I believe a healthy community requires a healthy economy. Not long ago our economy was vibrant, growing steadily, with low unemployment. Our reality is much different now; many in our community are hurting. Everyone needs that sense of financial security. More than ever, we need experienced leadership to guide us through this economic downturn in order to rebound stronger than before.

I will continue to be a positive, experienced voice for the city during this time.  I was on the Lakewood City Council following the economic downturn that started in 2008.  Through the hiring of a highly competent City Manager and the adoption of sound financial policies, we guided the City through challenging financial waters.  The City is now financially strong, maintains solid reserves, enjoys an improved bond rating (with very low debt), and consistently receives accolades for transparent and thorough municipal budgeting.  While COVID creates a new set of financial challenges for our city, I have the experience to continue to guide us through this latest challenge.

Action must be taken to ensure we:

  • Scrutinize the budget to ensure cost-effective delivery of services with available resources
  • Adopt sound policies that promote, sustain and grow family-wage jobs
  • Ensure affordable housing is available throughout the City to accommodate all our residents, including those experiencing homelessness
  • Coordinate and leverage our resources to help our existing businesses stay in business and thrive while seeking opportunities to attract new businesses to Lakewood
  • Embrace available resource options to ensure stable and adequate funding for mental health services and substance abuse treatment for our most vulnerable

Sustain and grow family wage jobs

Economic security for our residents starts with a family wage job. We need to ensure there are enough family-wage jobs available for those who need one. We also need to ensure that our available workforce is adequately trained to meet the needs of an ever-changing economy.  We can address the market’s work force demands through better coordination of the job training and skill development provided by our incredible community and technical colleges. We all benefit when unemployment is low and families are able to care for themselves.

We need a nimble government that will be there for you when you need help most while providing an environment that encourages job growth.  As an owner of a small business employing 12 people, I understand the challenges of making payroll in today’s climate. Our business community must drive the economy, not our government.

Ensure housing is available and affordable

Even before our economic downturn, we have had a housing crisis in Pierce County that must be addressed. With the relatively low supply of housing options and an increasing population, housing prices have risen at an unsustainable rate. Many families are stretched too thin and cannot afford stable housing.

The City must continue to take action to encourage private development of greater middle-income housing. I want every family to have a safe place they can call home.

In Lakewood, I worked with fellow council members, non-profits, and businesses to bring people together to provide more and better housing options.  From creative work with Habitat for Humanity, as well as the adoption of policies that support increased housing options (including cottage housing and accessory dwelling units), while promoting minimum health and safety standards for rental housing, we have started to bend the curve.  However, more work is necessary to adopt innovative solutions to increase the housing supply in order to stabilize prices and opportunities for more families.

I have the experience needed — working with local governments, non-profits, developers, and private enterprise — to bring results and make sure everyone in our county has a place to call home.

Help small businesses stay in business and thrive

Small businesses, like my company, are the backbone of our local economy. Small  businesses employ a large portion of our neighbors with family-wage jobs. However, many small businesses are closing or are in severe financial trouble because of the economic challenges we’re facing. This, in turn, means fewer opportunities will be available to those looking for work.

As Deputy Mayor of Lakewood, I worked with my fellow council members to provide some relief to small businesses that were struggling — through no fault of their own — to help keep their doors open and provide employment opportunities. The City must continue to work with many stakeholders to craft a long-term economic vision and plan for our community to better weather the next downturn.

As a small business owner employing 12 people, as a member of the Executive Team for the Economic Development Board, and as the attorney for many businesses in Pierce County, I understand what many businesses are going through. These businesses need a government that will partner with them, as well as with other local governments and stakeholders, to provide an environment for them to thrive.

I have the experience, skills, and proven leadership necessary to get the job done.

Advancing Access to Mental Health Services

I strongly support increasing mental and behavioral health services for those in need.

Healthy communities require adequate funding for mental health services and substance abuse treatments. Vulnerable members of communities in Lakewood struggle with mental health and/or drug abuse challenges. Providing needed relief to our mental health crisis requires access to essential behavioral health services.

I have a track record of getting results for my constituents in Lakewood and am proud of the work the work I did with my fellow Council Members, such as ensuring a mental health professional would be available on police calls for those in crisis, by committing one percent of our general fund to human services, including mental health services, and by partnering with Pierce County and the Cohen Veterans Network to bring Washington’s first mental health clinic serving veterans and military families to Lakewood.

As your council member, I will work to:

  • Increase access to needed, localized care by properly funding mental health services and substance abuse treatments in our communities.
  • Provide law enforcement with the proper resources to address mental health and substance abuse challenges.
Improving and Reforming Public Safety

As Deputy Mayor, I helped implement reforms in Lakewood, including eliminating our role in Metro swat to increase accountability, reviewing our use of force and de-escalation policies, and ensuring funding for mental health professionals to be available on police calls for those in crisis. These are the kinds of common sense reforms I will continue to push for as your council member.

The Lakewood Police Department does a lot of great work in our City. The calls to defund the police will not solve our community’s problems. Removing officers from the streets will make our families less safe and is not the answer. The City Council must dedicate adequate resources to ensure that the Department can recruit and retain the high-quality officers we need and can provide proper training to ensure both their safety and the safety of all community members, including our communities of color.

As your Council Member, I will work to:

  • Implement reforms to rebuild trust in order to keep all members in our community safe
  • Provide needed funding to ensure excellent training, including all necessary training to instill a greater sense of community confidence in our Police Department
Recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic

Our community face unprecedented challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Between health concerns, job losses, and business closures, our community is in emotional and financial pain. But I know a strong recovery is possible. As a member of the Lakewood City Council, I helped reinvigorate the City of Lakewood by attracting more jobs and achieving financial security following the 2008 economic downturn. We ensured Lakewood created a healthy rainy-day fund to respond to emergencies and economic downturn, including the COVID-19 pandemic, and we pushed to invest more money into mental health services.

I am confident that – through smart policies implemented by the right leadership – Lakewood will experience a strong COVID-19 recovery.

  • Listen to the experts and follow the guidelines outlined by them
  • Increase vaccine access and mental health services
  • Ensure small businesses have access to the resources they need to recover financially and retain employees
  • Implement smart incentives to attract more businesses to Lakewood, as well as more affordable housing, creating more jobs and reinvigorating local growth
  • Create a robust rainy-day fund capable of helping our community overcome unexpected future emergencies
Fiscal Responsibility and Government Accountability

In this midst of this pandemic and the economic uncertainty, we need a council member who has the experience necessary to deliver for our community.

As Deputy Mayor of Lakewood, I worked with fellow council members to ensure city government had a healthy rainy-day fund to respond to emergencies and economic downturn, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

We hired a highly competent City Manager and adopted sound financial policies. Together, we guided the City through challenging financial waters. The City is financially strong, maintains solid reserves, enjoys an improved bond rating (with very low debt), and consistently receives accolades for transparent and thorough budgeting.

While COVID-19 creates a new set of financial challenges for our city, I have the experience to help guide us through this latest challenge.

To ensure strong government operations that can serve all residents, even in times of crisis, we must:

  • Maintain a robust rainy day fund to respond to emergencies, like the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Keep our government nimble enough to adjust to changing economics
  • Adopt sound fiscal policies and use taxpayer money wisely
  • Hire excellent staff

Support Jason's campaign by donating today!

Get involved with the campaign to help Jason win!

By providing your phone number you consent to receive periodic campaign updates from Whalen for City Council.
Whalen for City Council will never charge you for text alerts but Msg & Data rates may apply.