10. Downtown is not only one of the fastest-growing residential neighborhood in the region, but also the jobs center of Seattle. If you are elected to serve on the City Council, how would you go about balancing the needs of your district with the City has a whole? What are the top issues facing your district and how do you see them intersecting with the issues at play in downtown?
« previous / all
The top issues facing my district are public safety (violent crime, property crime, well maintained infrastructure, pedestrian and cyclist safety), housing affordability, displacement of families and businesses, and the impacts of homelessness. I’ve also heard throughout the District that City Council is not hearing their concerns or addressing their needs. These issues are no different than any other neighborhood in this city, so as City Council, we need to be accessible and responsive.
One thing I want to work towards, and what I’m already exploring, is partnering with our vibrant tech sector and building trades to create apprenticeships and internships for youth and adults in the community so they can take advantage of the jobs this booming economy has to offer. I want to grow the talent needed downtown in District 2 and I want to partner with downtown to make that happen.
Small businesses feeling the pressure of gentrification and displacement, especially minority owned, black and brown, immigrant and refugee and limited English proficient businesses. Issues of affordability, access to public transportation, equal access to resources and the ability to thrive in place are the biggest hurdles for our district. As the region continues to thrive economically – we are quickly becoming unaffordable to many who have called Seattle home prior to our region’s boom. I worry that Seattle is/has become a playground for the wealthy only. We must look at ways for all people to thrive in this very wealthy city and recognize that when we do so, we create a business environment that is rich, healthy and stable – only perpetuating the potential for continued growth.
Crime and housing shortages are big problems in my district. It feels like Rainier Beach, Columbia City Georgetown and SoDo are often neglected compared to Downtown or Northgate. We need a infusion of economic growth in our areas that incorporates the people living here, not displaces them. Keeping that in mind, we are a united city and we need to ensure that every aspect works for the people here and the tourists that come.
Business friendly environment. I live and own businesses in district 2. I am on the ground living with the crime affecting business our shops. We just want to make a living in a safe and secure city and I believe we can make that happen.
Finally, we need to address our traffic. We need parking lots at the light rail so people can leave their cars and commute. We need to build housing units where we build the light rail stops and we need more, quality bus routes and stops.
I believe the top issues facing not just District 2, but Seattle as a whole are access to housing, homelessness, and transportation. I truly believe that solving these issues is going to require all hands on deck, and we have to recognize that what happens in one part of the city can have unintended consequences in another.
In terms of transportation, a large number of Light Rail stations are located here and it is imperative that we have safe and reliable transportation. Many of the people who ride the light rail get off somewhere downtown, and as such it is beneficial for all the businesses downtown that employees and customers who use public transportation are able to reach them.
My top priorities for the district in regard to transportation are expand bus ridership, relieve road congestion and boost the economic activity in the urban villages and transit stops, and to prioritize the Vision Zero plan to keep casualties down. Phase 2 has been delayed since 2017 and is expected not to resume until later this year or 2020. To me, this is unacceptable. A safer Rainier Ave will not only be good for those that live here, but it will also be good for business and those who commute. As the project is continued from S. Kenny Street to Henderson, it will also make it safer for the storefront businesses that are aligned along the corridor. The corridor is a major connection to downtown Seattle, and I plan to fight for a Rainier that one day may be safe enough for those that travel by bike to work in the downtown area to be able to use the shortest route from the south-end.
In regards to homelessness, many of our service providers are located in the downtown area, which has centralized services. Seattle has less than ⅓ of the county’s population and almost ¾ of the county’s homeless population. We cannot continue to try and solve homelessness on our own, and it is going to require a true regional solution in order to accomplish this. This means using any and all methods at our disposal to bring neighboring cities to the table and get to work fixing this problem.