With crowded races in two important Seattle city elections this year, The Northwest Urbanist is weighing in with endorsements for the first time. Ballots for the August 1st primary are in your mailbox this week, so make sure to research the candidates and vote!
SEATTLE CITY COUNCIL, POSITION 8 (AT-LARGE)
Teresa Mosqueda has resume as impressive as is her enthusiasm for building a better city. Her long career as a labor and public health advocate most recently led to her writing and passing Washington Initiative 1433, which is raising the minimum wage and providing paid sick leave for all workers statewide. On the Washington Affordable Care Act Exchange Board she is a strong advocate for protecting access to health insurance for working families and people of color.
In Seattle, she wants to ensure Seattle’s newfound prosperity is shared among everyone. As a renter Mosqueda would bring a much-needed and unique perspective to this citywide seat. She is committed to building more housing affordable to everyone who works in Seattle, and brings ideas like community land trusts, co-housing, and reasonable increases in the requirements of the Mandatory Housing Affordability program. On homelessness, she believes the sweeps are too broad a response to systemic problems. She supports more investment in enhanced case management, substance abuse treatment, and mental health counseling.
She considers herself an urbanist, and it shows with her interest in enhancing walkability, building out the bicycle network, and accelerating Sound Transit 3 construction with local funding sources such as bonds or the recently-passed city income tax. She is also committed to helping Seattle families by improving access to childcare, enabling 12 weeks of family leave to all Seattle workers, and planning to champion equal pay legislation.
With a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and a strong background in coalition-building and civic activism, she is the most qualified candidate for the job. Vote Mosqueda.
In a highly competitive race, Jessyn Farrell stands out as the best candidate for mayor with both elected experience and a practical vision for a more affordable and livable Seattle. She has previously served as executive director for Transportation Choices Coalition, which advocates for multi-modal transportation infrastructure statewide, and helped lead the efforts to pass Sound Transit 2 and negotiate environmental mitigation for the SR-520 bridge replacement. She worked at the executive level of Pierce Transit, and since 2013 served as State Representative for the 46th District in north Seattle.
Motivated by climate change and rapid change in the city, Farrell is a strong transit advocate and wants Seattle to grow in a way that no one is left behind. She believes every neighborhood is on the hook for accommodating new housing, but she also acknowledges one size does not fit all. Growth policies that incorporate cultural and economic sensitivity is critical to ensure different communities can adapt and thrive.
She is supportive of more intensive upzones around future light rail stations, and wants to get ahead of transit-oriented gentrification with strategies such as community land trusts. She also supports innovative ways to add more park space to Seattle’s densest neighborhoods. She is a strong supporter of development impact fees to pay for critical infrastructure and tax on investment property, and she wants the city to lessen its dependence on regressive taxation.
Farrell doesn’t have the personal ties to downtown businesses and developers of other candidates, and she is one of the very few with elected experience. Her legislative and strategic planning skills are vital for the city’s top administrative position. There is a place for activism in the mayor’s office, but the job also needs someone who can build relationships with local and regional elected officials and do the day-to-day work of managing an 11,000 employee bureaucracy. Having worked at a variety of scales regionally and statewide, and with a positive legislative track record for working mothers and transportation safety, she has demonstrated she can both manage a government and lead with a variety of progressive policies.
A true urbanist with the skills, experience, and ideas to back it up, Farrell represents the best choice for building a more connected and sustainable Seattle. Vote Farrell.
Learn more about the 2017 primary election at the King County website.