Paul Addis, an Alaska Airlines business analyst in the finance division and a community volunteer, will run for the Kent City Council.
In his announcement at a private event on Saturday, Addis said he intends to run a positive campaign focused on service to the community and innovative solutions to ensure the future of Kent’s financial stability and sustainability.
Addis plans to file for Position No. 2 to replace Jim Berrios, who is giving up his seat to run for mayor. Satwinder Kaur also is running for Position No. 2.
“I have known Paul for seven years,” said Willie Parish, president of Bread of Life Mission in Seattle, in a media release sent by Addis. “He is a person of high character and standards, with a deep love and compassion for people. He always strives to make a difference in the community. I believe his passion to serve gives him the opportunity to make that difference.”
A U.S. Army veteran, Addis has worked in the private sector for 28 years. As a senior business analyst at Alaska Airlines, he works with many aspects of the accounting process that he says will serve him well on the council.
Raised along with two siblings by a single mom, Addis said his mother instilled in him a strong work ethic. At times relying on food stamps to keep food on the table, he learned at a young age not only the importance of a social safety net but how hard work and persistence can help a family rise out of poverty. Making sure those opportunities exist for everyone is at the heart of his philosophy of public service.
Addis earned a bachelor in business administration in management from Georgia State University in 2003 becoming the only member of his immediate family to graduate college.
He and his wife Cathy run a humanitarian non-profit that does work in East Africa. Life Spring Ministry operates many projects including education scholarships, microloans, clean water initiatives, feeding programs, small business start-ups, solar power projects and more. He has also been active in supporting local charities and programs including YearUp, the Bread of Life Mission, Kent Community Meal, KentHOPE, Kent Adopt-A-Street, Kent Schools Foundation, Alaska Airlines’ Veteran Mentor Program and Kent Rotary.
This dedication to service motivated Addis to run for council. He sees public office as another way to serve the community.
His elected experience includes being elected precinct committee officer in Washington’s 1st legislative district in 2013 and vice president of the Belltown Community Council in 2014.
“Growing up poor, I know how much a community with strong bonds and compassion can mean to those who need it the most,” Addis said. “I am so happy to be able to offer my service and experience to the people of Kent, a city my wife and I love so much. The only legitimate ends of politics is people.”
His goals for Kent include making the city financially stable and sustainable. One idea he would like to champion in this campaign is a public bank for Kent. While there are challenges to such an approach, he believes that with enough political will Kent can make it happen.
And while the Kent School District (KSD) is a separate entity from the city of Kent, he said the parents and students are our neighbors and with the educational funding gap in our state we should support any idea within our ability that closes that gap. Addis said he will continue to think outside the box for ways the city can assist KSD. Creating tax deferred scholarships is one way other government entities have lowered costs and increased access to low-income students.
“To me, public office is just another way to serve the community, similar to the charitable work I am involved in,” Addis said. “I just happen to have professional and educational experience that fits well with this position. To that point, if elected, I am committing to donate my entire net salary from the City Council to KentHOPE, which is a great local charity helping those most in need.”
Kent City Council members are considered part-time positions and receive $14,808 per year.
Filing week for candidates is May 15-19 with King County Elections. If more than two candidates contend for a council race, the two with the most votes on the Aug. 1 primary ballot advance to the Nov. 7 general election.