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Stephens of Lopez Island has declared his candidacy for District 3
Jamie Stephens of Lopez Island has declared his candidacy for District 3 Lopez/Shaw/Decatur for the new county-wide San Juan County Council election April 23.
Stephens has served on the existing council for two years. During this time he fought to keep farmland available for farmers into the future and open up their opportunities to market their products. He brought resolution to the solid waste system and worked to make community control of the dumps and reuse facilities a reality. He contributed to laying the groundwork for economic opportunities by endorsing high speed internet connectivity to be made available for most of our citizens.
Stephens worked to stabilize the county’s budget long enough that we may have a community conversation about the size and scope county government. He approved a series of ordinances that will protect the environment we love and give property owners the certainty they need when developing their property. He has advocated for permanent protection of the Bureau of Land Management lands in San Juan County including going to Washington D.C. to further the effort.
“There has been a lot of change in county government during the past two years and I am an experienced voice to move the county forward while implementing the changes in the way the county is governed,” said Stephens.
Prior to becoming a council member, Stephens was active in healthy community initiatives including serving as board member of the Family Resource Center, Fisherman Bay Water Association, as Port Commissioner, member of the Lopez Village planning Committee, and Board member of the award winning Lopez Community Land Trust. He also substituted regularly at Lopez Schools and organized the yearly Fourth of July Parade.
Stephens teaches business classes for burgeoning entrepreneurs through the Family Resource Center. He has two children, one in college and another employed in Washington, D.C. He lives with his wife Lauren Stephens in Lopez Village.
Keeping in mind the words of former Commissioner Eleanor Howard, “one needs to be more careful with an island,” Stephens responds: “Like others I came for the beauty and stayed because of the community. I raised my children on Lopez because I saw the importance of 'community' in their lives.”
Stephens said he believes that healthy communities depend on 1) jobs through a vibrant and diversified economy, 2) strong and connected neighborhoods with a sense of community, 3) protecting and stewarding the natural environment, and 4) creating quality education and learning opportunities for all ages.
“To keep our communities county-wide vibrant and healthy, demands that we pay attention to all its issues and concerns, not just a select few,” he said. “I want to continue that work for you.”