My name is Chris Stearns and I am running for Auburn City Council because I believe that each of us deserves a voice who represents our values and interests. The time has come for our Council to truly represent the people in our community. Together we can make Auburn a thriving community and a leader in our state’s economy.
My life’s experiences have taught me how to stand up and fight for justice. As a Native American, a Navajo, and someone who spent the first part of my life in the Los Angeles County foster care system, I know what it means to struggle, to fight, and to get back up when knocked down.
As a lawyer with a 30 year career representing Native American tribes, I know what it means to battle power, to pursue justice for those who need help in times of trouble, and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.
Auburn is a city that is growing but like many cities we have issues that demand our attention. We need to address homelessness, renters’ rights, the rights of immigrants, and police accountability.
Auburn has grown from a population of 70,000 to 80,000 in the past decade. The risk of losing housing, and becoming homeless, is now greater than ever. As new homeowners, my family understands the barriers to affordable housing and the need to protect renters. I will work to make sure that Auburn is a not just a great place to live, but also one in which you CAN live.
What this also means is that the City Council must work harder to bring better paying jobs to workers, to increase wages wherever possible, and to recognize the historic value that union jobs have meant for all of us in our City.
Auburn is a city responsible for over 30 miles of trails and 600 acres of parkland spread over 34 parks. I believe we have a duty to preserve our natural beauty for the generations to come and will work hard to protect our environment.
I had the unique opportunity to serve as Chairman of the Seattle Human Rights Commission immediately after the fatal police shooting of John T Williams and during the US Department of Justice investigation. Together, I worked with the many communities, including our Native American community, to bring greater police accountability to the community while at the same time making the city safer.
And, as Chairman and Commissioner of our state’s Gambling Commission, I have seen how vital it the role is that law enforcement plays in our communities and how cities can more effectively work with our state to bring jobs, technology, and a safe and fun pastime into our community.
Finally, I have seen firsthand the blistering impact of substance abuse and addiction in our community. Auburn has an abundance of recovery homes and centers but we can do more to give hope to those who need it the most. My family has been profoundly impacted by addiction, and I am proud to have worked as the President of the Board of Directors of the Seattle Indian Health Board to increase the treatment and services available at our Thunderbird Treatment Center. If elected, I will bring the same compassion, empathy, and hope to our community so that those who need help the most can find hope and even a new life.
Please join me, vote Stearns, because when we win, it will be because we chose to put our families, our children, our elders, our workers, and our future first. Thank you.