Written by JM Simpson.
As an attorney and the City of Lakewood’s deputy mayor, Jason Whalen consistently works in a collaborative manner.
“Rather than worry about partisan politics or who gets credit for what,” he wrote in an email, “we know that the mission is best achieved by working together for the common good.”
That common good has Whalen serving on the Lakewood City Council for the past 11 years, with six of those years as deputy mayor.
He now seeks to serve the common good on the Pierce County Council, Position 6.
His work ethic earned him a commission through Gonzaga University’s ROTC program. He served in the Army as a field artillery officer from 1985 through 1992.
Whalen’s service continued his family’s tradition of wearing the cloth of the country. His maternal grandfather served in the Army in World War I after training at then Camp Lewis in 1917, and his father was a Naval officer during World War II and the Korean War.
What’s more, as a child Whalen’s family moved often – something military members know very well. His father’s medical profession and career with the Veterans Administration took him and his family from Montana to Oklahoma, then to Colorado, then back to Montana, and then on to Oregon, Alaska, and finally to Washington.
A state debate champion, Whalen graduated from Spokane’s North Central High School and then attended Gonzaga University.
While there, he was on the debate team and enrolled in Gonzaga’s ROTC program. Commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1985, he was honored as a Distinguished Military Graduate.
After initial officer training at Fort Sill, OK, additional schooling in “special” weapons training, and a stop at Fort Benning, GA to attend Airborne School, Whalen was stationed in Bamberg, Germany where he served with a nuclear capable field artillery battalion.
“As a young second lieutenant, I learned the value of training and teamwork,” Whalen wrote, “and I learned that respect is earned, not demanded.”
Whalen wants to serve on the Pierce County Council, Position 6, and he plans to earn and keep the respect of the Joint Base Lewis-McChord community by producing results.
As his record as a city council member shows, he has proven he can “create and attract new businesses to Pierce County and stabilize and retain existing businesses in order to build long term economic resilience … which provides strong support for JBLM and our service members,” he explained.
He also understands the symbiotic relationship between JBLM and Pierce County.
“JBLM represents over $9 billion in economic impact to our region annually, and active duty military members, veterans, dependents and the businesses that serve them are critical to our economic vitality and sustainability as a community,” Whalen added.
“I will advocate for more training and vocational support for those military members transitioning to civilian careers.”
In line with his commitment to providing economic opportunity, Whalen pledges to work for the creation of more affordable housing options and reliable transportation infrastructure to further accommodate military and civilian families.
Whalen understands what all service members, present and past, and their family members know to be true.
“I firmly believe that the adage – ‘Hire a Vet’ – has great meaning in these challenging political times,” he concluded.
“Those of us who have served have a common bond to protect and preserve this nation and the ideals for which she stands, and while there is a lot of disruption in our national body politic, we can and must do better here at the local level. Folks can start by hiring this vet on November 3rd.”
For more information about Jason Whalen’s candidacy, please visit www.whalenforcouncil.com.