About John Lombard
I’ve been a community leader in District 5 for 17 years, most recently organizing the D5 Community Network, an association of community groups and interested citizens from across the district.
The City Council’s actions this past spring on the proposed employer head tax for homeless services motivated me to run for this office. The Council passed the tax unanimously in May, then repealed it on a 7-2 vote less than a month later, with not one Councilmember admitting a mistake. Our own Councilmember, Debora Juarez, provided no explanation for her reversal that day.
District 5 deeply needs an engaged community organizer to represent it on the Council. Lake City needs someone who can listen closely to the community and amplify its voice with city government. Northgate needs someone who can help engage surrounding neighborhoods in the profound changes that are happening in the Urban Center. Aurora needs someone who can help organize a community coalition to engage the disengaged, to create a future for the most neglected place in the City of Seattle. I’m an experienced community organizer, who has what it takes to do all of that.
Across the district, I have found that almost everyone who has tried to engage with the City Council has come away frustrated, feeling disrespected and not listened to. Through the D5 Community Network, I’ve deeply appreciated the opportunity to get to know the district’s issues and its people.
I grew up in Seattle and have lived nearly all of my life here. I moved to St. Louis for college and stayed there to work, becoming the Mayor’s 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 in the years when Puget Sound salmon were first getting listed under the Endangered Species Act. I left the County to write a book, Saving Puget Sound: A Conservation Strategy for the 21st Century, which was published in 2006. Shortly after that, the Northwest Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration named me “Conservationist of the Year” in 2007 and also led the University of Washington to recruit me to lecture on the Puget Sound ecosystem, which I did from 2007 through 2010. While I wrote the book, I worked as a consultant, and I have mostly worked as a consultant since then, specializing in regulations to protect streams and wetlands. My career highlight was working with Skagit County on an award-winning project to identify long-term actions to conserve both the Skagit farm economy and its ecosystem in the face of growth and climate change.
After moving to the Northgate area in 2002, I quickly got involved in the community. As President of Thornton Creek Alliance in 2003, I helped organize the wider community to advocate for what ultimately became Thornton Place and the beautiful Thornton Creek Water Quality Channel (which replaced an asphalt parking lot south of Northgate Mall, where the creek had been buried in a pipe underground). In 2016, I became Co-Chair of the North District Council, where we allocated funding for important pedestrian safety projects, advocated for better transit service, and successfully lobbied the Seattle School Board to preserve the diversity of northeast Seattle schools by making Cedar Park Elementary an option school. In 2017, I organized the D5 Community Network, the first community-based organization working across a City Council district in Seattle. We have fought hard for a new Lake City Community Center, sidewalks on Aurora, and many other priorities in District 5.
I have two wonderful children, a 13-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl, both of whom attend public schools in District 5.
Through a varied career, community service, and parenthood, I’ve worked on homelessness, the environment, community planning, land use, urban redevelopment, education, and many more of the most important issues facing the City and District 5. I’ve proven that I can both listen and lead, develop coalitions, and broker effective solutions. I hope that I’ll earn your vote in August—and in November. Thank you.