Getting People to Run for Office
With Mayor Soo Ing-Moody, Twisp, WA; Mayor Cecelia Koontz, Monmouth, OR; Mayor Carlene Anders, Pateros, WA; Chelsea Gaona-Lincoln
Learn from experienced elected officials about how to encourage more people in your rural community to get involved in local government and run for elected office.
Mayor, Twisp, WA
Chelsea Gaona-Lincoln was raised in Wilder, a rural migrant farm town, loved growing up on her family’s small dairy farm and graduated with her tight knit class of 29 people. At her gram’s request (who’s now 92), she stayed close to home, attended and graduated from the College of Idaho, completing her degree in Psychology and a minor in education with plans on becoming a special education preschool teacher. During her graduate studies, she became heavily involved in an education ballot initiative in the Gem state that was aimed at harming students and collective bargaining rights of teachers. She discontinued her grad program and jumped into grassroots organizing and community advocacy, beginning at a county level. She’s gone on to co-found the LGBTQ Idaho Democratic Caucus, serve as county chair of the local democatic party and was recently elected Idaho’s National CommitteeWoman; making her a voting member of the DNC. Chelsea is running, a second time, for the Idaho House of Representatives, in District 10-Seat B, Caldwell. She chairs a statewide, volunteer run, non profit known as Add the Words, Idaho; a LGBTQ+ community organization that has historically worked to update the Idaho Human Rights Act to include sexual orientation and gender identity to protection classes from discrimination in housing, jobs and employment; but has broadened its scope under her leadership to better serve the community. This has included a COVID19 Mutual Aid that has raised almost $30k and helped nearly 200 people and families. She is currently employed at Legal Voice, a non profit legal firm that focuses on the protection and progress of women and LGBTQ rights through litigation and commuity education. Chelsea is a litigation support coordinator, lobbyist and community organization. She also runs her own business as a strategist, facilitator and consultant around racial equity, inclusion, safer spaces and navigating political systems. Prior to this, she worked as a behavioral therapist for children with cognitive disabilities and their families for 18 years. She resides in Caldwell with her wife Evageline, their small child Rolly and three senior dogs.
Mayor, Pateros, WA
Carlene Anders currently serves as the Mayor of Pateros, WA and is employed as Executive Director of the Okanogan County Long Term Recovery Group, which has assisted fire survivors across Okanogan, Chelan, Douglas, Stevens and Ferry counties, and Colville Tribal lands. Their mission is to see that everyone displaced by the fires develops a plan of recovery and has safe, secure housing. Fire is not new to Carlene. It has been part of her life for 30 years. After graduating from Pateros High School, and paid her way through Washington State University by fighting forest fires.