"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
Housing: Providing for a basic human need
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 an forty years – as an active citizen, a contributing professional, and an elected official.  Early on, I volunteered for citizen advisory boards (watershed planning, community planning, rural policy); then more formally (Boundary Review Board, Historical Society Board, the Democratic Central Committee and Executive Board, and as an elected South Kitsap parks commissioner).  I also have helped organize community initiatives, including the Port Orchard Farmers’ Market, Olalla Community Council and South Kitsap Community Council.

As the incumbent for this position, my hands-on experience demonstrates the leadership needed to successfully accomplish the vital work of a county commissioner.  I have a proven track record in building good working relationships and reaching effective outcomes, both within the Kitsap community and regionally.

Getting our economy back on track

The coronavirus pandemic affects us all. More than 150 Kitsap County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, and we have lost community members to the virus. Our Kitsap Public Health District and local healthcare professionals are working tirelessly to keep us safe. Every aspect of County government is engaged in the effort to keep government services running, making adapting our technological capabilities to respond to changing needs. We are coordinating our emergency measures with federal, state and other local officials, and staying alert to innovations we can adapt here.

Your Board of Commissioners, is monitoring the guidelines from health professionals to assure we don’t relax our guard too soon, while working to reopen as soon as it is safe to do so. I am committed to making decisions based on current data, sound health and safety recommendations,  and the need to get residents back to work as soon as possible.

Building a more equitable community

Overcoming centuries of racism is going to take a lot of work. I’m encouraged that people all over our community and our country speaking out to demand change. This time we must act to eliminate the inequity that has plagued our country for so long. There are many facets to this problem, we need to examine how we allocate funds to the various county departments and make sure that these allocations are not supporting the problem. I believe another way we can help to make things right is to have our county workforce mirror our community at all levels. People of color make up also 20% of county residents but the workforce of the county and many businesses here do not reflect that. It’s time for us to make leveling the employment playing field a goal. I am committed to doing that.

Encouraging economic development

I work with local economic development partners, from diverse industry sectors, and have built a strong network for action. I have joined with state and national leaders to attract quality employers to our county that provide workforce development and living-wage jobs. My participation includes the following:

  • Puget Sound Regional Council’s Economic Development District – to foster regional economic initiatives.
  • Kitsap Aerospace & Defense Alliance – to support and expand our aerospace industry sector.
  • Washington Workforce Development Steering Committee – a group formed by Governor Inslee to integrate the Federal 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  – this regional leadership group for Clallam, Jefferson and Kitsap Counties coordinates workforce development policies. The Olympic Workforce Development Council (composed of representatives from business, labor and education) implements practical actions based on the Board’s policies.

Environment

My early activism in Kitsap County demonstrates a reasonable approach to development, while insisting on taking a long-term view to value and protect our natural resources as we grow. Similarly, my graduate program degree work in planning reflects the importance of community participation to assure a balance between natural systems and new development. I have also served on the Regional Open Space Strategies (ROSS), which envisions Puget Sound wide regional balance between built environments and nature. And, as a Kitsap representative on the Puget Sound Partnership (PSP) Ecosystem Coordination Board for Puget Sound designation as an estuary of national significance.

Affordable Housing

Homes are essential for our community residents. As housing costs escalate, more and more people are being priced out of the local market. And, we have a growing population of people without homes. I have been a leader in seeking solutions to homelessness in Kitsap County. Together with local agencies, the faith community, and more wonderful volunteers, we formed the Homes for All consortium. This group is coordinating a project to create a “tiny homes village” model for sheltering individuals who have no home and helping them work toward obtaining permanent housing. The effort has been a tremendous learning opportunity for all involved and we expect to have temporary housing in place soon.

Citizen Involvement

I advocate for people’s needs and interests by inviting local residents to become more involved in their communities, bringing people together and working on projects of strong interest to them.

Learning from local residents is a priority for me. I enjoy visiting community meetings and activities, and do so whenever possible. When citizens contact me with concerns, I often ask if I can visit with them and their neighbors. This introduces me to their particular interests and needs – for example desire for trails, parks, transportation, community signage, and so much more.

I initiated a pilot program to bring people together and discuss neighborhood planning. This has been a good way to build relationships, draw on citizens’ knowledge of their local surroundings and introduce them to county government functions that may benefit them.

Transportation

Living in Kitsap we know how important the ferry system is to our transportation network. I started a Ferry Community Partnership in 2010-11 to encourage conversation about our four Washington State Ferry System (WSF) services and routes. We still meet throughout the year, and weekly during the legislative sessions, to advocate for improvements. When WSF updated their long-range plan, I hosted meetings near each of Kitsap’s ferry terminals to hear riders’ concerns. The information was published for attendees and community members and delivered to WSF leaders. The group also discusses Kitsap Transit passenger-only service since it began in 2019.

Social Justice

The Kitsap County Human Rights Council provides advice on issues related to discrimination “based on race or ethnicity, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or economic status”.  Their advocacy and prevention, education, are a valuable resource and their annual conferences here in Kitsap County.

I am very proud of the many human services provided in Kitsap County. For examples:

  • The Board of Commissioners passed a .1% sales tax initiative in 2013 to fund programs addressing mental health and substance abuse concerns.
  • A June 2016 summit addressed homelessness in Kitsap County, and resulted in formation of a countywide coalition that is taking practical steps to help people overcome barriers and find permanent shelter.

I worked with the Civil Survival Project and the S’Klallam Tribe on a re-entry program to successfully integrate former offenders back into the community.