Board Candidates

John Affolter

Bio: Retired public school administrator and special education teacher. Practicing visual artist. Previous democratic dolphin precinct PCO. Served on the Vashon Community Clinic board. Was the founder and chair of the Vashon Teen Center board. Vashon Park District Winghaven property steward. Worked on a Washington State Teen Risk assessment study. Founder and head coach of the Vashon Seals swim team. I annually work with refugees in Greece.

Reason: My wife and I have lived on Vashon since 1978 and have seen it grow and meet challenges that comes with change. I have worked with the King County Council on social issues regarding Vashon and am skilled with finding solutions to problems through collaborative exchange. I have been engaged in the social fabric of Vashon off and on for many years and now that I am retired, I have more time to serve my community.

Kyle Britz

Bio: Born and raised on Vashon with a multigenerational family.
The majority of my 40 years have been living on the island, with some internships living abroad.
I’m an Advocate with The DOVE Project, for 6 years providing direct service for our community with wellness support, harm reduction & safety plans. Beginning as a Prevention Specialist and former Facilitator of Vashon Teen Council.
-Events Manager at the OpenSpace for Arts and Community, 4 years.
-LMT, Washington State HealthCare Provider, 18 years.
-Shipping and receiving, grounds maintenance and assembly with Olympic Instruments Inc.
I participated in the Youth-Adult-Dialogues for 10 years. These were great ways to encourage intergenerational dialogues and a platform to hear each other in our community to find common ground.
I first attended the VMICC last century with my grandmother Pat. I grew up attending Island meetings and neighboring councils with the Puyallup, Muckleshoot and Duwamish.

Reason: I participated on the ad-hoc committee to resurrect the VMICC. I was on the subcommittee for policy and procedures, helping support equity in our bylaws, and ensuring that the age of membership could extend to 16. In the previous versions of VMICC I participated on the Public Safety committee, and Comprehensive Town Plan Review.
I’ve been a renter my whole life and a front-line worker. I believe that many of our front-line workers deal with housing insecurity and feel connected to that voice being part of the community seeking supportive sustainability, access to comprehensive healthcare and Vashon’s resiliency.
For almost thirty years I’ve been one of the youngest participants at the VMICC meetings, and I hope to welcome more community involvement across the age spectrum of representation and collaborate with the big ideas that represent our community now and to the future.
I believe it’s important for us to gather information. To form focus groups and sub-committees to listen with kindness, to problem solve and help allocate resources for Vashon. I’m part of the Vashon Social Service Network. I’m savvy on these digital platforms.
Whether or not on the board amplifying the voices of our community, I believe it’s important to continue participating as a member of the VMICC. To continue participating in the sub-committees and continue to attend the meetings so that we can ensure our community can be heard, represented and able to connect with each-other, our County and network establishments.

 

Terah Bruce

Bio: I’ve lived in the PNW all 30 years of my life – I grew up in Stanwood/Camano Island and have been on Vashon for the past 2 years and am absolutely in love with this place. I am a Thai Massage therapist (well, I was back when you could touch people) and care a great deal about the well being of people and the planet. My interests include dance & movement, order & organization, creating a more just world, food (all things food… food waste, food systems, food security, food justice, nutrition, gardening, preparation & preservation, eating etc.), Thai medicine, and reading.

Reason: I am running because I want to participate more fully in my community. In these times it seems more important than ever to further build community cohesion and resilience. I work at The Ruby Brink, volunteer at the food bank, and have participated in the research team of King County Equity Now and have made friends and connections on this li’l island through all the avenues listed.

C. Hunter Davis

Bio: I have lived nearly 40 years on Vashon. In my former life, I headed up a mediation/arbitration program that resolved disputes between businesses and consumers. In addition, my partner ( a bee keeping musician)and I have raised, or maybe they have raised us-three children, two dogs seven cats, two horses, an unknown number of hens and bees, annual (not always successful) garden here on Vashon. My passions are creative writing, people, learning, anything and everything outside , and solving issues collaboratively.

Reason: Vashon is a jewel we are all so fortunate to enjoy. My desire is to retain our Island’s special qualities for future generations of people as well as trees, birds and ponds while incorporating new and innovative ways to support our environment, and ensure that our Island is meeting the needs and desires of all residents. I have been fortunate to be involved with many Vashon groups. Currently I am part of in Audubon, an ESL program (on hold due to virus) , Beach Naturalist program , the Garden Club and minimally with the Heritage Museum. In the past I have been Heritage Museum, Board Member, Partners in Education Board Member, Harbor School Board Member, Vashon Allied Arts Board, Pony Club and vestry of Episcopal Church as well as enjoying the Free Range Choir and being part of a Korean Adoptee Family group. And. ,, far back the Diversity Committee that was part of the old Community Council! In college I served three years on the Student Governing Council. I am a diligent worker and a good listener who enjoys working in group efforts .Mostly, I l want to give back to this wonderful community that has given me so very much.

Adam Day

Bio: My husband and I moved to the north-end of Vashon to put down literal and metaphorical roots. We have seven chickens named after the famous women of country music, two ducks, a dog and a feral cat that keeps mice away. I have spent the last 10 years working in the Washington State Legislature, where I run a State Senator’s office. I am the co-host of a radio show on The Voice of Vashon called “New Kids on The Rock” which explores the issues facing new island residents as they join our community. Since the spring I have been volunteering on this Community Council’s Communications Committee. In my free time, you’ll find me in my yard, doing a house project, doing crossfit uptown or up in the mountains hiking.

Reason: My decade working in the State Senate has given me a great deal of knowledge about government. One of my primary reasons for running is that the island has little to no direct political voice, which is incredibly unfortunate given the depth of passion and knowledge our community has on the issues facing our region. I hope that this Community Council can act as a megaphone for island residents to those at the county, state, and federal level for a whole host of issues facing our island. We desperately need more of a voice in the decisions that directly impact our community. I would also like to be a voice for fellow LGBTQ+ island residents. The LGBTQ+ community on the island face unique challenges and are historically underrepresented in positions of leadership. I believe my connections with elected officials will also serve the Community Council well for establishing ourselves as a reputable and trusted source of community input.

I am concerned with the lower number of women and people of color in leadership positions. I ask that since this is ranked choice voting, that you please prioritize those candidates ahead of me on your ballot. After that, I would be honored to receive your vote.

Diane Emerson

Bio: Most of my life was spent in Minnesota. I have a bachelor’s degree in Food Science and Technology, and an MBA in marketing management, both from the University of Minnesota. I worked 17 years in the special chemical industry, where I became Director of Marketing for HB Fuller Company, a Fortune 500 adhesive manufacturer, and served on several boards. I quit that life to travel, then became a business consultant for small businesses. Next I spent seven years volunteering in the USA, New Zealand, France and India for many causes.
I arrived on Vashon in 2013 to help create an intentional community around permaculture and nonviolent communication. I met an islander (Michael Laurie) and we married in 2014. Together we run Garden Green, an effort to help people garden organically, plus we jointly run a small plant nursery of native and medicinal plants. I also run a landscaping business.

Reason: My husband told me about Vashon’s former community council. It sounded like a very good idea to me. When Beachcomber editorials appeared about the need for a Vashon community council I would say to Michael: “If a community council gets going again, I want to be part of it. I could help.” In January of this year, David Vogel wrote an opinion piece in the Beachcomber inviting the community to help re-form the community council. I accepted, and this my only volunteer effort. So far I have helped create bylaws and policies, promoted meetings, taken many minutes, co-managed the e-mail lists, and have hosted many of the virtual meetings on Webex.

I have strong connections to the environment sector, between the Garden Green effort, and membership in VIGA, the Fruit Club, the Garden Club, and more. In 2019, I organized a community forum on pesticides, and the recycling effort for the Strawberry Festival, washing out and sorting recycling right on the street. In my first year on Vashon, I generated no waste, only recycling.
I also have strong connections to the business community. I am an active member of the Vashon Chamber of Commerce, and run two small businesses on the island. I have long been a proponent of buying local, and have been buying pretty much only locally grown food (WA and OR) at the grocery store since 2012.
I value transparency, honesty, integrity, efficiency, and inclusion. My training in nonviolent communication will help when things get heated.

Roxy Hathaway

Bio: I am a long time Vashon resident. Have always been involved in the island arts scene. Have taught as an art resident at all the Vashon schools. Currently share a studio, Studio V, with 3 others. I work only part time and feel it is time for me to step up and devote some of my time and energy into this place I have been lucky enough to call home for 30+ years. In my youth, my dad was in the Air Force, so we moved often. As a high school student in Louisiana and Mississippi. That was a time of civil rights unrest in the late 60s. So, racial equity, prison reform, quality education for all are important issues to me. I am an Evergreen State College graduate and currently connected via Zoom, to an arts group, connected via Zoom, to an artists group. Time for me to step up, if not now, when?

Reason: I was very fortunate to raise my now grown kids, on the island. I have grandkids all here too. So social and environmental issues and the need to maintain and improve both are important to me. It’s time for me to step up, if not now when? With everyone on their screens for schooling and social contact, how do we stay active and close as a young, middle aged and elderly community? How do we maintain and learn more about our local environment and businesses? These are the issues I want to work on.

Dawn Hylton

Bio: I am an outgoing, fun, vibrant advocate for social justice. I love people and seeking the best interest of those under served in our nation. I have served in the Army and Air Force as a Chemical Operations Specialist specializing in CBRNE education, decontamination and recon. I received my Bachelors in Nursing from California Baptist University and my Masters in Social Work from Walden University. Born in Los Angeles but have spent most of my childhood in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. I currently work for a Non profit agency serving as an Infant and Child Mental Health Therapist.

Reason: My desire to run for member of the council stems from my passion of helping others and seeking the best interest of the people in our community. My goal is to be active in areas of racial equity and social welfare within our communities by way of education, art and other partnerships whose mission encompasses social welfare for the diverse populations within our communities.

Nick Jurus

Hello All, I’m L. Nicholas Jurus, an islander since 1983.
I go by Nick, or Kip, (As I’m known by family, friends & fellow islanders)
A Master Carpenter & Builder for most of my life, serving the State Of Washington since 1980, & Vashon since 1991.
A proud Volunteer of three Teams:
1– Search & Rescue
2– Crime Scene Investigatior, for All forms of Law Enforcement, Federal, State and City
3– Missionary Construction Teams serving Globally
4– I’ve been a consistent volunteer., helping others as I can. It’s what I do best in life.
I am now a Published Author of-which, Three Books of my beginning series are now Published on Amazon.
I hold Professional Certificates in:
1– “Business Writing” through course studies at the University Of California at Berkeley, with 4 Certificates awarded thus far.
2– Home Inspections thru Stratford Career Institute

Reason:

My reason for running is actually very simple:
I care about our island and the quality of life for my fellow islanders 100%.
I have been a supporter of whatever is “Truly Good” for our island, and if I can make a difference or be a part of a Team– who’s ‘focus’ is for the betterment of our island and communities… I’m in!
I’m a Natural Leader, and have always been at Management level, in any of the careers I have had in life.
I see OUTSIDE of the box, as well INSIDE of it, which makes me an asset to any cause.
I’m a Master Inventor-Creator, as-well a Master problem solver. I welcome a solid support structure, and adore TEAM WORK. “There’s nothing like a great TEAM… with a shared cause or goal. A leader– to bring things to fruition. I’m ‘that leader’ who does exactly that. I don’t “waste” time or efforts.
All who know me,. know “I” ALWAYS, GET THE JOB DONE!
Brainstorming is what I do in a Team atmosphere best & VERY CAPABLE, of getting things DONE of my own accord.
I’m faithful to a cause ! I won’t stand down from what is Good, Right & True.
I’m level headed.
Finally,
I have thee ability to see things from all perspectives.
Thanks for your consideration I truly hope I can be “OF SERVICE”, to the greater causes and good, of Vashon Island.., My home, Our Home! The Rock!
Kindly always,
L. Nicholas Jurus

Gavin Kovite

Bio: Hello, islanders! VHS teacher here – I teach Senior English, Freshman English, and AP Literature at the High School. My wife and I live in Vashon Center and had our first child, Oona, earlier this year.

I’ve played in several Vashon Island bands, and done shows with Drama Dock and Vashon Events fundraisers.

I served in Iraq as an infantry platoon leader, and later graduated from NYU Law and served as an Army JAG attorney. I worked as an administrative lawyer, international law advisor and a criminal prosecutor.

I’m a published novelist and short story writer.


Reason: I’ve spent most of my professional life in public service, because I find great meaning in it. I’m running for VMICC because I’d like to help out, and because I think I’d be good at it.I see the VIMCC as both helping coordinate islanders and I’d be most interested in helping with the following types of projects:Quality of life projects, like walking trails, arts events, and island festivals.Sustainability projects such as wildlife corridors, environmental protection, and green public planning.
I teach senior English at VHS, and could help provide a bridge to the student body at VHS and to the staff at VISD. VHS students are an impressive and energetic bunch, and I’m sure a number of them would be interested in helping out.
I’m also connected to the island’s music and theater scenes, having been in several local bands and performed with Drama Dock and at Vashon Events showcases.
My experience as an administrative lawyer would be helpful in navigating the shoals of the county administration. The VIMCC will from time to time, need to review and analyze laws and regulations. I can help with that. I’m also practiced at drafting and revising official communications and memoranda.
The sense of community on Vashon / Maury is a very special thing. I’d be honored to help make it even better as a community council member!

John Osborne withdrew his nomination

John “Oz” Osborne asked to be removed from the ballot after hearing the other candidates speak.  He is in favor of a younger, more diverse board.  

Camille Reeves

Bio: I am a third-generation Islander and on a first name basis with a large portion of the community.
I feel at home in the Island’s vibrant music scene, as an artist and an instructor, and am grateful for the opportunity to mentor so many young Islanders through music.
I am a writer and an independent scholar, focusing on history and philosophy. Truth-seeking is important to me, and my worldview has been profoundly influenced by Eastern wisdom traditions.
Being a mom is my primary purpose. My daughter is a fourth-generation Islander, and for good reason: Vashon is a safe haven for our children. Here, they are free to explore their natural habitat of meadows, forests, creeks and beaches.
I feel fulfilled by growing my own food and sharing the abundance with friends and neighbors. Creating infrastructure that promotes community reliance and homespun economic resilience is exciting to me.

Reason: What I want to offer the Council, and my community at large, is my insight into the past – through historical inquiry and my experience of the Island over the last three decades – and my vision for our future. I have little vested interest in any particular organizations or special interest groups, but am a strong advocate of sustainable, local economy, and of our local farmers in particular. I also strongly support Island artists of all media, and believe that they should be proportionally represented and fairly compensated in all Island venues.
Vashon’s natural resources need very careful management. No one will advocate for our water, wildlife, forests and other essential elements of our ecosystem if we don’t, and this should be in the forefront of the Council’s mind. Input from ecological experts, local hunters, forest stewards, and water district managers should all be taken into consideration when guiding the direction of the Island’s natural ecology.
The open exchange of ideas is essential for healthy, regulated progress to occur, and I place a high value on epistemic humility (or admitting one’s own limitations to “know” something for sure). The courage to speak one’s mind should be tempered with the ability to admit when one is wrong. That way, beliefs get updated and improved.
It’s these values, along with energy, passion, patience and empathy, that I wish to offer the Island community through service on the Board.

Nicholas Simmons

Bio: Lifelong island resident, class of 2002. Work experience split between construction (mostly carpentry), IT (mostly linux, some web dev) and the Burton Water Co. I have always volunteered my skills when I can to help those in need, see here: https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/lending-a-hand-in-new-orleans-leaves-vashon-bloggers-touched/ – more embarrassing photos available upon request.

Reason: Growing up on the island I figured I’d end up living somewhere else, but the community and land always drew me back. In 2012 I decided I’d stay for good, so I bought a house on the North end, got married and had two kids. This community has been good to me, and the community council is a way for me to give back. I have connections in: the trades – contractors and subs, musicians and the arts community, water purveyors, environmental orgs and conservation, and the schools (mostly through my wife Gillian who taught at the high school). I am passionate about representative democracy, and I believe that all Islanders should have a hand in guiding the future of the island.

Nathan Tedrow

Bio: I’m a 31 year old Data Analyst for Tableau, raised in Unincorporated King County and moved to Vashon in Aug ‘19 with my partner, Steve. I love nature, animals, and helping others.

Reason: I’m currently a sitting member on the BoD for Vashon Island Unitarian Fellowship and the non-profit DOVE. I have experience in student government, feel comfortable talking to big (and small groups), and I’m passionate about advocacy. My hope is to involve young and queer voices leadership on Vashon to help build a stronger community.

 

David S. Vogel

Bio: I went to H.S. in NYC, college and law school in MA, then worked as a law clerk in Montgomery, Alabama for legendary Judge Frank M. Johnson Jr., who became my mentor and friend. I moved from Montgomery to Seattle in 1983, then to Vashon in 1984. From 1986 to 1993, I served as President of the VMICC and remained on the Board till 2001 when my second child was born. I have Co-Chaired the Vashon Town Plan Committee and Vashon’s Street-Naming Committee and served on the Boards of The Harbor School and Vashon Household. In 2008 I moved to San Luis Obispo County, California to accommodate my ex’s auto-immune disorder when our kids were 12 and 7, and I stayed there till my son entered college this past fall. Soon after moving back home to Vashon I started the process to bring back the VMICC.

Reason: Backpacking as a teenager I learned to leave my campsite better than I had found it. Growing up in NYC exposed me to all different kinds of people and taught me to treat everyone with respect. I can communicate easily with large groups, I am pragmatic, and my training in mediation enables me to work with opposing viewpoints. I have devoted many hours to the VMICC and other community organizations on Vashon. Soon after moving from liberal Vashon to rural California, I was elected to the Community Service District, with supervision over sewer, water and fire services in an unincorporated area. I rode horses with a trail riding group that includes ranchers, farmers, cowboys and developers. In the past, the VMICC has been called “a small group of liberal do-gooders,” but I would like to reach out to more people from all walks of life and all political persuasions. The VMICC should be a safe place to express your point of view–a forum where everyone will be treated fairly and respectfully. I would like to run for one two-year term because I think the VMICC would benefit from my experience and my leadership before I pass on the torch. I would like to focus on issues involving affordable housing and plan to reach out to the arts community.

Nicky Wilks

Bio: I was born here on the island in 1988 and spent my entire childhood and adolescence in the community. Since returning in 2014, my co-founder Alex and I created Journeymen Institute to support the boys and young men on the island. In addition, I began teaching at VHS, drawing from my background and education in business (BS and MBA). My fiancée Katelyn and I have three children and are currently building a home on property we acquired in 2018 on Pohl Rd. I’m very technically inclined and value self-reliance at the individual, family and community levels. I am a visionary at my core, not afraid to dream big, and willing to put in work to make things happen. I feel in my heart that we have here within our island all the ingredients necessary for a thriving, whole community that can be realized with good communication and transparent leadership.

Reason: As mentioned before, I have strong, ongoing connections to the Youth and Education sectors through my professional work, as well as a deep connection to this place through my personal history and relationships. In addition, my fiancee Katelyn is now forming a new health-related non-profit for midwifery and perinatal care (Vashon Island Midwifery), which I am supporting. I am passionate about strengthening our community, healthy discourse and civic engagement. I bring gifts in the realm of group facilitation and leadership development, with specific training and experience in the Way of Council as a means to foster understanding and connection across divides. In this time of great uncertainty we have a rare opportunity to re-imagine our failing systems in benefit to all – especially our under-represented community members – and we need everyone to feel invited into the process.