Reflections with Bellevue Mayor Lynne Robinson

As Mayor Robinson comes up on the end of her fourth year in office, she is grateful for the opportunity to serve the community. She enthuses about meeting interesting people, experiencing diverse cultures, learning a lot, and creating policies as part of her job. 

One challenge on Robinson's mind is the housing shortage that’s affected the Eastside for years. “So many now-grown ‘kids’ can’t move back to Bellevue after college due to the cost," she says.

“Next year is going to be the culmination of things we had planned for: transit, housing, more restaurants, and improved parks,” Robinson says. More people who work in Bellevue are living there, and walkable neighborhoods are increasing. After the Eastside starter light rail line from the South Bellevue Park & Ride to Redmond is completed in spring 2024, residents will be able to give their cars a break. The full light rail is scheduled to be done in 2025 and will help local residents, workers, and the environment. She continues, “Quality of life is getting better and it’s getting better for more people, which I’m proud of.” 

Robinson is grateful for her own quality of life in Bellevue. She and her husband live downtown and she says, “We live here by choice. I meet someone every day in Downtown Park and I love that.” She can paddleboard, walk the park, shop, and dine out without ever getting in her car. The mayor says she feels thankful for her husband and his support, and that they got to raise their kids in Bellevue. Amenities like parks, bike lanes, clean air, clean water, high public safety (enhanced with the new CCAT crisis response unit), top-tier education, and cutting edge healthcare draw new people to the city every year. 

Lately, more biotech research companies and companies within the space industry are getting established in Bellevue. In fact, 650 new companies of all types registered in the first six months of 2023. Robinson says, “Companies want to be here because their employees want to be here, and because they have a collaborative relationship with the city as a community partner.”  The Eastside as a whole is known as a home for Big Tech, but small businesses make up 90+% of all business in Bellevue, so there’s a diversity of companies. Bellevue Square is another great asset to the community, hosting events and products highlighting different cultures, arts, and foods.

Robinson considers herself “Lucky, for great leadership - including the City Manager - who have worked hard to make Bellevue what it is today.”

“Quality of life is getting better and it’s getting better for more people, which I’m proud of.” 

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