Election View: Miller wants to represent all, work for solutions in Ferndale

COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALDOctober 8, 2013 

I moved to Ferndale nearly 14 years ago. Originally from Phoenix, the beauty of the town was not lost on me. I still get excited every time I see the alpine glow on Mount Baker. However, it was not merely the landscape that drew my family to this community it was the way the town rallied around a young woman that became the Ferndale High School homecoming king. There was a conservative religious group who threated to boycott the high school graduation. The town turned out in mass to say hatred would not be tolerated. As I drove by city hall that night and looked at the community, protecting one of their own, I knew I wanted to call Ferndale home.

To some, Ferndale is thought of as a small, conservative community. To me, Ferndale represents diversity, over 20 percent of our residents speak a language other than English in their home. Ferndale school district is one of nine schools in the nation, selected by the federal office of Violence Against Women, to develop programs and policy regarding teen dating violence prevention.

Ferndale cares about each member of our community with numerous nonprofit agencies taking care of our most-vulnerable adults and children. I am proud to be a part of this community and I want to make sure all of our voices are heard and each person feels represented.

I am seeking office because I want to be part of the solution in my community. For more than 15 years I have worked as an advocate for veterans, survivors of domestic violence, homeless families, and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. I understand that in order to improve our community, it means working with people whose ideas and values are different from mine. It means listening to all sides and working as a team to come to a solution. I am proud to say that's what I have done in my career. I have worked closely with county commissioners, local city councils, state representatives and the federal government on issues regarding affordable housing, early childhood education, veterans employment and domestic violence.

I worked for 12 years with Skagit County Community Action. I managed five programs, provided technical assistance to housing providers in Skagit and Whatcom counties, and managed a budget in excess of $1 million. During that time I wrote grants, supervised a diverse staff, developed policies and effectively worked with community volunteers to provide best-practice programs that continue to thrive today. Currently, I am employed by the Bellingham/Whatcom Commission Against Domestic Violence. For the last two years I have been working with the school district, Whatcom County service providers, Lummi Victims of Crime, and the Ferndale Police Department on the STEP grant. I have spent much of the last two years speaking with students, parents and community members about healthy teen relationships, completing a community needs assessment and helping to shape additional programs that will affect Ferndale secondary schools.

I am running to join the City Council to improve the quality of our water and make sure the residents of Ferndale don't have to pay one more penny than we have to, to address this issue. It's imperative that our nonprofit programs are protected so they can continue to help the most vulnerable in our city. I am running because I believe it's essential for Ferndale to provide additional living-wage jobs to its residents and encourage small business to open here. As Ferndale continues to grow, areas of public safety become a concern. I want to ensure the public safety of all of our residents. Ferndale parks are unique and reflect the history of our town. I want to be a part of creating new parks that improve the quality of life for the next generation. Providing an aquatic center that reaches out to all the generations will not only improve our quality of life but bring revenue into our town.

I have spent my career working hard and doing my best to bring everyone to the table for a common goal, facilitating conversation and working through challenges. I will bring this work ethic with me to the council. Thank you for your vote. I look forward to meeting many of you as I am out in the community.

For more information visit facebook.com/millerforferndalecouncil or email millerforcouncil@aol.com.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Stacy Miller is the challenger for Ferndale City Council, District 7. Vote-by-mail ballots will be mailed Oct. 19 and the general election is Nov. 5.

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