Lebowsky endorses Blom; Harless says run is unexpected but exciting
VANCOUVER — Laurie Lebowsky of Vancouver’s City Council position 1 seat announced this week that she will not be seeking re-election.
“My heart is full of gratitude to the citizens of Vancouver for the opportunity to serve them for four years,” Lebowsky said in a release. “While I am looking forward to devoting more time to my professional career, I will continue to be an interested citizen who looks forward to a promising future for our city.”
John Blom, who previously served as a Clark County councilor from District 3, has announced he will be running for the Vancouver council position. Kim Harless, who is the recently elected co-chair of the Clark County Charter Review Commission, has also announced she will run for the seat.
After learning of Blom’s run, Lebowsky endorsed him for the position.
“John and I worked together on homelessness issues when he was on the Clark County Council. That gives me insight in his working style and knowledge,” Lebowsky said. “He has a great depth of knowledge and experience regarding homelessness and affordable housing … That compassion and his passion for helping others will make John a fantastic councilmember.”
Blom was elected in 2016 to represent District 3 on the Clark County Council. In his term he worked on housing policy and fees as well as regulatory barriers for individuals wishing to build accessory dwelling units on their property. He served as a county representative on several committees, including C-TRAN, Area Agency on Aging and Disability of Southwest Washington, the Washington State Association of Counties Legislative Steering Committee, and the Regional Disaster Preparedness Organization.
“I’m ready to work for our residents on day one using my diverse experience, deep knowledge of this community, and a hands-on understanding of how the work of the city gets done,” Bom said in a release. “Vancouver is my home and I love this community. We need collaborative, engaged leadership in order to continue moving our city forward. The city must work effectively with our county council, our local representatives and our leadership in Olympia, and our elected officials in Washington, DC.”
Harless currently represents councilor District 1 on the Charter Review Commission. She has also served as the coordinator of the Clark County Solid Waste Advisory Commission, the co-chair for the Public Health Department’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Group and did eight years at Clark County as an Environmental Operations Specialist for Public Health doing waste and recycling system planning and contract oversight.
“Vancouver has untapped potential. We need to refocus city priorities on improving our government for the best interest of the people, not special interests. I grew up here and went to college here; I work here and am raising my family here. I want this community to be equitable, affordable, and healthy for everyone,” Harless said in a facebook post. “As your Councilmember, I will work to move Vancouver forward and bring leadership that embraces our diversity, unique culture, and empowers the voices of our friends and neighbors.”
In the area of education, Blom is a Northwest native who graduated from Concordia University with a major in history and a minor in business. He worked as a civilian in the U.S. Army’s Combat Studies Institute at Fort Leavenworth after earning a master’s degree in history. John and his wife returned home to the Pacific Northwest in 2009.
He received the Vancouver Business Journal’s Accomplished and Under 40 award in 2014 and the Fort Vancouver George C. Marshall Public Leadership Award in 2015.
For more information about Blom, visit his website at www.JohnBlom.com.
Harless earned her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from Washington State University Vancouver, with additional coursework in Political Science and Agroecology. She did an internship with laboratory experiment experience in conservation ecology.
She is also a graduate of Clark College, and continues to be passionate about leadership in food justice and community service on that campus. She has received certifications in community-based social marketing for sustainable behavior change, hazardous waste management, and leadership.
For more information about Harless, visit her website at www.voteKimHarless.com.
Information provided by Laurie Lebowsky, John Blom and Kim Harless.