Hi, I'm Maren. I’ve lived in West Seattle for 20 years, and in Seattle for 33 years. I’ve been a cashier and waitress here, I founded a non-profit, and I worked in the tech industry here for 25 years. My partner Andrew and I are raising our LGBTQ-positive, blended family of four teenagers here, one who is adopted out of the local foster care system, and all four in local public schools. And, my twin sister owns a small business in the Alaska Junction, and she lives across the street from me. District 1 is our home.
I’m running for Seattle City Council because we need experienced leaders who have the proven ability to turn ideas into action and drive positive change. We are so prosperous, yet we’re failing to make meaningful progress on key issues like: public safety, homelessness, affordable housing, and preparing our city for climate change. We can be a progressive city that actually makes progress. And everything I’ve done in my life and my career up to this point has prepared me for this job.
As a senior leader in the tech industry, and Amazon’s very first Principal Designer, I led big teams, managed million dollar budgets, fostered collaboration between competing organizations to get more work done faster, and was awarded over a dozen patents for designing innovative solutions. Many times I presented proposals directly to Jeff Bezos, successfully meeting the high bar of a bullet-proof plan for building, testing, launching, auditing, and delivering.
While at Amazon, I also ignited, organized, and led a movement of thousands of tech workers to advocate for a company-wide Climate plan, because at the time, Amazon had next to nothing and was lagging way behind its peers. When the opportunity to lead arose, people looked to me, because I was known as a bold problem solver, who could fight and win for all of us. Our united effort became a beacon of inspiration for creating change, and we successfully pressured Amazon to create their Climate Pledge, and the 10 billion dollar Bezos Earth Fund.
We went on to stand with warehouse workers at the start of the pandemic when Amazon was patently putting profit over people. For that, Amazon illegally fired me. But nine US senators, including Senators Warren, Sanders, Booker, and then-Senator Harris, wrote an open letter to Jeff Bezos contesting my firing. And the National Labor Relations Board took Amazon to court, and we won. Being part of that victory was the most powerful moment in my career, and it sparked my interest in creating that feeling of victory for all of us in Seattle.
In this moment, we need leaders who can see clearly what isn’t working, bring people together, and fix it. Leaders who fight for the benefit of all people, no matter your zip code or the color of your skin.
So now, I’m listening. To constituents, to community leaders, to elected officials. And here’s what I’m hearing: We’re feeling less safe, we’re avoiding downtown, we can’t afford to live where we work, and our kids are priced out of the neighborhoods they grew up in. We’re enduring increased flooding, heat, and smoke from climate change, and we have one of the worst gender pay gaps in the nation.
When workers thrive, families thrive. When families thrive, communities and businesses thrive. And in that thriving environment, homelessness and crime decrease.
We need a victory for all of us in Seattle.
Together, we can build a city where we take care of our most vulnerable and everyone feels safe.
Together, we can build a city with good union jobs where all working people, no matter what color or gender they are, get paid enough to live a decent life.
And together, we can build a city that will attract new industries, and lead the way to the new green economy—an economy that works for everyone, and for generations to come.
I willingly put my whole career on the line to fight for essential workers, climate justice, and our children’s future, and we won. I can drive our ideas for our city into action so that we all win.
I invite you to join me in building our city’s bright future!