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The Seattle Times editorial board recommends: Mo Malakoutian for Bellevue City Council!

Updated: Oct 23, 2023

“If there’s ever been a candidate that has thoroughly prepared himself to become a City Council member, it would be Mo Malakoutian.

The Bellevue Planning Commission member and community volunteer is a candidate for the City Council’s Position 3. Voters should elect him in November.

Malakoutian moved to Bellevue in 2008 to earn a doctorate in engineering at the University of Washington, where he now teaches structural engineering part-time. He soon enrolled in Bellevue Essentials civic engagement classes, he said, to learn about the city to find out how he could get involved in civic life. That led to his appointment to the planning commission.

Aside from teaching, Malakoutian works as a senior program manager at Amazon. If elected to the City Council, he said his agenda would include, among other things, public safety, affordable housing and reducing traffic congestion.

To address the affordable housing crisis, Malakoutian said the city needs to provide appropriate incentives to developers to build housing for residents who earn 50% or below the city’s average median income. He wants the permitting process streamlined to bring costs down. He supports transitioning existing older, market-rate apartments into lower-income housing units. The environmental engineer notes that would be good for the environment as well.

Malakoutian serves on the Wellspring Family Services board of directors, which has informed his approach to issues of housing and homelessness.

“Prevention (of people losing their homes) is the thing in which we should invest. … Prevention means we should have affordable housing at all income levels. We should have job training, health care and outreach,” Malakoutian said.

With public safety, Malakoutian supports having mental health workers accompany police officers on some calls, and providing officers with more training in de-escalation and in cultural sensitivity. He said the city should be proactive in preventing crime by collecting and using data that shows which areas are crime hot spots to inform decisions.

Malakoutian’s opponent is Alex Tsimerman, a perennial candidate for offices at the local, state and federal level.

Because of his seven years of planning commission experience and the emphasis he places on listening to all voices, Malakoutian would be a fresh and needed addition to the Bellevue City Council."

The Seattle Times editorial board members are editorial page editor Kate Riley, Frank A. Blethen, Melissa Davis, Alex Fryer, Claudia Rowe, Carlton Winfrey and William K. Blethen (emeritus).

You can read the article HERE.

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