts and science prevail - and the partisan politics dividing our country are not invited to the table. Schools should be safe places to learn, share, create, and build success without fear. 

Unfortunately, that is not always the case, which is why I am running for Meridian School Board.

I will advocate for the salaries, support staff, and equipment our schools desperately need so we can recruit and retain quality educators. I will fight for arts, theater, and enrichment programs that engage our children and inspire the next generation. I will fight for robust school libraries that provide the wide range of information our growing youth require.

As Ferndale’s recreation coordinator, I create quality experiences for communities to come together. As a communication professional and former journalist, I've been facilitating difficult conversations in the public eye for over 15 years. I will bring these skills, passion, and commitment to the school board.

With your help, we can make Meridian a place where ALL students and families are welcome, now and into the future.

Please vote for me, J. Riley Sweeney, for Meridian School Board, Position 5. More about my experience and values, and how you can get involved at

Thank you for reading and see you on the campaign trail this year!



Editor note:  All candidates for elective public office in Whatcom County are invited to submit a statement for posting on NW Citizen.  Statements can be up to 600 words and include a photo of the candidate. Send to:


About NWCitizen Management

Site Admin • Member since Jan 10, 2008

To comment, Log In or Register

Candidate statement: Riley Sweeney for Meridian School Board

By NWCitizen ManagementOn May 31, 2023

Meridian School Board election, position 5

Secret Conversations

By Jon HumphreyOn Feb 08, 2023

How Democratic Party Leaders and Elected Officials Are Abusing “Signal” to Have Secret Conversations about Public Topics

5 comments, most recent 3 months ago

Did Proposition 5 “Cure” Its Way to a Win?

By Guest WriterOn Dec 05, 2022

Is the passing of Prop 5 a genuine reflection of the will of the people of Whatcom County? John Marshall guest writes.

9 comments, most recent 5 months ago

Here We Go Again

By Guest WriterOn Nov 02, 2022

A lifetime dealing with abortion, an account by a lifelong advocate.

6 comments, most recent 6 months ago

Defund WHAT?

By Tip JohnsonOn Oct 31, 2022

Vote for what you like. I like libraries.

6 comments, most recent 6 months ago

Letter: Prop 5 Falls Short

By Letter WriterOn Oct 29, 2022

Delores Davies contends we once had universal childcare, so why design an “aspirational (measure) that falls so short?” Vote NO on 5.

The Dark Side of Sharon Shewmake

By Jon HumphreyOn Oct 19, 2022

This article was inspired by a Letter to the Editor on NWCitizen on 10/08/22

Reality Just Got Less…True

By Elisabeth BrittOn Oct 18, 2022

With the advent of deepfakes, the line between reality and fantasy just dissolved. Elizabeth Britt considers some consequences.

3 comments, most recent 7 months ago

Letter: 42nd Legislative District Senate Race

By Letter WriterOn Oct 08, 2022

Rob Astyk writes of state senator Sharon Shewmake helping him as a homeless person

Letter: Senator Sefzik is Taking Action

By Letter WriterOn Sep 26, 2022

Susan Prosser invites all to an officer-led safety forum on 9/29, hosted and moderated by Senator Simon Sefzik.

League Offers Voter Forums

By NWCitizen ManagementOn Sep 20, 2022

The League of Women Voters is offering forums on ballot positions so you can hear directly from the candidates. Catch them all or pick and choose.

Letter: Ineffective on the Council

By Letter WriterOn Jul 25, 2022

Nate Higashi writes about Ben Elenbaas and the 42nd District State Senatorial primary election.

Letter: Age vs Character

By Letter WriterOn Jul 21, 2022

Melodie Kirk writes about Simon Sefzik and the 42nd District Senatorial primary election.

Letter: Stop the Sleaze

By Letter WriterOn Jul 18, 2022

Myra Ramos writes about the smear of candidate Sharon Shewmake

Call for Congress! Jason Call

By Dianne FosterOn Jul 05, 2022

Dianne Foster explains why, after 21 years, Rick Larsen has got to go!

11 comments, most recent 10 months ago

Letter:  Whatcom Conservation District ‘Secret’ Election

By Letter WriterOn Feb 07, 2022

Ray Kamada writes that Feb 8 (tomorrow) is the last day to request mail-in ballots for Whatcom Conservation District

A New Non-Defeatist Narrative

By Guest WriterOn Feb 02, 2022

“We either win big this November by defeating the coup and its Republican enablers — or we kiss our democracy goodbye.” Michael Moore

1 comment, most recent 1 year ago

An Open Letter To State Senator Simon Sefzik

By Dick ConoboyOn Jan 19, 2022

False equivalencies only lead to problems.

11 comments, most recent 1 year ago

Washington State Senator Simon Sefzik

By Elisabeth BrittOn Jan 11, 2022

The Whatcom County Council today appointed Simon Sefzik to fill the remaining 10 months of the senate seat for the 42nd District.

1 comment, most recent 1 year ago

Can a PR Firm “Spin” Homelessness?

By Lisa E. PappOn Oct 21, 2021

Bellingham and Whatcom County are going to try.

4 comments, most recent 1 year ago