Young political activist Anders Ibsen confirmed today that he’s running in 2011 for the Tacoma City Council Position 1 seat now held by two-term Councilman Spiro Manthou.
Ibsen, 24, who as a 22-year-old senior at The Evergreen State College two years ago, became the youngest supervisor elected to the Pierce Conservation District, said he aims to bring fresh perspectives and young leadership to the council.
“I’m not so much running a campaign at this point as listening to people,” he said. “There’s a difference between campaigning and listening. What I’m really doing is engaging people. Asking them, What’s important to you?”
An Evergreen alum and a member of the first graduating class of the Tacoma School of the Arts, Ibsen has been politically active in a host of organizations and causes in recent years. His resume includes service on the North End Neighborhood Council, Green Tacoma Partnership, the Tacoma Opera‘s Board of Directors and on the volunteer Pierce County citizens’ advisory board that recommends causes for Community Block Grant funding.
Ibsen, who lives in Proctor with his wife, Beverly, becomes the first candidate to formally announce for the Position 1 seat set to be vacated in 2012. Manthou is term-limited from running for the seat for a third consecutive time.
Former mayoral candidate Jim Merritt, who told me in this blog post from January that he’s planning a run for the city council in the 2011 campaign, has yet to publicly say whether he’ll seek the Position 1 seat or an at-large seat. While challenging Marilyn Strickland for the mayor’s office last November, Merritt easily outpaced her in District 1, his home district, by drawing more than 6,300 votes to her roughly 5,400. That’s also well more than Manthou pulled in either of his council victories in 2003 (just under 5,000) and 2007 (6,100+).