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  • Writer's pictureKenzie Gandy

A Brief Interview with Mayor of Kent Candidate Dawn Bennett

Cultures Connecting is happy and proud to endorse Dawn Bennett in her running for the Mayor of Kent. Read this brief interview below to learn more about Dawn and her platform:

We've known you for a long time through racial equity work. Tell us about how your commitment to racial justice influenced you in wanting to run for Mayor of Kent.

Yes, for a very long time, 20 plus years! Throughout the years, I have learned so much from the very valuable work that you all do at Cultures Connecting...and even before Cultures Connecting. The way that racial justice influenced my decision to run for mayor was very simple, we are a majority BIPOC city that needs to be represented by leadership that celebrates that, or even, at the least, acknowledges that. I did not want to live in a beautiful multicultural city, and all of a sudden folks are making plans, without us being included, and we all end up getting pushed out like what happened in Seattle. In my mind, racial justice means inclusion in all things Kent. Running for mayor has allowed me to talk about the beauty of living in a majority multicultural city with a much bigger audience than I am used to having and the response has been so positive.

Aside from your awesomeness, what sets you apart as a candidate?

I love that! My awesomeness, that made me smile! What sets me apart as a candidate in this run to be the mayor of the city of Kent, is my love for community. I love how community is that engine to making things happen throughout city government. When I say that, I'm not only talking about cultural communities, I'm talking about all the powers that all communities hold, when engaging with their city government. When community members get together with long-term goals of how they would like their community to run, and what they would like to see happen where they live, there's power in that. As a candidate, folks in Kent have connected with my sense of community. They realize that I truly mean it when they hear me talk about all of my years committed to working and living in different communities. My awesomeness comes from listening and working with folks in different communities!

What about running for and/or being the Mayor of Kent is the most exciting for you?

Dr. Hollins knows this all too well, the opportunity for little Black girls to see that they can really be whatever they want to be, by watching what I do, is exciting to me. Watching me reach for the highest position in the city of Kent, will inform them that they can reach that high themselves, and if I win, they then, can think that it is also attainable. That gives me chills. I'm excited that my nieces and nephews can watch their aunt set a big goal and have no fear in chasing after that goal. I'm excited that when talking to the residents of Kent, there are folks that know that change needs to happen in Kent and that I can be part of that change.

What else do you want voters in Kent to know about your vision for the city?

Because our team at cares so much about the people in Kent, we must have a vision for a safe environment. Environmental issues cannot be ignored any longer. Our vision for the city of Kent is to find ways to generate energy in a clean way, such as, building design to convert the Sun's energy into electricity, and solar thermal panels to heat buildings and water. We want to expand our rail system and public transit in Kent. And of course, to do the very hard work of getting our community members out of their cars and onto those expanded rail systems that we wish for throughout Kent. Kent voters should also know our vision to work on issues of those experiencing homelessness, including a goal to partner with King County to bring the Tiny House system into Kent to get the folks off the streets and into housing, and of course, treatment when it is needed. We also want to partner with the county on attaining hotels and motels in our area to give access to housing. Our vision is to do all of these things with the community involved and community input. We know the work becomes harder when involving community but that's not something our team is worried about. We look forward to doing the hard work.


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