2008 Candidate -- Vice President -- Allison Bilas

Candidate statement
I’ve lived in a condo on Belmont with my husband, Scott, for three years. I grew up in Utah, which is 180 degrees from Capitol Hill. This stark contrast has given me a unique appreciation for just how wonderful a place this really is and Scott and I hope to live here for the rest of our lives.
As an avid blog reader, I was thrilled to hear that the Community Council was reforming here on Capitol Hill. As I watched the process unfold, I realized that my skills and experiences could be a valuable asset and that this was an opportunity to give back to the community that has meant so much to me.

Candidate experience
Advocacy and organizational management:
In college, I was elected President of the Associated Students, a full-time position and the primary representative of a constituency of over 12,000 and manager of an organization with a $2 million budget, 6 professional and over 150 student staff.
Our mission was to represent the interests of the students to the administration, local government, and the state legislature; to be a support structure for student-run organizations; to produce programs and events; and to foster leadership development, which is almost exactly what we are trying to do here.
In this capacity, I trained and mentored a team of student leaders to implement projects ranging from improved transit service to the creation of a major new lounge space and music venue on campus.
The skills I developed as an advocate, a negotiator and a manager are directly applicable to rebuilding the CHCC.

Political organizing:
I have worked as a professional political organizer on the I-884 campaign for increasing education funding. I have been active with the Democratic Party and participated in many trainings, including the Seattleworks Bridge program, the Institute for a Democratic Future, and Wellstone grassroots organizing.

In recent years, I have worked as a researcher in the finance industry. Coupled with a business education, this has given me an understanding of the needs of businesses of all sizes and the ability to ‘speak the language’ with local business owners and organizations.

Candidate goals
Establish relationships with existing organizations on the Hill:
• POWHat
• Miller Park
• The Chamber of Commerce
• The Capitol Hill Times, the blog community and others
Build partnerships with organizations outside the Hill:
• Draw upon the knowledge of established community councils across the city, with a particular focus on our immediate neighbors.
• Begin regular communication with non-profits that overlap our mission including Sustainable Seattle, the Transportation Choices Coalition, Solid Ground and others.
• Build relationships with the political establishment and put our issues on their radar.
• Focus on the Planning Commission, design review and historic preservation boards, City Council, Sound Transit, and our state legislators from the 43rd LD.
• Work to place our members on public boards and commissions and weave our agenda into city policy.
Mentoring, training, empowering
Many people in our community want to take action, but don’t know where to start. Using my experience as an organizer, advocate and project implementer, I will work with anyone who steps forward to develop an action plan, then connect them with the key players necessary to bring their ideas into reality.
As a business-minded person, I understand the importance of budgets and fundraising. I will gather together a team to pursue several fund-raising strategies including:
• Online member donations
• Fundraising events
• Grants
• Institutional sponsorship, and
• In the long run, permanent funding from the city

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