“Building Community, Not Buildings” and “#ConnectingRedmond” are snappy campaign slogans. However, in the last few years, the mayor and city council have built community through involvement. To illustrate, here are just a few examples:
• Opened the Redmond Central Connector as the community gathering place
• Launched the highly successful So Bazaar festival that is attended by hundreds of people each week in August
• Revitalized Derby Days
• Have grown Redmond Lights into our signature winter celebration
• Introduced spring community gathering with the Holi Festival and Lucia Neare’s Theatrical Wonders
• Brought us Riverside Blues Festival
• 5K races throughout the year
• Partnered with OneRedmond to introduce the new fall Redmond Rain Fest
The mayor and city council also hold Neighborhood Conversations, where citizens are invited to their local neighborhood elementary school to discuss whatever is on their mind with city council, and the Community Centers outreach effort has included more than 3,000 citizens in the process. The fact that candidate Steve Fields and former candidate Osama Hamdan are unaware of these activities shows how little they are involved in our community. Begging the question, “How are they prepared to lead a community in which they don’t even bother showing up?”
However, at some point, you have to stop talking and start engaging and getting involved in your community.
Byron Shutz was a boots-on-the-ground volunteer in this city for almost two decades before he was elected to the council. He has always been involved in the Redmond community through actions, not slogans.