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About David Ross

David was born in Seattle, raised in Olympia, and has lived in the area for nearly half a century.  He attended Olympia public schools, SPSCC, and The Evergreen State College.  He has a broad and deep view of Olympia, its history, and its people.  David grew up with with a father who was a builder, and had an early appreciation for housing and smart growth.  He worked heavy manual labor in his father’s roof truss company while in college, and spent nights and weekends as a grocery checker.

His first career when he left college was in psychiatric social work.  He began with crisis intervention by volunteering at the Crisis Clinic, where he helped train other volunteers.  He also worked in a residential setting for people with mental illness and developmental disabilities for about 4 years.  Later employment involved hospital diversion and stabilization of people with severe and persistent mental illness.  As his career advanced, David moved into working at an inpatient chemical dependency treatment center for about 2 years.

These experiences paved the way for him to eventually become Thurston/Mason County’s Homeless Outreach Case Manager.  This was the exclusive county-funded provider of such services, and required learning to navigate a myriad of systems and players.  His responsibility was to perform outreach to people living on the street and in shelters, build relationships, and provide or connect needed services to them.  This involved psychiatric services, substance abuse treatment, housing, benefits, shelter, transportation, and direct advocacy.  David later moved into mental health case management, working with a long term caseload.  In total, he spent over 10 years working in social services.

After a decade of human challenges, he decided to pursue a keen interest in the technical challenges of video production and documentary filmmaking.  David travelled the country extensively while working on documentaries as diverse as pigeon racing, Corvettes, Elvis impersonators, Route 66, and urban planning.  In truth, he also worked on commercial and commissioned productions, though it was in documentary filmmaking where he really got to see a cross section of America and its people.  Being a production coordinator on Go With the Flow, a local production about Olympia and the south sound, also gave him a deeper appreciation for our local history.  Working with creative teams really helped hone his writing and communication, and taught him the power of teamwork.

After becoming a father, David decided to seek a life of more stability and less travel.  Since 2008 he has owned a small health club in the area, and been an adjunct faculty member at South Puget Sound Community College.  As a dad, he has coached YMCA youth sports, been a Cub Scout volunteer, and led Lego League teams for his son.  His business has run day camps for youth in the community, while also supporting dozens of local sport teams and programs.  These experiences have given him a broader perspective on issues of concern to parents and families in Olympia.

David is running for Olympia Mayor because he knows it is time to stop abandoning our downtown and giving Olympia over to lawlessness, chaos, and addiction.  He looks forward to building bridges in the community, listening to our citizens, and motivating people to get involved with local issues.  David looks to use his expertise to focus on homelessness, substance abuse, urban planning, recreation, and community health.


Ross For Olympia
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