About John

I’ve been a community leader in District 5 for 17 years.  I’m also an environmentalist and author of the book Saving Puget Sound.  I played a leading role in daylighting Thornton Creek at Northgate, where the creek was buried under an asphalt parking lot for decades.  I’ve advocated for a new Lake City Community Center, sidewalks on Aurora, and other District 5 priorities through the D5 Community Network, which I helped create and lead.  It’s the only association of community groups across an entire City Council district in Seattle. 

I grew up in Seattle, but after college in St. Louis, I stayed there to work for the Mayor.  I became his liaison for homeless services during the first years that homelessness became a nationwide issue.  I came back to Seattle in 1990 and began to work on environmental issues, rising to become King County’s coordinator for salmon recovery efforts in the Lake Washington watershed. 

I left King County government to write Saving Puget Sound.  That book led the Northwest Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration to name me “Conservationist of the Year” in 2007.  I worked as a consultant while I wrote it and I have mostly worked as a consultant since then, specializing in regulations to protect streams and wetlands.  My career highlight up to this point has been working with Skagit County on a long-term plan to conserve both the Skagit farm economy and its ecosystem in the face of growth and climate change.

I have two wonderful children, a 14-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl, both of whom attend public schools in District 5.  I’m a renter and live in the Northgate area, adjacent to Beaver Pond Natural Area, where I’ve volunteered as a forest steward for three years, with my kids helping out.

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