Vision

For years I have worked as a civic leader and policy expert to develop solutions to some of Seattle’s biggest challenges. I have worked both behind the scenes with city stakeholders and community advocates, and on the front lines with grassroots activists, to achieve sustainable and equitable development, protect public spaces and keep our government accountable to the people. But lately we have seen how politicians who answer to corporate lobbyists and special interests have undermined the healthy development of our city.

Seattle’s prosperity should provide shared opportunity and success for everyone, not just the wealthy elite. We can’t let the future of our vibrant, diverse city be compromised by the political insiders currently gaming City Hall.

I am running for Mayor to bring solutions forward — to listen, to learn and to take honest stock of the challenges facing our city, and to offer my expertise as an urban planner, engineer and civic leader in driving strategies to strike Seattle’s problems at their root cause, not just address the symptoms.

I look forward to talking with Seattleites — families, communities, activists, and businesses — to ensure everyone’s voice is heard on the future of our city, and develop solutions together. We all belong here, and have an equal right to help shape our shared future. As Mayor of Seattle my top priorities would include the following issues and initial framework of solutions.


Housing Affordability

Seattle has become one of the most expensive cities in the country. More than half of Seattle renters pay more than they can reasonably afford for housing. Too many are living on the edge, just one unexpected bill away from not making rent and facing eviction. Working people, people of color, LGBTQ people, young families and seniors are being pushed out of our city. That is not who we are.

People who work in Seattle should be able to afford to live in Seattle. If we don’t solve this problem now, in just a few years the majority of Seattle’s workforce — and our children — will be forced to live outside the city. We have the tools to start fixing this problem; we just need the collective will and courage to stop favoring the interests of profiteers and start putting people and families first.

Read my full vision on Affordable Housing here.

Solutions

  • Increase tenants rights to provide stability and protections to renters. The Seattle Renters Commission is a good first step, but we can do more to help renters.
  • Prevent evictions of families with children and safeguard transitional housing for families and victims of domestic violence.
  • Exponentially expand affordable housing from only 6% of Seattle’s housing market toward a goal of four times this share. Cities that have solved this problem show that more public and nonprofit housing is an essential tool to achieving overall stability in housing costs.
  • Pursue viable alternative housing options for working people in the “missing middle” like duplexes, triplexes, townhouses, ADUs, congregate housing, community land trusts, co-ops and co-housing while maintaining the unique character of Seattle’s neighborhoods.
  • Implement targeted taxes or other mechanisms to deter corporate and non resident real estate speculation to strengthen neighborhoods.


Transit & Access

Traffic congestion is one of the biggest growing pains in our city. We need to address housing costs and transit access together. Working people are being pushed out of Seattle to chase affordable housing in places that are not served by transit, which leaves them isolated from their communities and services. Lack of transit options forces workers to drive, compounding congestion on our streets. In addition to improving transit options, we need to focus on safe streets, walkable neighborhoods, a basic bike network and a strong freight and delivery network. We need to be efficient with our limited street space and make alternatives to driving more viable for commuters.

Read my full vision and detailed plans for transit & transportation here.

Solutions

  • Add more bus transit and protected bus lanes because when transit is fast, convenient and reliable, people use it.
  • Make walking and biking a more viable form of transportation with a complete network of protected bike lanes and safe sidewalks.
  • Be ready with bold solutions to keep downtown flowing when the tunnel buses come to the surface in 2019. The One Center City plan must focus on equity, on protecting the Chinatown/ ID neighborhoods and on improving transit service broadly throughout the city.
  • Recognize disability rights as civil rights. Almost 20% of people live with a physical or mental disability. We will ensure the rights of those with disabilities are given the same attention as other civil rights.


Homelessness

We need to address the root causes of our city’s surge in homelessness to get ahead of this problem. We need a shared strategy, and a collaborative effort across agencies and service providers, to synergize the solutions we know can work to help people back into secure housing as efficiently as possible.

Solutions

  • Prioritize long-term supportive housing options and housing first approaches. Vouchers offer only a temporary reprieve; this funding ends up in the hands of for-profit landlords, leaving families to face the same unaffordable rents after their vouchers expire.
  • Work with shelter providers to identify how to help long-term residents transition to more permanent housing.
  • Provide more low-barrier shelters that allow the right mix of options to match needs, such as allowing pets and enabling couples to stay together.
  • Address the immediate need for emergency shelter with temporary solutions like more self-governed tiny house villages hosted by churches and neighborhoods as we get more lasting solutions in motion.
  • Expand shelters for women and victims of domestic violence that are essential to their survival.
  • Invest in treatment for mental health and drug and alcohol dependency.


An Economy That Shares Prosperity

Our state’s trickle-down approach to economic growth benefits the super wealthy and large corporations at the expense of the rest of us. Over the last four years, City Hall has proposed several new property tax and sales tax increases, which have only compounded the fact that Seattle has one of the most regressive tax structures in the country. This means those at the top pay a much smaller share of their income in taxes than those at the very bottom. We in Seattle need to lead the charge to reverse this by holding the wealthiest among us accountable to pay their fair share, and investing in the public resources that support the well-being of everyone.

Read my full vision and detailed plans for small business and economic equity here.

Solutions

  • Institute a tax on luxury real estate.
  • Implement a capital gains tax statewide on households earning more than $250,000 to fund affordable housing, education, transit services and jobs in the clean energy sector.
  • Provide stable funding for enforcement of labor standards to penalize businesses that refuse to play by the rules protecting their workers.
  • Continue to work together with Seattle labor leaders in protecting collective bargaining and strengthening the voice of workers, both essential parts of the fight to reverse income inequality.



Racial Equity

Seattle must stand for racial equity and the liberation of all people. But too many outcomes show we are missing the mark. White Seattleites need to come to grips with racial and economic inequality and the barriers that exist in our systems and institutions — and we all must work in partnership across race and class to dismantle them. Our city must step up its accountability to communities of color and disenfranchised communities, including transgender and gender diverse people. We must amplify the important work already done by Black leaders, Native leaders, immigrant leaders and people of color from the civil rights era through the Black Lives Matter movement and complete the transformation to true inclusion and power sharing.

Read my full vision and detailed plans for equity in education here.

Solutions

  • Provide equitable resources for education across all neighborhood schools, including more after school, childcare, and summer programs in communities of color, because every child deserves the chance to pursue their dreams — no matter their zip code.
  • Rebalance who has a seat at the table in every public decision-making body, and establish standards that ensure we share power across race, class and gender in city boards, commissions and all departmental leadership positions.
  • Invest in the next generation of leaders by offering training in civics, organizing and advocacy to young leaders of color.
  • Prioritize restorative justice and alternatives to incarceration instead of building a new youth jail.
  • Follow through on community oversight of police and push for continued progress toward anti-racist policing and a fairer criminal justice system.
  • Stand strong in protecting immigrants and refugees as a Sanctuary City, and pursue further solutions such as a legal defense fund for our neighbors and families being persecuted by ICE.



Gender Equity

When women are secure and self-reliant, families, businesses and communities thrive. Despite our shared progressive values, Seattle lags behind the rest of the developed world on gender pay equity. Women should not have to work more hours to make ends meet, stay in abusive relationships due to financial dependency, or continually fight to maintain access to health care.

Read my full vision and detailed plans for wage fairness here.

Read my full vision and detailed plans to protect freelancers and domestic workers here.

Solutions

  • Require equal pay for women in equal jobs throughout the city.
  • Provide at least 12 weeks of paid family leave when a family has a new child or has to care for a sick family member.
  • Protect women’s access to health care in our city.
  • Require annual reporting on gender equity for all city departments and Seattle businesses with more than 50 employees.



Small Businesses & Economic Development

Seattle is becoming more expensive and access to entrepreneurship is more and more out of reach. Homegrown Seattle businesses are being replaced by corporate chains. Increasing commercial rents, congested streets, inadequate transit and regulatory challenges make survival for small local business tougher and tougher. Small, locally owned businesses are the engine of an economy that builds local prosperity, access to opportunity and resilient communities. We need to protect and nurture and grow small businesses, and ensure a level playing field.

Solutions

  • Offer technical assistance to new entrepreneurs and small business owners, especially entrepreneurs from communities of color and immigrant/refugee communities.
  • Support municipal broadband because access to high-speed internet is essential and must be universally available.
  • Discourage displacement of minority owned businesses instead of abandoning them to face gentrification on their own.
  • Stabilize commercial rents for locally owned small businesses.
  • Develop effective strategies for local sourcing, local production, and buy local programs. We all benefit from robust local economies and homegrown industries.


Climate Leadership

We in Seattle know that we all deserve a safe and healthy environment, no matter what your zip code or what size your paycheck. We know that fossil fuel corporations have used their political power to deny reality and block necessary solutions for too long. We know that climate leadership must come from cities and states, and that our actions today will make or break our future.

Cities like Seattle must move quickly to implement solutions to reduce carbon emissions, reduce pollution, and equitably prepare our region for the short and long-term effects of climate change. Our city stood up to Shell’s Arctic drilling rig and I know our city can be a national leader in tackling climate change and decreasing our reliance on fossil fuels. We have the tools, the know-how and the willpower.

Read my full vision on Climate leadership here.

Solutions

  • Collaborate with the Alliance for Jobs & Clean Energy and Front & Centered to build a targeted climate justice strategy so communities of color and low-income communities not only have a seat at the table, but see tangible benefits from our investments in a safe and healthy climate.
  • Make sure that we reduce the carbon emissions that lead to climate change while ensuring that everyone benefits as we prepare our region for climate hazards. As more people get pushed out of Seattle, we must take a regional approach to climate mitigation and adaptation with local cities, counties and the state.
  • Shift to a clean energy economy by investing in the infrastructure to make this a reality, working with industry to establish Seattle as a center for production of green technology and attracting new green jobs that provide living wages and benefits.
  • Continue to pursue divesting city funds from fossil fuel corporations.
  • Focus on guiding compact growth and expanding transit service and walking and biking infrastructure so we are all less dependent on driving.
  • Lead the nation as an innovator in green building methods and set up performance standards to trigger retrofitting commercial buildings for energy efficiency.
  • Implement assertive solutions to expand local district energy systems and incentivize new green infrastructure and on-site renewable energy production that will help us create a path to 100% clean energy.
  • Invest in energy retrofits that improve the comfort and affordability of our homes — especially in low-income communities.