GSBA has invited all of its members who are running for office to provide a profile to share with the rest of the membership. We have given each of them a set of questions to respond to so that you can get to know them better. We are posting the profiles as we receive them. GSBA does not endorse candidates, but we are happy to let those candidates who are part of our organization introduce themselves to the rest of our growing membership. Don't forget to vote and mail in your primary ballots before August 6!
Running for City Council - Position 8
1. What are the top 3 reasons you are seeking to be elected to Position 8 of the Seattle City Council?
2. What are your top 3 priorities for your first year in office?
3. What do you consider your top 3 achievements and/or qualities that make you qualified to be a Seattle City Councilmember?
4. What LGBT issues will you address in your first 6 months in office?
I’m Albert Shen and I want to serve on the Seattle City Council.
I’m the son of Chinese immigrants and grew up in Pullman, WA. I came to Seattle nearly 30 years ago to study global warming and environmental chemistry at the University of Washington.
I live on Capital Hill and own a small business, a civil engineering firm. You’ve probably never heard of my business, but my team has worked on some of our most important regional projects, like Sea-Tac Airport’s Rental Car Facility, Seattle’s e-Park system and currently on the Seattle Waterfront Redevelopment Program. For our contributions, we were honored as Seattle’s Small Business of the Year in 2009.
For over 20 years, I’ve been committed to making Seattle stronger. I volunteered on President Obama’s National Finance Committee. Governor Gregoire appointed me to the Seattle Community College Board of Trustees and I volunteer on many other local non-profit boards.
I am running for Seattle City Council because we are still staggering out of the worst economic recessions of all time. Small businesses suffered disproportionately and our city has to do better to support the growth of our diverse small businesses base in Seattle. We need policies that promote the start up and growth of businesses in Seattle otherwise higher per capita earning jobs cannot be created. I want to see the City take leadership on fixing our educational policy and bring a back to basics approach with public safety and get our officers visible on the streets again so everybody can feel safe to walk in any neighborhood.
Relationships are a fundamental part of our local economic success. I have been to the White House, US Congress and the WA State Legislature to advocate for our local small business success in Seattle. Recently, I worked with the US-Small Business administration to create an ambassador program for the local ethnic chambers of commerce so federal resources can reach underserved ethnic business communities. I will work with our federal partners to bring the same resources to the LGBT community and develop innovative programs to grow our economic base.
With the passage of equal rights marriage in Washington State, we have a unique opportunity to leverage the uniqueness of Seattle and Washington State as a marriage destination. I want to prioritize funds for the LGBT business chambers so nationwide marketing can be done to promote our local LGBT businesses. This attracts visitors to Seattle so revenue can be generated for our local economy and build upon our success.
As a small business owner I understand the challenges that owners have had to face during the recession. We cannot get complacent and I want to bring my small business perspective to our City Council so our economy will be the strongest one in the nation.