EDITOR’S NOTE: I Love Kent allows residents running for local office one free post for when they announce their candidacy:
Zandria Michaud announced this week her intention to run for reelection to her Kent City Council Position 7 seat.
Michaud was first elected to council in 2019, and has served as chair of the Parks and Human Services Committee as well as liaison to the Human Services Commission. Prior to joining the city council, she served as chair of the Kent Parks Commission.
Here’s more from a press release:
“I am pleased to announce I am running for re-election to Kent City Council.
“The past four years have been some of the most challenging times for Kent residents but despite those challenges, I am so incredibly proud of the progress and accomplishments we’ve made. I’m looking forward to continuing to represent you while addressing our most pressing issues, ensuring Kent is the place you want to live, work, and play.
“Kent is in a very different place than it was in 2019 when I was first elected to the city council. Kent leaders are no longer looking to sell parks, but instead, we now have sustainable parks capital and have not only refurbished parks like the nationally recognized West Fenwick Park but have also leveraged grant funding to purchase additional land like the last parcel of Clark Lake. And our golf course is now financially self-sufficient for the first time in recent history.
“As the chair of the Parks and Human Services Committee and the council liaison to the Human Services Commission, I have ensured these changes benefit our residents. The Human Services department transformed its grant funding process by ensuring best equity practices and diversified funding to reach a broader range of services and organizations.
“In the summer of 2020, amidst a global pandemic, Kent faced civil unrest. I pushed our police chief to be a leader on these issues and discussed a list of concerns and ideas to address gaps in policies and practices, including police data to look into racial bias, duty to intervene, training, co-responders, and misconduct. We have not only addressed these issues in innovative ways but also transformed the department.
“This transformation is evident in our hiring and initiatives of the past year. We are the only police department that is hiring at a record pace–we have more officers in the state academy than any other agency. As a council member and police spouse, I know work environment and pay are the top reasons people want to work for a department. I approved a significant pay raise for our officers, putting them near the top of the regional pay scale. Our police department now has a Community Immersion Program for recruits which ensures officers know about our community members, and available resources, and increases officers’ cultural competency. Additionally, we now have a police co-responder program to get much-needed resources and services to people in crisis and facing mental health challenges, substance abuse disorders, and housing insecurity. As a member of the Regional Law, Safety, and Justice Committee I have been able to bring ideas and best practices to our city leaders. I continue to push for practical police reform at the state level to ensure our officers can properly address crime in Kent.
“These are just a few of the accomplishments of the past four years. We must continue to work together to find reasonable solutions to our most pressing issues, crime, housing affordability, homelessness, and the livability of Kent. I am here to represent you as we move forward.
“I have strong roots here in Kent, growing up near and attending Park Orchard Elementary and graduating from Kentwood High School. After graduating, I served in the Army for five years and then earned a degree in American Studies from the University of Washington. I worked for the Kent School District for several years in the nurse’s office at Meridian Elementary and later Kentlake where my son attends high school. Prior to joining the city council, I served as chair of the Kent Parks Commission. I now work for a small Kent family business and regularly volunteer at Kent environmental conservation events.”