Attorney announces run for Port Townsend council seat

Ariel Speser

Ariel Speser

PORT TOWNSEND — Attorney Ariel Speser has announced she will run for a seat on the Port Townsend City Council.

Speser, 32, has registered with the state Public Disclosure Commission to run for the Position 2 seat now held by Catharine Robinson, whose term expires Dec. 31. The candidate filing period is May 15-19 but candidates can file before then.

Speser, a staff attorney with the Northwest Justice Project, said that because she grew up in Port Townsend, she has a clear perspective on the community.

“I have a really good sense of how wonderful and unique our community is but also what some of the challenges are,” Speser said.

“I’d like to move Port Townsend forward for everyone from the young professionals like myself, who are just trying to raise a family, to our senior and older populations.”

Speser said the problem she finds the most pressing is housing.

“We have a housing crisis, and this is my main issue,” she said in a press release.

“The city is taking steps to address this issue and I want to make sure low-income, marginalized communities and young families are represented in this process,” Speser added.

Speser said on Wednesday that, through her work as a civil attorney and through her community service, working with such organizations as Habitat for Humanity and Olympic Community Action Programs (OlyCAP), she’s seen what works and what doesn’t when it comes to giving people housing options.

“I have on-the-ground, first-hand experience,” Speser said.

“I just want to make sure low-income and marginalized communities have a say in this, and that means vulnerable populations like our seniors, the homeless and families.”

In addition to affordable housing, she is concerned about issues ranging from road improvements to succession planning for a long-time city manager, she said.

“I’m looking for practical ways to move us forward, remove obstacles, and solve problems. I’ll bring fresh eyes, new energy, and sound leadership to meet our city’s challenges.”

Speser attended Port Townsend schools before pursuing a career in law.

“I’m from Port Townsend and now I’m coming home,” Speser said.

Speser volunteers on the Port Townsend City Planning Commission and on community nonprofit boards, including Habitat for Humanity of East Jefferson County and OlyCap.

Three council seats are up for election this year. An Aug. 1 primary election will be held if more than two people file for the position. The general election is Nov. 7.

Speser’s campaign treasurer is Dominic Svornich, according to the PDC filing.

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Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at cmcfarland@ peninsuladailynews.com.

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