Michael Althauser for Tumwater City Council, Position 5
Althauser is a Staff Attorney at Columbia Legal Services, a non-profit public interest law firm that provides pro bono legal advocacy for low-income individuals and families in need of representation. Michael has served on the Tumwater Planning Commission since 2014, a role that has prepared him well to engage with the challenging land-use issues that Tumwater will confront as it seeks to benefit from the region’s exceptional population growth. Regarding the Mazama Pocket Gopher, Althauser takes issue with Thurston County’s current approach of attack the state Department of Fish & Wildlife. “I think the best path is working with owners to ensure that they can navigate the system while the habitat conservation plan continues to be developed.”
Althauser believes that environmental justice needs to be a consideration for planning for the City of Tumwater. He expressed concern about the injustice of lower-income families having disparate health outcomes because they cannot afford to live in neighborhoods with adequate tree distribution and cover, clean air, and sources of recreation like parks. Michael told TEV, “I will advocate for more bicycle-friendly commuter planning and improved public transportation throughout the region as a means to reduce the number of cars on our roadways, thereby lessening the impact on air quality within Tumwater’s more urbanized districts. I will also advocate for more density including multi-family housing options within the city’s urban core in the Brewery District and along Capitol Way to Israel Road. Increasing zoning for mixed-use development and neighborhood commercial will help make Tumwater a more walkable city as well (our average walk score is a mere 28).”
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