Endorsements

PUD Commissioner Chris Stearns

Parks advocate and Former Mayor Bob Jacobs

Former PUD Commissioner Jim Lazar

Judy Bardin, former Olympia Planning Commissioner with land use expertise on the Missing Middle legal challenge.

Former Green Pages editor Krag Unsoeld

Founder of Black Lake Organics and state wide award winning environmentalist Gary Kline

Neighborhood leaders and activists Sherri Goulet, Jay Elder, Lisa Reiner, and Angie Warner-Rein

Group endorsements: Washington State Progressive Caucus and the South Sound Sierra Club

and more than 100 community members.

I’m running for Olympia City Council to advocate for citizen involvement for ALL people. Please read each plank of my platform below.

Citizen Education, Involvement and Rights

Citizens are the stakeholders of the community in which they live. As your council member, I want to invite you to the political table of decision-making. I want to make it City policy to educate citizens about how the City works, the process of how to be heard by the City, and how to exercise the power that already belongs to citizens.

Start Your Beginning Political Education

You can start your political education by attending an Olympia City Council meeting on Tuesday nights at Olympia City before 7 pm.

You can request a Public Records Request and ask that the information you are requesting be put on CD as that is less expensive than copies. Be very specific when asking for the information you want. You might want to ask the City of Olympia how much money they have lost by giving out free tax exemptions to developers of market rate and luxury housing or how much money the City of Olympia has spent in any other area of your concern.

You can also arrange FREE classes on how to navigate and be effective with the upcoming legislative session by checking out this link: http://leg.wa.gov/LIC/Pages/classes.aspx I have taken several classes all by myself and learned a great deal.

You can start organizing your neighborhoods and other interest groups on legislation you want your representatives to sponsor. You do not have to write the legislation as the Office of Code Reviser does that part, but you do have to get the attention of your representative. When you organize at least 500 people, representatives tend to listen better. So if an issue really matters to you, organize well before the legislative session or the public hearing at City Hall.

Climate Change

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration indicates that we will have three to six feet of sea level rise by the end of the century.

Of course we must all change our habits as individuals to slow down and (we hope) reverse climate change: transportation and living choices, eliminating wasteful practices, and supporting with your dollars those products and services that support these same goals. But as a City, we must adequately protect our downtown from sea level rise, find accommodations to a drier climate with more extreme events, and make smart and effective choices about future development.

See http://olympiawa.gov/city-utilities/storm-and-surface-water/-level-rise.aspx.

Efficient Use of Tax Dollars

When developers do not pay the impact fees, then the rest of us have higher taxes or reduced services to make up the difference. The City of Olympia’s budget must include all the impact fees that were NOT paid by new development. We must also include in our budget expenses that are not usually included for citizens to see. It’s our money and I think we have a right to know how it is spent.

Furthermore, I will be voting against the current eight year tax freebies to luxury home developers. The rest of the Olympia citizens, both renters and owners, pay directly or indirectly for property taxes. Why should developers of luxury housing get a free ride while the rest of us pay?

As your council member, I will ask questions that challenge a “business-as-usual” approach and will make sure solutions actually solve the problems we have. I invite you to help me create some of these questions. I will advocate for the overall good of the community as I have both in the city and county for many years.

Environment

Olympia has been an awarding winning city. Beautiful parks, clean water, adequate green space, State Capitol views for everyone to enjoy, streams for salmon– all of these need continued advocacy and protection.

Housing Crash and Houselessness

New Article from New York Times about Investors Destroying Neighborhoods https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/06/20/business/economy/starter-homes-investors.html?searchResultPosition=1&fbclid=IwAR0hPvMuUmxHiVSFF0-a5FXVPeuRC3wLSX6Olg5E4uWC47xPWoT1b2cQhlA

https://www.businessinsider.com/impact-of-2008-crash-on-housing-2016-2

As a 30+ year houseless advocate, I bring a wealth of personal experience ranging from working in a variety of churches to community non-profits and health organizations in my work as a nurse.

We share the community with everyone, but many times we find ourselves only associating with people just like ourselves. We live in our own bubble. To help others, we must be a part of the solution, not retreat and say “this is not my problem.” History, particularly the Great Depression, offers possible solutions. Our mentally ill have been out on the streets and our Federal Government recently gave a 1.7 trillion in tax break to the obscenely rich. Surely, we can form more citizen pressure groups to advocate more for the very vulnerable and put more pressure on our government branches and offer our collective wisdom for solutions. Some groups are doing this work for decades already, but we need more and we need to invite the persons experiencing homelessness to city discussions and decisions. No one person or group has all the answers, but a willingness to interact and put all judgment aside and have real two-way conversations could generate solutions.

Missing Middle and Neighborhood Issues

As a volunteer, I have left homemade fliers about the Missing Middle on nearly 3,000 doorsteps, organized rallies, helped with forums, and educated through social media sites for 17 months. The City of Olympia could have put out a public notice in its utility bills so that everyone would know about the 43 massive residential zoning changes that will affect both renters and homeowners. Please check the following information sites.

Neighborhoods with HOAs will have to enforce their covenants as the City of Olympia and neighborhood HOAs are two separate governing bodies. With the passage of the Missing Middle ordinance, single family zoning has changed. Go to the City of Olympia website ( http://olympiawa.gov/city-government/codes-plans-and-standards/missing-middle.aspx and http://olympiawa.gov/~/media/files/cpd/planning/missing-middle/maps/Tri-Map.pdf ) to find out how the Missing Middle affects your neighborhood.

The Growth Management Hearings Board heard the case against the Missing Middle ordinance on May 23, 2019. They will have a ruling by July 10, 2019.

Here are some informational sites:

www.noolyupzone.yolasite.com

https://noolyupzone.yolasite.com/resources/2019%2004%2010%20Petitioners’%20Opening%20Brief.pdf

House Bill 1923 and Residential Zoning Rights: Check http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/2019-20/Pdf/Bills/House%20Passed%20Legislature/1923-S2.PL.pdf

The State Environmental Policy Act has been amended in HB 1923 and your rights as citizens to appeal building projects are affected. Read this bill.

As your council member, I will vote no on any attempt to put House Bill 1923 into action here as this bill cuts the citizen voice out of the building planning process by removing the ability to appeal.

Transparency at Olympia City Hall

Too often, over the decades, I have witnessed City Hall projects that are presented to the public as “done deals,” and public hearings are conducted because they are a requirement. I would rather we have open community conversations about collective concerns regularly, that help create City plans, rather than to have to take the city to court to be heard. The City of Olympia wastes too much money on lawsuits when they could just invite citizens to the table for decision-making in the first place and include everyone. I am advocating for an awesomely welcoming City Hall, which uses input from the community.

About Phyllis

Democracy is a primary value for me. I have worked with Friends of Waterfront, the Carnegie Group, Public Funds for Public Purposes (I gathered 3,000 signatures to defeat a corporate conference center and now we have a Children’s Museum instead), the American Red Cross, the Olympia Free Clinic, Hospice volunteer, social justice and homeless work with two United Methodist Churches in Olympia and Centralia a Presbyterian Church, and Quixote Village from 2007 to the present. I’ve been a school volunteer at three schools for twelve years, a Boy Scout leader, Legislative District 22 and Democratic Platform Chair in 2018. I’m going into eight years of Democratic Precinct Committee Officer service, have worked the Burger Booth for nearly three decades, and been a volunteer doorbeller and organizer for multiple issues and candidates for 30 years both in the city and county.

Lately, I have worked for 17 months with Olympians for Smart Development and Sustainable Neighborhoods asking the City of Olympia to start over with the Missing Middle as it violates the democratically developed comprehensive plan.

Personally, I have met some of the GREATEST people in all of this volunteer work and I dedicate my campaign to those who are no longer with us: Herb Legg, Tom Howdeshell, Duane King, Kathleen Downey Friedman, Bernie Friedman, Lynn Salerno, Eve Johnson, Jerry Parker, Mary Murphy, Dane Ferrell, Chris Carson, Jason Loree, and many others whom I worked with in volunteer work.