Bellevue Councilmember Jennifer Robertson announces she will not seek fifth term

Community, In the News,
After 20 years of service, Jennifer Robertson has announced that she will not seek a fifth term on the Bellevue City Council. 

Robertson was first elected in 2009 to a partial term and re-elected in 2011, 2015, and 2019 with significant margins. She served as Deputy Mayor from 2012 to 2014 and represented Bellevue on numerous regional committees during her long tenure.

“My inspiration for running for office was to stop politics as usual and get results for the wonderful people of Bellevue. Helping protect the quality of life for our most vulnerable and working families and ensuring Bellevue remains a place our children feel safe and excited for their futures has been one of the greatest honors of my life,” said Councilmember Robertson.

Robertson started serving Bellevue citizens in 2003 as a Planning Commissioner. She chaired the Commission during the award-winning BelRed planning process and was appointed a Chair of the Light Rail Best Practices Committee.

As a leader in land use planning and transportation for Bellevue for the past 20 years, her work has shaped Bellevue into a high-tech hub known as one of the best places to live, work and invest in the nation. Under her stewardship, the city adopted significant transportation improvements, including the light rail line that protected environmentally sensitive areas, a fully adaptive traffic light grid, miles of new bike lanes, and the largest neighborhood and safety transportation funding package in city history.

“Following my service on the council, Bellevue families have more economic opportunities, safer neighborhoods, more dynamic parks, and more flexibility with transportation choices,” Robertson reflected, “I am grateful to the people of Bellevue for granting me the privilege to work with my talented city council colleagues and an exceptional city staff on bold legislation that ensures Bellevue remains the best city in the United States to live, work and raise a family.”

Mayor Lynne Robinson remarked, “Councilmember Robertson has been a long devoted servant to the City of Bellevue. She has led on complex land use issues. I have appreciated her leadership and collegiality and will miss her very much on the council.”

“There are countless examples of how Councilmember Robertson has delivered for her constituents and the City of Bellevue,” said Deputy Mayor Jared Nieuwenhuis. “This council will sorely miss her values, strategic ability, historical knowledge, negotiating tactics — and all of those incredible attributes that made Jennifer special and why she will leave an unbelievable legacy at city hall.”

King County Councilmember Claudia Balducci commented, “I first got to know Councilmember Robertson when she served on Bellevue’s Planning Commission and as a Chair of our Light Rail Best Practices committee. In those roles, and many others since, including her service on the Council, Jennifer has brought a unique combination of intelligence, pragmatism and dedicated hard work to bear for the people of Bellevue. In recent years, I was so impressed with her leadership in helping the County to adopt our updated transit service plan and guidelines. As the Sound Cities Association caucus chair to our King County Regional Transit committee, Jennifer engaged with partners and stakeholders with a wide variety of views, studied and listened hard, and ultimately helped guide us to a unanimous vote on a groundbreaking plan that will make a positive difference for the transit-riding public in Bellevue and throughout King County.”

“Councilmember Robertson has worked tirelessly for the people of Bellevue, all while working a ‘day job’ as an attorney and raising three daughters,” Councilmember Balducci continued, “she leaves a lasting legacy, and a line of people who will now need to find a new source for Girl Scout cookies. I thank her for her service and partnership, and wish her the best as she continues her public service in other ways.”

“Jennifer’s twenty years of service to Bellevue have made a permanent impact on our city. No other councilmember in the region can match her deep understanding of municipal law, development regulations, and city governance,” said Joe Fain, President and CEO of the Bellevue Chamber. “Her influence has been felt well beyond the city of Bellevue, as her many leadership positions and regional appointments have shaped all of Western Washington for decades to come.”

Robertson is an attorney with the Bellevue law firm of Inslee, Best, Doezie & Ryder, P.S., where she practices municipal law. She provides civil legal services for several Washington municipalities, including serving as special counsel on land use and ethics issues. She said, “I look forward to continuing to make the region stronger in my role as legal counsel for Washington cities.”

Thank you, Councilmember Robertson, for your service!