During the Jan. 2 Sammamish City Council meeting, Councilmember Kali Clark was re-elected as mayor and Councilmember Karen Howe was elected as deputy mayor.
Kali Clark, who previously made history as the youngest and first openly LGBTQ mayor in the city, was selected in a 6-1 vote. Karen Howe, the only nominee for deputy mayor, won 7-0.
In Sammamish’s city government, the mayor and deputy mayor are symbolic leaders. Their votes and decisions do not carry additional weight.
Clark strives to continue creating a positive, supportive community, both within the city council and within Sammamish. First becoming mayor after two resignations, Clark believes the city council has since become more unified.
“I have seen how far we have come over the last couple of years as a council and I would like to continue being mayor,” Clark wrote in an email with the Sammamish Independent.
Over the past year, Clark has worked with people across Sammamish to advocate for environmental action. She contributed to projects like the Parks, Recreation, and Open Space (PROS) plan. Clark also connected with residents through City-hosted events, local school visits and engagements, and Coffee with Council.
“I hope to continue our positive, external relationships and continuing to make the best decisions we can with the information we have for all residents,” Clark wrote. She also stated that she hopes to bring “a calm and understanding presence that represents our city in the best way.”
For her first term as deputy mayor, Howe will prioritize environmental action and city council transparency.
Since joining the city council in 2022, Howe has joined the Eastside Fire and Rescue board of directors, the Eastside Transportation Partnership, and more. Howe is a strong advocate for improved transportation to create what she coins a ‘livable Sammamish.’
“One of my big priorities is how do we get around,” Howe said in an interview with the Sammamish Independent. “It doesn’t take a lot of money to make a huge difference.”
Howe ran for deputy mayor to further her leadership skills.
“I’ve been a CEO, so running and managing things, projects, and people is something I’m very comfortable with,” Howe said. “But this kind of role as an elected official will be an opportunity for me to get some new skills into my quiver.”
Together, Clark and Howe hope to continue making Sammamish a welcoming community that reflects the needs and desires of all residents.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Kali Clark defeated Amy Lam in the mayoral vote. It has been corrected to reflect the fact that Clark won on the first ballot, and no vote for Amy Lam took place.