Welcome

My name is Chelsea and I’m running for Tumwater City Council Position No. 5. I love living here and want to do everything in my power to enrich our community, channel funds and support to resolving local issues facing the city, and be a positive force for good. I believe residents of Tumwater are ready to embrace radical changes that will benefit everyone, regardless of class, gender, sexual orientation, race, or religion. I hope to earn your support in the 2017 election, and would be so grateful and deeply honored to work with the citizens of my community to achieve our shared vision of equality and security for all.

I won’t settle for less than the universal justice I know we deserve, and which has already eluded so many, placing a disproportionate burden on the less privileged. I don’t believe in scaling back demands for our basic rights. As your city councilwoman, I will tirelessly advocate for you so that the sick are cared for, the hungry are fed, the homeless are sheltered, the unemployed have work, the underpaid are compensated with a living wage, and everyone is free to live without systemic discrimination.

Tumwater residents have the good fortune of living in the city with the highest per capita income in Thurston County — we have the resources to tackle any problem. Yet our unemployment rate hovers above the national average, the poverty level is still at 10.4%, and the median annual earnings for men are $50k while those for women are only $31k. With your support, together we can build a community of employee-owned workplaces, secure neighborhoods, clean energy programs, full employment, well-maintained infrastructure, thriving arts, wage equality for men and women, and paths to higher education.

If you live in Tumwater and would like to cast your vote for city council, please be sure you are registered to vote by the deadlines posted on the Thurston County Auditor’s Elections guide.

Thank you for visiting!

In solidarity,

Chelsea Rustad

About Chelsea

Ben, myself, and my sister Kerry at the annual auction fundraiser for the Scleroderma Foundation Evergreen Chapter on May 13, 2017 in Seattle.

My name is Chelsea Gae Rustad. I was born in Tacoma, grew up in Federal Way, went to college in Ellensburg, and then moved to Tumwater in 2005, but I’ve been a lifelong Washingtonian. I graduated cum laude with a B.S. in Computer Science, and a highly impractical minor in Philosophy.

I have worked for the state of Washington for over 10 years, both as a web developer and a system support analyst/tester. In 2016, I was elected as a delegate at the Democratic Caucus for Precinct 34 (Trail’s End) in Legislative District 35 of Thurston County. Since then, I became a dues paying, card carrying member of the Olympic Peninsula local branch of the Socialist Party USA. I also joined the SPUSA Women’s Commission.

When I’m not railing against the establishment, you can usually find me in my solar-powered abode in Bridlewood playing Zelda on my Nintendo Switch, doing P90X3, fawning over my Somali cat Famke, challenging Chelsea Clinton to single combat (because there can be only one), and snarking about everything with my wonderful boyfriend Ben.

Campaign Statement

The résumé version of this statement will tell you about how I’ve lived in the Tumwater/Olympia area for 12 years, how I have a B.S. in Computer Science from Central Washington University, how I have 10+ years of public service with Washington state, how I recently installed a solar panel system, and how I enjoy long walks to the fridge between Netflix sessions. But my guess is that the citizens of Tumwater are more interested in what kind of values and character I can bring to this position on your city council.

I am a democratic socialist with an unwavering conviction that strong communities can lift up the vulnerable, marginalized, and disenfranchised. It is the responsibility of each of us to never stop fighting for racial justice, environmental justice, economic justice, and gender justice, because the status quo isn’t enough, and underprivileged communities are not crying out for symbolic gestures or incremental changes.

As a woman with endometriosis and member of the SPUSA Women’s Commission, I am passionate about protecting access to reproductive health services and health care as a right, including legal cannabis. My father has stage IV medullary thyroid cancer and it is outrageous to me that lawmakers have left so many families like mine in the lurch, expecting us all to finance our own care with a makeshift GoFundMe insurance plan.

I affirm unapologetically that Black Lives Matter. I do not believe or accept that anyone deserves to be homeless or struggle to make ends meet. Regardless of occupation or level of education, we all can have a living wage. I will promote community control of our neighborhoods and workplaces, including independent police oversight councils composed of citizens. My feminism is intersectional and must be continually informed by LGBT, neurodivergent, young and old, differently abled, economically disadvantaged, and racially diverse voices to be of any value. I welcome and seek out the insightful opinions of young people; they are among those most affected by the inherent inequality of capitalism and should not be patronized or subjected to awkward pandering about Pokémon Go.

I consider myself a secular humanist who takes an evidence-based scientific approach in support of vaccinations, climate change understanding, sustainable energy, and healthy skepticism in the era of “alt-facts” and corporate-owned media.

Above all else, I hold the public trust in high regard as something that must be continuously earned, and have grown weary of those in office not being held accountable for their broken promises and favoring of elite interests. The overwhelming message seems to be that we all must support our elected officials no matter what, rather than the other way around. Our city council exists to serve the entire community, not a privileged few. I therefore humbly request your vote for Tumwater City Council, Position No. 5. I will be an uncompromising advocate for radical, lasting, inclusive solutions – and you can hold me to that.