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City of Seattle Council Position No. 9

Salary: $123,359Term: 4 yearsThe City Council is the legislative body for the City. The Council adopts local laws (ordinances) to secure the safety and assist the well-being of the city residents, the city's physical environment and amenities, and the city economy. The Council is responsible for approving financial expenditures and adopting the city budget as well as establishing policies and regulations in order to guide the city's future. The elected mayor serves as chief administrative officer for the city.
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  • M. Lorena González (NP)

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    Pat Murakami (NP) Business Owner

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Biographical Information

What are the three most pressing issues facing Seattle in the next 5 years?

Of those issues, what is the single most critical issue facing the City of Seattle, and as a member of the Seattle City Council, what would you propose to positively affect that issue?

What changes would you make, if any, in Seattle's police leadership, training, equipping, oversight and accountability?

Seattle is losing its middle working class due to the high cost of living in Seattle. In particular, our communities of color have been disproportionately affected by being priced out of the city. What do you believe are the root causes of lack of economic diversity and would you address cost of living issues as a policy matter?

What is your definition of affordable housing and what policy or law changes would you propose to address the lack of affordable housing, including the lack of affordable family housing (3-bedroom and up) in Seattle?

Do you think the proposed high-earners’ income tax and/or the soda pop tax are equitable and logical? Why or why not? How can we improve our tax structure to ensure a fair and just system while collecting the revenue the city needs?

What do you believe are the root causes of Seattle’s homelessness crisis, and what policies or programs would you propose to address this issue?

What is your definition of urban livability? Would you support a city-wide process to define five or so measurable standards for livability, which can be a varied as tree canopy and crime prevention, and develop measurable goals and plans to attain them? Why or why not?

How do you feel about safe injection sites proposed in King County, some of which will necessarily be in Seattle? What other steps can we take to lessen the opioid and heroin addiction epidemic in our region?

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Phone (206) 356-4224
Email pat@votepatmurakami.org
Town where you live Seattle
Experience (300 characters max) BA Sociology, BA Business Administration, Masters Business Administration, Owner of IT Company for 30+ years, decades of volunteering and community involvement, saved SE Seattle from blight designation by Mayor Nickel, VP Seattle Neighborhood Council, President S. Seattle Crime Prevention Council
Homelessness crisis/drug epidemic Managing Seattle's growth Protecting living-wage jobs
Homelessness and our drug epidemic. I want to end the sweeps by creating a campus of proper shelter with all necessary services including mental health, drug rehabilitation and job counselling, as well as lockers, showers, laundry, food service and, if needed, a connector bus to major public transportation. I don’t want families living in sheds (what are referred to as tiny houses) – they should be given housing vouchers so the children have a stable home and school environment.

We need free rehabilitative drugs administered in clinics to take the profit out of heroin and illegal opiates. We must open detox centers to assist getting people off drugs. I want the VA to help more on any homeless that are vets – they served their country and now the federal government should serve them in return. Seattle must encourage Bob Ferguson to file a lawsuit against big pharma for our opiate epidemic, making them pay for drug rehabilitation.

We must create safety nets for foster children aging out of the system and for ex-convicts to help avoid future homelessness. We must properly house registered sex offenders, even if it’s in a more remote location with a connector bus to mass transit – right now there are over 400 transient and/or non-compliant sex offenders on our streets. Offenders without housing are much more likely to re-offend, so it is vital that we house registered offenders.
Seattle officers need more extensive de-escalation training. The City Council has been tossing around the idea of body cameras for years - it is time to have all officers wear them. All officers should be required to carry Tasers - no excuses. I agree with Mayor Murray's proposed police-accountability reforms, giving us a three-pronged, independent oversight system. I would take the process further: the City Council's public-safety committee should also review all cases of extreme use-of-force; and all civilians serving in any capacity in the oversight system should be required to attend the Community Police Academy, so they have a better understanding of the stresses and constraints under which officers must perform their duties.
I believe allowing developers to pay inadequate 'in-lieu' fees or requiring too few affordable units on-site contributes greatly to our lack of economic diversity in areas where new development occurs. We should stop allowing for 'in-lieu' fees and insist developers build true inclusionary, affordable units in every structure with 10 or more units.

Seattle's own zoning is contributing greatly to the issue of affordability. We should down-zone every lot to current usage, thereby lowing property taxes. We then create an over-lay map of potential zoning for properties identified by neighborhoods as the locations where they want density to be built. Finally, we grant additional heights to developers in exchange for a higher percentage of affordable units in a given structure.

Seattle also needs to diversity its economic development efforts beyond new construction and Amazon retail, encouraging manufacturing and industrial firms. We also need to support entry into the trades as a path to living-wage jobs.
Housing should not cost any household more than 30% of the household's income. Again, we should down-zone to current usage to reduce property taxes. We must maintain our affordable housing stock. We should stop permitting the destruction of an affordable single-family house, only to have it replaced by a new home of inferior construction which sells for roughly 50% more than the house which was destroyed. Insist that developers include at least 10% affordable units in any new development, with those units addressing the needs of extremely low income, very low income and low income.

Additionally, we must never permit the redevelopment of community-owned affordable units, such as those at Yesler Terrace owned by SHA, unless they are replaced by a greater number of affordable units than were there originally.
I don't agree with either tax as legislated. The soda pop tax was ill-conceived and I'm concerned that more of the tax dollars will go to administrative overhead than will go to the Fresh Bucks program or into healthier foods being offered at food banks or soup kitchens. The soda tax also unfairly targets lower-income individuals and doesn't tax all drinks equitably, such as sugary Starbucks drinks.

The high-earners' income tax will likely fail in court, wasting Seattle taxpayers' money on legal fees. The proposed tax does not address our horribly regressive tax system. Seattle should stop strong-arming the rest of the state, and instead, work cooperative with other municipalities across the state to lobby the State Legislature to change the constitution, allowing for a graduated income tax. Under my proposal, low income households would pay no income tax, and sales tax and property taxes would be greatly reduced for everyone. High-earners would finally pay a higher percentage in taxes than low-income earners. Since income tax is deductible from Federal Taxes, the net affect on high-earners should be negligible.

Our heroin and opiate drug epidemics are easily the largest contributing factors to homelessness. Mental illness and/or PTSD are also contributors. Our lack of safety nets for ex-convicts and foster children who have aged out of the system are also sources of homelessness.

We must focus on providing detox centers and proper drug rehabilitation centers. We need to find the one or two non-profits who can effectively and positively address the needs of individuals with mental illness and/or PTSD issues. And we must immediately provide safety nets for ex-convicts and foster children who have turned 18.
Urban livability includes affordable housing, a reasonable cost of living, good schools, parks & open spaces, a healthy environment, ease-of-access to services, cultural amenities and a safe community.

Yes, I would support a process to define standards for livability, because City planning has failed to take livability into consideration. Most decisions have been based on profitability for the mega-developers, rather than the needs of Seattle residents. It is time to reverse that trend.
I would want to go to Vancouver, B.C. to see first hand how a safe injection site is working or not working. We all know if people don't get off heroin or opiates that they will either die quickly or die slowly, but the drugs will eventually kill them.

Perhaps we need to intervene in people's lives when they are unable to make rational choices.

Some refer to safe injection sites as a temporary step. I think it is preferable to offer real solutions. We should provide free rehabilitative drugs administered in clinics to take the profit out of heroin and illegal opiates. We should also provide detox and rehabilitation centers and involve families in the process of rescuing individuals from the effects of drugs.

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