Having grown up nearby, after getting established with a family of my own, my wife Darcy and I discovered Issaquah Highlands, and Dahlia Park in particular, as a great place to raise our kids. The area has grown and changed, but I still find that much of the charm and character existed from my memories. Our three kids are lucky, as was I, to grow up in this wonderful place.
We knew right away that we wanted to get involved and be a part of making this community great.
One of the most valuable aspects of living in the Highlands is the social nature of the people. We have a great culture where people like to socialize, and I’ve just been happy to be a part of making that experience happen.
Back in the early days, I was glad to serve as Neighborhood Captain (Dahlia Park), and as an IHCA Voting Board Member. After that, I volunteered on the city level, sitting on the City of Issaquah Urban Village Development Commission from 2009-2011, and the City of Issaquah Planning Policy Commission from 2010-2014. I also served the Issaquah Schools Foundation on the Board of Directors. All these volunteer roles were quite rewarding and contributed to my growth as an engaged citizen.
This spring, Nina and Christy contacted me about the Issaquah Highlands Candidate Election Forums at Blakely Hall. I was more than happy to help however I could. I was honored they asked me to be the series moderator. This involved collecting questions from the community, compiling background information for context, then quizzing the candidates on those topics in a way to help voters see how the candidates differed. It was a lot of fun and very rewarding to see how well received the forums were in the community.
I think it is very important to be engaged in local government. “Off-year” election cycles, like this one in 2017, often go unnoticed or unknown to many constituents. But your City, County and School Board elected officials can have more influence over our day-to-day lives than those at the State and Federal level. I was happy to help produce the candidate forums at Blakely Hall, helping voters in Issaquah become more familiar with their local leaders and the issues and to see the importance of making an informed vote.
Photo Caption: Nate Perea, Volunteer of the Month, volunteered over four months to help produce, and to moderate, our Candidate Forums at Blakely Hall. Here overseeing the responses of the mayoral primary candidates in July. Photo by Nina Milligan.