Over six months ago when I decided to run for Federal Way City Council, I did so with the knowledge that the journey ahead was difficult, if not improbable.
But after growing up in Federal Way with a profound love for this community and seeing the recent struggles, I wanted to make a difference: to create a sense of cohesiveness in our city and develop a vision that addressed the multitude of challenges that we face. I was transparent and intentional every step of the way about why I was running and what I stand for. I want Federal Way to be a safe, family-friendly and inclusive community where all residents can thrive, whether you are a young family looking for great neighborhoods and schools, or a long-time resident feeling pushed out of your home or left out of the decision-making process. I had never ran for public office, but I knew that I had a good pulse of the community and was willing to put in the time and effort to reach out to people, listen to concerns and learn.
I believe the most important factor for a democracy to exist is an informed population and leadership that responds to and on behalf of its citizens with awareness and vision. One thing I have learned while knocking on thousands of doors and talking with so many people from all walks of life is that we have the brilliant minds and answers to our problems in our communities. But we need a collective ideology to operate from. One or two individuals are not going to create positive systemic change but a coalition of people from all backgrounds that represent our city. From the beginning, I said I would lead by transparency, include all voices and bring fresh ideas to the table. To be accountable to you, the residents, and lead by being centered on the community. I will be working on behalf of you.
We may come from different backgrounds, cultures and have different perspectives, but one thing we all have in common is that we share a strong desire for a sense of hope and of purpose. I recently looked up the definition of hope, “To look forward with confident expectation.” I believe you find hope through purpose and purpose through service. I will do my absolute best to be a strong public servant to you. Thank you for entrusting this honorable assignment to me. I ask for your honesty, your voice and your continued prayers that our city leadership serves you.
Jesse Johnson, Federal Way