Pedro Olguin is the Organizing Coordinator with Teamsters Local 117 who has dedicated his entire adult life advocating for workers. He advocates for the community, labor and working families. As a father of two children growing up in Burien, he wants to leave behind a legacy of inclusiveness where everyone’s voice is heard.
How did you decide to run, why was it important?
In recent elections, we have allowed political pragmatism to take place of our values. We have failed to develop a pipeline of leadership at the local grassroots level that identifies, fosters, and eventually moves individuals into the public sphere. I want to make sure that my candidacy doesn’t stop at electing an individual, but electing a movement capable of uplifting the entire community.
What is the most important issue that you are championing?
One never gets to dictate the issues but should look at the conditions that already exist in the community. Homelessness is a major systemic issue in Burien. With tremendous growth and development in the city comes a responsibility to provide for the basic needs of all its residents.
"I want to make sure that my candidacy doesn’t stop at electing an individual, but electing a movement capable of uplifting the entire community."
How specifically do you plan to address this issue?
Our city invests less than 1% of its total budget in health and human services. This issue is bigger than just Burien and using an enforcement-only approach to mitigate poverty does not work. While we need to strike a balance iwith public safety, we need to collaborate with King County and other municipalities to hep address homelessness.
How does being in the union affect your campaign?
Throughout our career we learn two important lessons: advocating for dignity and respect for working families matter as well as learning to strike a fair balance and willingness to reach an agreement with those you may not agree with. These are values that are seriously lacking in the City of Burien. We need to build a community that publicly values dignity and respect to all its residents and listens to all, regardless of who a person voted for.
Why is it beneficial to the community to have more labor representatives run for public office?
For a very long time individuals who didn’t fit the mold weren’t viable candidates. But the reality of a democracy is that anybody can run. Let’s run! We need more union members to take on leadership roles in our communities. I am the only progressive candidate coming out of labor running for this position. Let’s keep in mind that over 40% of households in Burien have a union member. We have to represent those voices.
Where can we go to find more information and support the campaign?
You can visit my website burien4olguin.nationbuilder.com or follow me on facebook (facebook.com/Burien4Olguin). You can also support my campaign by volunteering, canvassing, talking to voters, or making a financial contribution. Every penny helps!