Issues

Issues

  • A Livable Seattle, with strong neighborhoods and effective transportation

 

  • A Just Seattle, that takes care of the vulnerable, low-income, and middle class

 

  • A Seattle for Everyone, where all voices are included in planning our city’s future

 

A Livable Seattle

Building and safeguarding strong neighborhoods.   Complete communities require thinking holistically about development. Land use planning and decisions must guarantee community-defined benefits, such as affordable housing, support for locally owned businesses, and good project design. With so many new residents, we must make development pay its fair share to address local infrastructure needs, including roads and public transportation. Incentives to maintain existing sound buildings for both housing and neighborhood businesses is the a most effective “affordability” mechanism. Development impact fees are available for a number of public services, including transportation, schools and parks. Seattle should use them.

Investing wisely in transportation. Effective multi-modal transportation options are key to reducing traffic congestion. I will work to make Seattle safer for both pedestrians and bicyclists. I will also advocate for policies requiring better coordination between City agencies, to make sure public transit, bicyclists, pedestrians, cars and freight can safely and efficiently share our transportation network – and when they need to be separated from each other, they should be. I will listen to communities in order make sure that we are providing effective transportation solutions to them. And I will work to ensure that we fairly and adequately fund our transportation needs.

Guarding against inappropriate infill.  New housing should provide affordability and enhance our neighborhoods.  I will promote gentler infill in our neighborhoods with the creation of backyard cottages and mother-in-law apartments (“accessory dwelling units”) to add truly affordable housing while providing income to current residents.  I will continue to fight against the production of out-of-place infill that detracts from our streetscape, causes undue impacts, or promotes gentrification of our neighborhoods.

Protecting what makes Seattle great. I will work diligently to ensure that our Parks, Libraries and other community services are adequately funded and protected.   Our active citizens deserve great places to play. Our natural environments are part of the Seattle ecosystem we all live in, and need our protection and investment.

A Just Seattle

Restoring trust in public safety. The City Council has a crucial role in holding our police accountable. Unfortunately, there have been serious unresolved problems, leading to Federal oversight. We have to restore trust in the Seattle Police Department. That means eliminating even the appearance of disparate racial treatment and showing true respect for everyone’s civil rights. I will make sure that as we add police, they are truly effective in serving the needs of our citizens. I will also work for policies to increase the proportion of Seattle officers who live in our city.

Rent stabilization. Rents in Seattle are up nearly 10% over the last year alone. These rent increases have especially impacted seniors and those on fixed incomes. For too long, restrictive State laws have been used as an excuse for inaction. It’s time for a change. I will work with our legislative delegation to tackle affordability at the State level. And I will seek to ensure that rents rise no faster than the combined cost of living for the tenants and the fair cost of upkeep and return for the landlord.

Renters’ rights. Currently, Seattle requires 60 days’ notification for rent increases of 10% or more. With fewer affordable apartments available and frequent increases, this isn’t enough. I will fight to change the law to allow 6-month notifications for significant rent increases.  I will also work to create a “pay one fee” rule, where tenants applying for housing need only pay one fee for credit and background checks, instead of one for every application.  We must remove this costly barrier to finding housing.

Taking care of the vulnerable. The numbers are clear: Seattle’s policies on homelessness are not working. We must reverse the increasing number of homeless by supporting the production of “housing first” solutions and providing the critical social and support services that some of this population requires. I advocate for single-resident occupancy (SRO) housing instead of subsidizing expensive apartments using our limited housing levy funds. We need focus on housing those in need – it’s the right thing to do, and it’s good for Seattle.

Truly affordable housing. We need far more innovation in the creation of affordable housing stock.  We need inclusionary zoning and incentives that ensure that, as we grow and produce market-rate housing, we also produce housing that serves all segments of the population.  I will work to ensure that the City takes a far more active role in directly providing affordable housing stock.  We need to use different ownership strategies (co-ops, land lease, and land trusts) and innovative funding strategies (like public bonding and linkage fees).   Seattle must reduce displacement, and keep working people in long-term housing.

Public banking. I support the creation of a Seattle Public Bank, and to increase public sector investments in areas such as affordable housing, infrastructure, and targeted economic development.

A Seattle for Everyone

Working for you. In 2013, Seattle voters approved Seattle Districts Now in a historic landslide, creating seven City Council districts and two city-wide seats. I plan to be a citywide councilmember with a neighborhood-level understanding. I will work with our new district representatives to broaden and balance participation in City planning, budgeting, and decision-making processes to help ensure that change works for all of Seattle.

Giving our neighborhoods a voice. Too often, community members feel excluded from decisions affecting their neighborhoods, such as rezoning. On Council, I will advocate for the citizens’ voice in defining the city’s Comprehensive Plan, and to return to robust neighborhood planning with real public engagement. On Council, I will look for opportunities to increase transparency through meaningful public outreach and improved citizen oversight. I will work towards balanced representation on various city commissions because neighborhoods deserve a seat at the table and citizens have a right to be heard.

Accessible leadership. As an at-large City Councilmember, I will be a leader who listens thoughtfully to local concerns in the context of citywide issues.  I promise to visit with neighbors and community groups in each district on a rotating, weekly basis, with a special focus on the communities being impacted by change.  A vibrant city begins with strong communities and I will begin shaping citywide policy at the neighborhood level.