For Immediate Release – January 16, 2019
SEATTLE, WA – The race for Seattle City Council heated up today with the announcement that longtime environmentalist and community organizer, John Lombard, will run for the District 5 seat currently held by Councilmember Debora Juarez.
In explaining his decision to run, Lombard said: “For nearly two decades, I have led community organizations in this district where we listened and responded to local concerns. With Debora Juarez in office, residents, community leaders, and small business owners here have repeated the same concern to me over and over: they don’t feel heard and are hungry for new representation. After the enormous amount of feedback that I’ve heard across the district, it’s clear that change is needed on the City Council.”
With today’s announcement, Lombard is identifying community leaders who are taking the unusual step of endorsing early in this race. Specifically, three current and former Presidents of local community and district councils are endorsing Lombard: Brad Cummings of the Victory Heights Community Council, Daigoro Toyama of the Pinehurst Community Council, and Dan Keefe of the Meadowbrook Community Council. In addition, Ruth Williams, past President of Thornton Creek Alliance, also has endorsed Lombard, as has Don Thornton, a board member of the Haller Lake Community Club.
Brad Cummings, former President of Victory Heights Community Council and former co-Chair of the North District Council, explained his endorsement of Lombard: “I have known John for nearly 20 years, and have worked closely with him on several community organizations in North Seattle. He is hardworking, knowledgeable, and passionate about improving his community. Most importantly, he is very skilled at working with diverse groups, building consensus and taking action. He would be a tremendous member of the Seattle City Council.”
Lombard was born and raised in Seattle but spent some time after college in city government in St. Louis. His experience working as the Mayor’s liaison for homeless services in St. Louis will help him tackle this issue head on when elected to the City Council. He returned to Seattle in 1990 and began working on environmental issues, where he has been recognized for outstanding leadership on salmon recovery and Puget Sound conservation. In 2007, he was named “Conservationist of the Year” by the Northwest Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration.
In addition to his environmental and homelessness work, Lombard has recently been heavily involved in issues specific to District 5. As President of Thornton Creek Alliance in 2003, he helped organize the wider community to advocate for what ultimately became Thornton Place and Thornton Creek Water Quality Channel on the South Lot of Northgate Mall. Later, Lombard became Co-Chair of the North District Council, where he advocated for funding for important pedestrian safety projects, pushed 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. Most recently, he led the creation of the D5 Community Network, the first community-based organization working across a City Council district in Seattle. The D5 Community Network has fought for a new Lake City Community Center, sidewalks on Aurora, and many other priorities in District 5.
Lombard lives in the Northgate area and has two children, ages 13 and 12 who attend public schools in District 5.