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?
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Balance: I worked hard for an at-large Councilmember who chaired the Budget Committee and served as President of the City Council (Tim Burgess). I attended community meetings on his behalf across the entire city. Therefore, I am wired to view the city – and the region — holistically. Moreover, I recognize that many of my constituents work or rely on downtown. The groundswell of support of my candidacy from fellow community leaders does not limit or narrow my perspective. In fact, my unique credibility with neighborhoods is exactly why I am the right candidate most capable of garnering additional support for urgent downtown priorities that impact the whole city.
Top Issues: The top issues in my district are the same or connected to the top issues in downtown. The unifying theme is the need for more accountability from City Hall. Accountability means listening, transparency, and results. I can deliver that accountability due to my compelling combination of public service and private sector expertise.
- Reducing Homelessness: Sadly, the number of people experiencing homelessness in Seattle increases — despite more spending by our local governments. I will use my extensive background in affordable housing and my commitment to accountability to fund only data-driven best practices proven to prevent and reduce homelessness as we have seen in other cities. I will also work collaboratively and persistently to achieve the necessary coordination with King County on mental health, drug dependency, and other key programs so that we have a comprehensive plan and achieve real progress on this regional crisis. Getting results is necessary to provide compassion toward people experiencing homelessness and to support those on the front lines working to reduce homelessness.
- Increasing Public Safety: Public Safety should be a top priority of city government. Our police officers and fire fighters need resources and support from city leaders to keep pace with the challenges arising from our growing population. Firefighters report that they feel increasingly unsafe as the number of dangerous incidents increases. The City Council should work collaboratively with our Mayor to keep all communities safe by preventing violent crime and reducing property crime. The City Council should also use its oversight authority under the City Charter to gather data and hold the criminal justice system accountable, so that the most prolific offenders are not continually released back into communities without proper help and supervision.
- Improving Transportation: All people — including seniors and families with children — need to be mobile to work, shop, play, and thrive in our city. But our city’s traffic and roads are a mess. With meaningful input from residents, City Hall must focus its limited resources to ensure we have reliable roads, transit (see above), and sidewalks to safely move the most people — while
The top needs of my district are housing affordability, completing transit projects and improving E-W routes for light rail access across district four, and the affordability of childcare and early learning programs. Improving housing affordability and access to the soon-to-be completed light rail stations in NE Seattle will help people get to work in Downtown and to have more access to family homes. Additionally, our planning of higher density urban villages around the new light rail stations, as well as improved bus, bicycle, and pedestrian access to these neighborhoods will be a model for other parts of the city as light rail grows into the next decade. The hope is that by making the transit system work efficiently in NE Seattle, less people will drive into downtown, reducing congestion and improving quality of life for all. Finally, childcare affordability is a city-wide problem that is extremely top-of-mind for many of the young families in my district. Expanding access to childcare facilities will also help with congestion and traffic problems, because families often have to drive around the city to drop of kids and then get to work. Further, business owner will benefit from their employees having stable, affordable access to childcare. Although property crime and homelessness do not affect district four to the same extent as downtown, our University District does have a microcosm of the same individuals cycling through law enforcement and related public safety and public health issues. I believe that a robust response to homelessness will improve outcomes for the entire city.