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I’m Rud Browne and I would like to welcome you to my campaign website for the Whatcom County Council At-large seat this fall.

Ever think about how our local government agencies could help entrepreneurs to increase the number of jobs here in Whatcom County?

Ever thought about starting your own business—or encouraging others with good ideas to do the same?

Ever wonder how an entrepreneur might look at government rules and regulations—with a sense of updating and eliminating some of the things that are just not relevant anymore?

I’m an entrepreneur who started with nothing but an idea – and built it into Ryzex, a $75 million international company which became an award-winning successful business. It created employment for 360 people, 140 of which were right here in Whatcom County.

I’d like to use my business experience as your County Councilmember – to ensure local government plays a constructive role in helping to create new jobs in technology and encourage industries that don’t require proximity to big cities. Such as hospitality, recreation, computer software, engineering services, specialized high-value manufacturing and specialty food products created from the crops our mighty farms produce.

I was named the Whatcom County Business person of the year in 2004, and Ernst & Young cited me as one of the top entrepreneurs in 2007. I believe that same entrepreneurial spirit can help governments re-think how they work with business – much of which discourages and limits new investment. Our government needs to be as responsive to an employer as that employer needs to be to keep its customers.

If we want new jobs in the County then we should have more people who have actually created hundreds of new jobs with their own money. People who know how to make entrepreneurial ideas work to spur the entire local economy to create the new jobs we need to allow our children to work and raise their families in the County

I’m no stranger to civic engagement here. I’ve been a member of the Whatcom County Ethics Commission; the Whatcom Community Foundation; the Bellingham Public Development Authority; the Brigid Collins Child Abuse & Family Support Center; Rotary and the Bellingham City Club (among many other community involvements).

I believe Whatcom County is a good community on the brink of becoming a GREAT community, provided we make intelligent decisions about our future…decisions such as protecting the quality of our natural environment while using entrepreneurial spirit to reduce waste and save money. I don’t believe that we have to choose between jobs and our environment. I believe that taking care of our environment simply makes good business sense. For example in my business we learned how to recycle 100% of our waste generated from our Bellingham facility and we made a profit in the process.

We can do better – and so many of us believe it…we just need people with the right experience to make it happen.

Want to help? I would love you to join this campaign. It is about ideas, values, hard work and a vision for how we create more quality jobs in Whatcom County!

Rud Browne