“I don’t know.”
Saying I don’t know is a human success, not a human flaw and in the mouth of a politician it should celebrated, questioned and appreciated. Doubt is what drives thought, science, discovery and innovation. I find importance and earnest in being able to tell the public I don’t know. I am eager to listen, learn and participate. I am after the truth, the objective truth and in order to do that we all need to earnestly ask more questions. I want to listen to people who are, at the worst passionate and at the best experts in subjects that I am not learned enough to make decisions.
Everyone in Seattle can see that we are in the midst of a heavy homeless problem in Seattle. The current administration is attempting to combat it in their own way, with some very good intentions and plans and the City Council is on board with knowing that this city needs a solution, but we appear to be just going after the same solutions, for the same problems, with the same results.
To battle the current homeless crisis in Seattle I will actively consult the homeless population and outreach workers and develop a new plan based heavily, upon their suggestions, comments and concerns. My overwhelming desire is to first end homelessness for families. I would also listen to and provide resources homeless who want to stay on the street. We, as a city, should not force anyone into a certain way of life. I will support more “nickelsville” self run residencies and use unused city owned land to promote this.
We need more safe, NON SPD monitoring of sites, cleanups (not clean outs), and continue with outreach patrols with counselors and homeless outreach personnel to let homeless population know their options. I would support a cross functional team on the SPD that is heavily trained in emotional counseling, threat management, crisis negotiation and an elevated psychological background to address these needs of citizens on the street with psychological needs. If we have enough money for a heavily armed SWAT team, we have enough money for a heavily educated and experienced emotional and psychological SWAT team.
Employee Hourly Tax – A Housing Revolution
For too many years now the Seattle economic landscape has been dominated by a section of population which is not representational of Seattle. I have lived in Seattle for 12 years, and never have I seen it so “good” for so few and so hard for so many. Large companies coming here and employing people on a disproportionate level with disproportional income is a bad problem to have, not a good one. It creates a housing boom, both in the rental and ownership market that only a sector of the population can keep up with. To help aid Seattle with this housing crisis, I will propose to increase and re-start a version of the previously implemented Employee Hourly Tax on the largest employers in Seattle. This yearly fee will tax employers with over 1,000 employees working in the Seattle City limits, a sliding scale of 1-3% of the salary based on income of the employee with the tax starting on employees making $82k, a gradually increasing to 3% with no cap on the income. Exempt are schools, city employees, healthcare providers, Boeing and non-profit employers. The money will be used to promote 3 aspects of housing and local business growth.
It will allow low and medium-low income housing certificates that must be taken by all developers and rental units in Seattle. While I am fearful, that this will in turn just raise rent by the “amount of the vouchers” I think that this, combined with monitoring and rental oversight could help make Seattle housing affordable for all the people of Seattle.
Support the small and local landlords of Seattle. Give tax breaks and benefits to local owners of a small number of apartment buildings and single family homes. If you are a local apartment building owner and own less than 3 buildings, you will qualify for tax breaks to be paid for by the earnings of the EHT.
Provide incentives, help to lower rent and provide benefits to local, small and minority owned retail shops that have less than $200,000 in sales. Seattle’s local, distinct and individually owned retail is in a rut. There are a few stores out there doing great things, keeping Seattle alive and interesting, but we foster the development of more. Seattle is growing, but what will it become if we don’t help continue what made it so so desirable.
Black Lives Matter. Discrimination is real and should be acknowledged. White privilege, too, is absolutely a real and has a tangible effect on our society and city. I will never presume to know what is best for someone else but I will promise to be a staunch ally of all minorities, lower income population and community groups.
I will promote the equality amongst every gender as well. Every individual has the right and freedom to identify however they want. It does not matter in regards to birth, body parts or what a drivers license says. Intolerance, ignorance or misrepresentation will never be accepted.
Though Seattle is progressive, the LGBTQA cause for equality needs for us all to speak out for equality at all times. I will never stop speaking out against inequality whether it is in Seattle or a federal issue and will resolve any issues of discrimination across all levels with the full extent of the law.
I will fully respect and fight for women’s rights. I am a staunch believer in the fight for equal
pay, reproductive rights and wish to promote the idea that we indeed do live in a male dominated city, especially in certain areas of employment. The pay gap at the highest education levels is actually more severe and an issue that should be discussed. I myself, am a fan of open and known salary policy. I can understand the sheet business end of not discussing salaries, but it would be the best way to solve any pay gap issues that are able to hide under the guise of protocol or politeness.
Continue SPD oversight, review and demilitarization
I was impressed with Mayor Murray’s oversight plan for the SPD that was just submitted to the City Council. I think it’s very important to take the oversight out of City Hall and SPD and allow it to be monitored by an independent body. I will continue this fight to create a more compassionate and cooperative police department. I plan to personally attend briefings for the SPD. I am against the militarization of the police department. I will not approve any budget in which there is an excessive amount of heavy assault weapons. Money needs to be put into training, oversight and pivoting from criminal policing to community policing. I did not support the passage of the North Seattle Police Station in the budget and do not support the expenditures on the youth jail.
Design Review Overhaul and Expansion
Currently the Design Review Board is a volunteer entity with members approved by City Hall. Combined with the DCI, the DRB is in charge of how this city looks and grows. It also releases the design review guidelines which guide the future look, density and feel of the city.
I wish to explore ways to make this design review board a more efficient, design thinking entity, with permanently placed professional members. Expanding the board from mostly architects to sociologists, density specialists, native american representatives and historians would ensure our city grows in a way that meets the needs of all people. The overhaul of the DRB would also place a heavy emphasis on development in underserved areas and low income housing. With an emphasis on pushing for a design build of quality, moderately priced developments in areas in which are currently underserved.
Within the design review board process, we need more early engagement between the review board and the developers. The DRB is one of the most actively publicly participated government entities in Seattle. We should promote this and make it easier to learn exactly what is going on in your neighborhood through direct outreach to the people living in the surrounding community. The DRB participation is heavily skewed by people from wealthier neighborhoods where a permit is being filed. If we made information more available and direct via mailers, leaflets and perhaps door to door approach, it would help ensure everyone has a counted voice in their community. I care about our city. How it looks, how it changes and how it functions.
I will work with anyone who wants to stand up or fight the current federal administration in future actions and legislation that does not align with our constituents values, ethics and desires as an American. I will use the pulpit of the Mayor to speak out against policies, issues and injustices which we as a city are against. I will not trade in fear mongering that creates baseline angst, anger and fear. We will not fall to the wind of intolerance floating across the land. I will continue to push the boundaries of what we know is right and just. The human animal bases decisions partly in fear. It is a rather healthy aspect of our intelligence when used correctly. Fear is also an individual sentiment. My fears are my fears alone. The government should not peddle in fear for power, control or justification of acts. The quicker the public can acknowledge that we can speak our fears in a prudent and calm manner and adjust policy accordingly, the quicker we can promote the health, life and liberty of all current and future members of our city.
Washington state and specifically Seattle has always been on the foreground of recent cultural push for respectable politics, equal rights, voting reform and affordability of life/minimum wage issues. I will continue that trend and never fear the federal government’s threats of funding cuts, if they do not agree with how the people of Seattle feel.
Criminal Bond Reform
The purpose of a judge setting bond on a non-violent, non-threatening indicted individual is to ensure the accused makes their court appearance with as minor restrictive intent and harm due unto them. Too often people’s lives are ruined at an exponential level of bail versus their crime. Criminal bond reform is occurring all over the country, and Seattle needs to start being a lead city to adopt this idea.
1/3 of the inmates in jail are solely there for the reason that they cannot pay. It is often those third of the jailed poor who could benefit the most from having a comprehensive and progressive bail reform. This would not be an opportunity to completely eliminated pre-trial detention, it would be a shift in the mindset of what pre-trial detention is and stands for.
There are precedences in state and local government and how this idea can take form and be beneficial to society. It might seem counter intuitive to the judicially conservative population of society, but that is your fear alone. Many of the people who are jailed in pre trial detention do not deserve your fear. They do not deserve to wallow in jail for weeks. “Innocent until proven guilty” is still the law of the land and innocence is a small reward if your life has been ruined due to pre trial detention.
Along the same lines I will eliminate late payment fees and collections agencies from the city’s ticket and fine protocol. This is another action which has terrible effects on the people who often struggle the most. Traffic and parking tickets should not be seen as a source of revenue which need to be collected by an independent agency. If anything we should be using those resources to attempt to settle payment plans at the most available and cheapest option of the offender. An individual cannot register a vehicle without settling those fines, but the idea that the city needs to punish, collect and influence the credit rating of a civilian because of fines or tickets is punishment that doesn’t fit the crime.
Evolution of the Office for Intergovernmental Affairs – Tribal Relation
I will expand the scope of the tribal relations position within the Office for Intergovernmental Affairs to allow the indigenous population of Seattle to have more of a say in government affairs. I will no longer allow the position of tribal relations be of one that promotes the “city’s and mayor’s” plans to tribes around Seattle, but I will have the tribal relations official inform the City of Seattle of what the indigenous populations need and want from Seattle. FULL STOP. I will allow this position to promote indigenous persons’ business growth, affordable housing, aide, homelessness, cultural and historical sensitivity toward construction and building projects.
I truly believe that immigration is the identity of America. It is a belief that helping others helps everyone. That the melting pot is not just a clever catch phrase but an actual beneficial and distinct part of American history, present and future. I will not only maintain Seattle’s designation as a Sanctuary City, but celebrate it as well. Working with the Immigrant and Refugee Commission, I will hope to employ immigration lawyers working directly with the commission and the public to help immigrants(legal and illegal) and refugees navigate the political climate and a path to allow anyone who wants to make Seattle their home and help it succeed have that opportunity.
Revoke Confederate Amnesty
The Confederate flag is a constant reminder of the most unjust periods of our country’s history. I am not speaking of 1860-1864. I am speaking from the very beginning of our country’s fight for independence in 1774 to the present day. To me, it is obvious that the Confederate flag represents nothing other than enslavement, ignorance and the willingness to support those causes. The fact that we allow that symbol to fly is irresponsible a flag which is solely the defining symbol of hate. I would move to create a ban on the flag from being flown, displayed, purchased, sold or distributed within Seattle proper except in cases of approved historical displays, education, museums and art, punishable by fine.
The idea that the “stars and bars” flown across this country represents the South, Southern pride or any of the other platitudes which are given these days to justify this racist sign, are incorrect. The flag as we know it today had a resurgence dating to Strom Thurmond’s 1948 run for office under the overtly racist segregationist platform of the States Rights Democrats, or the Dixiecrats. The more and more desegregation progressed, Jim Crow laws were battled in court and the federal government stepped in to ensure civil rights, the confederate flag was flown more frequently as a symbol of not history, but of hate and fear. This is not a free speech issue, this is a freedom issue. Freedom for a segment of our population who has been unjustly put under great distress, discrimination and disenfranchisement by a symbol which we should be speaking out against at all times, not accepting and certainly not celebrating.