Meet our DMO of the Month for October, Doris McConnell
Democratic municipal officials have a huge advantage when it comes to serving their constituents. Those who hold local office are closer to the people than any other elected position. A strong sense of community engagement can be the defining factor in what makes a great DMO. As DMO heads to the state of Washington for the National League of Cities’ Congress of Cities and Exposition, we thought we would introduce you to one such official. Doris McConnell, a Council Member from Shoreline, Washington is October’s DMO of the Month. Council Member McConnell’s local focus shines through in her service, whether she is promoting economic development in Shoreline or lobbying for changes to national policy.
Councilmember McConnell found a home in Shoreline after a childhood of moving from place to place. Her father served with the US Army, prompting regular changes of address. She received her Bachelors of Science in psychology from Washington State University. Doris became a single mother in 1998 after her husband lost his fight with cancer. She has raised two children and works today as a real estate investor.
Doris entered local politics in 2007. Tired of inefficiency, wasteful spending, and a lack of civil discourse, she ran for and won a seat on the City Council. Since then she has been a key voice for reform in Shoreline. Her top priority has been pragmatic financial projects, such as passing subarea plans to promote development and economic growth in key parts of the city. Other major projects include more efficient city budgeting, maintaining balanced land use, and supporting nascent local businesses. She also cultivates public-private partnerships such as the one with Cleanscapes. The waste management company partnered with the city to award $10,000 towards a community project for the neighborhoods that reduced their waste production the most. Council member McConnell engages the people of Shoreline while promoting sustainable change.
In addition to her work on the City Council, McConnell is active in other forms of public service. She works with the Regional Water Quality Committee, Domestic Violence Initiative, Seashore Transportation Forum, and the Washington State Women’s Political Caucus. She is a Girl Scout Troop Leader, a regular churchgoer, active with the Shoreline PTA, and sits on the Richmond Little League Board.
McConnell also plays an active role with the National League of Cities, serving on the Human Development Steering Committee and on the board of Asian Pacific American Municipal Officials (APAMO). This spring, she travelled with APAMO to lobby officials in Washington on behalf of municipalities. Council Member McConnell helped stress the impact federal decisions on immigration reform, marketplace fairness, and municipal bond tax exemption would have on cities nationwide.
Councilmember McConnell is a fantastic example of what it means to be a Democratic Municipal Official. She focuses on making a concrete impact in the daily lives of her constituents, while working through her NLC committees to affect change nationally. Additionally, she knows that professional behavior makes for a more productive government, and sets an example for civility and respect. Doris McConnell is living proof that government is not a faraway entity, closed off to the needs of everyday people. Good government can be found right in your own community, thanks to democratic municipal officials like Councilwoman McConnell.