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About Terri

A Lifetime of Proven Leadership

Terri Cooper has lived in the Medical Lake area since 1973, relocating when her father, an Air Force veteran, was stationed at Fairchild Air Force Base. Soon thereafter, she graduated from Medical Lake High School. She married her high school sweetheart, Ken Cooper, and together they have three children and eleven grandchildren. Ken and Terri have lived in the Medical Lake area and have been involved in their community since 1982.

Terri has 23 years of municipal government experience as an appointed Municipal Court Administrator. She worked 6 years for Medical Lake, and over 17 years for Cheney Municipal Court. Additionally, she is also an appointed Municipal Court Commissioner, passing the Washington State Judicial Officer Exam in 2002. Her work as the court administrator included developing and presenting the annual budget to the city council and fiscal responsibility for administering the ADDUA budget for the court and overseeing the clerks and probation offices. She was also responsible for adhering to and implementing appropriate laws and court rules in the administration of justice.

Access to justice is of utmost importance to Terri and throughout her career, she has developed court and probation programs that support restorative justice principles. Programs she’s founded and implemented for court and probation services include a local community service program, cognitive awareness group and individual classes, traffic school, EWU internship career pipeline, and Cheney youth court.

Terri is a founding member of the Washington State Association of Youth Courts.  She also is a founding member of the Eastern Washington Court Managers group to share knowledge and support access to justice in Eastern Washington.  Proven leadership in every role she’s taken on throughout her career has become the hallmark that defines Terri’s involvement in Eastern Washington.

In 2015, Terri turned her attention to the great need her community faced with a crumbling infrastructure, lack of community engagement, a sense of isolation among citizens, and a general loss of pride in the city.  Despite fierce opposition from some in city government who were dead set on keeping the status quo, she began working with other community leaders to address these many challenges and led several efforts over 6 years to restore the community she loved so much.

Then, in 2021, Terri shocked the political establishment and became the Mayor of Medical Lake, Washington in a landslide election; defeating an incumbent mayor with over 20 years of city involvement.

Becoming Mayor of Medical Lake and Running for Congress...

Terri works hard because she loves people. She loves justice and truth. In her 25 years working in the judicial branch of government, 17 of those years as a court commissioner hearing criminal and civil cases, she honed her skills of listening to facts and discerning the truth. It was these skills that prepared her for the gauntlet of elected public service as Mayor of Medical Lake.

She is a person of conviction and action who believes in doing the right thing, at the right time, for the right reason. When she stepped away from her judicial role to run for the executive Mayoral position it was because of her heart for people.  It is that same passion to deliver truth and justice for her fellow Washingtonians that has thrust her into her current run to represent the people in Washington’s 5th Congressional District in Congress.

Terri is a gifted problem-solver and a decisive decision-maker. When she perceives a serious problem she can see a path forward, implement a plan, and execute a strategy.  This is who Terri is and who she will continue to be. She is not one to be persuaded against her convictions; no one owns Terri and she can’t be bought. You–We the People–are her reason for entering this race. She is not kingdom or career-building. She doesn’t need the job. She is not running because she wants to run; she is running because she must.  She has a mandate set upon her by the many calls she received from members of our community on both sides of the aisle about running for this Congressional seat. We need someone with strong convictions who can stay the course for the common good and fight to build a better future for our children.  Terri Cooper is that candidate.  We hope you will join her.

Founding Re*Imagine Medical Lake

In 2015, Terri and a handful of Medical Lake citizens met to discuss the current state and future of Medical Lake. The Medical Lake residents and business owners did not like the deterioration we saw happening in the downtown area, the lack of new businesses, the lack of support for existing businesses, and declining citizen engagement. Hence, Re*Imagine Medical Lake was formed. Terri has served on the Re*Imagine Medical Lake Board since its inception, serving in various roles including Vice President and most recently, the Festival Director and Treasurer.

Terri believes all politics is local and the best way to make our nation stronger is to get involved in your local community by doing something that has a positive effect on the citizens that call it home.  In Washington DC, Terri will bring that same grassroots hometown mentality to every decision she makes.

Founder's Day

Due to her commitment to her community, Terri collaborated with community leaders, existing non-profit groups, and local businesses to revitalize the annual Founders Day Festival, bringing back the Trailblazer Triathlon, revitalizing the parade by doubling the entries of parade walkers, doubling vendor participation in the event and improving vendor offerings by adding food vendors, creating a Friday Night BBQ and Fireworks Show.

The Trailblazer Triathlon is now in its 38th year.  Terri’s efforts and those of her team brought the event back from a diminished participation of only six participants to an astounding new average of 75 participants. In 2019, Terri and the community added a 5K and Duathlon and grew the overall volunteer base from zero to over 100 volunteers.

“What does this have to do with her run for Congress?” you might ask.  It has everything to do with her congressional run.  Terri Cooper has demonstrated leadership through action on the ground, in real-time, to help her colleagues to make their small community to be the very best place in Washington State to live, build a business, raise a family, and retire.  Just imagine what she will do for Eastern Washington when she represents our interests in the halls of Congress.

The Fall & Winter Festivals

Terri believes strong traditions and family values are what will make our nation strong and rebuild our communities.  In 2017, she founded the Re*Imagine Christmas Winter Festival and the Fall Festival with the support of community members, existing non-profits, and local businesses to create a taste of small-town Christmas nostalgia and harvest time celebration. Sponsors and local donors made this free-for-kids event possible which includes a costume parade, tree lighting with fireworks, petting nativity, and free-for-kids Santa Workshops that include wooden sled making, cookie decorating, and ceramic painting. Businesses join in by hosting outdoor warming fires and creating special events and offerings that enrich our community, reinforce our shared values, and bring joy to those in need.  

The Vets Moving Wall

I love our nation.  I love our veterans and those still serving on active duty in all branches of the military. In 2017, Terri learned of the Vietnam Vets Moving Wall and immediately led an effort for Re*Imagine Medical Lake to host one of the traveling replicas of the Washington DC Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. Our team of patriots worked together for 18 months; raising $40,000 from community partners and sponsorships hosting the Traveling Wall on Medical Lake School District property, during Founders Day 2019. We held three programs with an honor guard, guest speakers, a fly-over by Fairchild AFB, and support from a myriad of veteran groups and support organizations. By the end of the 4th day, nearly 30,000 visitors had attended our event and we utilized over 100 volunteers. Every Medical Lake civic group and church, along with many businesses, Fairchild AFB, and local government agencies were involved.

One veteran volunteer recently shared with Terri, “Bringing the Vets Moving Wall to Medical Lake was one of the best things I’ve ever been a part of. It was a good thing”. It did so much to bring the community together and to help every attendee remember that despite our many shortcomings and challenges as a nation, despite the many things that divide and separate us, what makes America great is her people.  Terri believes many of the very best of those people have worn the uniform and served our wonderful nation through military service and some made the ultimate sacrifice.

Rwanda

In 2005, Terri joined a humanitarian aid group traveling to Rwanda to help resettle post-genocide people groups by erecting community meeting tents used as churches and distribution sites for resettlement purposes. Missionaries stationed there coordinated the purchase of materials and work sites, while our team assisted Rwandans in erecting durable tents or buildings to create a makeshift community. The experience that most affected Terri was when she attended open-air court hearings called Gacaca Courts (pronounced GaChaCha) to try genocide cases. Gacaca Courts exact different penalties including compensation and community work, and emphasize two aspects of confession and forgiveness as a way to heal the wounds. Attending Gacaca hearings fascinated Terri and presented a beautiful example of restorative justice which she later implemented in probation and youth court programs in her municipal court work.

If there is a pathway to healing and restoration for our communities and our nation, Terri Cooper is committed to carrying that torch of liberty into the darkness of division to find the way.  Continuing down the pathway of division we are currently on will doom future generations to a diminished America where the light of liberty has been extinguished and the blessing of peace and prosperity has long since gone.

Terri Cooper won’t let that happen.

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