Deborah Jackson didn’t plan to run for mayor. She’d considered a run for a different elected office, but until she met with a few supporters of former mayoral candidate Mike Shepherd on Saturday, she hadn’t given a run any thought. But her friends and fellow supporters encouraged her to run. So she thought about it. She consulted her “higher power.” And on Tuesday, the executive of the non-profit Surviving Change made her write-in campaign for mayor of Bremerton official. (Read Mike Shepherd’s comments here.) Here is an excerpt from our conversation:
Why did you decide to run for mayor?
I felt like the people weren’t left with a choice. Everybody comes and talks about the committees that they sit on and all the stuff that they’ve done. And then I looked at what did they support? One of the candidates, they used the HUD money to build that, you know, the condominiums, you know what I’m saying? Then it was a hidden agenda for that.
We still got the homeless. We still got the people that didn’t have nowhere to take them to transitition them out of West Park to somewhere else, but then you took that money did that with it and then … welfare for the rich. You know what I’m saying?
There’s so much that I’m passionate about, I just feel the needs and the burdens and the cries. I weep for my community, you know what I’m saying? I advocate. I’m in the courts, I’m in the schools, I’m down in Olympia. I fight for my people. And people don’t listen to us, like we don’t matter, we don’t care, and we don’t have a voice, when we built Bremerton.
We got all these newcomers that came here, and like, we were supposed to be stupid and ignorant. And they come with their ideals and what they think we should have, when they left out what was our real needs. The beautification and the upgrade was fine, but we still should have left our downtown. But did they come and ask the people what they wanted? Instead of like dictating to us? And these people don’t know where they belong. And I want (the people) to feel like I feel now: Free. You have a voice, and you count and you matter, you understand what I’m saying?