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  • Writer's pictureJoshua Thompson

My Response to the LWV Voter's Guide Questions

Updated: Oct 24, 2023

As part of being a candidate for Ellensburg City Council, I was asked these five questions by the League of Women Voters for their Voter's Guide.

How has your experience prepared you for this position?

My professional background over the past 15 years has predominantly revolved around contracting and consulting, particularly within the tech industry, where I've had the privilege of working with major companies like Microsoft and Amazon. This experience has entailed managing intricate projects with large budgets and many stakeholders, often necessitating the ability to navigate and find common ground in situations of significant disagreement. I've consistently approached these challenges by relying on the facts and a determination to drive towards practical solutions. My academic foundation, with a degree in Business Economics, has further honed my analytical and strategic thinking skills. Moreover, as a small business owner in Ellensburg, I've gained valuable insights into local economic dynamics. This combined experience equips me with the expertise and perspective needed to effectively contribute to the Ellensburg City Council, making informed decisions that benefit our city and its residents.

Why did you decide to run for this position?

I decided to run for Ellensburg City Council because I believe in the power of community engagement and the importance of local government. Ellensburg is a place I've called home for many years, and I've seen the incredible potential our city has. However, I also recognize the challenges we face, from affordable housing to sustainable growth and ensuring that our community provides opportunity for all. I believe that by serving on the City Council, I can contribute my experience, passion, and dedication to addressing these issues and working collaboratively with fellow residents to shape a brighter future for our city. It's not just about making decisions; it's about being a voice for the people, representing their concerns, and striving for positive change that benefits us all. Running for City Council is my way of giving back to the community that has given me so much and helping Ellensburg thrive.

What is your record of public service?

Since my teenage years, I've been driven by a strong desire to serve others, and I've found various avenues to do so. I've engaged in a wide range of activities, such as volunteering as a coach and umpire for youth basketball and baseball, participating in food drives, and contributing to various youth groups within different churches. What's been particularly fulfilling for me is the direct assistance I've provided to individuals in need. Throughout my life, I've helped numerous stranded motorists by changing their tires or giving their batteries a jumpstart. I keep Fred Meyer gift cards in my car to offer meals to those who may require assistance, and I also carry Narcan in my vehicle's center console to address the opioid epidemic. I don't seek public recognition for these acts of kindness; my motivation comes from a genuine desire to help my fellow persons in their times of need.

What methods will you use to work with the mayor (if you have an elected mayor) or the city manager or administrator (if you have a chief administrator hired by the council)?

I'm eager to collaborate closely with our city manager, Heidi Behrends Cerniwey, as she brings a wealth of expertise to the table. Drawing from my career experience, I've always recognized the value of seeking advice and insights from subject matter experts. In my role as a city councilmember, I intend to apply this principle by engaging with our city manager and building a strong working relationship. To me, the most effective approach involves taking the time to foster these connections by sitting down over a cup of coffee or a meal. This approach will be extended to all department heads, subject matter experts throughout the city, and, of course, my fellow city councilmembers. Open and respectful communication will be at the core of our collaborative efforts to ensure that we make informed decisions and serve the best interests of Ellensburg effectively.

How would you describe your vision for your city?

My vision for Ellensburg is one of a thriving community. I envision a city where residents of all backgrounds and ages can find opportunities for personal and economic growth. Ellensburg should be a place where small businesses flourish, creating jobs and supporting our local economy. Preserving our natural beauty and open spaces is vital, and responsible development should be a priority. In my vision, Ellensburg's local government is transparent, responsive, and accountable to its residents, fostering a strong sense of trust and collaboration. I aim to promote a safe environment, where the well-being and aspirations of all community members are considered and supported. Ultimately, I see Ellensburg as a city where everyone can proudly call home, where the unique charm of our community is cherished, and where we work together to build a brighter future for generations to come.

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