Anna Rohrbough is currently running for a seat in the Snohomish County Council. She took some time for an informal interview this week, sharing a little of her personal history and her current platform. These are her unedited responses.
Favorite knock knock joke?
It’s not a knock knock joke… but the only joke I ever remember is this: Why was Tiger looking in the toilet? He was looking for Pooh.
If you were trapped on a desert isle and could bring three books, what would they be?
I loved Pillars of the Earth. Read for the first time in 1996 and started my love of historical fiction. I would bring the whole series of the Outlander if that could be considered as one. I would bring the Bible.
Grilled cheese or peanut butter and jelly?
What made you passionate about entering politics?
I couldn’t find anyone in politics that inspired me. I have this deep belief that politics can be done differently. The real work happens in the energy between the two parties. The work needs leaders to lead, not to follow a party line. I heard Marianne Williamson being interviewed by Oprah. It was after she lost her Senate campaign. She said something to the effect that the world needs the good people who are scared away by the dredging up of their past, to get involved. She said if “I don’t do it, than who will?”
That resonated with me. I like politics, economics, human behavior and above all, leadership. It sat with me for years. “If I care and actually like it and I don’t stand up, who will?”
Favorite childhood memory or place?
This brought me right back to many moments with my dad. The one I will share is about a month before I left for college.
My dad and I took off in his car to drive to California on a road trip. It was on the premise to go see my Aunt in Big Bear, CA…. but now I know better. My dad wanted to spend a week with me to guide, listen and imprint a few more things before I was off on my own. We had some fun that we could never do now, 30 years later. My dad loved to gamble and we hit a few resorts along the way. I would quietly play the slots or watch him play blackjack. In Tahoe my dad won $10,000… on the way home he gave me $500 and told me it wasn’t to save, it was to buy something nice to celebrate but that would last. My mom helped me set up a private appointment at Nordstroms. What an experience, I bought a gorgeous black suit that lasted for years. I would have never had that experience without my dad. The memories and lessons I learned in that week, I still share today.
My dad passed 5 years later in a sudden accident. That time when I was 17 was even more meaningful.
Describe an unpopular opinion you hold.
I don’t believe in monitoring my kids day to day grades online. I would change that if I found out what they were telling me wasn’t reflected in the grades the schools send out… but that hasn’t happened. I believe in letting them be responsible for their day to day management of their schooling and if they make a mistake, it teaches them how to overcome. It has worked for us. I have not ever signed into the database for their schools, I have been given no reason. Some think that is insane. However, it has worked and they appreciate the trust. My kids also know that if things don’t match up – there would be instant and consistent consequences.
What’s a scent/smell that reminds you of home? Where is “home” for you?
Salty air. I grew up with a dad as a commercial fisherman. Living on the island of Kodiak until I was 11. Having the ability to be on his boats and later visit his ships was empowering. My dad taught me I belonged anywhere. He also taught me to never let anyone define me. Being next to the water or especially on the ocean brings me a deep sense of belonging like nothing else can. It allows me to remember those empowering moments. When I need time to stop so I can reflect, that is where I go.
Would you like to share something you think people might find unexpected or interesting about yourself?
My favorite job was as a Mariner Ball Girl for 4 years, while I was in Highschool and the first few years of college at the UW. I was there in the late 80’s and early 90’s when Griffey, Buhner, Johnson, Martinez… etc was there. I met Griffey several times and he gave me a big high five…I loved that job.
What’s the oldest item you keep around at home that you still use?
There is an ivory crib board that was my parents in Alaska when I was a young girl. We still use that. The pegs are gone but toothpicks work just fine.
Share what drove you to tackle your current platform and why you’re passionate about it.
Last year as a city councilmember I went on a ride-along with our police department. The one thing that hit home was that if a person committed a crime and was high on drugs, they would not be booked into the jail. It started me on a journey to ask more questions. As I did so I heard more and more stories about addiction and how many families were, and have suffered, through this opioid crisis. What stuck me the most in this was that parents had to learn how to stop enabling drugs and the destructive behavior in their homes and they just want the county to stop enabling it on the street.
I learned we need longer treatment centers that treat both mental illness and addiction at the same time.
I continued to reach out and met even more people and business owners who were desperate for help. Our number role as public servants is to protect the rights of our citizens. Not many politicians continue to put people first. I want to change that.
Special thanks to Anna Rohrbough for her contributions to the article. Image courtesy of electanna.com. The Everett Post and this media platform does not endorse any political candidate during elections.