Residents support Mercer Island Council candidate Joy Langley | Letters

Joy Langley — Character, experience, diversity

Joy Langley has earned my vote for Mercer Island City Council for three fundamental reasons: character, experience and diversity.

Character. The tone and tenor of a candidate’s political campaign is a clear signal as to how he or she will conduct themselves in office. Joy has steadfastly adhered to Michelle Obama’s mantra — “When they go low, we go high” — running a singularly positive, fact-based and issue-focused campaign at a time when there is much division and acrimony in politics, even in our beloved community. From my personal conversations with Joy, I know she respects all voters and believes that they will make their choices based on reasonable arguments and accurate information, not on the loudest voice, the most yard signs or whatever mud or obfuscation an opponent (or surrogates) can create. Joy has run her campaign with the same integrity that she has demonstrated throughout her career and which she will bring to our City Council.

Experience. Joy’s detractors incessantly try to spin her governmental work experience as a negative, when in fact it is a rare commodity and exactly what we need on the council to address our community’s looming challenges. We should be so fortunate to have a City Council member who can bring such relevant professional experience to the job.

Diversity. Joy and her husband, Dominick, who works at the Stroum Jewish Community Center, are raising their three adorable young children in a rental home on Mercer Island. So not only would Joy add to the gender balance and age diversity of our City Council, but she would also be the first member in recent memory who can personally relate to our growing number of renting neighbors. What an important and fresh perspective that would be!

I hope you’ll join me in supporting Joy Langley’s candidacy for City Council. She is what we need now and for the years to come.

Jordan Friedman

Mercer Island

Langley is part of a larger legacy

My family came to the Island in 1975. After leaving for college, I returned in 2009. Some things are better and some are worse. I miss the natural ponds and shady forest that used to stand where The Lakes now are. I miss MI Pueblo. But I am thrilled to discover the diversity of politics and backgrounds the island has attracted, making this community much more lively than the one I left. As someone with a deep love for this island, I urge you to vote for Joy Langley for City Council.

Joy is not legacy Islander. Her parents didn’t buy waterfront back when it was cheap and she didn’t attend North Mercer Junior High. But in a different way, Joy is part of a larger legacy. Like George Lightfoot and George Clarke before her, Joy has come to our island as a newcomer, with the passion, vision and skills needed to help a community thrive. Like those founding Islanders, Joy cares about our island, and has a vision for its prosperity and possibility. And she brings with her a deep knowledge of how government works. Not just local politics, but regional, state and national government. She can take a seat at a table with off-Island interests and advocate for us with skill and diplomacy. We are strategically important to many outside parties, and we desperately need someone who can navigate regional and state laws to ensure that the best things about Mercer Island — great schools, bustling local businesses, an active and creative senior population, our wild spaces and small town feel — are not only protected, but nurtured and grown.

I have worked alongside Joy in our local PTSA, and have been impressed with how she can both have mastery of a topic (like school funding) and yet never come off as condescending. She can disagree, and with her attitude of mutual respect and kindness, the disagreement feels like the beginning of a conversation, rather than the end. And in a way you can truly tell when you volunteer alongside someone, I can vouch that she is extremely hardworking. I feel grateful that she is willing to step up and share her intelligence, experience and passion with my hometown. Please join me in supporting Joy Langley for City Council.

Robin Li

MIHS ‘92

Response to former council member

I recently received a mass email from Mike Cero, former City Councilmember, endorsing Joy Langley’s opponent. Here is my response:

Hey Mike:

Thanks for your email endorsing Mr. Acker. I always appreciate it when present or former City Council members send me emails regarding important issues or events on the Island. I am a 34-year resident and love this city. I got a letter yesterday from several former mayors on the Island that took a different position than you do, so it was good for me to see the contrast.

Your recent emails to me on various subjects are a lot like the campaign yard signs I see in my neighbor’s yard. I have come to appreciate that I have a completely different point of view on how city governments should function than you and my neighbor, so it is comforting to know who you support and check that against my choice.

I appreciate that Mr. Acker has earned his “chops” in a prior council race, but you did not tell me what he learned. I voted for his opponent last time, and I will do so again.

The Linkedin attachments were helpful but did not really tell me about the heart and soul of the candidate. I do appreciate that a mid-manager at Boeing will have a lot to offer the city. But his field there, HR, has been a disaster for Boeing. I think that someone who has Ms. Langley’s skills might also be helpful on the council because she has a lot of experience dealing with governments.

You disclosed that Ms. Langley’s father talked about her political ambition, and this is where I depart from your presentation materially. I am forever bragging about my son, daughter and daughter in law, and if I get carried away and say things that I should not — that is on me, not on them. In any event, I appreciate that Ms. Langley has ambition, if she does, to run for an office that will impact the entire country. I forgive her father for bragging because it is something that I might do. What I have trouble with is your disclosure of this private conversation to your advantage. That is something I would never do.

I am also a bit concerned about your implication that the way to make the Island better is to elect a council member who will be “tough” on finances. I don’t want tough, I want prudent. I want us to spend money on things that count: our city staff, community center, our schools, our library and a performing arts center. Selfishly, my single biggest investment is my home, and its value is enhanced dramatically by the work of our prior mayors and City Councils in investing in our assets. Simply saying “no” to spending seems pretty stupid, to me anyway.

So, thanks for your input. I am investing $100 in Ms. Langley’s campaign tonight because you have enlightened me. I have copied this message to our council not because I hope that they will take a position on THIS election, but because I want them to do just what you are doing when they leave office. I want them to tell us with their experience what they see and what they want. I may not agree with them, as with your message today, but I appreciate that they care about their city and want to make it special.

Best wishes, Steve.

Stephen Smith

Mercer Island

A cut above

Perhaps you anguish, as we do, each time you turn on the news to learn of more nasty behavior in the other Washington. We take deep breaths to restore our hope, the hope we will choose with care a candidate like Joy Langley who is inclusive by philosophy. We are tired of divisiveness and long for inclusiveness, what Joy brings through her intellect, listening and problem solving skills, working to bring various ideas together for solutions.

As seniors, hoping to remain in our homes, we need to identify options, such as ride sharing, not only for commuters but for people who, like us, need to use transit at different times during the day.

Joy embraces this need.

With the regional traffic grid lock we want to be able to stay in our city to take classes, participate in cultural enrichment activities while also attending performances, lectures and concerts in the evenings and on weekends. We believe in a close partnership between our City Council and the MI Center for the Arts understanding how an arts center can provide this enrichment and breathe much-needed life into our Town Center. Joy Langley is an unwavering supporter of the need for the arts to enhance our community.

Joy is endorsed by former successful leaders in our city: Mayors Fred Jarrett, Alan Merkle, Elliot Newman, and Bruce Bassett as well as all of our state legislators: Judy Clibborn, Tana Senn and Lisa Wellman. Experience has taught them what true leadership looks like.

Won’t you join us for a more sane approach and elect Joy.

Myra Lupton

Amanda Clark

Orm Sherwood

Sue Sherwood

Mercer Island