Hanan Amer and Brian Lott are both seeking Position 7 on the Auburn City Council, presently held by Bob Baggett, who is not seeking re-election.
What do you consider to be the job of an Auburn City Council member?
In simple terms: City council members mainly work on policies and budgets. No one council member can decide things alone. They discuss and decide important matters in public, needing most members to agree. Their regular tasks include handling bills, approving contracts, and reviewing plans. It’s not always glamorous, but it’s crucial. Also, they need to stay open to new problems and solutions as the city’s needs change. It’s about teamwork and being open-minded to make the city better.
Working on improving residents’ quality of life and the city’s overall development. Including:
Proposing and voting on local laws and policies, modifying them, or removing ones that do not benefit the community. Managing city finances and taxes. Shaping development, zoning, and land use to be sure city growth aligns with our resident’s vision of the community they want. Ensuring public safety, transportation, and infrastructure needs are met.
Attending meetings and events to gather resident feedback. Resolving disputes within the community. Really listening to the concerns of the people and working with them to find solutions. Based on the feedback I’ve been getting; much is currently not being addressed.
Adhering to ethical standards and avoiding conflicts of interest. Working with fellow council members and city staff for effective governance.
What are Auburn’s five most pressing issues as you see them, in order, and how should the city tackle them?
1 Homelessness: Collaborate with communities and housing authorities, explore various housing options, and offer resources tailored to individual needs for a sustainable solution.
2. Mental Health: Partner with King County and mental health organizations to establish a new mental health center in South King County, providing essential support.
3. Affordable Housing: Collaborate with housing agencies, implement supportive policies, and offer incentives for affordable housing projects to address the housing crisis.
4. Public Safety and Crime: Work with state legislature to update laws, invest in a new police station, hire more officers, and promote community policing for enhanced safety.
5. Economic Development: Foster collaboration with local businesses, improve transportation, invest in infrastructure, and create an inviting atmosphere to boost economic growth in Auburn Downtown.
1. Crime: The city should increase community policing, enhance cooperation between law enforcement agencies, and invest in crime prevention programs like after-school activities for youth. Let our officers know they are appreciated and valued so more young people will be encouraged to join the academy. Neighborhood watch programs can also deter crime.
2. Business Development: Streamline permitting processes, reduce red tape, and offer incentives to attract new businesses. Revitalizing commercial areas and fostering a business-friendly environment. Reducing crime as noted above is needed to make customers feel safe to shop at our local businesses.
3. Homelessness: Dealing with homelessness needs short-term and long-term solutions. Short- Term, providing outreach and services for the homeless population. Long term, the city should invest in affordable housing and job training programs to help people regain stability.
4. Mental Health: Prioritizing mental health involves establishing / supporting mental health clinics and crisis intervention programs. The city should work with healthcare providers, nonprofits, and schools to offer mental health resources.
5. Drug Abuse: Tackling this requires a combination of prevention, treatment, and support. The city should fund treatment programs, outreach, and work with law enforcement to combat drug trafficking and drug-related offenses. Promoting community awareness about the dangers of drug abuse is important in prevention.
How will your unique range of talents and abilities help the city deal with the aforementioned problems? What sets you apart from the herd?
My background as a chemist equips me with strong analytical and problem-solving skills. I excel in conducting research and simplifying complex concepts for everyone to understand. My extensive community involvement and volunteer work demonstrate my commitment to understanding our community’s needs. I bridge the gap between technical expertise and grassroots understanding. With a focus on evidence-based decision-making and transparent communication, I am well-equipped to address Auburn’s challenges effectively.
I’m very good at finding solutions to problems, working within, and managing timelines. If I am not seeing results, I’m quick to determine the issue and adjust the plan. My extensive 20+ years of professional experience provide me with a set of talents and abilities that make me a strong candidate. Here’s what sets me apart from others:
1. Practical Problem-Solving: My experience in managing complex projects involving transportation, route design, venue management, staffing, and financial management equips me with the skills needed to tackle the city’s issues. My financial management and project experience shows my ability to turn ideas into actionable plans. I’ll apply these skills to ensure that the city’s issues are met effectively.
2. Strong Leadership, teamwork and collaboration: My knack for strong yet personable leadership enables me to work as a team with other council members, city officials, and the community. I understand the importance of bringing differing perspectives together to find solutions.
In short, I offer a perspective that is grounded in real-world problem-solving and working with others to get things done.
1. Are you an Auburn native, or do you come from elsewhere? 2. If from elsewhere, how long have you lived in Auburn? 3. Do you hold any undergraduate or advanced college degrees?
I was born in Oklahoma and raised in Benghazi, Libya. Libya is in North Africa, so I’m Arabic, African, and American! I moved to Auburn in 2008 and married my amazing husband, who has been living in Auburn since the ’90s. We raised our two beautiful children here in this incredible community, and they graduated from Auburn High School. Go Trojans!
I was born in Portland and raised in Vancouver, Washington, so I have deep roots in the Pacific Northwest. My wife and I moved to the Seattle area in 2014 and then made a conscious decision to put down roots here in Auburn four years ago, as we believe it has so much to offer. We purchased a house, and our plan is to spend the rest of our lives right here.
Name a concern or two you’ve had with any legislation passed to date by the Auburn City Council?
Did not answer this question.
• B&O tax. I’ve received quite a bit of feedback on this tax from local businesses and I’d like to fully review its impact on existing businesses as well as the impact it has had on businesses considering locating in Auburn.
• Contract with King County District Court to provide adjudication of all infractions and misdemeanors in Auburn. Much like the feedback I’ve received from businesses, this contractual arrangement with King County has raised many questions about Auburn’s rights under the agreement and its effectiveness. People are concerned that decisions being made in the King County system may not be what best for residents of Auburn. I hold a bachelor’s degree in chemistry.
What do you do for a living?
I work for Boeing Company as a Material and Process Engineer.
I was a Project Manager for 20 years, a business owner for over 10 years before selling the company, and I currently serve as the Chief Administrative Officer at a local food technology company.
Throughout my career, I’ve demonstrated talent in process enhancement and streamlining. My background in proposal management, budget management, and client engagement is relevant to municipal management and budgetary decisions.
My experiences with large-scale events such as the Atlanta Committee for The Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup have equipped me with insights into planning and city logistics – important skills for ensuring the smooth operation of local programs and initiatives.
Do you hold any undergraduate or advanced college degrees?
I hold a bachelor’s degree in chemistry.
I do not, but I believe that my decades of real-life experience have been my education. Through my professional journey, I’ve gained a solid understanding of complex project management, operations, and leadership. I’ve navigated high-pressure situations, honed my problem-solving abilities, and developed a commitment to efficiency and collaboration. While a degree can be valuable, I’ve always believed that practical experience and a dedication to continuous learning are equally valuable.
Anything else of note?
I serve on the Planning Commission. I am an active volunteer with my homeowners association for several years. Additionally, I volunteer with the Auburn Police for 13 years and with United Way of King County, preparing taxes for seniors and low-income residents in Kent and Auburn.
I also volunteer with King County Public Health. I am an active volunteer with Girl Scouts and have earned two awards: Appreciation Pin and Honor Pin in 2023. I also earned the President’s Volunteer Service Gold Award. I have volunteered at the Auburn Food Bank, the Auburn Libraries, and the White River Museum.”
I’m not a politician; I’m a concerned and dedicated resident who wants to give back to the community. I’ve had the opportunity to get to know Auburn, the people, and its challenges. That’s why I’m running for City Council. My experiences and commitment, combined with fresh perspective, can make a positive impact on the city that I now proudly call home.