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Assuring Mukilteo voice heard

Mukilteo’s Louis Harris eyes Position 2 seat

 

February 27, 2019

Louis Harris

Four-year Mukilteo resident Louis Harris, 31, has thrown his hat in the race for Snohomish County Council Position 2, joining two other Mukilteo residents, and seven other candidates total, to see who will represent Mukilteo, Everett and Tulalip Tribes land.

Brian Sullivan, the former Mukilteo mayor and city councilmember, has held the seat since 2008, but is term-limited. He is running for Snohomish County treasurer.

Harris, a Democrat, joins Mukilteo Mayor Jennifer Gregerson and Mukilteo City Council Vice President Anna Rohrbough as Mukilteo residents aiming to succeed Sullivan.

Harris works with the state’s Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), and except for attending Washington State University in Pullman for college, has lived in Snohomish County his whole life.

Harris believes his work with DSHS makes him a great candidate for County Council.

“Being on the ground with folks struggling to make ends meet, I have an ability to bring those voices to the council in a way that ensures everyone is heard,” Harris said. “I approach problem solving through collaboration.”

Harris moved to Mukilteo four years ago with his partner, and lives near the Mukilteo Post Office.

“Right between Old Town and Harbour Pointe,” he said, laughing.

Harris grew up in Marysville near Tulalip, and attended Everett Community College before transferring to Washington State, ultimately ending up in Mukilteo a few years later.

“There’s a real sense of community in Mukilteo,” he said.

In his work with DSHS, Harris helps determine eligibility for temporary assistance programs.

“I work with folks all across the state. I’m well connected to those on the ground and am in tune to folks and what they’re going through,” Harris said. “It puts me in the right place to be able to represent them.”

In addition to his work with DSHS, Harris is also active in local groups and nonprofits, such as the NAACP of Snohomish County, served as chair of the Snohomish County Young Democrats, and as vice chair of the Snohomish County Black Heritage Committee, which hosts the Nubian Jam, a community festival, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration.

He has also assisted the city of Everett in a districting measure, and was a member of Mayor Cassie Franklin’s transition advisory team.

One of Harris’ focuses is the opioid crisis in Snohomish County.

“This is a big opportunity for us to be innovative in how we divert users to treatment and clean up our community,” he said. “I’m for policies that do that in a way that reduces the impact on our community.”

Harris said he understands many of his Mukilteo neighbors are upset with the new airport at Paine Field, but he sees it as an opportunity to improve the community as well.

“This creates an opportunity for industry to move back here to Snohomish County,” he said. “I know Mukilteo has been opposed to this, but since it’s here, how can we make it better? I hope to answer that in a collaborative way with residents, businesses and industries.”

Another area he hopes to address is homelessness in the county, especially in Everett.

“Everett has the Everett Gospel Mission, and they have a high homeless population as a result,” he said. “I want to work with businesses, groups and the government to create a comprehensive approach to solve or mitigate homelessness.”

Harris has seen the news regarding the struggles the Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival is having, and that the festival may not take place in 2019. He said the new ferry terminal will give an opportunity to potentially revisit what the festival should be.

“How can we revitalize the festival? People want to go there and be a part of what Mukilteo residents want.”

Harris said his ability to mesh with all generations makes him an ideal candidate for Snohomish County Council.

“I’m an intergenerational leader,” he said. “I understand where the retiring generation and the younger generation are at. I’m an advocate for both of them.”

Harris is also passionate about the environment, and has served as the environmental justice practitioner for the NAACP.

“It’s important to look at energy through a social justice lens,” he said.

Harris also cited his need to engage with other community members as why he’s a good candidate.

“My approach to decision making is inclusion and civic engagement,” he said. “There’s always ways we can govern better.”

Harris said he’s received great support from his friends and family, and said no one is surprised he’s running for office.

“There’s really no place I go where I don’t know someone,” he said.

Along with Gregerson and Rohrbough, Everett residents Megan Dunn, Cecilia Wilson, Alex Lark, Tyler Verda, and Sharita Burton join Harris in the race for Position 2.

Harris said with the crowded field, he’s excited to see how the election plays out.

Harris said his connections will benefit Snohomish County if elected.

“Even though I’m honed in to my district, my connections span outside of Snohomish County and the state. The hope is I can attract more talent and industry to the county that gets us where we need to be.”

The filing period for the Aug. 7 primary election is May 13-17. The two candidates with the most votes in the primary move on to the general election, which is Nov. 5.

To learn more about Harris, visit electlouisharris.com.

Author Bio

Brandon Gustafson, Editor, Mukilteo Beacon

Brandon Gustafson was named editor of the Mukilteo Beacon in October, 2017. Born and raised in Mukilteo, Brandon attended Mukilteo Elementary, Olympic View Middle School, and Kamiak High School, graduating in 2013. After high school, Brandon attended Shoreline Community College, earning his associate's degree while playing for the school's baseball team. He then transferred to the University of Washington, where he graduated in 2017 with a bachelor's degree in communications-journalism.

Email: mukilteoeditor@yourbeacon.net
Phone: 425-347-5634
Twitter: @MukBeaconBPG

 

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