Town where you live
Experience (300 characters max)
Assistant City Attorney, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, Seattle Human Rights Commissioner, Rental Housing Stakeholder Committee Member, campaign manager for Councilmember Nick Licata's 2009 re-election campaign.
I have a deep commitment to public service as an assistant city attorney, human rights commissioner, a member of the Rental Housing Stakeholder Committee, and a contributor and editor of an environmental law journal. My extensive experience has prepared me to address issues ranging from public safety, to housing, to parks and open space.
As a prosecutor, I deal on a daily basis with our complicated justice system. I can build the coalitions necessary to keep Seattle safe while also reforming gross inequities within our criminal legal system. As a former member of the Rental Housing Stakeholder Committee I know the tension working families face to pay rising rents. We need a rent stabilization fund and a stronger commitment to affordable housing. As someone who contributed content to, and edited, Ecology Law Quarterly at UC Berkeley I am prepared for the thorny legal issues of land use and open space. We need to commit to keeping Seattle a green city with parks given pride of place.
My vision for Seattle is a diverse and dynamic city with robust public housing, responsive public services, a thriving maritime economy existing alongside an innovative technology sector, diverse neighborhood community councils adequately staffed by the Department of Neighborhoods, and fast, accessible, and affordable grade-separated public transportation.
First, public housing. In Vienna Austria over 60% of the population lives in public housing. Seattle must build more public housing rented at-cost to working families with the bonding paid off through future rents.
Second, the Charter services of government, paramount among them public safety, need to be prioritized. I will commit to fully and adequately funding the EMTs, police, and firefighters of Seattle.
Third, we need to protect and expand our legacy maritime industry that provides thousands of family wage jobs. At the same time, we can make space for our emerging tech sector.
Fourth, we need to restore connection between the city and neighborhood councils. But, we need to make sure the new councils are diverse, make space for renters, and are well staffed by the Department of Neighborhoods.
Fifth, we need to dramatically expand light rail throughout Seattle to create a comprehensive grade-separated system. I support implementing ST3, and seeking an ST4 to expand further.
Seattle can be a global leader on fighting climate change. I support transitioning our entire light vehicle fleet from its current level of 30% electric to 100% electric. I further support changing our building code to allow for further use of cross laminated-timber (CLT) a manufactured wood product that can be made from damaged or young trees, allowing old-growth to be preserved. 14% of global CO2 emissions come from concrete and steel produced in building construction. CLT can be used to heavily augment, or in some cases replace entirely, concrete and steel in building construction. New Washington State guidelines allow CLT buildings up to 18 stories, but Seattle currently only allows them up to 8. We should change our code to allow taller CLT buildings to reduce our carbon footprint.
Seattle City Council District 7 has a number of critical infrastructure issues. First, the Magnolia Bridge is in dire need of replacement. Built in 1928, the bridge is vulnerable to collapse in event of an earthquake, or even just anticipated future use. 265 Metro buses use that bridge on a daily basis. Without it, the 25,000 people of Magnolia will functionally have no public transportation. It is an essential bridge, and we need to replace it by working with State, County, Federal, and Port officials to come up with a regional funding plan.
Moreover, we need to preserve the critical freight corridor of 15th Avenue which is essential to the competitiveness of our legacy maritime community based in Fisherman's Terminal. That means making sure we locate light rail on Sound Transit's proposed "Brown Route" along the railroad west of 15th. Moreover, we need to tunnel light rail under Fisherman's Terminal to prevent disrupting traditional industrial lands.
First, we need more permanent supportive housing. 94% of people housed by Plymouth Housing stay housed an off the street. Before we can offer treatment, before we can offer job training, before we can critically engage people experiencing homelessness in any meaningful way we need to house them. It helps the results stick, it helps keep people off the street.
Second, we need to work with the Legislature to expand mental health treatment through the proposed new University of Washington teaching hospital. We need to commit to fast-tracking the design review, permitting, zoning and land use of the hospital to get more in-patient beds available and more of our neighbors experiencing untreated behavioral mental health conditions off the streets in a therapeutic place.
Third, we need to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place. A recent study found people are evicted for as little as $10 short. We need a rent stabilization fund to prevent evictions for sure small amounts.
I am proud that Seattle is a sanctuary jurisdiction. It makes our community safer when all of our residents regardless of immigration status are free to call the police without fear of retribution. Dignity has no nationality, and sanctuary policy guarantees dignity and safety for all our people. I support Seattle's further efforts to provide counsel to people facing persecution on the basis on their immigration status, and I welcome the people of all nations as our neighbors and friends.
I am committed to being an accessible and responsive public official. I will hold town halls in the community on critical issues, attend community council meetings, hold regular office hours, and commit to responses to community inquiries within 72 hours of receipt by either phone or email. The people of Seattle deserve nothing less, and I look forward to working with the community to guarantee an accessible, responsive, and accountable city government.
Town where you live
Experience (300 characters max)
Seattle Police Officer (including Captain & Chief of Police): 1982-2014
Martin Luther King Jr. County Sheriff’s Office, Chief Deputy: 2014 - 2018
While serving as a Captain with the Seattle Police Department, I worked with Downtown Emergency Service Center to develop pre-recovery housing for chronic inebriates and helped lead instructional sessions focused on ways to better integrate released offenders and sought to reduce overall incarceration rates.
As Police Chief, I was SPD’s executive sponsor and worked with the ACLU and Defender Association in establishing the LEAD program where low level, non-violent drug users, dealers, and sex workers are given a chance to divert to treatment and other care at the point of arrest instead of put in jail — leading to a decline in recidivism by 61% and significantly more folks housed and employed.
I understand the issues facing our city better than anyone because I have witnessed them first hand. Years of hard work and a life-long career in public service with both the city of Seattle and King County has given me unique insight into the communities I will serve as a City Councilmember.
A place that is healthy and safe for all. The homelessness and housing affordability crisis needs to be the top priority for any elected official this year, and this complex issue requires a multi-faceted solution which includes working with community partners and local public servants in order to get workers housed in affordable housing as close as possible to where they work, and getting the homeless re-housed in appropriate housing. Additionally, by working with the myriad transportation partners in the city and the region to constantly review, evaluate and correct (If needed) and improve the transportation challenges that we face. Finally, working with the SPD and ensure it maintains proper staffing and training so that it remains in compliance with the hard worked for gains it has made with the community in achieving constitutional policing.
We have to grapple with the fact that not everyone will agree with us, even in a city as progressive as Seattle and recognize that the most effective solutions will come from collaborating with all communities in our city and working with stakeholders to find creative solutions. Another obstacle will be regaining the trust of the voters and the business communities as a council that listens to neighborhoods and allows open constituent participation in the policy making process.
When it comes to climate change, my role as an elected official will be perfectly clear: to do everything I can to find effective, creative solutions that will mitigate pollution and lessen climate change. On the City Council, we may not have the influence necessary to single-handedly solve the climate crisis, but that is no excuse to ignore our responsibility to do something. Let’s work with local businesses and building trades unions to increase efficiency standards for new buildings and upgrade existing ones to maximize efficiency and energy savings, as well as instituting clear and high greywater recycling standards. Additionally, we must expand and fully implement effective, accessible, and affordable public transit. These changes can and should be implemented immediately. Incentivizing a 'green janitor' program in all buildings is another small but meaningful step. As Gandhi once said – “what each individual does is insignificant, but essential for the greater good of all.”
Firstly, there has to be affordable housing for workers in our city, along with reliable and affordable transportation and education access. We also need to maintain the high quality cultural, civic and entertainment environment that we currently have that makes Seattle such a livable and diverse city. It's critical to the health of Seattle that infrastructure is developed equitably across every district and every neighborhood in Seattle. No more transit deserts, food deserts, and childcare deserts. We need to ensure that every community has access to the resources they need — and that starts with solid, reliable, well-maintained and comprehensive infrastructure. As a former employee in the emergency response field, I will always be alert to the maintenance of infrastructure that makes Seattle City Light and Seattle Public Utilities such a dependable provider of energy and water. This means doing everything possible to upgrade our infrastructure and making it earthquake resilient.
I believe in a ‘four pillars’ approach to the homelessness crisis: Prevention; Harm Reduction; Rapid Re-Housing, Supportive Housing and Treatment; and finally enforcement. I believe that the City’s role in addressing the homeless crisis — thus far unfulfilled — is to offer clear and unwavering leadership and a clear plan toward resolving the homeless crisis, all the while respectful of the fact that homelessness also impacts communities and businesses. While there are important, data-driven assessments at our disposal, we lack a comprehensive and courageous approach which balances the objective to stabilize the lives of homeless people with public safety and humanitarian objectives.
I have always been a strong supporter of preventing homelessness, rapid re-housing and the policy of ‘housing first’. I believe that the gold standard to address homelessness is permanent supportive housing and the development of supporting infrastructure needed to manage these issues.
Seattle must be a city that works for everyone, regardless of immigration status or how long you’ve lived here. As your City Councilmember, I will work to ensure our city government is defending immigrant communities that are under assault from the federal government. We must defend immigrant workers against raids and ICE intimidation, which will strengthen our entire workforce’s sense of safety and cohesion. Additionally, we need to find ways to ensure immigrants do not slip through the cracks when it comes to higher education, affordable housing, childcare, and healthcare.
Long before it was popular, I advocated for a reasonable and good community standard approach to immigrant rights:
The mantra of my campaign has been to LISTEN—the same mantra that guided me throughout my career with SPD. As an officer, I led a multi-agency and victim advocacy group using Violence Against Women Act grant money to develop a first ever ‘Investigating Sexual Assault’ course to improve the primary patrol and detective response to the crime of sexual assault, that was only successful because we listened and worked directly with victims and those impacted by domestic violence in developing our policies. There were ‘traditional’ ideas regarding how to best tackle domestic violence, but it was through listening to the stories and experiences of folks actually affected that made this program successful. That is the kind of leadership you can expect from me once elected—working with frontline communities and giving stakeholders a real seat at the policymaking table where their voices are not just listened to, but acted upon by those of us fortunate enough to be elected leaders of this cit