Pending Endorsement – Nancy Backus

Candidate Questionnaire

1. Your name

Nancy Backus

2. Candidate for:

Mayor of Auburn
Party Affiliation:

3. Campaign information

4. If elected, what positive changes will you champion that will benefit the 31st LD?

I will continue to provide stable, positive leadership for the 31st LD and all of Auburn. I am proud of the work that I have done in human services – including homelessness and affordable housing, as well as in economic development, so I will continue working those areas. I will also continue working on funding for our roads and increased public safety. In 2016, I proposed a plan to our City Council that provided for the addition of six new police officers. Council approved the plan unanimously, and we are currently hiring for those spots that include

  • 1 additional bicycle officer (for a total of 4)
  • 2 proactive detectives
  • 1 additional K9 officer
  • 2 community officers

I work on these issues daily and see no reason to change the momentum that has been created to improve the lives of those in the 31st.

5. What are the three most critical issues you expect to encounter in the office you are seeking?

  • Increase in homelessness – it’s an issue facing every community. In 2015, I convened the Mayor’s Task Force on Homelessness, and my office has been actively working over 40 of the recommendations made by the task force. We will be opening a day center and overnight shelter in the next few weeks to help address the needs.
  • Heroin & prescription opiate epidemic – we are convening a town hall meeting in June to bring together first responders, physicians, service providers and recovering addicts to share with the community the struggles and to better understand how we can work together to overcome this crisis. I was also a co-convener along with KC Executive Constantine, Seattle Mayor Murry, and Renton Mayor Law of the Heroin & Prescription Opiate Task Force.
  • Funding for road maintenance – I will continue to look for funding sources for road maintenance. Federal and State grants are not as available as they used to be, and our needs have increased. I was in WA D.C. in early May and met with our Senators and Representatives to share our needs and to also provide “shovel-ready” projects should an infrastructure funding source become available.

6. Please give us an example of when you had to a make a critical decision that, due to its impact on others, was difficult. Tell us why you made your decision and what, if any, actions you took to mitigate any negative results.

Early in my term as mayor, King County proposed a budget that included the closing of the King County Public Health Clinic in Auburn. We were told that there simply was no money to continue the operations. I was determined that our clinic would not close! I worked with King Co. Executive Constantine and numerous King Co. Councilmembers to try and find ways to ensure the clinic would remain open – it was serving over 11,000 of our residents on an annual basis. I also became a champion for the healthcare workers that knew the critical community benefits that the clinic provided, and we rallied! Four clinics in the county were destined for closure due to huge gaps in the Public Health budget. The cost to keep the Auburn clinic open amounted to over $400,000/yr. I worked with the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, Valley Regional Fire Authority, Orion Industries and numerous businesses in our community and we came up with a funding strategy. Ultimately, the City of Auburn committed to funding $220,000 each year for two years, and the partners stepped up to fund the remainder. I am extremely proud of the work we accomplished and the fact that the clinic in Auburn remains open and is fully funded is proof that working together for the right reasons is imperative!

7. What methods will you employ to communicate with your constituency on a regular basis?

I will continue to reach out in many ways! I am a huge fan of social media – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I also write a Weekly Update that typically comes out every Friday and is currently subscribed to by a few thousand residents. I also utilize neighborhood meetings, community picnics, and town halls to discuss issues and to listen, learn and act. I love meeting with constituents, and often meet at a local coffee shop or in my office. I don’t see any of that changing during my second term!

8. What other information would you like us to consider?

Being the Mayor of Auburn has been my dream job! Even on those challenging days (and there are some!), I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. I believe in servant leadership and am proud of the regional approach and relationships that I have created. Auburn is now sought out for our opinions and ideas, and I do believe that my willingness to be involved and actively engage to find solutions is a significant reason for that.

I want to reiterate my dedication to addressing homelessness, gang activity, behavioral health funding and resources, fighting for affordable housing, continuing to ensure that Auburn is a welcoming city for all, making sure that families have affordable opportunities for their children in our programs, and fighting for living wage jobs so our economy can work for everyone. I have been, leading regionally on these and other issues. We must work together to accomplish these sometimes overwhelming goals.

Both the City and school district have worked closely with our immigrant and refugee population for a long time and while the legislative process to ensure safety and security is valuable it is only one of many things that the city can do on an ongoing basis. We will continue our work with families through the school district, frequent community meetings and relationship building with law enforcement and government agencies. I will remain committed to ensuring that all residents in Auburn will be treated with dignity and respect.

I declare under penalty of perjury the foregoing is true and correct.

Signed at:

Signature:

Nancy Backus