Benson Wong to run for Mercer Island City Council

Benson Wong is running for City Council. - Contributed Photo
Benson Wong is running for City Council.
— image credit: Contributed Photo

Longtime Island resident, Benson Wong, has announced that he will run for Mercer Island City Council Position No. 6, currently held by Mike Grady.

Wong said, “I am excited about the opportunity to work for the residents of the Island if elected onto the City Council. While I was born and raised in Seattle, the Island has been my home for almost 30 years. My family and I love living here. I want to use the talents, skills and energy that I have to help make the Island an even healthier community.”

As an attorney with the Seattle law firm of Keller Rohrback L.L.P., Wong believes that the skills used while representing clients in his business practice are well suited for the City Council.

“When advocating and negotiating for a client, you also need to listen carefully to the other party. By doing so, often a win-win result occurs.

I will listen and consider all viewpoints while on the City Council and will work with others for the Island’s common good.”

According to former School Board president and community activist, Terry Pottmeyer, who serves on Wong’s steering committee, “I have been fortunate to work with Benson on several community boards and committees over the years.  He has consistently demonstrated a collaborative and thoughtful approach to our shared work. When Benson is involved, the team gets things accomplished.”

Wong sees challenges facing the community over the next four years, but also sees exciting opportunities ahead that will allow the community to shape its future.

“As a community, we need to confront the challenges with an effective Island voice. While that voice often comes from the City Council, I want to make sure that it resonates from the entire Island,” he said.

Wong believes that the WSDOT’s current proposal for tolling I-90 is unfair to both Island residents and to non-resident employees and adversely impacts Island businesses that rely on customers from off the Island.

He said he will work vigorously to defeat the current proposal. Wong is also committed to the continued Town Center development so that it best serves the Island’s local businesses and will ensure that the Island has well-maintained parks and open spaces. He emphasized the importance of having the City Council be an effective partner with the Mercer Island School District.

When his children were attending Island schools, Wong served on the Mercer Island Schools Foundation for three years. In 2011 he completed six years on the Mercer Island Community Fund Board, serving as its president during the last two years of his term.

Susan Kaplan, another former School Board member and part of Wong’s steering committee, said, “Benson’s service on the MI Community Fund Board is just one example of his passion for and commitment to our community and to his desire to improve the fabric of life on the Island.”

Wong also serves on the King County Bar Foundation Board of Trustees and is that organization’s treasurer.

In 2011, Wong completed 14 years of service on the Washington State Public Stadium Authority Board and on the TVW Board (having served for three years as its president).

The PSA and First & Goal formed a public-private partnership to construct CenturyLink Field and the adjacent Event Center. TVW operates this state’s C-span equivalent of legislative proceedings in Olympia, and in 2012 the TVW Board awarded Wong its Founder’s Award.

During his campaign, Wong looks forward to meeting more Islanders, and to listening and learning about the issues that concern them.

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