“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.
- 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)
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 !