May 30, 2023

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In launching Edmonds City Council campaign, Chen promises integrity, really hard work, independence

9 min read
Edmonds Town Council applicant Will Chen speaks to supporters via Zoom Thursday night time.

Will Chen formally jumped into the race for Edmonds Metropolis Council Placement 2 on Thursday night with a virtual kickoff celebration. Chen’s entry usually means the Position 2 contest is now at minimum a a few-way race, pitting him from area company owner Janelle Cass and incumbent Luke Distelhorst, appointed past year to fill out the remaining time period of now-Mayor Mike Nelson.

The deadline to file for a town council place is May well 21, with the most important election established for Aug. 3 and the genearl election Nov. 2.

In accordance to function emcee Josh Estes, almost 100 people attended the virtual party to pay attention and lend their guidance to Chen’s candidacy.

Chen, a CPA who operates his own accounting organization in Edmonds, has been an lively section of the Edmonds neighborhood for many years. Born in the People’s Republic of China, he arrived in the U.S. much more than 26 many years back with limited English expertise. He worked several positions – his initially was as a dishwasher in a Chinese restaurant – to spend for his instruction, go after a profession, and build his long term. Following receiving his undergraduate degree in accounting, Chen gained two master’s levels, handed his CPA exam, and began a successful occupation in company finance with Kimberly Clark in advance of starting off his individual CPA exercise serving customers in Edmonds and across the point out.

Chen pledged to provide the identical type of challenging get the job done and determination to the Edmonds City Council.

In his opening remarks, he pressured his monitor report of business, integrity and independence.

Will Chen with wife Lisa and son Gavin

“Think of me as a human being that was designed in China but formed by American dreams and values, which includes diversity, instruction, neighborhood service  and entrepreneurial spirit,” he started. “I pledge to work out impartial imagining to provide all folks of Edmonds with well balanced, common-sense determination creating, specifically these who come to feel unheard.”

Chen pressured his belief in providing access to and the possibility to take part in federal government for all citizens, irrespective of financial, racial or cultural obstacles.

“Diversity is our power,” he stressed. “Edmonds is much more ethnically various than numerous may well recognize at first look. We have neighbors who need support accessing governing administration services and means, and I think I am uniquely capable to understand these persons and their voice, appear out for their profit, and provide them into the procedure.”

A essential precedence for Chen is to commit tax bucks wisely, which signifies putting the desires of citizens initially and funding jobs that make any difference most to them. He thinks that his overriding ethic of impartial pondering and frequent perception will help make sure this.

A different key priority is liable economic enhancement.

“We will need to obtain liable strategies to grow our economic climate even though holding Edmonds the distinctive location that we all know and treatment for,” he stated. Acknowledging that growth and change are inescapable, Chen pressured the want to temper and condition this in ways that not only satisfy the demands of our most vulnerable populations but regard our shared values as a group.

Earning distinctive point out of the latest attempts underway to revitalize Edmonds’ Highway 99 corridor, Chen underscored his commitment to provide this region into the mainstream of Edmonds everyday living as a vibrant, revitalized asset that not only boosts multi-culturalism but supplies a powerful tax-producing motor for our regional economic climate.

Amongst individuals speaking in guidance of Chen were being City Councilmember Vivian Olson, former Councilmember Dave Teitzel, business enterprise proprietors Robert Ha and Ralph Sanders, and Carl Zapora, present CEO of Zapora Consulting and previous CEO of both Verdant Overall health and United Way of Snohomish County.

Olson similar how she 1st satisfied Chen when he was a new appointee to the Edmonds Citizens Housing Commission and listened to him communicate about the details of how he planned to carry facts out to citizens and take their enter back to the commission.

“This delighted me,” mentioned Olson. “I questioned him if this was one thing that fee management experienced encouraged. He confessed that he had however to go to his first meeting with the fee, and that this was his personal strategy. Will thinks that the greatest decisions appear from you – his position is to hear and be of provider.”

Olson went on to describe observing Chen dwelling this dedication when she served as town council liaison to the housing commission. She added how she observed this carry in excess of as he utilized to fill Mike Nelson’s city council seat, when she observed him present a residing case in point of what illustration genuinely suggests.

“I observed it in the faces of his neighbors and colleagues in the Intercontinental District, and their plentiful letters of recommendation and statements sharing about a applicant they ended up thrilled about, a applicant who would make city government appropriate to them,” she mentioned. “I was especially impressed with the range of his followers, not only from the Worldwide District but from other neighborhoods and backgrounds throughout the town.”

Reflecting on the task of a city councilmember, Olson acknowledged that it normally takes appreciable perform and effort and hard work, necessitating numerous hours of homework and engagement.

“Will is keen to put this in,” she claimed. “In addition, he provides a prosperity of experienced experience, independence, audio selection-making, information and understanding of both of those the enterprise neighborhood and citizens at massive.”

Previous Edmonds Metropolis Councilmember Dave Teitzel praised Chen’s devotion to executing the ideal detail for the people today of Edmonds, with out a private or political agenda.

Future up was previous town councilmember Dave Teitzel, who explained Chen as “the kind of person we need on council.”

“As a former councilmember, I’ve realized the importance of getting open up-minded, not obtaining a own or political agenda, acquiring a sturdy fiscal comprehending, and a passion to do the proper point for Edmonds,” he said. “Will has all this in abundance. He’s collaborative, he’s intelligent, he’s insightful, and he will be smart with taxpayer money. He will make a excellent addition to the council.”

Teitzel’s remarks ended up followed by a question-and-response session in which emcee Josh Estes browse previously submitted thoughts and Chen provided immediate answers.

Requested about the most urgent problems experiencing the metropolis, Chen responded that these are community protection and economic restoration, both of which will involve a renewed focus of sources and electricity.

The upcoming problem centered on Highway 99, particularly Chen’s tips for enhancing pedestrian security together the corridor.

“The proposed center median will be a major enhancement,” he responded. “But as populace grows and economic revitalization appeals to extra people to the space, we also need to have to discover speed limits and the risk of a satellite law enforcement station.”

Asked about partnerships with firms and non-income, Chen expressed potent enthusiasm for improving this effort and hard work, citing his latest place on the chamber board and membership in Edmonds Rotary as examples.

“Everyone can add one thing of benefit to our neighborhood,” he mentioned. “We have to have to seem for opportunities to work jointly and make a much better Edmonds. Public services is in my blood, and powerful partnerships are crucial to going forward.”

In response to his views on shaping the dynamics of interactions and relations concerning councilmembers, Chen reiterated his belief in the essential relevance of dealing with a person a further with respect, retaining the concentration on problems alternatively than personalities, and recognizing that although just about every councilmember has distinctive backgrounds and perspectives, it is vital to set these aside and function collectively for the great of our city and citizens.

The upcoming dilemma requested about Chen’s positions on rezoning, involved in the proposals that the housing commission just lately shipped to the council. In response, he stressed the need to have to continue with warning on upzoning proposals, reiterating his previously position that even though the city desires to handle housing challenges, it should really also want to shield and “keep Edmonds the area we all adore.”

Requested about environmental troubles, Chen referred to Edmonds as a “jewel of the Pacific Northwest,” thanks to these types of environmental property as the waterfront and the Edmonds Marsh. He also expressed assist for the recently adopted tree code and pledged to go on to glance for options to secure the natural environment as a councilmember.

The final issue worried bringing unity to all neighborhoods that respects the variations and diversity of our population.

“I believe that diversity is a essential asset to our community, not a liability,” Chen pressured. “We have to have to arrive alongside one another with open arms, and observe this in our day-to-working day interactions – smile at individuals, wave, say hello there. These actions can go a extensive way toward bringing us together.”

With the Q & A total, Carl Zapora took the virtual podium to increase his assist to Will Chen’s candidacy.

“Healthy communities want nurturing,” Zapora pressured. “It takes a long time to construct a wonderful city, and it demands consistent nurturing and guarding. But a handful of thoughtless steps, and it can tumble aside in no time.

“Some of the latest remarks from latest councilmembers just made me cringe,” he added. “We want to consistently job a fantastic graphic for our town.”

Describing Chen as a person who “always does the do the job quietly and effectively, usually with modesty and no flag-waving,” he stressed that Chen is not only the variety of individual who will get the task done but attracts other people like him to be part of in by his instance.

Edmonds enterprise operator Ralph Sanders described Chen’s heritage of coming to The us as an immigrant and through tricky function and dedication now retains many faculty levels and operates his very own company.

Upcoming up was Ralph Sanders of Edmonds’ Sanders Legislation Team, who relevant how via yrs of challenging operate and determination Chen designed himself up from a recently-arrived immigrant with practically no English abilities, labored occasionally menial careers to pay his way via school, and now runs his very own accounting agency.

“What an instance of great tricky work and taking gain of the opportunities The us gives,” Sanders said. “This is the kind of dude we want operating for us. I believe Will will make a outstanding councilmember.”

Future speaker was Robert Ha, who has known Chen for numerous decades as a result of church, community and as a fellow business enterprise operator in the Worldwide District.

Fellow Worldwide District business owner and buddy Robert Ha speaks about Chen’s ability to “bring the richness of our several communitites jointly.”

“Will understands the troubles organization owners – especially minority business enterprise proprietors – face every day,” Ha explained. “He helps make difficult and critical decision unselfishly, he understands how to deliver the richness of our numerous communities collectively, and Edmonds will benefit from his management, passion and functional knowledge.”

Remaining remarks came from Sean O’Sullivan, a colleague and pal of Chen’s for yrs who has labored for many strategies in Washington due to the fact his to start with gig with the late U.S. Sen. Henry M. (Scoop) Jackson in the 1960s.

“I’ve labored hundreds of strategies at the regional, condition and federal amounts,” he said, “but in all that time I have never ever uncovered a improved experienced applicant than Will Chen. His incredible do the job ethic and intelligence will make him a terrific councilmember.”

In his closing remarks, Chen thanked contributors for their form terms and guidance.

“I came to this region, I labored tricky – but anyone can attain what I have through really hard work and dedication,” he claimed. “When I’m elected, I’ll carry this function ethic to the council for you. Collectively we’ll be a stronger Edmonds, and a superior community.”

Master much more about Will Chen at his campaign web-site and Facebook web site.

— By Larry Vogel

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