We’ve both worked on homelessness issues professionally and outside of our work roles. As our next Bellingham Mayor, April Barker will bring an understanding and skill set that our community desperately needs to address the horrific situation that so many in our community face every day and night due to a lack of housing. April has been an active participant in building community coalitions such as in the Birchwood neighborhood and its school groups that include people who have not been community power players and activists in the past.
It will take that type of coalition-building to find better, more systemic solutions to our homelessness and affordable housing problems. She will bring together unhoused residents, tenants advocates, neighborhood associations, city officials, builders, social service agencies, health care workers, school personnel, and others to work on these concerns. We need to move beyond “band-aid” responses to housing towards creative long-term solutions such that all residents can have a safe home for themselves and their children. Bellingham needs April Barker.
Ann Stevenson and Dr. Michael Berres