Qualifications matter when it comes to candidates | Chuck Parrish

  • Friday, July 21, 2017 12:07pm
  • Opinion

Chuck Parrish

In the upcoming August primary, we will be voting to fill Tukwila City Council Position No. 5. We are fortunate. Four candidates are running for the seat by Joe Duffie has occupied for more than three decades.

Candidates Zak Idan and Dennis Martinez are making the most visible campaign efforts, with signs and doorbelling. Presumably, these two candidates will move on to the general election in November.

In campaigns, we talk a lot about qualifications. The truth is there is no standard. Opinions vary as to what qualified means. However, we have learned a hard lesson from President Trump: Temperament does matter. Candidates Idan and Martinez qualify in this respect. Both are good people with positive intent.

Bill Nye, The Science Guy, invites us to free our inner nerd – to indulge in extreme curiosity. He is talking about science, but we can apply that to anything, including local politics. After all, our political choices affect our immediate surroundings and our lives. So check out the candidates’ websites, Facebook pages and endorsements. Call the candidates. They will take your call.

Here is my take. In a previous column, I talked about whether or not a candidate brings something special to the dais. If elected, who will have the most immediate positive impact? Timing, place and context help determine that.

Not long ago, Tukwila voters approved a public safety bond for the city. The council is in the process of implementation. That process is very detailed and time-consuming. Eventually, the City Council will select sites, and construction will begin. Idan has a formal education from the University of Washington in construction engineering management and urban planning. That is an excellent fit.

We have a large refugee and immigrant population in Tukwila. Idan was born in Somalia. After living in camps in Kenya, his family moved here as refugees and has prospered. Idan understands this community in a way that no other candidate or current council member could.

His presence on the City Council would be a clear statement to refugee/immigrant communities that they are valued, not only as friends and neighbors, but also as co-creators of Tukwila’s future. A more involved and close-knit Tukwila community will result – a goal worth pursuing.

Tukwila Reporter columnist Chuck Parrish can be reached via email at chuckparrish2009@gmail.com.

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