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VOTE411 Voter Guide

King City of Seattle Council District No. 4

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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    Alex Pedersen

  • Shaun Scott

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?

Phone (206) 502-9092
Town where you live Seattle, WA
Experience (300 characters max) _ Served as Legislative Aide to former City Council President Tim Burgess. _ Worked on homelessness programs at U.S. Dept of HUD during Clinton Administration. _ Managed teams of financial analysts to preserve affordable housing in private sector. _ Master in Government Administration.
Serving as a City Councilmember to represent 100,000 people in District 4 and overseeing a $6 billion budget is a serious and demanding job that requires substantive and relevant experience to succeed. I believe that my direct experience working on the biggest priorities facing Seattle, such as homelessness, sets me apart from other candidates running in this District.

• After earning a Master of Government Administration, I worked on homelessness programs at HUD during the Clinton Administration. • I served as Legislative Aide to Tim Burgess when he chaired the Budget Committee. We emphasized programs proven to work. I shepherded efforts to fully fund Nurse Family Partnership, the evidence-based program that empowers low-income moms and their babies. • To bring needed attention to the community issues, I published a neighborhood newsletter. • My career includes over 15 years in the private sector as a manager of financial analysts to fund the preservation of affordable housing.
• I envision an accountable City Hall – where city leaders are sensible and effective – leading to a more affordable Seattle, with all of us being able to stay and thrive in the city we love. I envision an accountable City Hall rebuilding trust with the general public and creating a city government we can all be proud of.

• An accountable City Hall does not need to double every tax levy and does not need to increase your utility bills every year. That’s because an accountable City Hall is fiscally responsible -- by funding only the best programs proven to work and is always auditing their $6 billion budget to find savings. Only a City Council producing fiscally responsible solutions can ensure that seniors, middle class families, local businesses, and all of our neighbors can afford to stay and thrive in the city we all love.

• I have the right combination of public service experience and financial expertise to hold City Hall accountable.
• The current City Councilmembers are not doing enough to hold themselves accountable and to ensure the city government is functioning effectively by focusing on the priorities of its residents. For example, not enough time is spent on the homelessness crisis. The budgets go up, but we’re not seeing the results.

• The organizational culture of Seattle city government does not reward/celebrate efficiency and cost savings that can be reinvested. It focuses too much on inputs and not enough on outcomes and results.

• Councilmembers must work with the Mayor to continually seek efficiencies to free up and redirect dollars to reduce homelessness & avoid cuts during the next recession. While our city’s population increased by 15% from 2014 to 2019, the entire city budget (all funds) increased by 34% (from $4.4 billion to $6.0 billion). Moreover, the “Administration” piece of the budget pie increased by a whopping 60%. Utility bills are also going up fast & hurting those on fixed incomes.
Everyone should be able to breathe clean air, have clean water, and be able to safely dispose of waste in a way that protects our city’s and planet’s ecosystems. Local government has moral as well as regulatory responsibilities for air quality, water quality, and sustainable removal/recycling of waste. In general, we need more accountability on environmental issues.

Example: preventing harmful waste from entering Puget Sound, with Seattle Public Utilities and King County building infrastructure to mitigate overflows during storm events, as required by the U.S. EPA and Washington State Department of Ecology.

In addition, climate change is the global, existential threat of our time and city governments must do their part, especially in the absence of national leadership. This includes going beyond our city’s current Climate Action Plan. We must convert our government fleets of vehicles faster to green, preserve our tree canopy, make it easier to ride transit, and be a leader on data.
We need more accountability to ensure our vital infrastructure keeps pace as our population grows.

Seattle roads are a mess. Our schools are overcrowded. Sewer lines are overly burdened. We need more police officers for community policing. We need at least another fire station for emergency responses.

Unfortunately, the current City Council has been throwing fuel on fire with their aggressive blanket approach to upzone every neighborhood without concurrently building the infrastructure and connections to transit needed to foster a positive quality of life.
Sadly, the number of people experiencing homelessness in Seattle has remained too high — despite more spending by our local governments. I’m the one candidate with direct experience on homelessness programs having served at the U.S. Dept of HUD during the Clinton Administration. I believe we must:

• Fund only data-driven best practices proven to prevent and reduce homelessness as we have seen in other cities. This includes programs such as diversion and enhanced shelters that actually move people quickly into permanent housing solutions. • Work collaboratively and persistently with Mayor to create a measurable, comprehensive plan that includes achieving the necessary coordination with King County on mental health and drug addiction programs for this regional crisis. • Build more permanent, supportive housing that is truly affordable for low-income individuals and families experiencing homelessness. • Getting results is necessary to provide compassion.
If elected to City Council, I would work closely to ensure the City’s Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs has the tools it needs to be effective and compassionate. I believe the city government should NOT be agents for the federal government.
Several current City Councilmembers have done a poor job communicating with their constituents, which is why they unable to run for re-election. As a former legislative aide, I understand the hard work needed to listen to varied voices. The new District system, however, makes communications more manageable.

I have personally doorbelled nearly 15,000 voters to hear their concerns and ideas directly.

For the past 5 years, I published a community newsletter that informed residents of important city events and issues.

Crosscut published my column that discusses four more ways Councilmembers can listen: This includes a 3-1-1 call center open 24/7, amending the Council rules to free up time so that Councilmembers can be in their communities (with in-district office hours for example), holding more Council meetings at night, and conducting surveys. We can improve the District Council system.
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