Community activist Laura Johnson to run against Neil Tibbott

She is a founding member of the Edmonds Neighborhood Action Coalition
By Brian Soergel | Feb 16, 2019
Courtesy of: Laura Johnson Laura Johnson

This year’s Edmonds City Council election, which could lead to some new faces in 2020, now has its first bona fide competition.

Laura Johnson, a local community organizer and longtime volunteer, has announced her candidacy for Position 7, a seat currently held by Neil Tibbott, who late last month stated his intention to run for a second term.

“I am a wife, mother, and small business co-owner,” said Johnson, 48, in a news release.

“Like many of you, I chose to move to Edmonds because I knew it was the perfect place to raise a family and I wanted to be a part of this community.”

The tally so far: The terms of Councilmembers Kristiana Johnson (Position 1) and Adrienne Fraley-Monillas (Position 3) are through 2021. Councilmember Mike Nelson (Position 2) is secure through 2021 as well, but he is running for mayor. Mayor Dave Earling is not seeking a third term.

Councilmember Dave Teitzel will not run for a second term. Vivian Olson announced earlier this month that she will seek his Position 5 seat.

Councilmember Diane Buckshnis (Position 4) will seek another four-year term, leaving only Thomas Mesaros (Position 6) as the lone councilmember yet to make a commitment.

The official filing period for the August primary is May 13-17, with the general election Nov. 6.

Johnson and her husband own a commercial cleaning company. She has also owned an event planning company, which she eventually sold in order to focus on raising three children.

Johnson has worked with members of the community in supporting City Council actions, including the protection and restoration of the Edmonds Marsh, a resolution prohibiting the transport of coal and crude oil by rail through Edmonds, and legislation requiring safe-storage of firearms and mandated reporting if they are lost or stolen.

She has also been a critic of crumb-rubber on Edmonds playfields.

“When I found myself unsatisfied with governmental decisions,” she said, “I knew that if I was going to complain I should also be willing to do something to make a change.”

Johnson organized a panel discussion on gun safety and legislation, moderated a candidate forum for the local 2018 elections, advocated for a school district resolution against arming teachers and in support of state legislation to prevent gun violence, and organized a Safe Playing Fields outreach event which brought in stakeholders and elected officials from across Puget Sound.

Johnson, who lives in the Pine Ridge Park area of the Edmonds Bowl, currently serves as co-chair of the Edmonds Historic Preservation Commission, is co-lead for the Edmonds Group of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a member of the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, and a founding member of the Edmonds Neighborhood Action Coalition.

According to the candidate’s website, votelaurajohnson.com, her key issues include ensuring that citizens have access to information on critical issues and ample time and methods to provide feedback; developing a reasonable waterfront access plan for emergency responders; ensuring a functioning saltwater marsh and designation as a wildlife sanctuary; and carefully planned, innovative and measured growth management within Edmonds.

Johnson has the early endorsement of several community leaders, including former State Sen. Maralyn Chase, Edmonds City Council President Adrienne Fraley-Monillas, Shoreline City Council Member Chris Roberts, Edmonds School Board Director Carin Chase, Edmonds Diversity Commission Vice Chair Anabel Hovig, Edmonds Diversity Commissioner Mindy Woods, and community organizer Courtney Wooten.

“One of the most rewarding parts of my community-based work has been helping others become more civically engaged,” Johnson said.

“With that in mind, I am committed to increasing the transparency and accessibility of our local government. I am also committed to thoughtful environmental stewardship and will always keep in mind the future generations that will inherit the impacts of the decisions we make today.”

 

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