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International Special Review District Board announces candidates for annual election

The 2009 International Special Review District Board election will be held Tuesday, November 17 from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Bush Asia Hotel, 409 Maynard Avenue South, basement level. 

Three Board positions are up for election: Position #1 for a District business person, property owner or employee, Position #2 for a Resident, Tenant or Community Participant, and Position #4 for a Resident, Tenant or Community Participant.  Nominations closed Tuesday, October 20. Five candidates were nominated.

Three candidates are seeking Position #1 – Business Person, Property Owner or Employee

John Bisbee is a business owner in the Chinatown International District and is helping to preserve the history of Seattle’s Japantown (Nihonmachi). John has a background in architectural design and a familiarity with the construction process. John was appointed to the Board in 2008 following a mid-term vacancy. He is running for a second term.  

Brien Chow is a member of the Chong Wa Benevolent Association and serves on the Chong Wa Board. He is a lifelong Seattle resident who has been involved in the District in various capacities throughout his life, including working with the Seattle Chinatown Dragon Team as a Dragon Master. Brien wishes to take a more active role in the community by serving on the Board.

Roger Iwata is an employee within the District and has worked in the neighborhood for over 15 years. He is interested in pedestrian and public safety issues, as well as the benefits and impacts of public transportation and community development projects. Roger has worked on a variety of events and causes in the community. His past experience includes serving as the Executive Director for the Chinatown International District Business Improvement Area.

One candidate is seeking Position #2 – Resident, Tenant or Community Participant

Marvin Rosete serves as a development consultant with the Robert Chinn Foundation. He has over 12 years of experience with non-profit and public organizations, with particular focus on Asian Pacific American communities. Marvin received a BA in Political Science from the University of Washington and a Master of Public Administration from the Institute of Public Service at Seattle University. Marvin has worked on projects related to American ethnic history, human services and the performance arts.

One candidate is seeking Position #4 – Resident, Tenant or Community Participant 

Josh Osborne-Klein a member of Friends of International Children’s Park who is committed to preserving the history of the District and promoting its Asian character. He has a background in land use and environmental law and is the Chair of the Environmental Justice Committee of the Sierra Club. He was elected to the Board in 2008 and is running for a second term.

The special character of the International District is recognized and protected by City Ordinance.  In 1973, the International Special Review District Board was created to preserve, protect and enhance the cultural, economic and historical qualities of the District.  The Board is made up of seven members – five elected by the International District community and two appointed by the Mayor.  Board members’ terms are for two years and members may serve up to two consecutive terms.

The current board members are John Bisbee, Weng Chan, Misun Chung Gerrick, Robert Ha (chair), Bill Lee, Rich Murakami, and Josh Osborne-Klein. The terms for Mr. Bisbee, Mr. Chan and Mr. Osborne-Klein will end in November 2009. Mr. Bisbee and Mr. Osborne-Klein are running for reelection.

The International Special Review District is coordinated by the Department of Neighborhoods Historic Preservation Division.  The Seattle Department of Neighborhoods works to bring government closer to our residents through civic engagement, community empowerment and involvement by all residents for the betterment of their community.  For more information, call 206-684-0464.