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<p>There are two strong candidates for Mayor of Olympia: incumbent Mayor Cheryl Selby and Olympia City Councilmember Nathaniel Jones. We lean toward Jones because of his strong progressive track record and his support from local advocates. </p>
Mayor Cheryl Selby is a small business owner who has received endorsements from high-ranking Democrats and Republicans. Selby supports a statewide income tax and touts her role in the economic development of the city, funding for parks, and working with the council to solve the homelessness crisis. Specifically, she supports a homelessness response coordinator and the adoption of the emergency housing ordinance. However, some members of the public and the council say she has not done enough to alleviate the homelessness crisis, pointing to her leading the efforts to defund the Winter Warming Center over the objections of most council members.
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Also in this race are Phil Cornell, Brenden Clerget, and David Ross. Cornell appears to have suspended his campaign as of July 4th due to a family issue. Clerget is a web developer and business consultant who wants to increase transparency between the city government and residents of Olympia. He also claims the crime rate in Olympia is rising quickly and wants to curb that with new measures. Ross owns a local health club and previously worked as Thurston/Mason County's Homeless Outreach Case Manager. His website states he is running for mayor because, "it is time to stop abandoning our downtown and giving Olympia over to lawlessness, chaos, and addiction."
Jessica Bateman is running for re-election to Olympia City Council, Position 2 with broad support from progressives across Thurston County. Once a legislative aide to Rep. Chris Reykdal, Bateman is now a policy analyst at the state capitol. Bateman has been a tireless progressive advocate on the council, working toward equitable housing solutions, protecting our green space, and ensuring no one is left behind. Accomplishments from her first term include co-chairing the Home Fund, a campaign to provide safe housing and essential services for vulnerable homeless community members, and sponsoring a resolution to make Olympia a sanctuary city.
Bateman is being challenged by Phyllis Booth and Alyssa Humbert. Humbert has a background in nonprofit management and supports a humanitarian response to homelessness, a $15 minimum wage, and strong carbon taxes and penalties for companies that pollute. Booth is the former Chair of the 22nd Legislative District Democrats and is campaigning on more advocacy for the homeless, efficient use of tax dollars, and environmental protections. However, neither challenger has been as supportive of expanding affordable housing as Bateman.
Bateman has earned another term on the Olympia City Council in Position 2.
Dani Madrone, a progressive candidate who works for the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, is running for Olympia City Council, Position 3, the seat vacated by Nathaniel Jones in his run for mayor. She has served on the boards of the Olympian and the Olympia Food Co-op. Madrone is running to tackle the big issues of homelessness, climate change, affordable housing, and safe neighborhoods with a science-based and community-forward approach. Madrone has earned numerous endorsements from elected officials around Thurston County.
Also in this race are Boudicca Walsh and Matt Goldenberg. Walsh is the former Chair of Thurston County Democrats. She wants to stop sweeps of houseless people from public property, supports reparations for American Indians, and is a passionate advocate for the LGBTQ community, of which she is a member. Goldenberg is a private practice clinical psychologist and professor of psychology at South Puget Sound Community College. He supports tackling homelessness with a housing-first approach, increased healthcare literacy, racial and gender equity, and a $15 minimum wage.
Walsh and Goldenberg both have progressive ideals but Madrone's endorsements from across Thurston County combined with her strong platform make her the best choice Olympia City Council, Position 3.