Everett City Council Candidate Statement – Brenda Stonecipher

October 17, 2015

Everett, Everett Government

Editor’s Note: On October 6th MyEverettNews.com sent the following message to all 7 candidates on the general election ballot for Everett City Council. We advised that we would be publishing the response on Saturday October 17th as most voters will be receiving their ballots in the mail this weekend.

Every general election MyEverettNews.com invites candidates for Everett City Council to tell our readers in 400 words or less why they should vote for you. You may have been invited to participate this way in the primary but this is a new election so we are asking for a new submission. In addition to the 400 words we’re asking all candidates to answer the following reader-submitted question…

With the county jail’s new policies restricting taking in those that are currently on drugs, and a surging heroin epidemic that is resulting in increased property crimes…what do we do with the hundreds/thousands of addicts that are avoiding the criminal justice system?

Here is the response received from incumbent Brenda Stonecipher who is running for position 6 against challenger Erik Richerson.

Stonecipher

Brenda Stonecipher – Candidate supplied photo.

Why should you vote for me?
If you ever attend or watch a City Council meeting, you will know why you should vote for me. I am the one asking the questions that no one else is asking, contributing relevant information that I learned through my own independent research, and voting for what I believe is in the best interest of our community at large, rather than what is good for any one special interest.

If you have ever sent an email or made a phone call to City Hall, you will know why you should vote for me. I am the one who responds to your inquiries and seeks out the information or resources you needed to solve your problem.

If you have ever had an issue in your neighborhood, you know why to vote for me. I am the one who comes to your home or business and meets you face-to-face to see what is troubling you. I help you navigate City Hall, to find the people in the departments to help you.

If you pay taxes in this city, you should know why to vote for me. I saved taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars when my analysis of an ill-conceived annexation plan showed that it would have placed a financial burden on existing City residents. I uncovered the excessive surplus of taxes that had been collected on cable television services and, most recently, I resisted misguided new tax proposals on water, sewer, cable, and phone services, which place an unequal burden on low-income families in our community, and business license fee increases, which penalize small businesses over large corporations.

The next four years offer great opportunity for our community, but also some challenges. The excitement comes from the growth and revitalization, with new housing, higher education opportunities and exciting amenities that will enhance the quality of life in our community. At the same time, we will need to provide leadership to address the rampant crime and homelessness concerns, as well as bridge the financial instability in the City’s budget.

I have served this community with honesty, integrity, humility, and grit. I have proven my willingness to ‘roll up my sleeves’ and work for the hardworking taxpayers of Everett. I hope to continue to represent you and your concerns. For these reasons, I ask for your vote on November 3rd.

Reader Submitted Question: With the county jail’s new policies restricting taking in those that are currently on drugs, and a surging heroin epidemic that is resulting in increased property crimes…what do we do with the hundreds/thousands of addicts that are avoiding the criminal justice system?

What do we do with the addicts that are avoiding the criminal justice system?

Addiction to drugs and alcohol is a disease, not a crime. Like many, I have watched family, friends, and loved ones struggle with this disease. We should treat the disease the same way we treat other diseases: with care, compassion, and treatments that are known to provide positive outcomes. Criminal behavior, on the other hand, should be penalized.

The difficulty comes when addicts resort to criminal behavior to feed their addiction. For these individuals, I believe we should provide alternative sentencing options to those who are willing and able to overcome their addiction. The expansion of detox services in our community is essential to this solution, as is the provision of safe housing.

The Streets Initiative Task Force report identifies many recommendations that will help to stabilize this concern in our community. As an elected official and resident of the City, I believe it is my responsibility to secure the resources needed to expand services to those in need and to ensure that the work of the Task Force does not languish. But this is an issue that is bigger than government alone can tackle, so it is incumbent on the rest of our community to support this work to heal those among us who are suffering.

About myeverettnews

My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring breaking news and events in Everett, WA. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett. It's written by Leland Dart a former Snohomish County based radio reporter born and raised in Everett.

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