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    Meet Nathaniel

    8BB8B780-26A1-40F7-A413-0ABE8396B472.jpegNathaniel Jones joined the Olympia City Council in 2012 and has served as Mayor Pro Tem from 2012 through 2018. He is Chair of the Thurston Regional Planning Council, and past-Chair of InterCity Transit.  Nathaniel holds a seat on the Thurston Economic Development Council and the Thurston Thrives Coordinating Council. He has lived around the country and around the world.

    Nathaniel’s wife, Kathleen is a Nurse Practitioner with Kaiser Permanente, who has delivered thousands of babies and supported new fledgling families in our community.  Kathleen and Nathaniel moved to Olympia in 1991 and raised two daughters in local public schools.

    With graduate training in Community and Regional Planning, Nathaniel’s professional career has included leadership positions in public and non-profit agencies involved with community development, public transportation, and public facilities. He has recently retired from state service after managing the infrastructure of the State Capitol Campus for many years.  

    In 2017, after six fruitful years, Nathaniel stepped down from the Board of South Sound Habitat for Humanity. And it was in 2017 that he led the successful campaign to expand public safety services in Olympia. Nathaniel is a member of the five-state Safe Energy Leadership Alliance, which shapes public policy for the transport and use of fossil fuels in the northwest, and he has led economic development efforts throughout Olympia.

    Professional Background –

    Transportation Planner
    Development Director for Seven-County Non-Profit Agency
    Capital Program Director for Public Agency
    Infrastructure Manager for State Capitol Campus

    Civic Involvement –

    Chair, Thurston Regional Planning Council
    Member, Olympia Council Land Use & Environment Committee
    President, Olympia Transportation Benefit Board
    Member, Thurston Thrives Coordinating Council
    Member, Thurston Economic Development Council
    Member, Thurston Urban Growth Management Committee
    Olympia Council Liaison to Bicycle & Pedestrian Committee
    Member, Safe Energy Leadership Alliance
    Olympia Mayor Pro Tem (2012-2018)
    Member, Olympia Council Finance Committee (former)
    Chair, InterCity Transit Board (former)
    Chair, Olympia Revitalization Committee (former)
    Olympia Council Liaison to Heritage Commission (former)

    Accomplishments –

    • Passed Public Safety Levy and launched Police
      Crisis Response Unit and Neighborhood Liaison Officers
    • Launched Police Walking Patrol, Ambassadors, and Clean Team in Downtown
    • Comprehensive Plan for Olympia completed
    • Friendly parking meters installed Downtown with pay-by-phone and expiration alert
    • Economic Development Director hired and set to work
    • Cleanup of derelict isthmus properties completed
    • Chehalis-Western Trail completed – missing link now connected
    • 500 units of new market-rate Downtown housing completed and more underway
    • Neighborhood matching grants getting results
    • “Olympia on Ice” and Pump Track demonstrations are smashing success
    • Launched Office of Performance and Innovation
    • Additional shelter beds opened and working well, including Pear Blossom Place and expanded Salvation Army
    • Percival Landing rebuilt and new boat moorage added
    • Sunrise Park and Decatur Woods Park renewed
    • Sustainable Thurston plan adopted
    • Washington Center renovated
    • Passed Home Fund ballot measure to construct supportive housing
    • Opened Plum Street tiny home village
    • Opened homeless mitigation site at Thurston Avenue and Franklin
    • Launched faith community tiny home project
    • New drinking water source flowing
    • West Bay and 22nd Avenue sidewalks completed
    • Municipal Arts Plan adopted
    • Shoreline Master Program completed
    • Adopted rules to encourage in-fill housing
    • 22nd Avenue & Boulevard Road round-about completed
    • Morse Merryman Road & Boulevard Road round-about completed
    • LED streetlights saving money and saving energy
    • New fire engine delivered
    • Joint Sea Level Rise Plan completed
    • Transportation Master Plan launched
    • Added solar panels to Library
    • LBA Woods Park, Kaiser Heights Park, and Zahn park properties acquired
    • West Bay heron rookery protected
    • State Avenue and 5th Avenue reconstructed Downtown
    • Development review process streamlined
    • Alley lights and murals installed
    • and much more
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  • Latest from the blog

    A Living Wage is a Fundamental Right. A Regular Schedule is Essential for Quality of Life.

    On Wages, Nathaniel Jones says, “As mayor of Olympia, I will do everything in my power to make Olympia’s minimum wage $15.00 by January 1, 2021. For all workers, period.” If this can be done statewide, by working with other Washington cities in the 2020 legislative session, great. If it can be done by partnering in a county-wide approach, outstanding. But if Olympia must go alone, then Jones will introduce legislation to raise the local minimum wage to $15.00 by January 1, 2021. Across the country, 28 million workers are working for a minimum wage. About 25% of them are teens. Most are women. And nearly 30% of them are raising a family. Because of the negative impact of low wages on the local economy, 46 local governments have implemented minimum wage laws. Extensive analysis has shown that higher minimum wages do not reduce employment.  This is the case in Seattle and Tacoma, and across the United States. In Olympia, many jobs are part-time. To make ends meet, workers take on more than one job. Many employers are fantastic and accommodating, making schedules work for employees and for business. Other employers, however, offer short notice on shift changes- this makes working a second job nearly impossible. This is harmful to workers, to productivity, and to families. It must stop. “I will join with others to lobby the legislature in 2020,” says Jones, “Pushing to enact predictive scheduling Statewide. If we do not succeed, I will introduce legislation to be adopted locally.” Our workers deserve better. “With a commitment to predictive schedules and a $15 an hour baseline, we go a long way toward supporting our economy’s most precious resource, our workers,” says Jones. “We must move forward to address economic insecurity now.”
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    Olympia is the Regional Center for Arts & Culture -- Ushering in a new Renaissance

    It’s about Enhancement and Investment- Great Cities, that draw talented workers, all have something in common- a strong commitment to Culture and the Arts. We need more arts and entertainment venues, both Downtown and elsewhere. The City has a variety of tools to encourage this type of development and build upon Olympia’s adopted Downtown Strategy. Let’s use these tools to create the City we want. Let’s expand support for existing cultural events, AND add new events andfestivals to the annual calendar. An artful community cannot help but be full of the Arts. It’s about Preservation - A century ago, our community built three great performance spaces. We lost the Liberty- but gained the Washington Center in its place. The other two historic theaters- the Capitol and the State- still stand, operated by local non-profits. The City has a clear role of partnering with these non-profits to ensure these precious assets are maintained, enhanced, and stay available to the public long into the future. So much of our local culture is tied to our historic sites. We must do more, investing tangible resources, into historic and cultural preservation. No, it’s not cheap. Nor is it simple. But it is worth doing. It’s about the Cultural District - This year, Olympia was the 3rd “creative district” recognized by the state. We have something special here. And now we need to think big. Special cultural districts work in other cities, and we can do this in Olympia. Here’s what they say about Cultural Districts in Louisiana: Cultural Districts grow local economies, create an enhanced sense of place, and deepen our cultural capacity. The program enlivens places by fueling creative activities, artisan production, and the educational aspects of arts and culture. Within locally designated districts, one-of-a-kind works of art are exempt from state and local sales tax. Cultural Districts succeed best when local governments work with neighborhoods, artists, businesses, and citizens to make places better. Yes, original works of art sold within the District are exempt from state and local sales tax. And it would take new State legislation to authorize this. Who better than the Capital City, to propose such an idea? And what better neighborhood to pilot such a project than Downtown Olympia, already home to many owner-operated galleries? The tax exempt district can only enhance a local economy by focusing on creative activities, artisan production, and unique products that are less likely to be purchased online. Let’s get this done. It’s about Education - The 2004 Parks Plan called for a community arts center and gallery. Today, the need is greater than ever. There is growing demand for additional classes, but no available classroom or workshop spaces. A Center for the Arts and Humanities is essential to retain Olympia’s cultural focus. The historic National Guard Armory on Eastside Street is being decommissioned. With City and the Community support, we can secure this historic property and create a vibrant Center for the Arts and Humanities, filling an essential community need. It is time to stop putting an Arts & Cultural Center into our plans and then forgetting about it until years later. It is time to invest in the Arts and Culture of Olympia. Let’s get serious and acquire and redevelop this historic gem. It’s About Access - Cultural Access is a sales tax measure jurisdictions can use to support education and arts and culture in a community. I support working with our community partners and the school district to get cultural access successfully approved by the voters by 2021. A Vibrant Arts & Cultural Community  Starts with Community Investments- Let’s do this, together.
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