Support Russ Whidbee For City Council At-Large

Experience counts.

Experience counts.


“I will listen to the entire spectrum of voices represented within our city.”

Russ Whidbee has served his community for decades through volunteering on dozens of nonprofit organizations and charities. You may remember him for his 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.  

This is the description of a candidate for the at-large Bellingham 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. Below is a comprehensive list of Russ's community involvement taken from the candidate's website. There is no doubt that Russ is an individual whose 40 years of involvement in, and dedication to, the community is manifest.   

    Community Service 

  • Bellingham City Planning Commission
  • Emeritus member, former President; Bellingham Technical College Foundation
  • 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

Here are just a few action highlights of his 40-year career: Russ Whidbee worked successfully to have the Western Washington University (WWU) Foundation divest from South Africa.  And he worked behind the scenes with many of our police chiefs, advising them on Black experiences 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.  

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

After his narrow loss for the position of city council member at-large two years ago, Russ did not fade into the woodwork. He immediately volunteered for a position on the Bellingham City Planning Commission where he has effectively served since.  

Russ Whidbee has been endorsed by many, including unions who recognize his union membership and support over the years! Read more at his campaign website. 

Forty years of contributions to this community. On August 1st, vote Russ Whidbee to represent you as At-large Bellingham City Council member !

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

Carol Follett

Jul 07, 2023

Thank you for connecting us with information about this highly qualified candidate, Dick. I enjoyed reading about Russ Whidbee. I know that a resident who has chosen to adopt Bellingham as their lifetime home often has a deeper appreciation of it than those who have been privileged to be born here because we know the difference. As I have mentioned before, one thing this California transplant knows is how a place can be destroyed by overbuilding and crowding. (By the way, we moved into our home 34 years ago and the former owner moved to California, so it balanced the books, so to speak). My “mitigation alert button”, finely tuned from growing up in Silicon Valley, is ringing frequently of late.

Certainly Russ demonstrates he has volunteered excellent services for our community and his expertise in the science of accounting is a rare asset in a politician. I have always admired and been grateful for our recycling program he helped to build! I wonder if he has he worked on any other environmental protection programs since then. I would like to hear more about that.

I like everything he has to say on the issues of the unhoused and safety, but am concerned about his statement on afordable housing that emphasizes work with banks and developers, and input from the vaguely named “stakeholders.” I am worried that the “want to live in a place with clean, sustainable water, clean air, a physically and psychologically heathy environment, i.e. plenty of space and greenery” stakeholders do not have the money of the banks and developers and our “sweat equity” does not give us the same number of chairs at the power brokers’ table…

I look forward to learning more details about Russ Whidbee’s development plans as a solution to our afordable housing problem.


Dick Conoboy

Jul 07, 2023


I cannot speak for Russ but will say for myself that had we had public banking in the state of Washington, the banksters would not be part of the equation.  Unfortunately public banking bills in Washington go to Olympia to be dispatched on the legislative guillotine.  Money needs to be taken out of the control of private banks.  Money is part of the commons that has been stolen from every American.


Jon Humphrey

Aug 26, 2023

Russ, when are you going to give us a comprehensive overview on your stance on public broadband?

To comment, Log In or Register