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Economic Development:

“I have worked in partnership with business, unions, and workforce development experts to build a resilient and diverse economic base in our region. Moving forward, we can continue making critical progress to help people looking for new careers, assist small businesses and entrepreneurs, and make sure we maintain our identity as a leader in aerospace manufacturing and technology.”

Dave has been focused on ensuring Snohomish County’s economy is resilient and diversifying.

  • Dave understood the transformational economic impact of commercial airline service starting at Paine Field Airport, and he made sure it happened. There now have been over 2 million people who have traveled on commercial airlines from the new terminal Paine Field. This was possible because Dave is an innovator and supported the public-private partnership that made it. A reality. No local tax dollars were spent on the building, operations, or maintenance of the commercial terminal. It’s a unique arrangement that has been wildly successful and means millions of people have not had to drive to SeaTac for flights, an environmental and quality of life success. 

  • The next generation of aerospace innovators have come to Snohomish County, including electric and hydrogen-powered aircraft manufacturers.

  • In the process of creating the gold standard workforce development system to ensure our businesses have talent and workers can find good-paying jobs.

  • Attracted state and private sector funding to expand the broadband network in Snohomish County, particularly in rural areas. Because of his leadership, Snohomish County received a multi-million dollar grant from the state Broadband Office to expand broadband along the entire SR522 corridor between Arlington and Darrington.

Public Safety:

“By better training and supporting law enforcement, while addressing long standing issues that erode community trust, we are building a culture of true public safety in Snohomish County. We are making real progress in addressing priorities, from property crimes to the opioid epidemic, while never losing sight of our need to tackle the root causes– like helping vulnerable youth, getting people into treatment and care, and providing support for those at risk. We must keep working to make progress in building safe and stable communities.”

Dave has consistently said that public safety is the county’s top priority. If we are not safe, none of the other goals of the county government can be achieved. 

  • Ensured that deputies receive competitive pay to ensure we can compete for law enforcement talent. 

  • Spearheaded the implementation of body worn cameras for our deputies to ensure transparency and accountability.

  • Overseen an expansion of fire-fighting capability at Paine Field to ensure we can provide assistance to the local community when needed. In fact, just last month the Paine Field Fire Department for the first time assisted Mukilteo FD with a house fire.

  • Consistently promoted transportation safety measures, particularly near schools.

  • Made sure the county is creating systems to get people off the streets and into systems that can provide support.

  • Dave is the first county executive in the state to activate our emergency management system to address the opioid epidemic. He is now leading the region in deploying our opioid settlement dollars in partnership with other local leaders and experts.

  • Supported the addition of two new Superior Court Judges to help speed the delivery of justice.

Housing Affordability:

“The interconnected issues of mental health, addiction, and homelessness must be addressed through expanded housing and services. I’ve joined with other regional leaders to demand greater help from the state while working locally to facilitate investments in affordable housing for working people, seniors, and low-income families. We can and must provide more housing options for all residents, and supportive housing for those who need it.”

One of the biggest drivers of economic hardship in Snohomish County is the exploding costs of housing in the Puget Sound region. People at all levels of housing from renters to homeowners have seen growth in prices far outstrip incomes.

  • Established the Housing Affordability Regional Task Force to bring local leaders together to collaborate on solutions.

  • Spearheaded the effort with the County Council to dedicate local funding for increasing housing stock.

  • Signed ordinances expanding the use of Accessory Dwelling Units and Detached ADUs. This provides additional opportunities to expand housing stock in all of our communities.

Environmental Protection:

“We cannot lose sight of the real threats of climate change and the need for ambitious, coordinated action to protect our health, forests, water, and future. We have worked hard to transition to a greener county fleet, promote clean technology jobs, protect habitat and farmland, and improve water quality. I’m committed to doing everything I can to build on this record for the next generation of residents.”

  • As a salmon scientist/fisheries biologist, Dave knows that our economy, quality of life, and future depend on a healthy environment. Dave has been focused on solving both long- and short-term challenges. Under his leadership and with partners, we have rehabilitated more salmon habitats on the Puget Sound than any other local government. Smith Island, Blue Heron Slough, Meadowdale Beach Park: these are just a few of the major projects that Dave has helped guide. In fact, just weeks after completing a new fish passage at Meadowdale Beach, there were salmon already returning to spawn.

  • Ensured that Snohomish County’s Paine Field Airport was certified as Salmon Safe.

  • Consolidated all of the county’s environmental activities into one place: the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. This allows us to bring more collaboration to our efforts to maintain healthy air, water, and land.

  • Launched the Puget Sound Initiative, an effort to improve the waters of the Puget Sound and surrounding rivers and streams.

  • An extensive greening of the county, including a green fleet, more efficient buildings, and improving our carbon footprint.

  • The implementation of programs to assist homeowners and businesses with making their buildings more energy efficient.

  • Upgraded parks across the county, including making them more accessible.

Additional Accomplishments:

  • Partnerships and Collaboration: Dave ensured that Snohomish County government was once again transparent, collaborative, and working in partnerships with other stakeholders. He stopped the unnecessary drama and overly-politicized stance that had impacted the effectiveness of the two previous executives.

  • Holding the Line on Taxes and Spending: Dave has held the line on taxes and spending. In most of his years as Executive, he has proposed no general fund tax increase. And all increases over his seven years are much less than inflation. How has he done this? By cutting waste and unnecessary spending, instituting LEAN processes to make the county work better, and putting innovations into place to make sure we are using technology to maximum advantage.

  • Wisely Managing the COVID-19 Pandemic: Dave took a very balanced, science-based approach to manage the first major global pandemic in 100 years. He focused federal resources on helping workers and businesses survive the economic dislocation of the pandemic. In April 2020, Snohomish County had the highest unemployment in the state of Washington at nearly 20%. Today, Snohomish County’s unemployment is among the lowest in the state at 3.1%. In addition to setting up the first mass vaccination sites in the state, Snohomish County also established the first Isolation and Quarantine center. Through Dave’s steady-handed management, lives were saved, the economy was more resilient, and our medical system was protected.

  • Land Use Stewardship: Dave is overseeing the 2024 Comprehensive Plan which will set Snohomish County’s land use policies for the next twenty years. Dave believes that we need to find a balanced path forward, reducing sprawl, protecting the environment, and providing housing at all levels of the market. The best way to achieve these goals is by increasing density in our urban cores and being very careful about any expansion of our urban growth areas.

  • Social Justice: Dave has been active since entering public life in advancing social justice, particularly for those communities that have been subjected to legal and organized bigotry. Dave established an Office of Social Justice, working to ensure Snohomish County government looks like the residents it serves. Dave has worked to make sure our COVID response targeted the communities most impacted.

Paid for by
Committee to Elect Dave Somers
PO Box 1565, Everett, WA 98206
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