Vera Orlandic-Hodak and Robyn Mulenga. COURTESY PHOTOS

Vera Orlandic-Hodak and Robyn Mulenga. COURTESY PHOTOS

Two women announce bid for City Council

Auburn City Councilmember John Holman has not yet formally announced whether he intends to seek reelection.

But interest in filling the seat he’s held since 2012 has heated up in the last week.

Here in alphabetical order are the two candidates to date who have announced their plans to run for Position 5:

Vera Orlandic-Hodak

For decades, said Vera Orlandic-Hodak, she has been, “a leader, a doer, a grateful community member and a devoted mother.”

On May 2, the Lakeland Hills resident announced her intention to add yet another title to her resumé: City Council member for Position 5.

Orlandic-Hodak said her goals are clear, and stem from a personal understanding that “politics is the art of the possible, and the practical.”

Her core intention, she said, is to help make Auburn “the most desirable local choice in which to start a business, maintain a business and raise a family.” She also pledges to work to reduce the tax burden on all residents and to improve the roads and transportation infrastructure and connectivity.

These are her only her initial goals.

Orlandic-Hodak has worked for The Boeing Co. for 14 years, where she is a project manager. Before that, she owned and operated Tilia, a construction materials company in the former Yugoslavia, giving her entrepreneurial and major corporate experience.

She earned an MBA from the University of Phoenix in 2008, and has more than 12 graduate and professional certificates. She has led Veterans Day recognition events and is a four-time Diversity Change Agent Award winner at Boeing.

Orlandic-Hodak said such experience has given her “a clear, firm perspective on what can make a city and a community vibrant and great,” and shown her how to mobilize and win with diverse groups.

Orlandic-Hodak, a Lakeland Hills homeowner for eight years, has a son, a daughter-in-law and two grandchildren.

Robyn Mulenga

Auburn School Board member Robyn Mulenga said she is running for Auburn City Council to create “a safe environment where residents want to live,” to introduce solutions for homelessness and “continue the strong engagement between the school district and the city.”

As a resident of the Auburn community for the past 12 years, Mulenga says she has the experience needed to drive positive changes for residents.

As a member of the Auburn School Board, Mulenga said, she helped bring forward a bond supported by voters for two new elementary schools and six replacement schools, and continues to be thrilled about the difference these new schools will make in the lives of children.

Mulenga said she has been instrumental as well in developing the school district’s strategic direction through its newly- adopted 5-year strategic plan, one of its top goals being that all students graduate.

In addition to influencing policy changes for the district, Mulenga is on the Cities and Schools Forum, where she helps “drive diversity for a more inclusive community.”

Mulenga said she believes it’s important to create an environment where all people feel accepted, and for the past 3 years, she has worked in partnership with her fellow school board directors to introduce racial equity policy in the district.

For its efforts, the Auburn School Board recently won the Washington School Board State of Distinction award.

Mulenga, who attended Pacific Lutheran University, works on land contracts for the federal government.

One of her sons attends middle school in Auburn and another is a student at Stanford University.

Both women join a field of candidates for City Council that to date includes Chris Stearns, James-Jeyaraj and Mike Kahler.


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