Quality of Life. If you spend even a few minutes with Des Moines resident Susan White, you’ll likely hear the phrase “quality of life” at least once – and maybe a few times.

White loves engaging citizens on what makes quality of life in Des Moines unique and worthy of protection – abundant beaches, parks, the marina, the boardwalk, restaurants, our seniors, our schools, our diversity, and our sense of community. Her passion for serving the community she loves has been evidenced by her service – including 8 years of service on Des Moines City Council.

Susan White is running for City Council again – Position 4. And she’ll tell you her mission is the same as its always been in the Waterland City for the past 28 years: protecting, maintaining, and enhancing the quality of life for her neighbors, our city, and our region.

Here’s White’s take on some key issues:

  • Responding to Sea-Tac Airport Expansion

“Airport expansion and overflights come with terrible costs to the health of our families and our environment. Yes – there are economic benefits to Sea-Tac. But the burden to our community is so disproportionate high compared to the benefits, especially when compared to the benefits to the rest of the region receives with no burden at all.  Our citizens tell me that it feels like our quality of life is under attack, more than ever. And these feelings are supported by all the new studies and science. So, we’re learning – for the first time – just how harmful these airport operations can be.

We must continue support for our federal and state elected officials, and our citizen group – but there is more our council can do. We need our council to treat the Port’s expansion – over our city’s objections – more personally. We need our city officials to be up to speed and testify frequently at Port Commission meetings on behalf of our citizens. I’ll do that. We need to retake control of the Highline Forum of cities, and other multi-jurisdictional organizations, that have essentially been handed over to the Port of Seattle. I’ll do that. It’s a leadership issue.”

  • Transparency

“I will commit to work closely with my colleagues on the Council – but if I am elected, you will hear my independent voice at every council meeting. If I think a matter deserves discussion, or a motion, or a resolution, I’ll offer it  – I’m not afraid of being on the losing end of a 6-1 vote. That’s how positive change begins. Rest assured, this does not lead to dysfunction. This leads directly to transparency. And transparently is essential – you guessed it – as a guardrail to protect our quality of life.”

  • Our Seniors

“I have lived in Redondo for 30 years. I have three beautiful daughters and 6 wonderful grandchildren, ranging from 2 to 18 years old.  But I’m also a senior – and understand the values of what Seniors contribute to our communities.  In my 8 years on the Council, I served as the liaison to the Senior Services Advisory Committee. I am familiar with the needs of our seniors. Our Senior Center is a wonderful resource for our communities.  I would like to see those services enhanced.”

  • Our Parks

From Des Moines Beach Park, to Stephen J. Underwood Memorial, to Wooten Park in Redondo, and all our treasured spaces in between – our parks are a measure of our commitment to quality of life. We have tremendous development and stewardship responsibilities to maximize and preserve the benefits of these spaces for our citizens and, critically, for assuring their survival. My record? I advocated for the National Historic Listing of the Historic Beach Park and its successful rehabilitation. I was appointed for 6 years to the Governor’s Washington Historic Preservation Committee, and served 9 years as a Board member for the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation.”

  • The Marina and Boardwalk

“I agree with our current Council that the Marina and Boardwalk face some tremendous financial challenges. The needed repairs are not simplistic construction projects. Our Council has overall done a good job trying to stay ahead of the curve. But it’s going to be a long slog. It requires an ‘all hands’ approach – ranging from State and Federal assistance, to private public partnerships. This is an area where my years of relationship building, and network and experience with our State and Federal legislative delegations, will be helpful. One very specific change I’ll seek and that I know Des Moines residents want – free parking for residents at the Marina.”

  • Economic Development

“My years of private business experience – I’m a now-retired realtor and property manager – taught me a lot about the hardships faced by small businesses.  My public service experience shined a light on how helpful – or how harmful – government can be to our business community. Working as liaison to the Puget Sound Regional Council, serving as our city’s representative for South King County Economic Development Initiative bolstered my belief that government is here to serve our business community, not get in the way. At the same time, government must always protect quality of life.”

  • The Complexities of “the Des Moines South End”

“There is only one Des Moines. But we are a diverse.  Some decisions impact all, equally. But certainly, the south end of Des Moines can be complex. For example, in the south end of Des Moines, many of our children must go to Federal Way Schools – not Highline. Many of our south end residents in the very northern tip the 30th State legislative district, so they don’t share the same set of state legislators. The problem – quite naturally – arises if our council isn’t closely attuned with how to serve this segment of our city – how to help to coordinate services from school districts and legislative districts. None of the current council live in in the south end; have children in Federal Way Schools; or are represented by Senator Wilson, and Representatives Pelliciotti and Reeves. This is an opportunity to better serve!”