Satwinder Kaur, a former city of Kent employee, will run for the Kent City Council.
Kaur announced on Wednesday that she will run for Position No. 2. She will run to replace Jim Berrios starting in 2018. It will be an open position because Berrios is running for mayor this year rather than re-election to the council. His four-year council term expires at the end of 2017.
Kaur worked as an executive assistant with the City Council in 2012 and 2013.
“I would like to be a voice of all Kent residents,” Kaur said in a media release. “I want to make the government processes more transparent for our residents and make access to public resources easier. I am also running to hold our government fiscally accountable. I will work hard to listen to our residents, research options and ultimately make decisions I believe are strategic for our future and benefit our whole community.”
Filing week for candidates is May 15-19 with King County Elections. If more than two candidates contend for a council race, the position will be on the Aug. 1 primary ballot. The top two candidates advance to the Nov. 7 general election. Kent City Council members are considered part-time positions and receive $14,808 per year.
Kaur said she grew up in a modest home in Kent where her father instilled Sikh values of selfless service. She graduated from Kentridge High School in 2004. In 2005, she found herself as a young, single mother with no job. With her parents support, she started working hard at rebuilding her life by working at a local warehouse while attending Highline Community College in Des Moines.
While in school, she got a second job to support her family working as as a council assistant in Kent where she said she diligently learned about the hard work that goes into running local government
Kaur said she is well versed with city finances, having gone through the city budget process and understands firsthand the current budget issues of Kent. While working for the city, she earned her bachelors in business administration specializing in supply chain management with a minor in accounting. She also earned a master’s in business administration in technology management in 2014 from the University of Washington.
She works as an Information Technology professional for a large IT firm pioneering solutions for current and future technology problems.
Kaur is actively involved in local events and cultural programs. She chairs the city of Kent Cultural Communities Board, helps organize the Kent International Festival and is on the steering committee for Living Well Kent. She is a member at large and social media coordinator for Sikh SOCH, is on the Board of Trustees for the Greater Kent Historical Society and a board member for East Indian Connections. Kaur also finds time to be involved in the PTA at Sunrise Elementary, where her son, born in 2005, attends school.
Her service to the community also includes volunteering monthly with Kent Rotary Backpack Buddies program, with Northwest Harvest and is a regular volunteer at KentHOPE. Along with her son, Kaur is a Green Kent Park Steward. Outside of Kent, she is a board member of Puget Sound Access/Carco Theater and is on the Mayor’s Inclusion Task Force for the City of Renton.
As a council member, Kaur said she has several goals.
“I want to develop sustainable funding for Kent’s beautiful parks; attract economic development and improve infrastructure such as roads; get more residents, especially youth, involved in the city; and work on finding solutions to the traffic backups due to the many trains in downtown,” she said. “To promote inclusion and maintain a safe environment, I hope to increase the number of police officers from many different backgrounds.”
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated from an earlier version because Tye Whitfield is now running for Position No. 4, the seat to be vacated at the end of the year by Dennis Higgins.