As a small business owner, former educator, and Whatcom County Planning Commissioner, Natalie McClendon will bring a keen understanding of the problems facing our communities to the job of Whatcom County Council member.
Natalie came of age at a time when major changes were happening in the protection of the environment and human health. Earth Day, 1970, set the tone for a lifetime of environmental activism and personal commitment to protecting our planet for her own children and future generations. She earned an interdisciplinary degree in Environmental Politics and Economics, with coursework in Agricultural Economics, from the University of Nebraska in 1977. In 1998, she earned a teaching certificate and taught in local schools, particularly focusing on students who otherwise would fall through the cracks of our traditional education system.
For four decades, Natalie has been involved in her community, including paid and volunteer stints with the Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood, PTA, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, non-commercial community radio, her neighborhood association. She has served as Chair of the Whatcom Democrats, treasurer and manager on over a dozen local election campaigns, and ran as a Democrat for the Legislature in 2012.
Natalie is currently serving her second term on the Whatcom County Planning Commission, where she has dealt with many issues that come before the County Council. She’s had a front row seat on many of the most difficult problems we face in Whatcom County, and has gained an understanding of how we can work more effectively in solving problems.
For over twenty years, Natalie and her now ex-husband Mark Turner have operated a small photography business, and is a member of the Bellingham Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Ferndale Chamber. Like many industries, they have had to reinvent their business ever few years to respond to technological change. She knows first-hand the struggles that small business people face.
She raised two sons in the Lettered Streets neighborhood of Bellingham and is a proud grandmother. Now living on 5 acres with an exempt well on the outskirts of Ferndale, she enjoys year-round gardening, restoring the landscape with native plants, and exploring the natural world.