Seattle City Council — District 6

Downtown’s success depends, in part, on effective partnerships with Seattle’s elected leaders. While DSA does not endorse candidates for office, we do interview them about important issues facing downtown and the city, and rank them according to our priorities.

Candidates are given an opportunity to answer questions in writing and in person about key issues, including public safety, transportation, homelessness, economic competitiveness, and the urban experience.

Candidates who complete the questionnaire are scored on how closely they align with DSA’s priorities in these areas. All scores are posted below. As a part of our commitment to transparency, we also share all written responses — as we received them — so you have an opportunity to better understand each candidate’s perspective.

The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 5.

Meet the District 6 Candidates

Questionnaire

Click on a question to jump to candidate responses.

  1. Looking at the current City Council, on what issues would you say it has been particularly effective and, in your opinion, where has it been less effective? Why?
  2. More than 52,000 daily transit riders from across all seven City Council districts use Third Avenue daily to get to and from their jobs in downtown Seattle. While Third Avenue acts as a front door to our downtown, it’s also the epicenter of the Seattle’s largest outdoor drug market. A recent report commissioned by DSA and neighborhood district partners has outlined a large amount of criminal activity across the city, including property crime, assaults and robberies, is being perpetrated by a small number of prolific offenders who cycle through the criminal justice system. Have you read the report? If elected to the Seattle City Council, what policies might you pursue to curb property crime and address these issues in downtown in order to make our streets safer for all? How might you work with your elected colleagues to enact these policies?
  3. Homelessness continues to be the top issue facing Seattle, yet we have made little progress toward housing our homeless population. In your estimation, what is the City’s role in addressing this crisis? Where would you spend your energy, leadership and resources to have the greatest impact?
  4. Seattle’s lack of housing options that are affordable to our low- and moderate-income employees is an important issue for DSA and its members. In the wake of MHA passing at Council, what kinds of new policies would you pursue to help expand the availability of affordable housing in Seattle? How might current zoning fit into your thinking? Who would you imagine working with to enact these policies?
  5. Between 2010 to 2018, downtown Seattle added over 85,000 jobs. During this time, we have seen a major shift in how the majority of people get to and around downtown, with percentage of people driving alone to their jobs shrinking to roughly 25%. Still, as the regional transportation and economic hub, downtown street space is at a premium. What steps do we need to take over the next two-to-four years to ensure that people can access downtown and that our streets work well for all users?
  6. DSA currently manages and activates Westlake and Occidental Square Parks through an agreement with the City, which has allowed us to bring furniture, programming, staffing and security into these parks, as we work to make them welcoming for all. We also manage McGraw Square with some of the same types of activities. What is your view of this type of public/private partnership as the City contemplates major new public space opportunities along the waterfront and above Interstate-5?
  7. Downtown Seattle is the economic center of the region, with large and small businesses employing more than 300,000 people. However, economic success for employers and employees are continuously strained by unpredictable and burdensome regulations and taxes being imposed at the city level. How will you work to ensure that there is more predictability and consideration for employers to support growth in jobs, retail, restaurants and investment in downtown?
  8. In 2015, a city report looked at Seattle’s commercial development capacity and determined we could absorb another 115,000 jobs by 2035. Yet, in the last three years alone, we have added over 23,000 jobs, indicating that we are likely to surpass our growth targets much earlier than anticipated. Seattle has limited existing zoning capacity, and inadequate permitting systems in place to accommodate the future demand for commercial development. Where might you look to expand our city’s capacity in this regard?
  9. As the City strives to allocate limited resources to manage and activate our complex urban environment, it has increasingly turned to Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) for support. These BIAs build community capacity and give agency and tools to local communities to address their own priorities. What is your view of these groups and their impact?
  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?

1. Looking at the current City Council, on what issues would you say it has been particularly effective and, in your opinion, where has it been less effective? Why?

» next / all


Heidi Wills

This question gets to the heart of why I’m running. As a working mom, a small business owner, and a former city councilmember who knows how to do this job, I can no longer sit on the sidelines when this city council alienates businesses and turns a blind eye to safety and public health concerns in our parks and in our business districts.

Where has our city been effective? I was doorbelling recently and I asked the first part of that question to a man who moved to Seattle from the East Coast a few years ago. I was surprised by his answer. He said that our city hauls away residents’ garbage regularly. I hadn’t thought about this. I suppose I take it for granted like most people. He said, “Yeah, it’s a big problem in other cities where I’ve lived. Garbage collectors go on strikes. The garbage backs up for weeks. People get mad at the mayor and city council.” In general, our city utilities can be counted on. The council also moved forward with MHA. That’s a start for allowing more housing supply. And thankfully they reversed their decision on the ill-advised head-tax instead of letting that go to the ballot box thereby saving money, time and countless headaches.

Our council has not been effective on many fronts, including focusing on basic functions of municipal government, prioritizing public safety, effectively addressing homelessness, engaging regional jurisdictions in common challenges (including addressing homelessness,) working constructively with the business community, and oversight over city departments. It could be more effective in communicating its goals and broader vision with the citizens it serves.


Dan Strauss

I came to work at the City Council just as Mayor Durkan was taking office. What I immediately recognized was the leadership Council provided during the transition between four mayors in quick succession. As almost all departments are executive departments there was a power vacuum created for many city employees. Council was successful at filling much of this vacuum and keeping projects and initiatives on track, and the city moving forward. Council stepping up and filling the office of the Mayor during this transition was successful.

There is room for improvement in the urgency to address the homelessness, housing, and public health crisis. We have studied this crisis and we have the roadmap to bringing people inside and off the streets so that we can appropriately address the symptoms of this crisis; property crime, physical security, and how we experience our civic spaces.

2. More than 52,000 daily transit riders from across all seven City Council districts use Third Avenue daily to get to and from their jobs in downtown Seattle. While Third Avenue acts as a front door to our downtown, it’s also the epicenter of the Seattle’s largest outdoor drug market. A recent report commissioned by DSA and neighborhood district partners has outlined a large amount of criminal activity across the city, including property crime, assaults and robberies, is being perpetrated by a small number of prolific offenders who cycle through the criminal justice system. Have you read the report? If elected to the Seattle City Council, what policies might you pursue to curb property crime and address these issues in downtown in order to make our streets safer for all? How might you work with your elected colleagues to enact these policies?

» next / « previous / all


Heidi Wills

Yes, I have read the “System Failure Report” which illuminated a real problem with keeping our communities safe from prolific offenders. People who commit crimes, including shoplifting, assault and arson, need to be prosecuted and held accountable. The city council needs to prioritize public safety by not only by working collaboratively with other councilmembers, especially during budget season, but also by expressing support for the police department. Support matters: at the dais, with the media, directly to police officers themselves, and to the broader community. It is counterproductive to have anti-police rhetoric coming from our city council. If an officer makes a wrong call with use of force or racial bias, there’s a system in place to deal with it. But outside of that, how about assuming our police officers are striving to do their best in their challenging and demanding jobs? Too often councilmembers express criticism and cynicism of the whole department without showing appreciation for the challenging work these individual men and women do to protect our community. The council needs to support our police to do their jobs and make arrests in order to keep our communities and business districts safe from criminal activity. It means being active and engaged on the issues of public safety, talking with business owners, police officers and other first responders about what they are seeing on our streets. I feel that our city council is seriously out of touch with the needs and concerns of business owners and residents in my district.

It’s not only an issue with making arrests for repeat offenders. It’s a matter of certainty with prosecution. If there is little consequence for illegal activity, there is nothing to curb problematic behavior in our streets. It’s demoralizing to officers that put their lives on the line to make arrests of bad characters and the cases don’t go anywhere. Misdemeanors matter as an accurate accounting of a person’s criminal history. Public safety is more than a core function of city government, it is a charter service. The “Pre-summer Emphasis Program” is a step in the right direction in providing a greater police presence to fix streetlights, remove graffiti, trim trees and make our business districts and neighborhoods safer. We have a relatively small police force compared to other cities. In fact, New York City has twice as many police officers per capita as we do. And as it is, our department has a significant number of vacancies which is stretching our department too thin. We should talk about that as a community. Why is it challenging to attract and retain police officers in Seattle? The city should create a “high impact offender unit” in the City Attorney’s Office. This special unit would handle cases against “high impact offenders” as defined by the seriousness and number of prior offenses. Prioritizing these cases will increase the likelihood of conviction and act as a deterrence of both the offender and others. Seattle should create a “Drug Court” like King County’s Superior Court. There is a “Mental Health Court” but not a drug court even though there is a likelihood that there are more addicted than mentally ill defendants. If everyday people knew that we have effectively decriminalized heroine in quantities between 1– 3 grams, they’d question the trajectory we’re on as a city and region. The criminal justice system should be a source for providing intervention and treatment resources to prolific shoplifters, vehicle prowlers and others who are feeding their drug abuse disorder by wreaking havoc in our neighborhoods and business districts.


Dan Strauss

Working with DSA on the activation of 3rd Avenue I know the successes and challenges in front of us. Bringing Piroshky Piroshky’s take-away window to 3rd Avenue demonstrates the ability for business to be successful when their front door faces onto 3rd Avenue instead of an adjacent street. Many businesses have historically chosen to place their front door on an adjacent street because of the state of 3rd Avenue.

We have seen Belltown change from being an open-air drug market to a much more welcoming neighborhood as well. We need to continue to work with property owners to provide them support and make sure they know they have options other than to lease with businesses that contribute to the problems we see on 3rd Avenue. Many independent building owners do not always know their options.

Regarding the prolific offenders’ report, we know that putting a person in a jail cell without rehabilitative services will exacerbate the issues they are experiencing once they are released. I will fight for additional mental health resources, bed spaces in King County, and the expansion of diversion programs such as the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program. Of the hundreds of individuals in the LEAD program, less than 10 were identified in the prolific offenders’ report. This demonstrates the effectiveness of LEAD and other diversion programs.

3. Homelessness continues to be the top issue facing Seattle, yet we have made little progress toward housing our homeless population. In your estimation, what is the City’s role in addressing this crisis? Where would you spend your energy, leadership and resources to have the greatest impact?

» next / « previous / all


Heidi Wills

Seattle acts too often in a silo. We need city leaders who will collaborate with state and regional jurisdictions on a coordinated regional approach because homelessness doesn’t end at our city borders and because our city doesn’t have the funding capacity to solve it, especially with regards to needed mental health services. We need more shelters, transitional housing and wrap-around services, including drug treatment on-demand, with a dire need for more case workers.

In the short-term, the city can no longer condone people sleeping in tents in our parks and open spaces. It is not compassionate to allow people to continue to live in such deplorable conditions. It is unsafe and unhygienic. This is a public health issue for people in tents and for our broader community which merits stronger urgency to solve. We are serving no one’s best interests with the status quo. Because of the 9th District Court Ruling and because of common sense and decency, people need somewhere to sleep that has hygiene facilities. Until we have enough shelter beds, I favor immediate short-term housing such as modular housing, container housing, and/or FEMA-style emergency tents with running water and toilet facilities, private lockers for personal storage, and case workers to assist people on their continuum towards self-sufficiency. In the long-term, we need more permanent supportive housing with wrap-around services. I would work with the private sector in a collaborative way to help fund more permanent supportive housing. Premera, Providence and Swedish showed the way by each donating $5M to Plymouth Housing. We need more of this.

To build trust with the electorate, there must be more transparency and accountability on how current funds are being spent and what taxpayers are getting for their dollars. What’s working and what’s not? Why would more funds be needed and what would they go toward? Our system now is too fragmented and there is duplicative services. In order to be financially and programmatically successful, we must coordinate services. A regional entity is best suited for this.

Seattle should look to best practices in other communities around the country. There are good examples of other cities managing homelessness and providing a continuum of care better than we are. San Antonio’s Haven for Hope is one such example.


Dan Strauss

We have done the studies and have the roadmap to address the homelessness, housing, and public health crisis. I will not fund additional studies to tell us what we already know, and I will fight to fund implementation tied to outcome-based measurement with regular public reporting.

The Council’s role is to work with the Executive in her implementation of the solutions and to partner with King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties to address this crisis on a regional level. We can’t wait any longer and need to lead our regional partners today.

4. Seattle’s lack of housing options that are affordable to our low- and moderate-income employees is an important issue for DSA and its members. In the wake of MHA passing at Council, what kinds of new policies would you pursue to help expand the availability of affordable housing in Seattle? How might current zoning fit into your thinking? Who would you imagine working with to enact these policies?

» next / « previous / all


Heidi Wills

We need more housing of all shapes and sizes to welcome more people into our neighborhoods to be closer to where they work. Ideal places to live are walkable, close to transit, near schools and jobs and parks and places to eat, play and shop. We must integrate more housing types into our single-family zones such as ADUs, duplexes, triplexes and rowhouses to address the real need for housing for people of all incomes. We need to increase densities where we have the transportation, schools, parks, and other amenities to support those residents. I realize that this will take considerable effort because frustration over zoning changes runs deep in my district. Real listening and conversations with people who care about the context and character of their neighborhoods will help. Districting of the city council will necessitate this kind of empowerment of the residents in our community. I am prepared to facilitate meaningful conversations about how we incorporate more housing types into the existing fabric of our neighborhoods.


Dan Strauss

We need to incentivize the building of and expand the amount of verified-income housing that we have in our city to ensure people can afford to live in our city, with the income they earn. With Mandatory Housing Affordability, we need to ensure that when in-lieu fees are generated that they build housing in the zip codes that they were generated from.

 

5. Between 2010 to 2018, downtown Seattle added over 85,000 jobs. During this time, we have seen a major shift in how the majority of people get to and around downtown, with percentage of people driving alone to their jobs shrinking to roughly 25%. Still, as the regional transportation and economic hub, downtown street space is at a premium. What steps do we need to take over the next two-to-four years to ensure that people can access downtown and that our streets work well for all users?

» next / « previous / all


Heidi Wills

It’s a balance of interests as a truly multi-modal city. With limited road space, we absolutely need to prioritize public transit, not just through downtown, but throughout Seattle in order to access downtown. We need to ensure that cyclists and pedestrians have safe facilities.

To make public transit a viable option for those not already using it, we need to solve the first mile/ last mile to access it. Beyond car-sharing and bicycle-sharing, an idea to improve mobility which is non-polluting is electric scooters. I’m glad the city is interested in a pilot project. In the cities where they are allowed, they are extremely popular. I had the opportunity to use them in L.A. They would not only lower our carbon footprint, at the same time, they’d offer a new low-cost and convenient transportation option. Of course, safety is an issue, so we need to encourage helmet use. Scooters shouldn’t be allowed on our sidewalks to interfere with pedestrians, so they’d be used on our streets and in our bicycle lanes. We also need corrals for docking so we don’t clutter our pedestrian right-of-ways. As more people use scooters and bicycles, hopefully, fewer people will drive.

We are likely too early to consider congestion pricing until our regional transportation network is more robust. Once it is, it’s worth considering. It will no-doubt be controversial at the beginning, just like the U-Pass was at the UW when I advocated for that as student body president in 1990-91. Now it’s replicated all over the country. In time, we may come to embrace congestion pricing. To address equity concerns, why not implement a sliding scale for commuters based on income and type of driver with different structures for freight, delivery vehicles, work vehicles, carpools, and standard commuters. And perhaps only charge for peak times? If drivers utilize a “Good-To-Go” pass, it enables us to introduce a sliding scale payment structure. Seattle needs to move forward carefully. We don’t want to discourage people from coming downtown.

I’m glad that the City is moving forward with the Center City Connector. We need to have a long-range vision to move not only the people of today, but the people of tomorrow and those numbers are growing beyond expectations.

I’m excited by your Third Avenue Vision and its focus on an activated, pedestrian-friendly corridor with improved infrastructure, added safety and cleanliness, and much healthier and more vibrant streetscapes. I agree that electric buses need to be prioritized to mitigate pollution, noise and our carbon footprint.

If elected, I’ll look to your organization for more ideas so we can make commutes for workers downtown easier, and so we attract more visitors, diners, shoppers and residents downtown while easing congestion on our limited roadways. I agree with your focus on improving pedestrian safety and prioritizing people-centered mobility


Dan Strauss

For my parent’s generation the car and ability to drive was a signal of freedom and for my generation – not relying on driving a car is our signal of freedom. We need to look to international cities for models on how we streamline downtown streets so that cars, trucks, and people can keep moving. When we have gridlock, everyone gets stuck.

This means enforcing blocking the box violations, providing safe places for people to bicycle and scoot, ensuring transit doesn’t get stuck in traffic, and keeping traffic moving for people who have no choice but to drive.

6. DSA currently manages and activates Westlake and Occidental Square Parks through an agreement with the City, which has allowed us to bring furniture, programming, staffing and security into these parks, as we work to make them welcoming for all. We also manage McGraw Square with some of the same types of activities. What is your view of this type of public/private partnership as the City contemplates major new public space opportunities along the waterfront and above Interstate-5?

» next / « previous / all


Heidi Wills

I think it’s absolutely terrific that DSA enlivens the public spaces of Occidental Square and Westlake Parks with programming and security to make them community assets. I have a track record as a city councilmember of not only being supportive, but being a proponent, of public/private partnerships. I have noticed that city councilmembers who don’t are often skeptical or even hostile to business. I believe that the council needs to be a constructive partner in how it works with our business community. It is one of the reasons why I am running. As a small business owner, I want a city council that values businesses as an integral part of the fabric of our city and as a constructive part of solutions to bettering Seattle. Public/private partnerships along the waterfront and above I-5 would foster public life, invest in recreation and leisure space, and activate our new waterfront park with positive urban experiences open to all.


Dan Strauss

We need to create contracts that incentive and promote public/private partnerships activating our civic spaces. Our Department of Parks and Recreation and the Seattle Parks Foundation do amazing work and there are so many other people and organizations throughout the city who want to contribute. We should encourage local engagement of public spaces; having a clear and consistent process to do so is crucial to it’s success.

In my work at the City Council I am currently working on the improvement of City Hall Park, Prefontaine Place, and Fortson Square. We know the level of success these civic spaces will achieve is related to the amount of activation they receive. The work DSA and other private/public partnerships create is how we can be sure these spaces reach their full potential. This starts with an easy and straightforward process of partnership.

7. Downtown Seattle is the economic center of the region, with large and small businesses employing more than 300,000 people. However, economic success for employers and employees are continuously strained by unpredictable and burdensome regulations and taxes being imposed at the city level. How will you work to ensure that there is more predictability and consideration for employers to support growth in jobs, retail, restaurants and investment in downtown?

» next / « previous / all


Heidi Wills

As a small business owner myself, I know the importance of engaging with the business community and others who are impacted by city policies before they are enacted. The lack of that engagement by the council has been a great source of frustration and polarization in our city. I intend to work collaboratively with employers to support growth in jobs, retail, restaurants and investment in downtown. The health and vibrancy of our economy depends on it.

Our businesses are sources of more than valued products and services, but also innovation, creativity and solutions to today’s problems. I understand the importance of businesses as job providers and as a major part of our tax base. I am hearing too often of business owners looking to relocate outside of Seattle. Tom Douglas is a constituent in my district. He is fed up with the city council and moving part of his business to Bellevue. This needs to be a wake-up call to our current city council and to the incoming council. If elected, I’d like to convene a conversation on this topic. How competitive is Seattle compared with other cities in attracting and supporting businesses?

If we had local government leaders who recognize the value of having cutting-edge businesses located in our region, and a willingness to work with those companies in a constructive way, that synergy could be game changing on a whole host of issues. If elected, I’d look forward to being part of a collaborative and constructive working relationship with the business community.


Dan Strauss

I will always pick up the phone whether we agree or disagree, and whether I have good news or bad news to share. We need to ensure our small businesses are set up for success and our large businesses want to retain the corporate responsibility that Seattle is known for. Seattle companies are known for Nordstrom’s quality of service, Dick’s drive-in assisting with tuition and childcare, Starbucks providing health insurance, and REI investing in land. We need to support businesses being national leaders in taking care of their employees and customers.

8. In 2015, a city report looked at Seattle’s commercial development capacity and determined we could absorb another 115,000 jobs by 2035. Yet, in the last three years alone, we have added over 23,000 jobs, indicating that we are likely to surpass our growth targets much earlier than anticipated. Seattle has limited existing zoning capacity, and inadequate permitting systems in place to accommodate the future demand for commercial development. Where might you look to expand our city’s capacity in this regard?

» next / « previous / all


Heidi Wills

I am open to hearing from you about where you think we can expand our city’s capacity for commercial development. I have even heard an idea of lidding I-5 downtown for commercial development and/or housing opportunities close to our employment center. I am also hearing that there’s a need to improve permit efficiencies so that requests are processed and reviewed faster, and that the failure of the city’s upgrades to the permitting system impact commercial development and investment. Predictability and reliability are critical to businesses. Should we hire more city staff to review permits so they move through the bureaucracy faster? I’m sure you and your members have great ideas on what is needed by the city and l look forward to learning more from you.


Dan Strauss

Washington, D.C. just completed a new commercial space located above Interstate-395 known as Capitol Crossings. Not only does this reconnect the city, it also creates additional development capacity. Here in Seattle we are exploring the ability to build a lid on Interstate-5. We should encourage public/private partnerships such as Capitol Crossing here in Seattle to reconnect neighborhoods and capture growth potential.

I will also work with communities to understand where we can build taller and more dense buildings while maintaining light and airflow for everyone to enjoy. We need to preserve our communities and promote our economy.

9. As the city strives to allocate limited resources to manage and activate our complex urban environment, it has increasingly turned to Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) for support. These BIAs build community capacity and give agency and tools to local communities to address their own priorities. What is your view of these groups and their impact?

» next / « previous / all


Heidi Wills

I am glad and grateful to the business communities that have done the hard work to establish and fund BIAs. The Ballard Alliance is a tremendous resource to my district. Frankly, it’s the BIAs that are engaging in the work that the city should be doing including basic functions around street cleanups. And yet businesses involved with BIAs are not only paying their fair share of taxes to the city, they are paying additional funds to hire people to perform core city functions in their business districts.

It’s the BIAs that brought to the attention of city leaders and the broader public the serious problems around prolific offenders. BIAs are sounding the alarm bell around the need to prioritize basic services such as public safety, and the city should not only take notice, but make substantial and meaningful changes to address these critically important issues to our city’s quality of life and ability of small businesses to stay in business. (See answer 2, as well.)


Dan Strauss

I am a firm believer in local advocacy which is why I support the district representation and I am running to represent District 6. I have had positive experiences with the BIA in my district.

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


Heidi Wills

People in Seattle do not occupy just one district. They may live in one district, work in another, dine or shop in another, and have kids in school in another district. I have neighbors who work downtown, and I know residents of downtown who work in my district. We are all connected and we are better off when we are all better off. We need a city council that remembers that just because we have a talented workforce today with tremendous employment opportunities, that doesn’t mean that Seattle shouldn’t be competitive to maintain and attract employers and residents.

The top issues facing my district are the same issues facing our city as a whole. We need a council that is focused on basic services. These are the ordinary acts of government that matter to the lives of the people in Seattle, from safe neighborhoods to clean parks to transportation infrastructure improvements. While there are many interest groups who press councilmembers to stand for their interests and values, most of the average voters I talk to as I go door-to-door are fed up with virtue signaling and they want a city council that will prioritize delivery of core municipal services.

As I go door-to-door in District 6, the most pressing issue on people’s minds is addressing the root causes of homelessness more effectively. This issue affects the city as a whole too and certainly downtown. Our city and county elected leaders would be better served by utilizing the expertise of the high-tech community in my district. For example, at a Fremont Chamber of Commerce meeting, I met a Tableau employee who told me how his company is helping to better track the data of services being provided to people experiencing homelessness. Seattle has the third-highest number of people experiencing homelessness. System fragmentation is a critical weakness leading to disconnected services, duplicative functions, and duplicative data collection, making the system difficult to navigate for people seeking assistance. Our region needs to consolidate command and control functions into a regional authority to appropriately identify and scale solutions and target resources to emergent needs. Collecting numbers and characteristics of those experiencing homelessness and quantifying the need for services is essential to not only meeting needs, but to identifying effective strategies to address the needs. Tableau is doing that work. Fremont’s tech sector is perfectly poised to be a catalyst to solving some of our region’s most vexing challenges. As a councilmember, I would be more collaborative in engaging with the business community around the pressing issues facing my district and our city as a whole.

Another top issue facing my district is transportation. People want greater mobility throughout Seattle and to downtown. Commute Seattle continues to reap dividends in improving mobility. I find that many residents of District 6 would take public transit if there were additional capacity to serve them, but buses during peak hours are too full to even stop at bus stops further south in their routes as they head into downtown. Prioritizing public transit continues to be an important issue to our quality of life.


Dan Strauss

How we manage and direct our work downtown sets the stage for how our urban centers can be managed if enough growth occurs. We need to be forward thinking about how we grow and manage downtown so that it is reflective of Seattle values and uses best practices of city management.

Ballard and many parts of District 6 can benefit from public/private partnerships activating civic spaces, creating efficient and effective freight delivery for the goods we use, and can build the transportation systems we need to keep up with the density being built outside of downtown. Before Ballard was annexed by Seattle, we were the second largest city in King County. This is why our downtown grid is walkable and I can easily find fourth generation Ballardites.

Today, we are experiencing the same issues as the rest of the city, and we have a unique opportunity to lead how growth is focused and managed. By the end of my term, Downtown Seattle will once again look to Ballard for best practices on managing it’s downtown core.

Candidates recently answered questions on local issues from The Seattle Times. You can read their answers here.