Young and Ruffling some Feathers: William Donaldson answers why he’s seeking public office

Since Snoqualmie Council Candidate William Donaldson wasn’t in a primary over the summer, isn’t an incumbent or former mayor, and didn’t do a press release when he announced his candidacy – we thought we’d pose a few ‘get to know you’ questions to learn a little about him and what drove him to run for city council.

The young candidate was in the news this summer. At issue were videos of his public comments at council meetings placed on his campaign website – and whether this was a campaign violation. Some Snoqualmie council members were worried it was (and left the city liable for that violation) and voted to suspend live streaming of the non agenda item public comment period. The PDC (Public Disclosure Commission), though, said it did not violate the law.

Donaldson is challenging incumbent Sean Sundwall for council position #6. The general election happens November 5th. Ballots should be mailed around October 16th. You can register to vote HERE.

We’ll also be running articles next month posing questions to council candidates (similar to those run during the summer primary) in North Bend and Snoqualmie.

How long have you lived in Snoqualmie and what is your personal and professional background you feel would make you an asset on the city council?

I moved to Snoqualmie from Bellevue in February of 2016, so I’m going on four years now. Having been born and raised in the Greater Seattle area, I’ve been visiting Snoqualmie since I was a toddler. It was an easy choice for me when I set out to invest in real estate. I’ve always had a great appreciation for nature and, in particular, the great northwest. I grew up backpacking on the trails nearby and those experiences have helped to shape the political positions I hold in my adult life. Beside my genuine interest in government, I’m an entrepreneur and a technologist. I’ve worked professionally for a decade studying the effects that modern information technologies have had upon society. This upcoming generation of Americans have been raised with computers alongside every facet of their lives – there are reasons to be both excited and concerned about this. I believe that I have a firm understanding of where we go from here.

2) What inspired you to run for council?

The reasons date back to my childhood. Most of the mentors I’ve looked up to and studied throughout my youth have been public servants. When I ruminate about the best way to spend my energy and utilize my talents, I consistently conclude that government is the surest course for me to impact positive change. I just want to help humanity. I believe that’s the driving force behind most of our actions. While our nation is obsessed with the presidency and the federal government, we have turned our backs to local government. I don’t expect fundamental change to come from Washington D.C. I expect it to come from ambitious communities like our own. Nothing excites me more right now than pondering policy solutions to today’s challenges. Not every idea I conjure or propose is the best course, I’m sure, but I believe I can contribute a much needed style of leadership to Snoqualmie and I hope that our voters feel the same way.

3) What specific policy would you like to see enacted or changed if elected to council?

I want to see greater attention paid to environmental protection through action, not words. We live in a very special place, and we need to ensure that its majesty isn’t lost during this era of urbanization. I want better waste management. In particular, recycling. I want to take a stance against oil-based plastic contamination. I want to see much more transparent government, which includes undoing recent authoritarian-style policies that have been enacted pertaining to public records requests. I want to involve our community in the decision-making process in a far more significant way than we are right now, and we can do it by utilizing the latest technology. I’m working on an ambitious solution for that presently, stay tuned. I want to reduce spending and budget more conservatively. That will help to reduce the rate at which our living costs are inflating. And affordable housing – I have bold solutions for that as well.

Andrea and Stephen Tainter with Donaldson at recent meet and greet at the Black Dog Cafe/

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