It’s offi­cial: We have a con­test­ed may­or’s race here in Redmond!

Ear­li­er today, busi­ness­man and gov­ern­ment effec­tive­ness enthu­si­ast Steve Fields, a long­time res­i­dent of the Bicy­cle Cap­i­tal of the North­west, filed his can­di­da­cy to run for may­or of NPI’s home­town, chal­leng­ing incum­bent John Marchione.

“Red­mond is chang­ing very fast. We are build­ing every­where. We have end­less traf­fic con­ges­tion. Our parks and recre­ation­al facil­i­ties are dete­ri­o­rat­ing, and our neigh­bor­hoods are being ignored while we focus our invest­ment on the changes in down­town. We’re los­ing the beau­ty that is Red­mond; we are los­ing con­fi­dence in lead­er­ship that just doesn’t seem to be able to catch up to the growth smat­tered all over,” Fields said in a press release announc­ing his campaign.

“The cur­rent May­or talks about the impor­tance of city gov­ern­ment liv­ing with­in its means. We have the tools to live with­in the city’s means – in fact, it’s the law in our state. But will city lead­ers’ deci­sions allow small busi­ness­es, peo­ple who are retired, and work­ing fam­i­lies liv­ing in Red­mond to live with­in their means?” he asked.

Fields is pledg­ing to run a grass­roots-ori­ent­ed cam­paign. He says he will door­bell exten­sive­ly in an effort to meet vot­ers and under­stand their concerns.

“I’m ready to lis­ten, some­thing that’s become a lost polit­i­cal art. I’m also ready to hear new ideas and build com­mu­ni­ty engage­ment that’s real, not con­trived meet­ings that lack spir­it and authen­tic­i­ty,” he promised.

Fields, six­ty-two, has a long resume with man­age­ment expe­ri­ence, much of which can be viewed on LinkedIn. He is a co-own­er of Down Pour Cof­fee Bar, a well-reviewed cof­fee spot here in Red­mond. He pre­vi­ous­ly worked for the City of Seat­tle and for King Coun­ty in a num­ber of dif­fer­ent roles: strate­gic advi­sor, busi­ness man­ag­er, and project man­ag­er. Pri­or to that, he worked at West­ern Wire­less and Nex­tel as Region­al Finance Man­ag­er and Region­al Capi­tol Man­ag­er. He has a B.S. in Account­ing from San Diego State University.

Incum­bent May­or John Mar­chione is fin­ish­ing his sec­ond term as the city’s chief exec­u­tive. He has a cov­et­ed posi­tion on the Sound Tran­sit Board of Direc­tors and serves as board chair of the Cas­cade Water Alliance, a munic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tion sup­ply­ing fresh water to five cities and two water and sew­er districts.

Pri­or to becom­ing may­or, Mar­chione was the chief finan­cial offi­cer (CFO) for the Mey­den­bauer Cen­ter in Belle­vue, and a Red­mond city councilmember.

Mar­chione was first elect­ed in 2007 in a three-way race with Hol­ly Plack­ett and Jim Robin­son (also vet­er­ans of the Red­mond City Coun­cil), cap­tur­ing over 57% of the vote. He ran unop­posed for reelec­tion in 2011. This time around, though, he’s got com­pe­ti­tion… which is nice to see. Healthy democ­ra­cies require con­test­ed elections.

Red­mond’s city coun­cil posi­tions, on the oth­er hand, could use more can­di­dates. As of this evening, only one can­di­date has filed for each posi­tion — and three of them are incum­bents seek­ing reelec­tion (Hank Myers, Hank Marge­son, and David Carson).

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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