Former middle school science teacher Angela Birney said she didn’t think when she was younger that she would end up as a mayor. But a whirlwind of events saw Birney earn a seat on the Redmond City Council in 2015, and before she knew it she was elected mayor four years later. Her deep connection to the City of Redmond — her family has called it home for more than 20 years — is evident in her track record of volunteering locally, including with Lake Washington Schools Foundation and Redmond’s Parks and Trails Commission.
On top of her work as mayor, in which she oversees eight departments and more than 600 employees, Birney represents Redmond on the King County Regional Policy Committee, the Puget Sound Regional Council Executive Board, and many more, and has served as a chair on Hopelink’s board of directors. We caught up with the mayor to see what she’s working on these days and how she’s finding moments of respite in a stressful time.
TO RELAX Our backyard.
FOR DINNER Woodblock or Blu Sardinia are favorites, and for lunch Yummy Pho, but there are so many great places to choose from, it’s hard to have a favorite.
TO BE INSPIRED Walking along the Redmond Central Connector.
CURRENTLY READING I just started reading The Rumble Zone: Leadership Strategies in the Rough and Tumble of Change written by local Jim Boneau; however, I haven’t had much time of late to read for pleasure.
CURRENTLY LISTENING TO Whatever my daughters are playing in our house.
BEST PROFESSIONAL ADVICE YOU HAVE RECEIVED There’s always more than one side to a story.
MANTRA YOU LIVE BY Assume other people are acting with good intent.
HOBBIES Walking, reading, and traveling (when we can).
WHAT HAVE BEEN A FEW HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WORK THAT YOU’VE GOTTEN TO DO IN OFFICE?
I am happy that as council president I was able to develop the first community strategic plan that is used as a guiding document and has won a national award. It has been a very challenging start to my term as mayor; however, I have been astounded by the professionalism and heart of the city staff as they continue to keep our city functioning and how the amazing Redmond community has worked together to help out many in our city that have struggled from the pandemic and economic downturn.
WHAT HAS BEEN BRINGING YOU JOY OVER THE LAST SIX MONTHS?
My family, my dog, taking the time to appreciate what a beautiful place we live in when I am out walking.
WHAT ARE YOUR HOPES FOR THE FUTURE OF REDMOND?
(I hope) that Redmond is a city people look to as an ideal place to live and work, with our combination of a beautiful natural environment, a strong economy, and a connected community.