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VOTE411 Voter Guide

King City of SeaTac Council Position No. 1

The 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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  • Tony Anderson
    (NP)

  • Candidate picture

    Senayet Negusse
    (NP)

Biographical Information

What experiences have you had that qualify you for this position?

How would you describe your vision for your city?

What are the obstacles in the path of achieving your vision?

What do you think is your city/town’s role in dealing with issues surrounding the environment?

What are the issues surrounding your city/town's infrastructure?

How do you think your city/town could best respond to homelessness?

How do you think your city/town should approach legal and illegal immigration issues?

How would you propose the council communicate with the citizens of your city or town?

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Phone (206) 422-6216
Email senayetforseatac@gmail.com
Town where you live SeaTac, WA 98188
Experience (300 characters max) King County Immigrant & Refugee Commissioner Seattle Neighborhood Group (Crime Prevention) University of Washington; Student Services Coordinator United Way King County; Education Policy Intern City of Seattle, Department of Neighborhoods; Community Capacity Intern (Economic Development & Outreach)
I am an educator, advocate, and community member of SeaTac. I am the daughter of Ethiopian refugees and was the first in my family to graduate high school. I then went on to graduate from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Art in Early Childhood and Family Studies, a Bachelor of Science in Speech and Hearing Sciences, and a Master of Education in Education Policy and Leadership. I have spent my professional career working to bring equity to places in which it was absent. I am qualified for this position because I know, have faced and overcome many barriers to entry that many face in SeaTac. I am committed to bringing opportunity to all residents of SeaTac so that we can increase the quality of life for all current and prospective SeaTac residents.
My vision of SeaTac is one of equity and collective prosperity. I am running for this position because I have been asked by my neighbors, family, and community to be a voice on the city council that represents the multicultural fabric and values of our city. I have a five point vision for SeaTac. The first facet is economic development, supporting small business owners, and bolstering cultural hubs. The second is to create more options for affordable housing options and to enhance renters’ rights. The third aspect of my plan is to invest in strong infrastructure and accessible transportation. Fourth, I plan to increase comprehensive community services. Finally, I will work to ensure that all voices are brought to the table and that our government inclusively reflects our populations.
The current obstacles in the path of achieving my vision is the possibility of serving on a council that currently prioritizes big businesses over the residents that live in our city. This race is much bigger than any one candidate. I am running along with 3 other progressive candidates. With our shared vision on the council, we can accomplish a lot to serve the residents of SeaTac. However, for me, an obstacle to getting to the council includes getting through the primary election this August. I will need financial resources and time to meet with residents in the community.
The protection of our environment is non-negotiable. Climate change is one of the primary issues of our time and I believe that every person, corporation, and government must take steps to mitigate its impacts. SeaTac’s role in dealing with issues surrounding the environment is immense. We must work in conjunction with the state and federal government to incentivize clean energy, expand public transportation, and educate our population on the impacts of their actions. City governments play a large role in climate change issues because they interact with members of the community individually and frequently. I will work to educate our community on how they can make individual impacts while simultaneously approaching issues of climate change from a policy perspective to make broad changes.
The inaccessibility of public transportation is the primary issue surrounding SeaTac’s infrastructure. I believe that individuals must be able to live independently within their communities and easily access employment, education, healthcare, and community activities. Our current public transportation infrastructure does not support this vision and leads to increasing reliance on cars. My objective is to reduce the environmental impact and accessibility issues associated with car ownership by creating affordable, efficient, and safe transportation. This will reduce wear on our roads and reduce traffic, which would serve to tackle additional existing infrastructure issues. In order for SeaTac to manage our growth, we must expand and invest early in public transportation.
Housing is a basic human right. I believe that SeaTac must come together as a community to respond to homelessness by building affordable housing that is coupled with job placement. There is no one cause of homelessness and we must approach the issue as such. I will prioritize bringing people off of the street as quickly as possible and then addressing the underlying individual causes from there. The city council is responsible for ensuring that our minimum wage is compatible with the cost of living. We must help people who are homeless with job training, access to benefits, medical treatment, and case management to ensure that they do not end up on the street again. We must have dignified and affordable housing, coupled with case management, in order to address homelessness.
As the daughter of Ethiopian refugees, I have first-hand experience with immigration policy, the immigrant experience, and cultural diversity. I believe that SeaTac should be a welcoming city to all people who are seeking a better life. My family came here for a better life and the course of my life would be dramatically different if we were not welcomed by the United States. Therefore, I believe that we must stand with immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. Dignity must be at the forefront of our interactions with immigrant communities and we should work to declare our city a sanctuary city. I believe that we need to enact policies that highlight cultural sensitivity within our police force and address systemic racism. SeaTac must take steps, beginning with our city council, to represent all residents to restore a sense of safety to all who choose to live, work, and visit SeaTac.
As a member of the city council, I will propose advertising all city council meetings to the public to ensure that constituent voices are heard around every issue. We must communicate with absolute transparency with the citizens of SeaTac. Meeting minutes are not enough, so I will bring community members who have vested interests in the proposed agenda items with me to the meetings to discuss their viewpoints. I believe that representation matters and I will go into every meeting having already discussed and learned about the issue with the community members who will be directly impacted by it through community outreach. I would also ensure residents have a space to contribute through committees and commissions. I will hold focus groups and meet community where they are at and ensure strong relationships with community leaders. I will write monthly newsletters about my work on the council and distribute those to the community to ensure that everyone is aware of the issues being voted.