We live in a great community with a beautiful landscape and a diverse people. However, the cost of living in our community has risen to challenging heights. As a collage student here at WWU, I have seen a tough economy take its toll. We have well-qualified graduates ready to find employment here, but often have to look elsewhere for employment opportunities. We need elected officials who under stand these challenges and that fight for solutions. Clayton Petree is running for the council, and I believe he has the background and the vision to get our graduates working back in Whatcom County. A graduate of Western himself, he was forced to move to Seattle to find employment. One of his top priorities is to help local graduates by attracting businesses that can employ them. With other important issues ahead, such as redeveloping our waterfront, this election is crucial for our future. We need candidates like Clayton who help bring jobs back to our community. We need to elect local people rather than outsiders who will just play politics. We need to elect the right officials, and I believe Clayton Petree is definitely one of them.