Unemployment During Covid-19

Did you know that under the recently passed CARES Act, people who were not previously eligible for unemployment benefits likely are now? This includes those who are self-employed, part-time, those who are still working but had their hours cut, and those who lost hours due to being sick or caring for someone sick with Covid-19.
This guide was put together using personal experience to hopefully assist anyone who did not even know where to start in getting the assistance they need.

Why endorse me?

Why I’m seeking the endorsement from the voters of Island County?  The blessing of the people of Whidbey & Camano Islands means a great deal to me: I am one of you.  I was born here, raised here, and built my business here.  My wife is an Islander, and my kids, Gabriel and Moira, are third generation Islanders, the second generation of Reed’s born here.  This is where my idea of not needing politicians to COME to where we are, but need politicians that are FROM where we are, came from. 

I am a small business owner as well and have worked in nearly every field on Whidbey Island.  Whether that be a literal field, or figuratively speaking, I’ve been in every area of commerce that Whidbey Island has to offer.  I have even held jobs “on base,” working for Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR).  Currently, I run a land care business, started in 2008, just as the economy was building towards the epic crash.  I had no money or credit to brag about.  My family and I (wife, kids, and mother) all worked long hours and extra jobs to make it happen, and we made it work.  I have the experience and discipline to work and succeed with minimal resources.  It is the “Island Way.”

This most recent crisis has highlighted lessons I’ve learned over the years.  Stay informed.  Be prepared.  Never be afraid of hard work.  Most crucially, leave nobody behind.  We have witnessed great suffering due to inept leadership.  It’s scary, but it doesn’t need to be this way.  With my long-standing local networks, knowledge of Whidbey’s economy and demographics, and my background of climbing out of the depths of poverty, I’ve been able to help countless locals.  We’ve delivered PPE to Whidbey Health, given bags of groceries to local residents without work, all while being ineligible for benefits ourselves.  We’ve even repaired nebulizers for elderly folk, and my wife, manager, and business partner has used her education in biology and statistics to make valuable charts and reports on the spread of Covid-19.  I secured an “essential services” exemption from the State early on, enabling us to keep our doors open at my company through all of this.  We used our newfound exclusivity as a functional land management company not to enrich ourselves, but to hire service workers that have found themselves without work.  While not every person decides to stay on or is able to handle the extremely exhaustive work of landscaping and sanitation, we are still forming valuable bonds and opportunities to help one another in the future.  

I’ve learned that Island County’s resilience is strong, and that its residents are still willing to help their neighbors.  I want to keep this newly rediscovered love for our community and neighbors going for another four years, at least!  That, in a nutshell, is why I’m asking for the voters of Island County to join me.  I can keep Whidbey and Camano on the path of inclusiveness and progress.  Responsible progress.  

Thank you for your time.  My name is Christopher Lane Reed, an entrepreneur, family man, employer, and coach.  One of you.  Please join my coalition, #WeAreWhidbey, for Local, Loyal, Leadership.


Pleased to Meet you!

I would like to thank you for this chance to introduce myself.  It’s very flattering that you are taking the time to read about me, a local boy, humble service worker, and teller of “dad jokes.”

My name is Christopher Lane-Reed, but most people call me Chris.  My long-time friends call me “Reed,” a remnant of my 90’s childhood.  I am a lifelong resident of Island County, and more specifically, Whidbey Island.  Born in Coupeville, at a then-named Whidbey General Hospital, and raised in Greenbank, I graduated from Coupeville High School in 1999.  I’m one of those exceptionally rare millennials that got to go to school with the same folks from K-12, and I have an immense love and devotion for my community as a result.  I have been blessed to be able to have been trained and work alongside the current generation of leaders, who have taught me invaluable skills and traits that I bring into my everyday life, trying to mentor the next generation and volunteering where I can to give back to the community that raised me.

My wife, Jessica Reed, is the president of our land care business, and nearly all our donations of time and material through our company is dedicated to local youth sports and schools.  I’ve been blessed in my family life, because they all share my passion for service and work in one way or another; for example, our idea of a great Christmas tradition is to volunteer at the Holiday House, a local charity that helps in-need parents get gifts for their children.  Jessica is also my acting campaign manager, while my official manager, Bert Harvey and I are observing social distancing.  This pandemic has changed every aspect of our lives, especially campaigning, leading to flexibility and adaptation.  This flexibility is an asset that is often associated with millennial leaders; we came up during massive swings in social norms, starting our professional lives in the grips of a brutal recession.  To succeed, we had to be innovative!

As the future commissioner of District Two, I will bring diversity in experience and training to the service of every resident in Island County.  While my service area is greater Oak Harbor, we need all of Island County residents to work with each other as we move forward, if we want to lead the nation in this economic recovery.

I am also on Facebook (@2020.Chris.Reed), with live feeds Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, allowing me to connect with members of the community in real time, and share what a typical day in the life of a local business owner looks like.  You will also find links to my other social media sites on my webpage, such as Instagram and YouTube.  These are the new tools of the trade, and campaigning is going to be an online gig going forward, especially in our current situation.  With these tools, I not only plan to win my race, but to help local democrats make a clean sweep in 2020.  Remember, #WeAreWhidbey, all of us!

Again, I am Chris Reed, and I hope I have your support for 2020.  I bring youth, experience, and energy and will provide local, loyal, leadership.


What makes this community unique?

Living on Whidbey Island for my whole life has given me a great perspective, derived from many angles.  I grew up doing farm work, fixing equipment and tools when they were broken because we did not have enough to buy new ones.  I learned what it meant to work hard every day, because that was just what you did to succeed in the world.  As I got older, I met people from so many walks of life, and that has shaped who I am today.  The people in this community are all different; retired people who want to relax on the beach, young people going to school and working, military service members and families, transplants from all over the country and in some instances, the world.  We also have people living here who are experiencing the harder side of life, homeless and living day to day, struggling to feed themselves and perhaps even their children.  We also have big-hearted people who are doing everything they can to help the disadvantaged.  

We are Whidbey.  We help our neighbors when a storm hits.  We go grocery shopping for those who are high risk during a pandemic.  We donate to food banks, volunteer, go to church, ride horses, fly jet planes, and fund-raise for the PTA.  It is time that we realize our similarities over our differences, and help build each other up so our community can be everything we want it to be. We have the power to come together, and it is time that we use it.

“Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer.  Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past.  Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.” – John F. Kennedy