I believe journalism is a public service.
That’s why I’ve hooked up with The Olympia Tribune. Our mission statement says some things that I hope appeal to all of you. We’re a forum intended to shine a light on news and issues in Olympia and greater Thurston County. A platform for community voices that are often unheard. A bulwark to protect the ideals of justice, fairness,transparency, accountability, and inclusivity in our community and government.
Governments, which we pay for through our tax dollars, make hundreds of decisions affecting us each year. Yet we know very little, and few of us have time to dig out what happens behind these decisions. That’s what I’ll be writing about, trying to bring transparency and accountability to institutions from the Port of Olympia to the Olympia Police Department and all institutions in between. I’m hoping to toss in some occasional, more light-hearted stories as well.
Now a little bit about me. In February, I retired from 22 years as a communications professional in state government, 15 years of that as the communications director, and a year-long stint as manager of the state employee Whistleblower Program for the Washington State Auditor’s Office, the state’s government watchdog. Most recently, I worked in communications at the Department of Social and Health Services.
Before that, I worked for 20+ years as a newspaper and magazine reporter and editor, including five years covering state government and politics at the Capitol for The Olympian, including legislative, statewide and Congressional elections. Working with teams of other journalists, I won several prestigious regional journalism awards for investigative and features reporting.
As a 30-year resident of Olympia with deep roots in this community, I care deeply about our present and future, and that government systems work for everyone, not just a privileged few. I’ve served on several non-profit boards that advocate alongside marginalized people for justice and equality. I’ve slept in homeless shelters, help build Habitat for Humanity homes, given testimony before the Legislature and city councils, participated in political campaigns, attended performances at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts, and served up popsicles at the Artesian Well on hot summer days.
I’ve been with the same guy for 40 years. We like cats and dogs, have a rather large garden that comes alive with glowing solar lights every night, and we’ve lived in the same mixed-income neighborhood close to Downtown Olympia almost since we moved to the area.
My family and I are deeply rooted here. The Olympia Tribune is the next step in my investment in building our beloved community.