Arcata City Council and Community Leadership | Lost Coast Outpost | Humboldt County

Michael Winkler asks Kimberley White, Meredith Matthews, Brett Watson, Raelina Krikston , Dana Quillman, Jeffrey Scott Sterling

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Arcata City Council and Community Leadership

What qualities and experience are necessary to be an effective leader on the Arcata City Council and in our community? Specifically, how have you demonstrated those qualities in your personal and professional life?

— Michael Winkler


Meredith Matthews

Mr. Winkler, thank you for your question.

A leader is someone who brings together many perspectives, including those that are traditionally underrepresented, in a safe space, to work through challenges.

A leader leads with intention, and from a place of joy- doing things not because we should, but to deepen the impact on our communities and relationships.

A leader has big-picture thinking while being able to focus on details through developing tangible steps, and ensuring accountability in a supportive manner.

A leader is creative, positive, and able to gather and motivate others, while creating rapport , building trust, and listening to others.

A leader is genuine, devoted to her causes, and has a grassroots passion coupled with poise and a commitment to serve.

I believe that I have demonstrated all of these qualities, and more, in my years of service and leadership leading up to my time on the Arcata City Council and during this past year. From my fundraising days in Eastern Humboldt, to my positions on the Economic Development Committee, Arcata Chamber of Commerce, Humboldt Made and other Community events that I have had a hand in planning, I have proven that I have a unique set of leadership skills and a commitment to our Community.

I strive to pass on these leadership skills as I mentor and try to inspire our next generation of leaders, whether by speaking at their schools or connecting with them at community events. I combine bold thinking with genuine caring. I ask the right questions to draw out important concerns, perspectives and information  for individuals and groups to engage in true dialogue. 

And always, in the end, I lead with joy.


Raelina Krikston

Hey Michael, 

In my opinion, a good leader is someone who has the capacity to listen and be empathetic while employing creative problem solving. Being able to see the big picture, extrapolate into the future as well as listen to experts and people with experience in different sectors to dive into the details and ensure that the path forward strikes a balance between community and individual’s needs. 

In my own line of work, I lead a small team and am a community member that has felt pretty disenfranchised by the needs of others coming before my own. No one is more important than another, and as a leader, we have to recognize that the ability to compromise and seek empathy with one another. 

I would like to champion the needs of people like myself and be an advocate for renters in our city. 60% of our population is a renter, so crafting policy that takes this life experience into account is paramount in order to cultivate diversity in our community and lead effectively.