Change Address

VOTE411 Voter Guide

King City of Seattle Council District 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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    Lisa Herbold

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    Phil Tavel

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?

Town where you live Seatttle
Experience (300 characters max) For the past 19 years I have lived in Highland Park. After voters approved the district system, I was inspired to run for City Council to represent West Seattle and South Park in City Hall. District representation has also helped me be accountable to district residents and that accountability has gu
In serving as District 1 City Councilmember, I have fulfilled commitments I made to voters in 2015, working on better laws for workers and renters to helping small businesses to fighting for more affordable housing, public safety and police accountability, to improving our transit options. I served on the Sound Transit Elected Leadership Group to ensure a tunnel is included for study for rail to West Seattle; sponsored legislation to require results-based framework for human services contracts, and voted to increase police department funding for staffing and higher salaries. I have worked with the community on zoning legislation in Fauntleroy and the Alaska Junction; to enhance public safety in South Park and Alki; reduce the impact on businesses in Luna Park and Fauntleroy from road projects; address landslide areas in Highland Park; increase bus service in Admiral and Delridge; preserve Myers Way parcels for open space; additional RV mitigation, and keep Colman Pool open longer.
I want Seattle to be a city where everyone has access to opportunity, to live, work, and thrive.

A place where with more affordable housing, great public transit, great schools, and plentiful jobs, where our economic prosperity is shared, and high quality childcare and healthcare are within reach for all of us. Where we have good, fair laws for workers and tenants.

A place that is welcoming and inclusive, free from prejudice and hatred. Where all have educational and economic opportunities, especially for immigrants and refugees, people of color, women, and LGBTQ communities that have historically been denied access to opportunities for advancement

Where we fund and build more affordable housing to address the crisis of affordability, while preventing displacement of lower-income residents, communities of color and small business.

Where people feel safe, and we have a fully staffed Police Department, and Community Service Officers helping with non-emergency issues.
Due to the state constitution, our state has the most regressive tax structure in the nation, with those with the lowest 20% of incomes paying 16.8% of income to state and local taxes, while the top 1% pay 2.4%. This inhibits affordability.

While light rail will arrive in 2030, we’ll need to depend on buses for public transit in the meantime.

The City has limited funding and bonding capacity to directly fund affordable housing. Seattle’s population has grown 22% this decade, most in the nation; by one measure 85% of new housing is luxury, so less of it is affordable. The Seattle Housing Authority has a waiting list.

Schools are run by the Seattle School District, so while Seattle funds programs, it’s influence is limited.

Unemployment is at historic lows, locally and nationally, making hiring officers more difficult nationwide, even with higher salaries.

Donald Trump sets a bad example, supporting the worst in people—hate crimes have gone up since he started his campaign.
City government has an important role in environmental issues, and addressing carbon emissions.

66% of carbon emissions in Seattle come from transportation. That is why public transportation is so important. While light rail will help in 2030, for now investment in bus service is critical. Seattle voters increased bus service in 2014 throughout the city. I support renewing this effective, efficient investment, that pays dividends for all Seattle neighborhoods, and reduces car traffic Downtown.

I am working with the Port to move to electrification of their terminals, and to expand the electric fleet of our garbage and recycling contracts. To address the 32% of carbon emissions from buildings, we must reduce energy and emissions from our own building portfolio, and do more to ensure that new buildings are built to green building standards.

When illegal tree cutting took place in East Admiral, I worked to ensure this was sanctioned, to avoid a recurrence.
Seattle’s capital budget includes hundreds of millions in infrastructure spending for transportation and utilities, so strong Council oversight is critical to ensure efficient spending.

When I became a Councilmember, there was no mechanism providing for ongoing oversight, so I sponsored legislation to create an oversight program for construction projects. The legislation requires transparency through quarterly updates on a Council-designated “Watch List” with risk factors identified by green, yellow, or red.

This allows for early identification of problems, and action to prevent cost overruns such as “stage gating” spending, or cancelling projects if necessary. Ongoing programs such as paving and the pedestrian master plan also must report quarterly.

I am working to implement transportation impact fees to fund infrastructure. I strongly believe the next transportation levy must increase the proportion of funding toward road paving, which benefits all users of roads.
The City should focus on three strategies in our response to homelessless: 1) Increase the availability of permanently affordable housing. The City funds affordable housing providers, and we should ensure that this investment serves people with the severest housing needs. We should also mitigate the displacement of existing affordable housing, and incentivize community-driven development. 2) Adequately fund our human service providers. Seattle’s service providers are experts in helping a person find the path to permanent housing, and they rely on City contracts. I also support work to address our upside-tax to grow our statewide entitlement programs. 3) Fix our broken eviction system. The mark of an eviction has long-term consequences, and as we’ve seen with the “Losing Home” report, people of color, specifically Black women are disproportionately impacted by evictions locally. There are several policies I am working on to expand the ability for the City to address eviction.
18% of Seattle residents were born outside this country: immigrants are a key part of our community and our prosperity. I support protecting immigrants through our laws, our spending, and our advocacy.

Seattle’s long-standing policy of City employees not enforcing federal immigration law helps uphold public safety. Criminal activity goes unreported if immigrants fear contacting the police.

I voted to fund legal representation for immigrants facing deportation--those with legal representation are far more likely to win their cases, and keep families together.

We must do whatever we can to ensure that all are counted in the census—this also affect the level of federal funding our state receives.

I secured Citizenship Program funding for Neighborhood House at High Point, and led the Council in expanding the Ready to Work project into District 1 to support English learners with intensive neighborhood-based support.

We must continue to support Seattle’s immigrants.
I believe it’s important for Councilmembers to be accessible to constituents, willing to consider their suggestions and ideas, and to work to address problems they have identified, whether large or small. That’s why I hold office hours throughout the district, in the Alaskan Junction, Delridge and South Park, to be accessible to all parts of District 1, which is geographically large.

I also believe it’s important for Councilmembers to provide regular updates about what issues the Council is considering. That’s why I publish a weekly newsletter, and provide background information and details to help inform residents of District 1, and to let them know what positions I’m taking, and why.

When I work with constituents on issues they bring up, I copy them on correspondence with city departments, so that they can see directly what I’m working on, and comment as well, so that we can work together toward a solution.
Phone (206) 949-8680
YouTube Video
Town where you live West Seattle
Experience (300 characters max) I have been a resident of West Seattle for over 20 years. I have primarily been a Public Defender in King County for the past 14 years. I also served as a Pro Tem Judge in King County District Court, am a former business owner and volunteer with numerous local groups and organizations in District
Seattle wants and needs positive change. My experience and history of community advocacy are why I’m running for City Council. I am a public defender, a parent and have experience as a pro tem judge. I’ve lived in District 1 for over twenty years and have gotten to know local business owners in various industries through volunteerism and community events I’ve hosted or facilitated.

My background as a public defender has provided me with insights into the criminal justice system and strengthened my collaboration, negotiation and de-escalation skills. I’ve been engaged with community members and nonprofit organizations for many years and believe that serving in public office is about listening to the people to ensure their voices are heard. There’s a widespread feeling that decisions are made long before public comment is invited. This needs to change.

My experience will serve our City well.
I can describe the vision in two words: Positive change. Seattle needs a new approach. Governing without those most impacted at the table, isn’t working. The failed ‘head tax’ is a clear example of the current Council’s lack of engagement and ability to partner with private businesses for the greater good. Taxing jobs could potentially exacerbate the problem and casting opponents as evil and uncaring is not leadership or good government.

My vision is a Seattle that carefully plans and adopts policies after hearing from everyone who will be impacted. I want to place good ideas ahead of ideological taglines. Let’s help people experiencing homelessness by leveraging resources we currently have. Let’s re-purpose dated structures to provide secure transitional housing. Let’s work with everyone, from unions to business owners, in good faith.

Seattle can do better and must be an equitable City for all.
The need for reform within City Council. The public continues to voice concerns about Council’s lack of political will and flawed operating structure. The fact that 4 incumbents are not running for re-election is a glaring example of numerous issues and reflects public sentiment and the lack of trust and engagement. The political climate in Seattle is not conducive to governing in good faith. The culture of Council today makes it difficult to produce policies that consider the needs of all residents. This political approach doesn’t serve the goal of good governance, and that needs to change.
Environmental protection is crucial to our City, state and planet. Seattle must lead by example. Effective and sustainable environmental practices must be fostered by improving outreach and engagement efforts to strengthen partnerships with businesses, residents and throughout the region. It’s the Council’s job to ensure environmental regulations have measurable positive impacts, and do not create undue burdens on residents. This is a key area where broader engagement with communities is vital and public comment should be carefully heard.

The City must increase efforts to mitigate current environmental issues impacting the public, such as chronic health problems affecting people who reside near the Duwamish River and pollution resulting from air traffic through that area.

Seattle also owns and operates its power system and provides clean mountain water for its residents. Council should further leverage this advantage to encourage and monitor new environmental methods and approaches.
Density and protecting the unique character of neighborhoods while responsibly accommodating growth, mitigating traffic impacts, and reining in housing costs are top issues in District 1. MHA was passed, and we must monitor implementation.

Major transportation projects are impacting Seattle. Transportation equity must remain a top priority to serve residents with fewer transit options. The public expressed concerns regarding the ST3 expansion through West Seattle. After broad community support, the tunnel option was added to the ST3 study as an alternative, rather than a 1950’s style viaduct.

Budget shortfalls have been identified in the Move Seattle Levy, and RapidRide service increases may be cancelled in D1. The City should work with Metro to reschedule current bus service for riders in the short term. A cantilevered additional deck to support a dedicated bus lane from the Spokane Viaduct to 99 North, should be costed.

Reducing traffic congestion must remain a priority.
Seattle is not properly utilizing resources to assist people experiencing homelessness. According to research my team conducted, flaws in data gathering and reporting processes have been identified, which must also be examined and corrected.

The criminal justice system should be utilized to help people experiencing homelessness find shelter and treatment, rather than punishing them. Other cities have had success working with law enforcement to provide life-changing opportunities for those experiencing homelessness. Social workers riding along with officers, a streamlined system where people who want help can get it, and a model of helping people obtain shelter before identifying and treating other contributing factors has proven successful where it’s been tried.

The current model is leaving people to fend for themselves and isn’t working. An effective use of existing resources should occur in advance of asking the public to fund new approaches.

While immigration may be a federal issue, I strongly support Seattle as a sanctuary City, meaning City authorities will not report people to ICE or facilitate raids or roundups. The City can’t make immigration laws, but it can and should absolutely restrict its participation in the enforcement of federal laws which aim to undermine human and civil rights.
This is a big area of concern with the current Council. Everywhere I go, I hear that the Council is out of touch and it’s hard to connect with the people who are supposed to be representing the District. I’ve seen videos where Councilmembers openly yawn, read their phones, or nod off during public testimony. I want to change that culture.

I’ve spent years in our community developing relationships. I will be an effective and responsive community representative. It will be easy to contact me. I’ll hold regular office hours in the District and conduct public drop ins at businesses and events to hear directly from those impacted by the Council’s work. I want to remove ego and virtue signaling from the equation, and focus on the work of the people and supporting policies that make long-term sense.

I invite anyone reading these responses to learn more about our campaign at I know Seattle can do better. I hope to earn your support and vote.