Letter | You Should Vote for Sarah Perry

[Letter by Roger Ledbetter– Snoqualmie, WA. Views expressed are those of the author, not the Living Snoqualmie website. You may submit letters of support for your candidate to info@livingsnoqualmie.com]

At this point, you have received your ballot and the election is just days away. I encourage everyone to vote by November 2. Off-season elections like this one usually have a low voter turnout. You could have a turnout of only 30% of voters, which means a candidate could be elected with just 17% of eligible voters.

This is sad as local elections like this one have really important consequences in our lives and our communities. King County Council races are on the ballot, and the elected Council members will be making important decisions about transportation, policing and our environment.

One of the races I have been following is the King County Council District #3 campaign between 20-year incumbent Kathy Lambert and challenger Sarah Perry.

It’s only fair for me to disclose that I have known Sarah Perry for about 5 years and really respect her. In all that time, I have never heard a cruel word from her. A few years ago, I rode with her to Olympia for Lobby Day, and she said to me, “I think I am more conservative than you.” I agreed she was more conservative, but told her that wasn’t important to me. I’m a progressive and Perry is a centrist Democrat. While we have our disagreements, we have more in common.

Perry believes the Democratic Party should have a diversity of ideas as well as of people and she understands our great country is, and has always been, made up of different cultures, religions, and faiths. She respects the dignity of all peoples, races, sexual orientations, and faiths, and believes the U.S.A.’s pluralism can be a beacon of hope for a world full of ethnic hate. She believes in love, respect and tolerance. Centrist and progressive Democrats have much in common but sometimes disagree on the best policy or candidate to reach our shared goals.

I admire Sarah Perry. Yes, she is smart and a quick learner, but more important is she is one of the hardest working women I have ever known. Perhaps even more important is that her faith keeps her heart in the right place.

Sarah Perry has three main things that she would like to work on if elected:

  1. She believes that small businesses are an important part of the character of our community and economy and she wants to work towards making small businesses thrive.
  2. Secondly, she wants to improve transportation between the small towns of King County’s 3rd District like Duvall, Carnation, North Bend and Snoqualmie. Improving transportation will assist small businesses in giving them a larger pool of potential employees to hire from. Sarah Perry’s husband, State Representative Bill Ramos, has expertise in the area of roads and transportation and is a member of the state transportation committee. Sarah will have free access to an excellent consultant.
  3. And finally, Perry cares about preserving the environment and wild areas that brought many of us to the rural towns of eastern King County in the first place.  We are so fortunate to have the local trails which add so much to the character of our eastern King County communities.

But there are many other reasons to support Sarah Perry. My 34-year career was in criminal justice, and I have seen firsthand the damage done to our community from crime, chemical dependency, mental health and homelessness.  Sarah Perry’s approach to these complex issues will be compassionate and practical. 

I have spoken to both Representative Ramos and Sarah Perry about policing, and found total agreement with them that “defund the police” was a misleading and bad slogan. Perry told me she supports “… increasing police funding to ensure needed staffing, neighborhood patrols and improved response time”. But she also supports “real accountability” and “transparency”. She believes body cameras on all officers will help protect police from false accusations while also protecting the public from bad apple officers.

One important reason that I support Sarah Perry is that she is passionate about caring for the mentally ill. I have seen a person who suffers from Bi-polar Disorder, who could easily be treated, become homeless because they lacked community resources. No one benefits from that. Perry is committed to investing in behavioral health resources.

You can learn a great deal about a candidate from their endorsements. Sarah has been endorsed by about 200 community leaders including Congresswoman Dr. Kim Schrier, Attorney General Bob Ferguson, Governor Jay Insee, Commissioner of Public Lands Hillary Franz, Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykal, North Bend Mayor Rob McFarland, Planned Parenthood, and so many more. Although the “Voter’s Pamphlet” indicates that Perry’s opponent has the endorsement of the Seattle Times that has been rescinded and the Seattle Times now endorses Sarah Perry.

I was asked to write up a list of behavioral expectations that would facilitate a safe environment and respectful communications for the King County Democrats. I consulted with Sarah Perry and she said one of the things that helps her be respectful to people she disagrees with is to assume that they have good motivations for what they believe. If you want someone who will work hard to build community in our diverse district, and who will work respectfully with King County Council members to solve the many issues we face in King County, you should vote for Sarah Perry.

Roger Ledbetter, Snoqualmie

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