Auburn City Councilmember Robyn Mulenga is running for re-election to Position 5. Her opponent in the contest, Clinton Taylor, did not return the questionnaire sent out by the Auburn Reporter in time to make this publication.
What do you consider to be the job of an Auburn City Council member?
The job of an Auburn City Council member is to create a welcoming environment where residents want to live, work and see their businesses flourish. I think it’s important to have a diverse, inclusive community where all people feel accepted. A council member’s job is also to be a conduit that serves as a voice for the city and addresses issues that are important to the community. I am running for re-election, so I can continue to do this important job for the city.
What are the City of Auburn’s five most pressing issues as you see them, in order, and how should the city tackle them?
Safety – We need to have increased patrols on the streets through-out Auburn. In the upcoming budget cycle, I would like to see funds put towards hiring more police so we can increase our police per thousand citizen ratio and ensure Auburn residents feel safe.
Homelessness – We need to ensure there are enough local resources available to address the needs. I would like to increase our city block grant funding so there are enough support services available for the homeless.
Affordable Housing – We need more affordable housing infrastructure built here in Auburn, so homeownership is possible for moderate and low income households.
Economic Growth – We need to ensure that we have a pipeline full of young people ready to take on the jobs of tomorrow. As a member of the Cities and School Forum, we have worked on building pathways to prepare students to obtain living wage careers.
Revitalizing Downtown – We need to have more foot traffic in our downtown. I would like to see the Auburn Avenue theater re-built, more retail stores and more dining options available as a way of encouraging residents to come downtown more often.
How will your unique range of talents and abilities help the city deal with the aforementioned problems? What sets you apart from the herd?
I have eight years of experience as an elected official, serving four years in the past as a School Board Director for the Auburn School District, and four years as a current Auburn City Council Member in Position 5. I know how to work well with others, and I will continue to get things done for our community.
Are you satisfied with the level of communications between the city council and the mayor’s office?
As a council member, I am satisfied with the level of communication, because I have the opportunity to meet with the mayor to discuss issues concerning Auburn. I believe open communication is the foundation for great teamwork.
How would describe the relationship between the mayor’s office and the city council, scoring 1 to 5, 1 optimum and 5 poor?
As a council member, I have found the mayor and her staff to be very responsive to requests for information. Due to the attentiveness and promptness the mayor places on responding to city business, I would give a score of 1 for optimum.
Name a concern or two you’ve had with any legislation passed to date by the Auburn City Council?
As a council member, I have voted on most of the legislation passed to date in Auburn and I stand by all of the legislation I have voted yes on.
Are you an Auburn native or do you come from elsewhere?
As the daughter of an Army Veteran, we moved a lot when I was younger. Auburn is where I have lived the longest.
If from elsewhere, how long have you lived in Auburn?
I have been a resident of Auburn for over 18 years.
Do you hold any undergraduate or advanced college degrees?
I hold an undergraduate degree in Communications.
What do you do for a living?
I am a Program Analyst for the government.
Boards and panels on which you serve, county and city?
I am a board member on the Valley Regional Fire Authority Board, Cities and Schools Forum Member, King County, Auburn.