Redmond City Council candidates vying for Pos. 7 are Shad Ansari, incumbent David Carson, Osama Hamdan and Carlos Jimenez. Ansari is a holistic physician, Hamdan is a technical program manager at Google, and Jimenez is the executive director of Centro Cultural Mexicano.
Why are you running for Redmond City Council?
Shad Ansari: I am running for Redmond City Council because our community has suffered a general feeling of being left out of the major decisions regarding the future of the city. We need leaders who are willing to face the complex issues confronting our city such as affordable housing, traffic congestion, small businesses leaving the city and environment. We need leaders willing to listen to all residents of Redmond, ensuring the best solutions to these challenges.
David Carson: I’m running for re-election to finish the work started like bringing light rail to Overlake and downtown and improving mobility in our urban centers. As well, I want to see through our urban livability goals in the new Marymoor Village neighborhood. Considering Redmond’s desirability and as Redmond continues to grow, I will remain committed to principles that keep it as affordable as possible. This includes having a critical eye when it comes to the city’s budget.
Osama Hamdan: I have called Redmond home since 2005 and I have seen it grow dramatically since then. The city has had to deal with a lot of growth over the last few years and while I believe the city has done a good job keeping up with the changes, it is time to bring in more diverse perspectives to our city government. Having spent my career in the computer industry, I bring experience that can add value to how we modernize the way the city works how we make critical decisions.
Carlos Jimenez: I am running for Redmond City Council because every person in Redmond deserves a voice at the decision-making table. Our voices in local government impact the policies that shape our everyday lives and the lives of the next generation. As an advocate for racial, economic, and social justice, I would represent our entire vibrant community. I envision a council where respect for the longtime resident, as well as the new resident, results in innovative ideas that benefit the whole.
What are some goals for this upcoming term on council?
Ansari: My goals are to work on solutions for bringing small businesses back again to Redmond, improve the traffic and provide means to make it easier to have affordable homes in Redmond. Small businesses are leaving Redmond due to not having enough facilities, high rents, and head taxes. The city is not affordable for the average household’s income. The traffic congestion is becoming worse every year. People’s voices are ignored or forgotten with the current City Council members. We need a change in the city and rather than spending $41 million for the concrete park in downtown, which by all measures is very high, we could have used that budget better by addressing some of these issues. There are so many solutions and tools for the city to use to solve these problems. We can deploy smart city solutions for traffic control and flow and provide easier permits for existing homes to use adjacent dwelling units for rent and additional income. We need to give incentives through tax breaks to small businesses and provide affordable facilities for rental.
Carson: I have specific goals for the next four years if I’m fortunate enough to be re-elected. First, I want to see the planned expansion of West Lake Sammamish Parkway fulfilled. This will give residents in the southern part of Redmond access to Marymoor Park with a planned bike/pedestrian trail connection as well as improved mobility. The second goal is to start the improvement of east Redmond park properties known as the “String of Pearls.” Donated by Redmond’s founding families, it’s time that we work to make them the natural gems that our community deserves.
Hamdan: There are so many critical topics that need to be addressed, but there are a few key areas I would like to focus on in my first term. The first is ensuring our transportation infrastructure plans are modern and able to maintain the quality of life as the population grows. Second is working to ensure that lower-income residents and people who don’t have a stable place to call home can afford to live and grow in our community. The third focus area is building community connections that will help us all to get to know each other better, including supporting more neighborhood parks that bring neighbors together.
Jimenez: My goals on council are to listen to the residents of Redmond and to invite them to be part of shaping the future of our city. We are fortunate to live in a dynamic place, where the community cares about their city. It is imperative to listen to our small-business owners that help give the city its character, and also to engage into community conversations as we are faced with ever-rising housing costs. We must acknowledge the future infrastructure needs and the needs of our youth and seniors who deserve our respect, care, and attention. Together we can shape a positive future for the city we call home.
The primary election will be held on Aug. 6. Two candidates will proceed to the general election on Nov. 5.