District 2

Meet the Candidates

Tanya Woo

Tanya Woo
Rating: Strongly Aligned

Margaret Elisabeth

Margaret Elisabeth
Rating: Not Aligned

Question 1

Public Safety: The DSA’s core mission is to create a healthy, vibrant downtown for all. It is no secret that the pandemic took a heavy toll on downtowns across the country and Seattle is no exception. As we work toward recovery on all fronts, issues of public safety downtown continue to be one of the top themes we hear from stakeholders. How will you address public safety in downtown Seattle?
» next / all

Tanya Woo

I recognize the crucial need to address public safety in downtown Seattle as we navigate the path to recovery. As a small business owner and affordable housing provider in the Chinatown International District (CID), I have been trying to address public safety concerns. Collaboration and community engagement are key components of my approach.

I support community-based policing alternatives in addition to a fully staffed police force. My group, the CID Community Watch, is an alternative to policing and a communication network. By building relationships and trust within our community of residents and business owners we can enhance safety together.

The CID Community watch group tries to prioritize prevention and intervention. We have de-escalated fights, stopped vandalism and graffiti. We have also tried to connect people experiencing homelessness to services. We carry Narcan and have provided CPR. We pass out Fentanyl testing strips. We have also led in other initiatives such as information dissemination in language, senior escorts, self-defense classes, and adverse weather assistance.

The CID had the highest crime rate last year with a record amount of homicides. We helped amplify voices to draw attention to the years of under-investment. I am now working on a 12th Ave plan that will be very similar to the 3rd Ave plan.

Together we can address public safety concerns, restore our police force, amplify community-based programs, and create a thriving, inclusive downtown for all.

Margaret Elisabeth

Workers, business owners, residents and tourists should feel confident they can visit a baseball game or the upcoming World Cup matches without worry. I’ll work with stakeholders to find solutions which increase the health and vibrancy of our city’s downtown core.

Question 2

Investing in Downtown’s Recovery: Given the importance of downtown to the overall health and vitality of our city and region, what actions will you propose to support downtown’s recovery?
» next / « previous / all

Tanya Woo

I am fully committed to supporting downtown’s recovery and ensuring its vitality for our city and region. To achieve this, I propose a comprehensive approach that focuses on making progress on key metrics important to downtown recovery.

We need to prioritize public safety initiatives. Fund services to address homelessness, and provide treatment for those suffering from addiction and behavioral health issues.

I will prioritize initiatives to attract visitors to Seattle. We are a world class city with many national and international events coming up such as MLB Week, FIFA Soccer, and NHL Winter Classic. Working closely with the tourism industry to implement effective marketing strategies and promote downtown’s businesses.

Reviving worker foot traffic is crucial. We can create a safe and appealing environment that encourages everyone to want to return to downtown.

Supporting economic growth is paramount. I will advocate for streamlined business regulations, financial assistance programs, and an enabling environment for new businesses to thrive and create job opportunities.

Improving public transit is essential for downtown accessibility and sustainability. I will work towards enhancing transit infrastructure, expanding routes, and encouraging greater public transit ridership such as a downtown ride free zone.

I will collaborate with community groups and the arts community to facilitate the creation of engaging public events and spaces.

Margaret Elisabeth

Seattle has several unique challenges however the coming World Cup matches in Seattle are going to spur investment and development in the Stadium district and Pioneer Square. The City should encourage this development with tax incentives for developers who are engaged in developing residential buildings.

Question 3

Fiscal Priorities: Given the fragile state of downtown’s revitalization, do you agree that the City should prioritize existing spending before imposing new taxes or increasing existing ones? In a detailed manner, please describe how you would propose addressing the budget issues the city is facing.
» next / « previous / all

Tanya Woo

I firmly believe in prioritizing existing spending and ensuring fiscal prudence before considering new taxes or increasing current ones. The fragile state of downtown’s revitalization necessitates a careful approach to address the city’s budget issues.

To tackle these challenges, I propose a comprehensive strategy that emphasizes accountability and effective resource allocation. A thorough review of existing expenditures across city agencies and programs is imperative to identify areas of inefficiency and redirect resources where they are most needed.

I have previously expressed my frustrations with agencies like the King County Regional Homelessness Authority that receive substantial taxpayer funds without sufficient accountability for delivering tangible results. To address this, I will advocate for robust performance evaluation systems that measure outcomes and ensure responsible use of taxpayer dollars. Results-driven contracts and transparent reporting will be essential in holding these agencies accountable.

Furthermore, I am committed to an inclusive budgeting process that involves community input, business collaboration, and stakeholder engagement. By incorporating diverse perspectives, we can make informed decisions that align with the needs and priorities of our city.

Margaret Elisabeth

According to a Seattle Times article the recent Capital Gains tax on dividends brought in an estimated $248 million more than projected, [sic] this money should be put into the general fund to cover any budgetary shortfalls.

Question 4

Top Voter Concerns: What do you believe are the top three issues on voters’ minds right now, and how would you propose addressing them?
» next / « previous / all

Tanya Woo

Voters’ top concern is public safety and the largest problems within public safety are homelessness, crime, and drugs. This reality is also demonstrated in the polling by the Downtown Seattle Association and EMC research.

To address homelessness, I am committed to implementing a comprehensive strategy that focuses on shelter, support services, and affordable housing. By collaborating with nonprofit organizations, community leaders, and government agencies, we can expand shelter capacity, invest in affordable housing solutions, and prioritize mental health and addiction treatment programs. My work with the Chinatown Community Watch was successful in reducing unsheltered homelessness in our community.

On crime, I will prioritize community policing efforts, increased police resources, and collaboration between law enforcement and community organizations. Progress can also be made by community alternatives like strengthening neighborhood watch programs, supporting crime prevention initiatives, and promoting effective rehabilitation programs.

I recognize the impact of drugs on our communities and will address this issue through prevention, treatment, and enforcement. I will support substance abuse prevention programs, expand access to treatment and recovery services, and work closely with healthcare providers. Collaboration with law enforcement will help disrupt drug trafficking networks and address the root causes of addiction. The city must conform with state law regarding public drug use and dictate a working plan to fight the fentanyl crisis.

Margaret Elisabeth

Housing, Healthcare, Real Living Wage. We need to enact rent control and establish renters rights, we need to have City-Wide Single Payer Healthcare for all residents and we need to have a real living wage of $25/hr. Workers in Seattle should not have to continually organize to be able to live comfortabtly [sic] in the city in which they work.

Question 5

Return to Office: One of the most impactful things we can do to drive downtown revitalization is to get more people here – visitors, tourists, residents and perhaps most importantly, workers. A steady and consistent flow of employees downtown who are eating, drinking, shopping and engaging in recreation brings much needed support for our small businesses and public spaces. Do you believe that city workers should work in person three or more days per week?
» next / « previous / all

Tanya Woo

I support requiring city workers to be in person for three or more days per week, I believe the best solution is to do it incrementally. We must first create an environment where people feel safe and want to come downtown.

Encouraging city workers to be physically present downtown help drive revitalization by increasing foot traffic and supporting local businesses. It creates a vibrant atmosphere where employees can engage in dining, shopping, and recreational activities during their breaks and after work, contributing to the overall vitality of downtown.

However, it is equally important to recognize that people’s preferences and work styles have evolved, especially in the wake of the pandemic. We should start with having city workers work in person for three days and have it increase with the goal of 4 or 5 days a week.

To attract workers and visitors downtown willingly, we must focus on enhancing the downtown experience. This includes creating inviting public spaces, supporting cultural events, improving infrastructure, and ensuring safety and cleanliness. By investing in these aspects, we can make downtown an attractive destination that draws people not only because they have to be there, but because they genuinely want to be part of the vibrant downtown community.

Margaret Elisabeth


Question 6

If there were any important details about your candidacy that you were unable to provide in response to the previous questions, please take this opportunity to share that information here:
« previous / all

Tanya Woo

I have deep roots in Seattle. My family’s immigration in 1887 and had a series of small businesses in downtown and surrounding areas that included laundry services, a restaurant and a bakery. I have firsthand experience of the city’s changes. I’ve witnessed the consequences of policies that neglect neighborhoods and aim to change that.

The greatest difference between my opponents and myself is my emphasis on results over ideology. I prioritize tangible outcomes that make a difference in people’s lives. I spearheaded the renovation of the Louisa hotel, providing small business space and workforce housing. I co-lead the Chinatown Community Watch which has put me face to face with the realities of the homelessness and fentanyl crisis. I understand the challenges faced by the residents of District 2.

I am committed to amplifying marginalized voices and working towards practical solutions. My fight against government discrimination in the Chinatown International District taught me the power of making those in positions of power listen.

I want to end by saying that South Seattle is underserved, underfunded, and underrepresented. Together, we can make our neighborhoods safer and more affordable. I have before and I will again turn challenges into solutions and transform words into action.

Margaret Elisabeth

[Candidate left this field blank.]