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A guide: Seattle mayoral candidates on the issues

Affordable Housing

Jenny Durkan

Jenny Durkan

On the dropped proposal to add density to all single family neighborhoods: “We have to have more density in every part of the city and no one is going to escape that, so the only question is how, when and what type of density. The original [Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda] recommendation would have changed the zoning in single family zones. The question is was it right to withdraw that? I think it was for very pragmatic political reasons. I think it would have made the whole deal unravel.” –Interview with Crosscut

Jessyn Farrell

Jessyn Farrell

Build “a strategic plan for the city that allows us to hold ourselves accountable, and then create programs within every single neighborhood. By setting a target of $1 billion in affordable housing and allocating affordability targets across the entire city, we can then use that in flexible ways, like creating neighborhood-based plans that use an array of affordability tools, rental vouchers so that people who are living in current housing can stay there, more accessory dwelling units, or more traditional density projects.” –Farrell’s Website

Bob Hasegawa

Bob Hasegawa

“Significantly increase public housing stock to eliminate the huge gap between supply and demand, which will stabilize housing cost inflation; [Create] public/private partnerships that are beneficial to the public; other cost pressure relief strategies like public and community land trusts; Strengthened eviction protections; Using the Municipal Bank to provide bridge loans and supports for refinancing homeowners at lower rates; Greater resources and expanded services for women and children in domestic violence situations; Increasing mandatory inclusionary zoning requirements and impact fees.” –Hasegawa’s website

Michael McGinn

Michael McGinn

“When I saw the [Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda] process…we were doing a process that was very much a stakeholder process without community engagement on the front end. So the fact that it has run into such trouble in the neighborhoods in the later parts, everyone going to city council with very strongly held views of what should happen, is a symptom of the fact that they didn’t have the opportunity to express those views and be heard during the process. And that’s going to prevent us from getting to the types of solutions we need. I have my own opinions, but if you want to get something done in neighborhoods you can’t announce a grand bargain to people when they weren’t ever part of the discussion.” –Interview with Crosscut

Cary Moon

Cary Moon

“If you look at what’s causing price escalation, it’s not just our growth. Growth is good. People are moving here for healthy, good reasons. Everyone should feel welcome, everyone belongs here. That’s not the problem. The problem is when people see growth happening, outside forces come in and prey on that. We need to figure out what’s legal here, build political will and use that revenue we generate to plow back into affordable housing.” –Interview with Crosscut

Nikkita Oliver

Nikkita Oliver

On adding density: “We’ve already done that to some extent, but we’ve only done it in certain neighborhoods. In a lot of ways it’s been those neighborhoods that do not have the same kind of leverage or power in the city as other neighborhoods. And so I think we need to start thinking more equitably about where density goes.” –Interview with Crosscut

Homelessness

Jenny Durkan

Jenny Durkan

“We must provide more emergency shelter immediately. We should have an immediate goal of 50 to 100 additional beds in each City Council district, which would provide a safe alternative to sleeping on the streets each night to as many as 700 additional people…. We must commit to exploring with King County, a regional consolidation of homelessness services under one roof. Homelessness is a regional problem that needs a regional solution. This approach would reduce administrative overhead and better coordinate service delivery. The current fragmented and siloed aspects of the system  —  with the County doing the bulk of mental health, while the City handles the bulk of the shelter for single homeless adults  —  could be streamlined.” –Medium

Jessyn Farrell

Jessyn Farrell

“As always, a constant assessment of what’s working and what isn’t is key to our success. With so many homeless respondents stating that resources just aren’t reaching those in need, the city must produce a greater set of metrics of each and every service available, measure their performance, and adapt accordingly. One way in which to do so is inventory the shelter space that the city can access. There are other buildings that King County has, that Seattle has, that other entities have, that even the private sector has, that could serve as shelters.” –Farrell’s Website

Bob Hasegawa

Bob Hasegawa

“Immediate, low-barrier public housing; No more sweeps of the homeless encampments; Continue to pursue tiny housing villages; Job training programs; Wrap-around mental health, drug, and alcohol treatments and navigation services; Stronger protections against discrimination in publicly funded shelters; 24/7 Emergency shelters throughout the city with availability for whole families; Ensure services include support for those with physical disabilities; Securing safe lots; Inclusionary policy-making that ensures those facing homelessness are at the table when decisions are made about their future; Support LEAD program/crisis intervention training for police officers.” –Hasegawa’s Website

Michael McGinn

Michael McGinn

“We need to systematically review existing spending on homelessness for effectiveness while simultaneously scaling our response to the growing magnitude of the problem. The number of people entering homelessness far exceeds the number moving out of homelessness. I believe the public wants to see bold action from elected officials to deal with the issue.” –Interview with The Urbanist

Cary Moon

Cary Moon

“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.” –Moon’s Website

Nikkita Oliver

Nikkita Oliver

“Nikkita would ensure that people living unsheltered have access to shelters that recognize their individual circumstances, allow them daytime access and a place to store their belongings, and make them feel welcome. Nikkita will work with stakeholders to create progressive tax structures and luxury taxes on corporations in order to ensure that all Seattleites who need and want housing have equitable access to affordable housing options…. Responding to Seattle’s homelessness crisis requires an intersectional approach because there is no magic pill, no single solution.” –Oliver’s Website

Police Reform

Jenny Durkan

Jenny Durkan

On the consent decree: “These reforms have made the department better without sacrificing effective policing. As use of force has dropped, the Monitor found there has not been an increase in crime or injuries to officers. But we also know that community trust can be earned or lost with every officer interaction. We must keep pushing and evaluating if policies, training and oversight are working in practice and to make sure the community has a voice in that process.” –Durkan’s Website

Jessyn Farrell

Jessyn Farrell

“Expand and support crisis teams that integrate mental health professionals and social workers with specially trained officers. Community members with mental health issues should not be presented with police tactics alone.” –Farrell’s website

“Improve recruitment and retention of officers who live in and reflect the community they serve, in order to address systemic issues in the long term. First and foremost, that requires making Seattle affordable for all. And it means instituting innovative approaches to recruiting officers, which is why I will make it a legislative priority for the City in Olympia to change state law to allow lawful permanent residents to serve their communities as police officers.” –Farrell’s Website

Bob Hasegawa

Bob Hasegawa

On balancing police reform with public safety: “This is a systemic issue and we need to provide people with the adequate resources they need to live a fulfilling life. If we start giving people hope and the belief that they do have power to change the future, then we can come closer to solving the problem” –Interview with South Seattle Emerald

Michael McGinn

Michael McGinn

“I know from my experience as Mayor the degree to which institutions can resist change and bog down reforms in bureaucratic inertia. I also know the role that politics can play, and the desire of elected officials to hide problems so that the people in charge can look better. That is why I support the strongest possible community oversight…. Community oversight is so important – it can hold all of us to our ideals for a police force. One that is effective, free of bias and excessive use of force, and trusted by the community.” –McGinn’s Website

Cary Moon

Cary Moon

“Follow through on community oversight of police and push for continued progress toward anti-racist policing and a fairer criminal justice system.” –Moon’s Website

Nikkita Oliver

Nikkita Oliver

“1) forming a permanent and politically independent Community Policing Commission (CPC); 2) granting the CPC certain enumerated powers to drive reform rather than merely offering recommendations; 3) requiring the Mayor and the SPD Chief to accept public comment and to provide a written rationale justifying any refusal to institute non-binding CPC recommendations; 4) establishing politically independent civilian oversight of the Office of Police Accountability (OPA); 5) hiring a mix of civilian and sworn OPA investigators, ensuring that impacted communities are represented within the office; 6) developing an independent Office of Inspector General with authority over SPD policies, procedures, and operations, tasked with auditing and community outreach.” –Oliver’s Website

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