Candidates hope to improve WSU, Pullman relationships

Al Sorensen is running for re-election to Pullman City Council against Eric Fejeran

LINH NGUYEN, Evergreen reporter

While the Pullman City Council candidates come from different backgrounds, they both hope to improve interactions between the Pullman residential communities and the student body at WSU.

Incumbent Al Sorensen is a property and casualty independent insurance agent at Pioneer Insurance. He also works as an adjunct professor at WSU, teaching two sections of personal finance. He said his biggest priority if re-elected is to improve relations between WSU students and Pullman locals.

Sorensen said he hopes to help make Pullman a great place for Pullman residents to live and raise a family.

“I grew up here, live here and have a business here,” Sorensen said. “I am very grateful for all that Pullman has given me over the years and being on city council is my way of giving back.”

Candidate Eric Fejeran works full time at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories and for about five years has worked in quality division at the manufacturing plant. He said if elected, he hopes to include more students in local politics.

“Students are here nine months out of the year,” he said. “They should be registered to vote here, especially with what they are unhappy about.”

Fejeran is the chair of the Whitman County Democrats, and hopes to bring progressive change to the county.

ZACH RUBIO | Daily Evergreen File
Incumbent city councilman Al Sorensen said his highest priority was increasing residential expansion.

As chair, he worked and ran the local “Get out the Vote” campaign, with hopes of encouraging more people, especially students, to vote in local and national elections.

As a relatively new politician, Fejeran said he was greatly affected by the 2016 election.

“It’s kind of what gave me my jump start into politics,” Fejeran said.

In addition to improving student and community relations, Sorensen said he hopes to promote growth throughout downtown, as well as increase residential expansion.

“I would continue to push for business development and improve infrastructure,” Sorensen said, as he wishes to see more businesses in Pullman to provide more options for local residents.

Sorensen said he would also like to improve traffic flow for vehicles and pedestrians downtown, to make Pullman a safer place to travel.
Fejeran said if elected, he hopes to increase the community conversation around the depletion of local water sources.

RYAN PUGH | The Daily Evergreen
City council candidates Eric Fejeran said he hopes to increase student engagement in local politics.

“Right now our local water is being depleted faster than it’s being replenished and I really don’t think that that is being talked about,”
Fejeran said.

In order to combat this issue, Fejeran said he hopes to attend the 2017 Palouse Basin Water Summit, a conference that will work to create innovative ways to solve the issue.

“I’m really excited to go to that and participate in conversations on how we can actively come up with a good, sustainable solution for our local aquifers,” he said.

Sorensen, the son of a former engineering professor at WSU, moved to Pullman from Nebraska at the age of five.

“I have been in Pullman ever since I could remember,” Sorensen said.

He graduated Pullman High School, and later earned a bachelor’s degree in social sciences.

Fejeran graduated high school in Puyallup in 2008, and later attended WSU to major in education. He left WSU his senior year to attend Spokane Falls Community College and is currently taking online courses. He said he hopes to finish his classes and transfer back to WSU to finish his degree.