The first principle of my candidacy will be to represent YOU in City Hall. I believe we must dream big and make this city work for everyone. The time for incrementalism is over. We must act with urgency to create the world we want for ourselves and our children and our homeless neighbors. I believe we can shift power to the people in this city. We can end homelessness, fight poverty (not the poor), and combat climate change. We can build a local economy that works for all of us. It is going to be hard, but we must set an ambitious vision to make our city work for everyone.
Below are a few things I believe are critical to making our District and our City a place where working families can thrive:
The housing crisis is the greatest challenge that our city faces. Obtaining home-ownership or even sufficient and safe rental housing has become a daunting challenge for many in our city – especially in neighborhoods at high risk for displacement. I support strategies that include:
- Right to return and affirmative marketing so folks can return when their building gets renovated or replaced.
- Build more housing – support increased development of backyard or garage apartments and small apartment buildings (~20 units) in all neighborhoods so there are more kinds of units available, including units targeted for lower income people.
- Require Displacement Impact Study – Our development process must align with our Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI) goals. Ensuring equity in development must be a part of the process. We will work with SDCI to adjust permit process so that permits are granted for projects that don’t cause displacement or that meet racial equity goals.
- Develop a comprehensive anti-displacement strategy that includes community ownership.
- Secure a permanent source of funding for the Equitable Development Initiative.
Seattle has a responsibility to its residents to put them first by enforcing renter protection laws, educating landlords and tenants, and enacting stronger renter protection and rent stabilization programs.
- Provide resources for small/new landlords on their responsibilities and the rights of tenants.
- Eviction reform – extend notice to 21 days.
- Ensure that tenants have legal representation at eviction court.
- Increase the Notice Period for Rent Increases to 90 days.
- Anti-displacement voucher – increase rental relocation assistance to serve more people for longer period.
- Equipping SDCI (Seattle Department of Construction & Inspections) to more vigorously enforce renter protections against harassment and insufficient heating.
- Provide the SDCI with increased funding and review their inspection procedures to make sure inspections are thorough.
- SDCI should work with stakeholders to develop guidelines and a more effective enforcement framework to protect renters from retaliation.
Southeast Seattle schools have seen a dramatic increase in homeless students in the last few years. Black, Native American and Latino students and their families are disproportionately affected by homelessness. I will introduce comprehensive set of laws to end homelessness.
- Prevent homelessness by reducing evictions.
- Make it easier for people to use shelters and public housing by reducing the barriers to entry.
- Housing First – for those who are chronically homeless, offer housing first to stabilize their situations, then pair it with robust supportive services to help rebuild their lives.
- Securing progressive revenue for permanent supportive housing and the services provided, especially supportive physical and behavioral health services.
- Increase funding for services offered to people living outside – trash pick-up at encampments, bathrooms.
- Reinvest in public housing to create options for our very low-income neighbors.
Investing in Affordable Childcare
South Seattle is a childcare desert. There are not many childcare facilities for low and middle income families. We need a statewide investment in public childcare. In Seattle, we need to prioritize building childcare facilities on public land in neighborhoods that are recognized as childcare deserts. We also need to invest in our childcare providers, and make sure they make good wages.
Despite the advancements made in recent years in protecting the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, we have seen a surge in hate crimes against them. I would like to further expand the protections given to LGBTQ+ individuals in this city, in addition the requiring tougher penalties for those who discriminate against them in the workplace, in housing, and in mortgage applications.
Equity in education
There is a huge inequity in how our schools are funded and what schools the city spends money on. There is also a disparity in discipline in our schools. African American and Immigrant children receive harsher punishments that hurt our children in the long run. I will fight for equity in education, and make sure parents and teachers are included in the decision making process as we fight for equity in classrooms. I will also work with our representatives in Olympia to fight for funding for the underserved schools in D2.
Healthcare as a human right
South Seattle is a healthcare desert. There are not enough clinics to serve the growing population. We need to invest in public health clinics. There are a lot of different models that have worked in other countries, and we can learn from them.
Washington state has the most regressive tax structure in the nation. Households who earn less than $25k a year pay 17% of their income in taxes while those over $500k pay less than 2%. The state relies on property taxes, sales taxes, B&O and a handful of others but this burden lies primarily on working class families. I support a more equitable tax structure so all communities get a chance to thrive. I also support a Seattle public bank that would help us invest in public housing, healthcare, education, and our small and immigrant-owned businesses.
Seattle Green New Deal
Combating climate change is not something we can kick down the road. The impacts of Climate Change are here, and some of them are irreversible. I will work with other council member to put forth a comprehensive bill to address the following:
- Affordable public housing: Because of high rents in Seattle, a lot of working folks have to travel long distances and sit in traffic which releases a lot of greenhouse gases. We need to invest in affordable public housing so people can live in the neighborhoods where they work.
- Free Public Transit: We need to invest in zero emissions public transit, and build more reliable forms of local transit like light rails.
- Transition to clean energy: We need to break ties with PSE and move towards publicly owned utilities.