Kate Baldwin is running against Wendee R. Odell in the Nov. 2 election for Position 2 on the Auburn City Council, currently held by Deputy Mayor Claude DaCorsi.
Baldwin said people should vote for her because her experience in the private sector has prepared her for the job.
“I believe that I’m coming into the position prepared,” Baldwin said. “This is similar to the work I’ve been doing for many years both as a volunteer within my community and building on the work I’ve done as a neighborhood resource coordinator, journalist and of course the consulting work I do today.”
Baldwin is used to looking at problems and finding solutions to make things better, Baldwin said.
One of Baldwin’s primary goals if elected is to prepare Auburn for the growth that is expected to come to the area, Baldwin said.
This includes things like making sure people struggling to recover from the pandemic have stable housing, doing infill to create higher density, taking advantage of transit options and other things.
Baldwin also wants to revitalize the downtown core and encourage small business development if elected to the Auburn City Council.
“One of the things I think is really important is making sure that the city works and partners to have programs that really encourage people to come into that space and stay there,” Baldwin said.
Even though the span of control for someone in the Auburn City Council is somewhat limited, Baldwin wants to work to address climate change within the city, Baldwin said.
“I think it’s our responsibility — not just for the immediate term, but for the long term — to be planning on how we can reduce our impacts from carbon emissions, from a consumption standpoint,” Baldwin said. “That’s part of the reason I’m a huge proponent of increasing transit options.”
In addition to reducing emissions, having more efficient transportation that reduces commute times would allow people more time to visit local businesses, which would be good for Auburn’s economy, Baldwin said.
Baldwin also recognizes the need for infrastructure to mitigate the effects of climate change.
“I think we’ve seen in the past year what happens when we have more extreme swings with the weather,” Baldwin said. Whether that’s having cooling stations when we have those incredible heat waves, or whether that’s making sure we have warming stations in the winter.”
To help people recover from the economic recession brought on by the pandemic, Baldwin plans to work with existing partners on things like homelessness and rent assistance as well as support infrastructure projects in the city.
Baldwin said if elected she would work to allocate American Rescue Plan Act funds to pay for infrastructure projects that will help address growth and create high paying, union jobs.
Ensuring people who are exiting homelessness have all the resources they need to get on their feet is how Baldwin plans to address homelessness in Auburn, Baldwin said. Investing in the community court so folks aren’t held back by criminal records is another way Auburn can help folks exiting homelessness, Baldwin said.
“I want to make sure that we’re pairing real support with shelter, which is something that I think Is incredibly important,” Baldwin said.
Over the summer, Baldwin went for a ride along with homeless service coordinator Kent Hay, on that trip Baldwin learned the nuanced nature of homelessness, Baldwin said.
“Not everyone is necessarily abusing drugs and not everybody is necessarily out in an encampment, we have a population who might be living in their cars or couch surfing,” Baldwin said. “So within those different profiles they need different types of help.”
Baldwin said she is ready to show up and do the work to make sure Auburn comes out of the pandemic stronger and more vibrant.
The Auburn Area Chamber of Commerce is holding a virtual candidate forum from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 19, with candidates for Auburn and King County races. For more information visit the Auburn Area Chamber of Commerce website.