Cheryl Rakes for Auburn City Council Position No. 1 – your hometown girl “motivated and ready to serve!”
Cheryl Rakes was raised in Auburn. She has been here for 63 years. Cheryl’s roots run deep as she had five generations living in Auburn at a certain point in time. Cheryl and her husband Shawn have raised three children that all still live in Auburn. Cheryl has three children, eight grandchildren, and three great grandchildren. Cheryl herself graduated from Auburn High School in 1973. She went back to school to Bryman College and got her medical assistant degree, which she ended up retiring from St. Joseph Women’s Clinic in Tacoma. Cheryl ‘s father retired from the Auburn Fire Department around 1980. That is where she learned her love of community service and what it means to be part of the community.
In 2019, after taking care of her elderly parents, she wanted to get back into the community. Her daughter opened Rail Hop’n Brewery Co. in downtown Auburn. She started working there in the morning making coffee for the commuters on the train. That is where she got involved with the Auburn Downtown Association. In 2019, Cheryl became Executive Director. The association started with a new name, the Downtown Auburn Cooperative and became an affiliate with the National Mainstreet program under her direction. Revitalizing became her passion, and it is starting to show with the new murals, painting some storefronts, starting an “adopt a plant program” just to name a few projects that Cheryl and her board have been working on. Cheryl’s motivation is all about helping partners get things done. Along with the Downtown Auburn Cooperative, BIA (Business Improvement Area), and the City of Auburn, Cheryl has been able to get things done downtown, with more to come.
Cheryl was appointed to the city council in January of 2023. She applied for an open seat and was voted in by the council. Chris Stearns had left that seat for a state representative position. She is now running for election because that seat is open as of December 2023.
Some of the issues Cheryl is focusing on include:
- Revitalization: We must recruit new businesses and retain them. We must make Mainstreet look inviting. Cheryl has already been working on that. We must get big apartments to rent their retail spaces. Cheryl is always working on revitalization in the Downtown Core.
- Infrastructure– Auburn is becoming a big city. Roads, streets, infrastructure must be ready for that. We must invest money as a city because Auburn is expected to keep growing and we must be ready.
- Safety in our streets/homelessness: We must invest in our Police Department and build up the force. With Auburn growing we need more police on our streets. We must support our officers to keep them. We need to look at mental health and addiction facilities. We do not have enough to be able to do the work that needs to be done. We did not defend our police and I would never vote to do that. There are so many groups of homeless that we cannot group them all in one. Each group needs to be looked at and find out what we can do for them and what would work to help them get off the streets. We need to get this under control, and I am in support of bringing our Municipal Court back so we as Auburn have a say in what goes on in our court system. We must look at each group and decide why our services are not working and what we can do to change policy in certain groups. Their needs are all different, and those breaking the law must be held accountable.
Cheryl is an active volunteer in the community. She served on the Auburn Transportation board with the city, is the 2nd vice chair of the Lions club, Executive Director for Downtown Auburn Cooperative, she believes in partnerships and has made partners with the VFW post 1741. Civic groups are particularly important to Cheryl. Along with small businesses as they are the backbone of our community. Cheryl has received her Municipal Leadership Certificate from AWC (association of Washington Cities) in just the few months she has been on the council. Cheryl also has received many certificates from the National Mainstreet program on leadership, Funding Revitalization Programs, Promoting the Local Economy, Advocacy in Focus, and Commercial District Planning to name a few.
As your councilmember, I will work hard to make Auburn a better place. I am here to represent the people and take your concerns to city hall, to be a voice for the people. I will always support making our city government more transparent and fiscally responsible.
I want to make Auburn the best it can be, and I am “Motivated and ready to serve” to get this done. I humbly ask for your support and vote to accomplish this!
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