Advice & Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Political Season

Move Lynnwood forward with Naz Lashgari

I would like to urge Lynnwood voters to support Ms. Naz Lashgari for City Council Position 4 in the upcoming primary. As Vice President of the Lynnwood Diversity, Equity ,and Inclusion Commission, Naz has consistently shown herself to be a powerful advocate for the LGBTQ community, people of color, women, the homeless, and recent immigrants. Her drive to spread her message of inclusion was instrumental in the recent launch of the “All Are Welcome” campaign. Naz is dedicated to helping Lynnwood grow into a vibrant, prosperous, and inclusive city that can continue to serve as a model for our region. As a Council Member, I firmly believe that Naz will continue to honestly represent Lynnwood residents and ensure that they have a voice at the table when it comes to making the decisions that will shape our future. Let’s move Lynnwood forward with Naz for City Council Position 4!

J. M.
Lynnwood, WA

Ashkan Amouzegar: A Person of the People

Ashkan is very much a person of the people. That was apparent when we met on his day off from his full time job – after he had finished teaching yoga to a group of survivors of domestic violence, and before he was to attend a conference on affordable housing. Ashkan makes it a priority to reach out to people in a variety of venues and to engage people about what’s important to them. His demeanor is genuine and sincere. I have worked with Ashkan on several projects in the private sector; witnessing him build bridges and encourage dialogue among different people and perspectives while finding ways to move forward. Lynnwood will definitely benefit from having someone as devoted as Ashkan. He brings a common sense approach to his work where equity and collaboration are critical to his thought process.

Ashkan will bring new ideas and a fresh voice to a council that is greatly in need of diversity. He is the type of person who will actively question how things are done and advocate for real changes that will benefit Lynnwood’s residents.

Ashkan rarely thinks of himself; known for waking before dawn and ending his day when every message, email, text, phone call has been returned. He takes time to visit nonprofit organizations, businesses, and special interest groups to look deeply into the ways things are in his community. I urge all of you to vote for Ashkan Amouzegar and ensure we are all have a seat at the table.

J.G. Desrosiers

Endorsement and support for Shannon Sessions

I am writing to state why I am endorsing and supporting Shannon Sessions for Lynnwood City Council Position 7. During her last four years on the Council, she significantly added to her proven track record as an effective servant leader. She understands the importance of doing her homework to understand issues, objectively evaluating both pros and cons, and deriving at the best possible solutions through cooperation and collaboration. Shannon knows how to get things done! As a lifelong Lynnwood resident, Shannon cares about this city. She has experienced Lynnwood changing from a small bedroom town into a growing urban center. She understands the importance of managing the projected growth that will occur over the next five years.

Shannon has experience in many aspects of Lynnwood – as a news reporter, a police information officer, from working with victims of trauma, and as small business owner. She is not a single-issue candidate running for title and status. Shannon is running because she cares about this city. She wants Lynnwood to continue to be a safe and welcoming community for all who dwell here.

What I like most about Shannon is her strong, impeccable character – honesty, integrity, core values, and transparency. She will not make hollow promises just to get your vote. She has no ulterior motives. Shannon will continue to work hard to make Lynnwood the best city in South Snohomish County.

I urge you to vote for a bright future for Lynnwood. Please vote for and re-elect Shannon Sessions.

-Wally Webster II

Support for Shannon Sessions without reservation

My name is Phong Nguyen and I am both a resident and business owner in Lynnwood. I have had the pleasure of working with Councilmember Shannon Sessions during the last few years through my involvement with the City of Lynnwood.

In the years that I have known Shannon, she has distinguished herself as a conscientious and determined individual. As a volunteer with the Lynnwood Police Department on Citizens Patrol, I have had the great pleasure of having Councilmember Sessions as our liaison to the City of Lynnwood’s Citizens Patrol program.

Shannon continues to serve our community in many capacities. She has been involved with the Lynnwood Tourism Advisory Board, she serves on the city’s Historical Commission, and as an alternate on the Snohomish County 911 board. In addition to her most recent role as the executive director of Support 7 of South Snohomish County, she has spent three years on the Audit & Insurance/Finance Committee.

Shannon has deep ties with our first responders and has experience as a small business owner and as current Lynnwood City Council Vice President. Her professional experience and her integrity will help propel the city forward into the future.

Shannon is an engaged listener who seeks solutions for virtually all of our City’s civic issues. She does this with compassion, integrity, and a heart of gold. These are all qualities that allow her to make a positive contribution to our community. It is without reservation that I support Shannon Sessions for City Council Position 7.

-Phong Nguyen

Founder, Lynnwood Business Consortium

Owner, Anna’s Home Furnishings

A testament to the character of Shannon Sessions

I have been a volunteer with the Lynnwood Police Department for twelve years and I worked closely with Shannon Sessions for approximately six years when she managed the “Volunteers In Public Safety” volunteer group. During this time, I observed how well she interacted with her peers and all levels of management, and handled her volunteer group.

Her extensive knowledge of not only the police department, but all city departments, has served her well during her years of city service during these last four years on the City Council. When she doesn’t have answers, she digs until she finds them.

The way Shannon handles herself in any situation shows her professionalism, knowledge, discipline, and caring. She treats everyone with respect.

Shannon’s integrity goes a long way. She is a trusted friend and colleague who does every job well.

She is not only a great citizen of Lynnwood but a tremendous asset to the City Council, making sound decisions and learning all she can about any subject before the Council.

-Elaine Solvang

Gratitude for Shannon Sessions

In 1992 I opened a business in Lynnwood. We have been privileged to serve thousands of

Lynnwood residents and to employ many wonderful people. About a year ago, we ran into tremendous obstacles with Lynnwood’s permitting and planning department (Business Services Department). During that time, the city nearly put us out of business with its disorganized and overzealous (putting it mildly), inspectors.

Councilmember Sessions witnessed what was happening and knew it was not right. She humbly and consistently came to our aid. There were others that helped as well, but this letter is about Councilmember Sessions.

My wife, my employees, and I believe that the efforts of Shannon Sessions were instrumental in helping us navigate our way through that mess. Councilmember Sessions is a gift for the City of Lynnwood.

–Dr. Jay Campbell

Parkside Back & Neck Care

Vote with confidence for Shannon Sessions

This election, my family and I will be voting for Shannon Sessions for Lynnwood city council. I have had the privilege of knowing and working with Shannon for eighteen years. As a resident of

Lynnwood for 25 years, I cannot say enough to recommend Shannon for reelection to the Lynnwood City Council and I strongly encourage voters to carefully consider her for this important position.

For all the years that I have known Shannon, she has been unwavering in her character, integrity, and loyalty to the concerns of this city. Shannon has demonstrated her devotion to the city of

Lynnwood with many years of community involvement. Shannon has settled her family in Lynnwood, sent her children to public schools in Lynnwood, worked in Lynnwood, and volunteered with multiple organizations in Lynnwood.

Shannon’s unique professional background makes her a highly-qualified candidate. Prior to her service as a Lynnwood City council member, Shannon worked as a fire fighter, a reporter, and a public information officer for the Lynnwood Police Department. In all of her capacities, she has demonstrated great compassion and concern for the people and families of Lynnwood.

Shannon is passionate about her desire to see Lynnwood thrive and considers every issue with common sense and careful thought. I hope that the voters will look at her record of service to our city and vote with confidence for Shannon Sessions.

Thank you,

-Sherice Mansfield

Support for Shannon Sessions

Unlike most Americans my age, I didn’t see Neil and Buzz walk on the Moon. Fifty years ago—as Apollo 11’s crew prepped for their historic mission—I stepped out onto on a muddy hilltop in South Vietnam; assigned there as a trooper with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. It was hard, scary work, and it didn’t help knowing that many of my countrymen felt we should no longer be doing it. Three turbulent years later—new daughter in-arms—my wife and I moved to Lynnwood. We’ve been homeowners here ever since, but I never considered it as more than just a decent place to live.

That changed when I attended last October’s “Heroes Cafe” event at Verdant Health Center. I didn’t know what I was looking for; only that I was hurting and desperately needed to talk with someone. A former Air Force firefighter noticed my agony and had me sit down and tell my story. I didn’t get far before I began to lose it, but this person listened patiently and helped me through it.

I’ve learned more about her since then and I have to say I’m impressed. Wife, mother, veteran, small business owner, civic leader; the list goes on. I’m also told she gets things done. I can believe it because she’s a powerhouse. Her name is Shannon Sessions and she’s running for re-election for Lynnwood City Council. I hope you’ll join me in supporting her.

-Brad Andrews

Reelect Shannon Sessions

The City of Lynnwood is so fortunate to have Shannon Sessions, a person of integrity, dedication, intelligence and thoughtfulness, serving on its City Council. Shannon is running for her second term and I encourage the voters of Lynnwood to reelect her.

Shannon’s commitment to her community runs deep. She grew up in Lynnwood and graduated from Meadowdale High School. After serving in the US Air Force, Shannon and her husband chose Lynnwood as the community where they wanted to raise their family. Five children later, they are actively involved in community service projects, church, and school programs.

Shannon’s work experience includes private enterprise, public service, nonprofits, and owning her own small business. She understands the community inside-out and uses that knowledge to thoughtfully consider the issues before the Council. As a tax paying homeowner and small business owner, Shannon brings thoughtful consideration to all areas of fiscal responsibility. Shannon serves with dedication and purpose.

In my former capacity as South Snohomish County Chamber of Commerce CEO, I spent over 10 years working with prior councils and I can tell you that it makes a big difference to have people of Shannon’s high caliber serving. There have been too many who have run for office to feel important, to collect a paycheck and receive benefits without really contributing to the efforts. Shannon is an excellent council member. Cast your vote to keep Shannon Sessions in office!

-Jean Hales

Sincere support for Shannon Sessions

I am a newcomer to the City of Lynnwood and am writing to support the reelection of City Councilmember Shannon Sessions, Position 7.

One of the first things I do when moving to a new city is get involved in my neighborhood and local government (Mukilteo, Everett, Seattle and now Lynnwood).

Councilmember Sessions struck me immediately as a leader. In watching her listen to local citizens at council meetings, hearings, and forums, I saw her sincerity from the get go. She is not only a purposeful listener but also she responds to concerns specifically proving she has heard the speaker. Shannon Sessions has responded to my emailed questions in a timely manner and she follows up when needed. Too many elected representatives at all levels of government listen with a vacant smile and offer no response other than “Thank you for your comments.”

This is an important primary election for the City of Lynnwood. I urge everyone to vote. Your city’s future depends greatly on having sincere, hard-working leaders who value citizens’ ownership at all levels.


-Annie Lyman

Shannon Sessions will get the job done

With the number of candidates running for Council positions, there is only one who has been there and stands out as the only one who can get the job done: Shannon Sessions. She is seeking reelection for Council position 7.

As a retired Army veteran and resident of Lynnwood for 37 years, I appreciate what she has done locally and regionally. She is a champion to the local veteran community and has been involved

in a number of community projects as a Rotarian. As a former military firefighter, she can handle the heat inside the Council chambers or out in the public. She is a true advocate for Hero’s Cafe and the Northwest Veterans Museum. Shannon has worked closely with Mayor Smith and other leaders to form a Veterans Task Force.

She and her husband have raised a beautiful family of young adults who, like Shannon, attended or currently attend Lynnwood schools. She has worked for improvements at Veterans Park and her family members have participated in Memorial Day and Veterans Day services there. Her passion to help others in a time of need was a given,when she was appointed to Executive Director for Support 7.

Both she and her husband are fellow lifetime members of VFW Post 1040.

Lynnwood needs to move forward with the influx of new residents, upstart businesses, public safety, light rail, and traffic. Shannon Sessions is the experienced council member who will meet that challenge.

-Richard Clark

Shannon Sessions listens:

Shannon’s hands-on approach is visible at all times. She listens to Lynnwood’s businesses, homeless, seniors, veterans and young people. Her resume speaks volumes. She has a mountain of accomplishments. She is a council member who has a vision and a mission.

Recently, she visited Destinations Lynnwood (formerly Shag) and answered several questions from residents with confidence. She is aware that there are grave concerns regarding rent/housing control within Lynnwood’s senior population. Our main concern and fear is that we will be forced to move out at any given time due to exorbitant rent increases. SHE LISTENED. She ensured that Lynnwood City Council is aware or our fears and concerns. It’s with great hope that this pending issue will have a positive outcome for Lynnwood’s senior citizens.

I see honesty and great value for Lynnwood in supporting the reelection of Councilmember Shannon Sessions.

Thank you.

-Ruth Ann Tate

Shannon Sessions is a “work horse”

It gives me great joy to endorse Shannon Session for a second term on Lynnwood City Council, position 7.

Over the years, I have found Shannon to be a person of high moral character and impeccable work ethic, and one who possesses a genuine commitment to our community’s long-term best interests. She has and will continue to work for the best-interest of all our citizens.

Shannon possesses three outstanding qualities that equip and enable her to be an outstanding council member. She is quick to listen, slow to speak, and she seldom gets angry.

Having personally spent sixteen years on the Lynnwood City Council, I have observed that elected officials tend to separate themselves into two categories: “work horses” and “show horses.” Shannon is a “work horse”. She will do whatever needs to be done to complete the task. She takes her job as your representative very seriously. She comes to work prepared.

With the issues facing the City of Lynnwood over the next four years, we need to reelect

Shannon and others with a similar work ethic. I strongly encourage you to vote for Shannon on August 6th.

-Loren Simmonds

Vote for Shannon Sessions, Position 7

Four years ago I eagerly campaigned for Shannon Sessions as she ran for her first term on the Lynnwood City Council. She has certainly proved to me that she is right for the job, and so I am supporting her for re-election to Council Position 7.

As a member of a volunteer group that Shannon supervised at the Lynnwood Police Department (VIPS), I experienced first-hand how Shannon works. She operates as a knowledgeable, well-prepared, and organized leader who does her homework while still maintaining an open mind to listen to the ideas and opinions of others. She is a flexible and skilled problem-solver. She excels at goal-setting. Her leadership generates trust because she operates with the highest standards of empathy, honesty and integrity.

A vote for Shannon will ensure that her valuable experience and skills, along with her dedication to the successful future of Lynnwood, will continue to be an asset to our city. Vote for

Shannon Sessions, Position 7, Lynnwood City Council.

-Pamela Eastman

Shannon Session is highly-recommended for reelection

I have been an active member within the Lynnwood community for 4 decades. I have seen the city in its early stages of development as it slowly has grown into a significant hub in the region. I have had the distinguished pleasure of spending years working with and cultivating a valued friendship with Shannon Sessions.

Throughout all the years I have known Shannon, she has committed her life to service, her family, her church, and her community. Whether as a veteran, an editor of the local newspaper, a champion for public safety, or a mom caring for her family, she has always understood the necessity of being involved.

In 2016, she ran for a Lynnwood City Council position and in two short years was appointed the council vice-president due to her leadership and common-sense approach toward city goals.

Shannon is seeking a second term on the Lynnwood City Council because her business is not finished. Shannon’s positive leadership and integrity are necessary to maintain responsible city government. As the city moves forward with the light rail system and the planning of the new city center, it is critical to have a forward-thinking representative who serves the best interest of the city and its citizens.

Shannon is passionate about service and I highly recommend her for a second term on the Lynnwood City Council (Pos7).


-T.J. Brooks

Lynnwood Police Sergeant, retired

Acknowledgement and thanks for Shannon Sessions

I want to thank and acknowledge Shannon Sessions for her hard work and dedication on the Lynnwood City Council. My family has been living in Lynnwood since 1994. We had the pleasure of meeting Shannon 5 years ago when we moved to the Aldridge Estates neighborhood. Ever since we met Shannon, we have seen how dedicated to our community she is.

She is the organizer for our National Neighbors Night out. This is an event that every year brings neighbors together and educates us about safety. We appreciate Shannon’s commitment to keeping our neighborhood safe. Shannon is also very active in our homeowners’ association meetings. She is always willing to help anyone. I have seen her and her husband cutting the bushes at an elderly neighbor’s home so she can have a better view.

Shannon cares about the Lynnwood community. She encourages our young residents to participate in community events and she is a great leader in our neighborhood. Shannon is approachable and always present.

We believe Shannon Sessions to be a trustworthy Council member who will be a strong public steward. For these reasons we support her in her candidacy for city Council. We feel very lucky to have her as a neighbor and we know Shannon will continue working hard to keep us growing. Shannon Sessions will make decisions that help make the Lynnwood community a better place.


-Gissela Ochoa

Endorsement for Shannon Sessions

I would like to give my endorsement for Shannon Sessions for Lynnwood City Council. I have known Shannon for two decades and have seen her hard work, common sense approach to solving problems, her enthusiasm, her optimism, her good people skills and her integrity.

It was these skills that led the board of the non-profit community-based Support 7 to elect Shannon as its new Executive Director. I know that the same skill set that Shannon has demonstrated in leading this after the passing of its founder, will be the same that will serve the community of Lynnwood on the city council.

Respectfully submitted,

–Lois Gaydos

Re-Elect Shannon Sessions

When Shannon Sessions became a candidate for the Lynnwood City Council four years ago, she came with outstanding credentials. After completion of her first City Council term, she has certainly validated those early credentials. Shannon Sessions has become a very creditable councilperson due to her hard work, tireless efforts, and her successful personal performance.

Shannon has earned the respect of many of her City Council contacts, as evidenced by the endorsements from not only Lynnwood city leaders and fellow council members, but also South Snohomish County political and community leaders.

As I reflect on all the Lynnwood City Council members over the last 40 years, in my opinion, Shannon Sessions would easily be within the top five percent of those successful leaders and that after only four years. Her future and the City of Lynnwood’s future remain very bright as a result of her successful performance.

I served nine years on Lynnwood’s planned land use processes and then four terms (sixteen years) on the Lynnwood City Council before retiring in 1995. In retrospect, it would have been a pleasure to have served with the likes of Shannon Sessions on any of those services.

To the City of Lynnwood voters, please join me in re-electing Shannon Sessions to the Lynnwood City Council.

-William D. Blackburn

Lynnwood City Council (Retired)

2 thoughts on “Letters to the Editor: Political Season

  • Endorsement for Richard Emery, Mukilteo City Council

    To the editor:
    Please add me to the list of local residents enthusiastically endorsing the re-election of Richard Emery to the Mukilteo City Council.

    Our future as a community and a unique living space is largely in the hands of our City Council. For a good portion of the 26 years I’ve lived here, Richard’s presence on the Council has been a key part of maintaining that uniqueness.

    We need that experience, that track record. As someone relatively new to Mukilteo politics—I currently serve on the City’s Planning Commission—I am more aware of the wheels-within-wheels complications of even the smallest piece of legislation. The legal framework, the means test of the City Code, the requirements of legislation outside our borders, and especially the voice(s) of our citizens all need to be balanced on every single issue. There is no “magical thinking” that gets us through the thicket of requirements that make any legislative body work, whether it’s a small town like ours or the Federal government.

    Taxes, transportation, the development of our waterfront are only some of the issues that our council will need to address in the next few years even as more than a few of them will be influenced or even controlled by state and regional mandates. Richard’s hands-on guidance with these issues over the years will continue to provide all of us with a safety net as we move into these uncertain waters.

    As fellow Councilman Louis Harris noted in a recent letter to the Beacon, “In an era where state and regional politics often overshadow local concerns, Richard’s focus remains squarely on the well-being of Mukilteo and its residents. His thoughtful approach to governance exemplifies the qualities of a councilmember who listens attentively and acts judiciously. By consistently making informed and considerate decisions, Richard has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to serving the best interests of our community.”

    Endorsements matter. Richard has received support from State Senator Marko Liias; State Representatives Strom Peterson and Lillian Ortiz-Self; County Council Members Brian Sullivan and Stephanie Wright, City Councilmembers Sarah Kneller, Elizabeth Crawford, Tom Jordal, Jason Moon and Louis Harris. Most recently, he earned the endorsement of IAFF Firefighters Local #3482.

    Please join me in voting for Councilman Richard Emery in November.

    Skip Ferderber

  • I am impressed by most of the candidates running for City Council. It takes a certain amount of courage to put yourself out there for public scrutiny. So, thank you.

    Position 4 is particularly crowded and the new candidates seem passionate and convincing. However I’d like to make a case for Jim Smith. I will be voting for him because he seems to have the most realistic appraisal of what rapid growth will mean for the city’s current residents. I think he is right that developments such as light rail, as important as it is, will be more of a boon to surrounding (and wealthier) areas like Edmonds than it will to much of Lynnwood. We will pay the price in terms of gridlock and upzoning as investors gobble up land near the station. Many investors –commercial and individual–are eying our city with dollar signs in their eyes, and I’m fairly sure they would not choose to live in the neighborhoods that will be most affected (if they live in Lynnwood at all).

    Jim is also concerned with the galloping tax increases which are pricing many residents out of the city entirely, and making it harder for businesses to break even.

    I admire the passion of the Lynnwood Forward group, but cannot quite share their optimism about the city’s growth. Maybe I’m jaded because Paine Field flights fly low right over my house up to 20 times a day, but I feel like growth and development are happening at the price of quality of life in our city, and that Jim Smith is someone who will listen.

    Louisa Mackenzie


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