"I believe people have the power to make a difference. Our future depends on a strong economy, a healthy environment and local people working together. As your County Commissioner these are my priorities—for a Kitsap County we can be proud of!"

My priorities I will continue to promote the following priorities:Charlotte Garrido
Strong Economy: Creating jobs and supporting local businesses
Healthy Environment: Protecting our natural resources
Citizen Engagement: Partnering with communities, and increasing opportunities for residents to be heard by their local elected officials
County Purpose: Implementing the County’s mission “to protect and promote the safety, health and welfare of our citizens in an efficient, accessible and effective manner.”

 

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Qualifications

I have been involved with quality of life issues in Kitsap County for more than thirty years — as an active citizen, a contributing professional, and an elected official.  Early on, I volunteered for advisory boards (such as watershed planning, community planning, rural policy) and then more formally (Boundary Review Board, Historical Society Board, the Democratic Central Committee – including Executive Board, and as an elected park commissioner, for example).  I have also organized community initiatives like the Port Orchard Farmers’ Market, Olalla Community Council, and the South Kitsap Community Council.
As the incumbent for this position, in my second consecutive term (and served another term in the late 1990s), my hands-on experience demonstrates the leadership needed to successfully accomplish the vital tasks of a County Commissioner.  My track record demonstrates skill at building good working relationships and reaching effective outcomes.

Citizen Involvement

I advocate for people’s needs and interests by asking local residents what they think, being out in the community, bringing people together, and working on projects of strong interest to them.

While my schedule is tightly booked, the personnel at our reception desk know that hearing from local residents is a priority for me. I enjoy visiting community meetings and activities, and drop in on such functions whenever possible.  When citizens contact me with concerns, I often ask if I can visit with them and their neighbors.  This helps me learn more about the issue – for example from beach trespass, development proposals, desire for trails, litter and much more.  I can usually bring along a staff person who has expertise about the topic, such as inviting a deputy if the concern is neighborhood break-ins.

I have initiated a pilot program in the Commissioners’ office to bring people together to discuss neighborhood planning. It seeks to build partnerships with communities – drawing on their knowledge of their community, and providing access to county government functions that may benefit them.

Encouraging Economic Development

I work with local economic development promoters, focused on pertinent existing and opportunity industry sectors, and have built a strong network for action. My particular strength is in workforce development. I consistently participate through the following:

  • Puget Sound Regional Council’s Economic Development District – to foster regional economic initiatives.
  • Kitsap Economic Development Alliance, Executive Board – to encourage business retention and expansion in Kitsap; and Kitsap Aerospace & Defense Alliance – to facilitate support for increasing our aerospace industry.
  • Washington Workforce Development Steering Committee — a steering group formed by Governor Inslee to integrate the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA) across the State. This law encourages business engagement in determining workforce needs, and develops career pathways for workers.
  • Olympic Consortium Board (Chair for eight years) – this workforce development leadership entity for Clallam, Jefferson and Kitsap Counties coordinates related policies. The Olympic Workforce Council is composed of representatives from business, labor, and education and implements practical actions.

Environment

My early activism in Kitsap County demonstrates a reasonable approach to development, yet an insistence for taking a long-term view to value our natural resources.  Similarly, my graduate program degree work in planning reflects the importance of community involvement for assuring a balance between natural systems and new development. I currently serve on the Regional Open Space Strategies (ROSS), which envisions balance between built environments and nature.  And, early this year Congressman Kilmer invited me to join a delegation going to Washington, D.C. on behalf of naming Puget Sound as a national estuary and assuring attention to pollution problems.  I support many Kitsap County programs that address environmental issues, and especially our “Clean Water Kitsap” partnerships.

Transportation

I helped originate a Ferry Community Partnership in 2010-11 to critique Washington State Ferries service and routes. We meet all year long, but weekly on Saturdays prior to and throughout the legislative sessions, and advocate for improvements. When WSF announced an update for their long-range plan, I hosted meetings with each of Kitsap’s four ferry-served communities to learn concerns from riders’ expertise.  The findings were published for community members and delivered to the WSF leadership.

As a Kitsap Transit Board member, my first priority is to restore Sunday service, so critical for many in our community (this services was suspended in 2008 due to the economy).  The Board also frequently reviews ways to enhance routed and Access services throughout the county, with suggestions from a citizens’ advisory board.  In addition, I serve on the Passenger-Only Ferry subcommittee, advising the staff about the Port Orchard-Bremerton foot ferry service; and exploring cross-sound possibilities.

Social Justice

The Kitsap County Human Rights Council advises on issues related to discrimination “based on race or ethnicity, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or economic status”.  I appreciate their advocacy and prevention, education, and resource suggestions and their annual conferences on important topics for Kitsap County. I am a leader in addressing homelessness in our community.

Some specific areas where I have been able to effect change include mental health and substance abuse, homelessness, reduced incarceration, and equitable access to healthy foods.  For example:

  • The Board passed a .1% sales tax initiative in 2013 to fund programs addressing mental health and substance abuse concerns.
  • Organized a June 30 summit to address the crisis of homelessness in Kitsap County.
  • Participate with a re-entry program to successfully integrate jail inmates back into the community.
  • Initiated a Food Policy Council to increase availability of locally grown foods to all.
  • Worked with the Kitsap Immigrant Assistance Center to encourage integration of immigrants into our community.