Zandria Michaud will run for a second four-year term to the Kent City Council. COURTESY PHOTO, Zandria Michaud

Zandria Michaud will run for a second four-year term to the Kent City Council. COURTESY PHOTO, Zandria Michaud

Zandria Michaud to run for reelection to Kent City Council

Voters elected her to four-year term in 2019

Zandria Michaud will run for reelection to the Kent City Council.

“The past four years have been some of the most challenging times for Kent residents but despite those challenges, I am so incredibly proud of the progress and accomplishments we’ve made,” Michaud said in a statement to announce her campaign. “I’m looking forward to continuing to represent you while addressing our most pressing issues, ensuring Kent is the place you want to live, work and play.”

Voters elected Michaud to Position No. 7 in November 2019 to a four-year term. She had 59.3% (6,445 votes) to defeat Awale Farah with 40.04% (4,352 votes). Farah won the four-candidate primary in August 2019 with 36% of the vote compared to 24% for Michaud.

Michaud raised just $8,000 in 2019 compared to the more than $55,000 raised by Farah, now on the Kent School Board. Voters elected Farah over Brad Kenning to the school board in November 2021.

“Kent is in a very different place than it was in 2019 when I was first elected to the city council,” Michaud said. “Kent leaders are no longer looking to sell parks, but instead, we now have sustainable parks capital and have not only refurbished parks like the nationally recognized West Fenwick Park but have also leveraged grant funding to purchase additional land like the last parcel of Clark Lake Park. And our golf course is now financially self-sufficient for the first time in recent history.”

Michaud replaced Dennis Higgins on the council. Higgins had filled out the remaining term of Dana Ralph after voters elected her mayor in 2017.

Michaud has worked to improve public safety and to get the police department fully staffed.

“In the summer of 2020, amidst a global pandemic, Kent faced civil unrest,” Michaud said. “I pushed our police chief (Rafael Padilla) to be a leader on these issues and discussed a list of concerns and ideas to address gaps in policies and practices, including police data to look into racial bias, duty to intervene, training, co-responders and misconduct. We have not only addressed these issues in innovative ways but also transformed the department.

“This transformation is evident in our hiring and initiatives of the past year. We are the only police department that is hiring at a record pace-we have more officers in the state academy than any other agency.”

As a council member and spouse of a Seattle Police officer, Michaud said she knows work environment and pay are the top reasons people want to work for a department.

“I approved a significant pay raise for our officers, putting them near the top of the regional pay scale,” Michaud said. “Our police department now has a Community Immersion Program for recruits which ensures officers know about our community members, and available resources, and increases officers’ cultural competency.”

The police department earlier this year added a co-responder program that features a nurse and a social worker.

“We now have a police co-responder program to get much-needed resources and services to people in crisis and facing mental health challenges, substance abuse disorders and housing insecurity,” she said. “As a member of the Regional Law, Safety and Justice Committee I have been able to bring ideas and best practices to our city leaders. I continue to push for practical police reform at the state level to ensure our officers can properly address crime in Kent.”

Michaud has strong roots in Kent. She attended Park Orchard Elementary and graduated from Kentwood High School in Covington. After graduating, she served in the Army for five years and then earned a degree in American Studies from the University of Washington.

Michaud worked for the Kent School District for several years in the nurse’s office at Meridian Elementary and later Kentlake where her son attends high school. Prior to joining the city council, she served as chair of the Kent Parks Commission.

“I now work for a small Kent family business and regularly volunteer at Kent environmental conservation events,” Michaud said.

Michaud said more challenges continue to face the city of Kent.

“We must continue to work together to find reasonable solutions to our most pressing issues, crime, housing affordability, homelessness and the livability of Kent,” she said.

Election dates

Candidates must file the week of May 15-19 with King County Elections to run for the council. The primary election is set for Aug. 1 followed by the general election Nov. 7. Nobody else has filed for Michaud’s position No. 7.

Pay increase

City Council members are paid $36,000 per year for a part-time position, an 110% hike approved earlier this year by an Independent Salary Commission.

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