Jenna Nand to challenge Diane Buckshnis for Position 4

Council candidate wants to stop Edmonds Street Waterfont Connector
By Makenna Dreher | Apr 20, 2019
Photo by: Makenna Dreher Jenna Nand: “I am running for City Council because I disagree with a lot of decisions the council makes and think they could use a fresh new perspective.”

Jenna Nand, 35, who last week officially announced she would run for Edmonds City Council, has now decided on which seat to seek: Position 4, currently held by incumbent Diane Buckshnis.

Buckshnis is seeking reelection.

Nand, second vice chair of the 32nd Legislative District Democrats, said her priorities for Edmonds include securing more affordable homes for younger people, creating more affordable spaces for business startups, stopping the planned Waterfront Connector and allocating that money to other projects, and addressing homelessness in compassionate ways.

“I am running for City Council because I disagree with a lot of decisions the council makes and think they could use a fresh new perspective,” she said. “After living here and being involved in the community, I decided, why not?”

Nand is a member of the City’s Climate Protection Committee.

“As your representative on council, I will champion solutions to save our marsh and our trees before it’s too late,” she said in a news release Monday. “As a coastal town, our community will be directly impacted by rising sea levels in the 21st century. I firmly believe that we must do our part to help Edmonds residents implement environmentally friendly policies to combat climate change.”

Nand said she is strongly against the connector, which would be used for emergency access to the waterfront, and believes funds should be spent elsewhere.

“Council President Adrienne Fraley-Monillas brings this up at council meetings all the time – people are dying on Aurora Avenue because there are not enough crosswalks,” she said.

“I would love to see that much money allocated towards problems like this, instead of a $27 million Waterfront Connector.”

Nand said she wants to help make Edmonds a place where businesses and young professionals can grow. One of her ideas is to make a business incubator, or a place where business startups can rent more affordable spaces to begin their businesses in Edmonds.

She also lists homelessness and helping those who need it as one of her priorities.

“As the transient homeless population grows in Edmonds, I believe our city government must confront this humanitarian crisis with compassion. I will advocate for increased access to services for those who are sleeping outside and surviving on the margins of society.”

“I believe everyone deserves a helping hand during the most difficult times of their lives. As the child of immigrants who came here with nothing and worked their way up, I strongly believe in the dignity of work to better yourself.

“When people are given a helping hand, they can turn their lives around. I believe that Edmonds has a role to play in helping to alleviate our regional homelessness epidemic.”

Nand was born in Louisiana after her parents emigrated from Fiji. Her family moved to Shoreline when she was 6, and she has been in the area, on and off due to school, ever since.

“I always find my way back to Edmonds,” she said. She lives in the Lake Ballinger neighborhood.

Nand graduated from Shorecrest High School, completed her associate of arts at Edmonds Community College, earned her bachelor’s of political science at the University of Washington, and earned her law degree at the University of Minnesota Law School in 2012.

Nand started her business law firm, Fortuna Law, in 2015, after working in a global law firm and working in the nonprofit sector.

She also works as a pro bono attorney for the Northwest Immigration Rights Project and volunteers for free legal clinics serving low-income residents.

She is an adjunct professor of international business law at Seattle University.

Because of her pro bono work, Nand said she has friends and clients who have experienced homelessness and who have shared their experiences with her, giving her a better understanding of the problem.

“Just because homelessness isn’t a big problem in the Edmonds Bowl, does not mean that Edmonds does not have a problem,” she said. “Homelessness is hidden in Edmonds, and I want the city and first responders to treat people with compassion.”

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