For 24 years, I have lived, raised my family and worked in Bellingham. I’m proud of this community, and I want everyone who lives here to lead a vibrant and dignified life. This campaign is inspired by families, workers, neighborhoods, our homes - in short, I’m running for our community. I’m running especially for those who are not currently adequately represented by local elected officials. I believe real representation is essential for good governance. I envision a political environment where every person who lives in Bellingham can access and participate in the governing spaces that impact their daily lives.
As a legislative advocate with Community to Community Development, I work on policy at the federal, state, and local levels. Some of the “wins” that I have helped to achieve include blocking the Farm Workforce Modernization Act at the federal level; passing the first overtime bill for farmworkers in the nation in 2019 through the state legislature; and co-writing the ordinance that established the Immigration Advisory Board with the City of Bellingham. I also worked with impacted families to establish Raid Relief to Reunite Families after the ICE raid on Granite Precast in 2018. As co-chair of the Lettered Streets Neighborhood Association, I advocated for the first ever youth representative to be elected to our board, and work to include underrepresented voices in our neighborhood.
I am proud to be endorsed by the Lummi Nation, Representative Debra Lekanoff, The 42nd Legislative District Democrats, Bellingham Tenants Union, and many others who recognize the need for truly responsive governance in this moment. To me, endorsements are more than just a transactional way to get elected, they are about relationships and accountability. When elected, I will continue to work with and for every person who calls Bellingham home.
It is time for bold leadership with integrity, to implement the solutions that the community is demanding. Bellingham is experiencing crises at every level - climate, housing, mental health and drug addiction, poverty and unmitigated trauma. We have an opportunity right now to elect leaders who will not rely on old systems of punishment and comfort-seeking governance. I am motivated to integrate the priorities and solutions of the people living here who are most impacted by these crises, and to find and release funding immediately to address our critical needs.
Earlier this year, I had the honor of being invited to help draft a housing platform called The Big Lift, which offers a framework to provide shelter for every person living here. As ambitious as that sounds, I believe it is our government’s responsibility to provide a floor beneath which we will not let people fall. It is unconscionable that sixty four people (that we know of) died last year from living outside. It is unacceptable that families have to choose between paying skyrocketing rents and providing food or health care for their children. We have an obligation as a community to take care of each other, and I believe that the budgetary and policy tools are right in front of us to do it.
The challenges we face are systemic, and global. And systems can’t stop for people. We the people are the only ones that can change our systems. Today we have to be more creative than ever, and more patient with each other, and more steadfast in the ways we show up for and with each other. Ballots come out this week. Right now we have a unique opportunity to decide how we want to move forward together. I’m ready and excited to engage our whole community in this work, and I expect this community to hold me accountable, especially after I am elected to city council. Please reach out to me at www.lizdarrow.com to continue the conversation. I am honored to have the opportunity to represent you.