It would be his third term, and he is now chair

   WHATCOM — Barry Buchanan, the current Whatcom County Council chair and a longtime advocate for reform of housing and criminal justice policy, launched his reelection campaign March 25 for a third term on the council.

  He is in At-Large Position A, voted on by the entire county.

  “This community raised me, so it’s been a huge honor and responsibility serving as chair of our County Council through the storm of COVID-19,” said Buchanan. “I believe in Whatcom and I know, with seasoned and effective leaders at the helm, we’ll come out the other side stronger.”

  The next 18 months will be critical in determining whether Whatcom  “achieves a strong economic recovery that leaves no one behind,” he said. “I believe I’m the right leader to keep us from getting knocked off-course.”

  Buchanan points to what he says is a track record of proactive leadership on some of the toughest policy issues facing the County Council.

  “A couple years back, frustrated by the lack of progress on homelessness, I founded the Homeless Strategies Work Group. Now everyone sits around one table and has to look each other in the face, so we’re finally making headway on real solutions,” he said.

  State Rep. Sharon Shewmake said she supports Buchanan because he delivers.

  “Barry came to me in 2018 and asked right up front for state money to help build a Whatcom Crisis Stabilization Center so that law enforcement officers aren’t forced to jail Whatcom residents who are in the middle of mental health crises,” said Shewmake. “Two years later, on Jan. 4, 2021, the center opened its doors. That’s my kind of leadership.”

  If reelected, Buchanan said, he will remain focused on data-driven solutions to the county’s housing crisis and the challenges facing the criminal justice system.

  Buchanan also enthusiastically supports local community organizers who are forming a Whatcom Racial Equity Commission and plans to be an active participant.