“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 russwhidbee.com)
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!