Thank you, Hughes and Watson | Letter

Thank you, Commissioners Hughes and Watson, for voting to appoint Alex Ramel as our next state representative.

In the never-ending cycle of bad news on the global and national levels, this decision is enormously positive for San Juan County and Washington state.

I have worked with Alex on conservation and affordable housing issues for 15 years, and there is not a more capable person to represent the 40th District in Olympia.

Focused on finding solutions, Alex could care less about getting credit. He works tirelessly to innovate and his example has inspired countless others to join the cause. Regardless of your political persuasion, he values what matters most to you and works from there to get to a mutually beneficial Yes.

Alex was masterful at creating permanently affordable homeownership as chair of Kulshan Community Land Trust. Similarly, as head of the Whatcom chapter of Washington Conservation Voters, Alex helped elect numerous environmentally responsible candidates, many of whom still serve today.

And perhaps most regionally significant, in 2011, when every single elected official (including Democrats) from Olympia to the Canadian border were on board for building a massive coal export facility north of Bellingham, Alex defied the incredibly long odds, declaring that we have to fight.

The ensuing grassroots campaign eventually won over then-Mayor Dan Pike and from there, the sustained groundswell of support ultimately killed the Gateway Pacific Terminal and made it impossible for future candidates to equivocate on exporting dirty coal to China through the Salish Sea.

Thank you for the good news, Messrs. Hughes and Watson! Representative Ramel is going to prove you exceedingly prudent, and I cannot wait to see the good that comes when all of you start collaborating for a better future.

Andy Wickstrand