Iris’ responses to Skagit Valley Herald’s candidate questionnaire
Why are you running for office?
- I will bring a new perspective to the City Council, and I will be a voice for all. We need a City Council that includes representation for all Mount Vernon residents. I am a leader in the Latino community, and I am a person who thinks about and cares about the issues and concerns of all people. Our city is growing and changing and the best solutions will be reached if we give everyone a voice. I have worked steadily and passionately for the good of our city and its residents, and I want to continue as a member of the City Council.
What is the single biggest issue?
- Housing! Recent reports show that our city’s economy will grow if we can provide housing for the needed employees. We need affordable housing for those in our city who are struggling and we also need housing for middle income workers. Stable, safe housing is a foundation for the social and economic success of families and children. We know that children living at home do better in school. We know that children without homes have more physical and mental health problems and experience developmental delays. We know that youth who have a home are less vulnerable to being pulled into gang activity. This is a problem we can solve!
How will you address it?
- The Mt Vernon City Council can work in partnership with state and federal agencies that provide assistance. We can work with planners and builders, and the local agencies that provide support. Housing on the major transit routes and near community resources is in the planning stage, and we will also soon be able to build more housing downtown. This will support downtown revitalization.
Why should voters choose you?
- It is time to add a new perspective to the government of Mount Vernon. Our elected officials have worked hard and I appreciate their effort. I want to work within the government to bring us forward with fresh thinking. I have a lot of energy! I will draw in people from all backgrounds to work together. I will inspire hope. I will guide us toward a vibrant, inclusive community.
What sets you apart from your opponents?
- My opponents are also hard-working but they cannot bring diversity to our problem-solving. Solutions are better when many ideas, many voices are part of the process. I am deeply rooted in the Latino community, and I am also, through my work, connected to all our city’s children and youth – our future!