Seattle District 6 City Council Candidate Forum on Transportation and Sustainbility

Seattle District 6 City Council Candidate Forum on Transportation and Sustainbility


[NARRATOR]: Produced by Rooted in Rights, a program of Disability Rights Washington. Seattle city council District 6, Transportation and
Sustainability Candidate Forum. Hosted by the MASS Coalition,
Transit Riders Union, Tech 4 Housing, and
the Housing Consortium. [MATTHEW]: My name’s Matthew Lang,
I’m your host this evening, and we have a wonderful panel
of District 6 candidates. Let’s give them a hand. (clapping) Thank you all for being here this evening. Quickly, I just want to
tell you a little bit about the MASS Coalition,
what we do and who we are. The MASS Coalition is a
coalition of organizations that believe Seattle can have a world-class multilevel
transportation system that moves people
efficiently and reliably. We can slash Seattle’s carbon emissions and be a model for other cities by taking real action on climate change. We can have a city where
all ages, intersections, can hop on a bus without
getting stuck in gridlock. We can achieve Seattle’s stated goal of zero traffic deaths and
serious injuries by 2030. We can create an equitable
transportation system that treats mobility as a human right. Now, we don’t do all of
these things rights now, but we are pushing very
hard at the city level and the county level
to make things happen. The coalition includes the Sierra Club, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways,
Transit Riders Union, Seattle Subway, The Urbanist,
Seattle Transit Block, 500 Women Scientists, 350
Seattle, Rooted in Rights, and Disability Rights Washington. Thank you to Rooted in Rights
for arranging CART captioning, the services this evening, as
well as a film of the event. At the check-in table, there were some pieces of paper to write things down. Also, I think they were
included on your seats, so if you have those, I’m
gonna float around really quick after we get started and
pick those up from you, but we will have some audience questions towards the end of the event. A big thank-you to all of
our volunteers this evening, and a special thanks to Dave Schultz, a Transit Riders Union member who will be doing our
time-keeping this evening. He’s gonna keep a pretty
tight ship this evening so that we can keep things moving. If you like what you see this evening, please go to transitriders.org/join and join the Transit Riders Union, or visit masscoalition.org and take a look and connect with any of
the other organizations that might suit your interests. The Transit Riders Union,
we are a dues-based organization so every member’s contribution
ensures that we are able to continue the work that you
are witnessing here tonight. Now I’m gonna hand over the reigns to our amazing moderator for the evening, Heidi Groover of the Seattle Times. Thank you all for being here, and I hope you have a wonderful evening. (clapping) [HEIDI GROOVER]: Hi, everyone,
thank you for coming. Before we get started, I
want to ask the candidates that each time you speak,
please identify yourself. This is helpful for
people who are low-vision, might not be able to
see your name tags here. As mentioned we have
the captioning as well. I will be reading
questions that were written by the organizers of this event, and we will start with some questions for which you have one minute to answer, then move to some where
you have 30 seconds, then a lightning round where you will use the signs you have in front of you, and then we will move
to audience questions, so please write down your questions and look for that volunteer who will be walking around to collect them. And, we will be alternating who goes first so that there’s not one of you
on the hook first each time. So, with that, let’s start
with just a quick round, around 10 seconds or
shorter, introduction of just who you are and how you got here today. Please no stump speeches. We will start at the end with Jay. (laughs) JAY: Good evening, everybody. Thank you very much for coming. Doctor Jay Fathi,
lifelong Seattle resident, dad, family physician,
happy to be here tonight and share some thoughts and hear from you. [HEIDI GROOVER]: How did you get here? JAY: That was 10 seconds, right? [HEIDI GROOVER]: How did you
get here? Like a bus, car? JAY: Oh, how did I get here,
I took the bus here tonight. I thought you meant like the life story. (laughing) That’s why I cut off. [HEIDI GROOVER]: It’s a transportation forum, so we want to know. JAY: I took the metro bus here tonight. SERGIO: Sergio Garcia,
and in Phinney Ridge, I am a police officer in the district. I am a transplant from Miami,
I absolutely love this place, and have an interesting
perspective, from being stuck in traffic for nine hours a day, to homelessness and public safety, as well as a renter who can’t afford ever, ever, never to buy a house here. And I walked here because
I live up the street. MELISSA: Hello, my
name is Melissa Hall. I’m an attorney and I was
a geographer before that. I got here tonight using a car-sharing car because after this we
have butt-loads of bubbly, which I and another candidate
are going to carpool to. KATE: Hi, I’m Kate Martin
and I walked here from my home. JOEY: Hi, I’m Joey
Massa, I’m running as an independent progressive, and my wife dropped me off, and then I’m going to be
carpooling with another candidate. JOHN: Good evening, I’m John Peeples. I live in Green Lake and
I drove here from 7th and Stewart to just
outside here in 16 minutes. TERRY: Good evening,
my name’s Terry Rice. I live in Ballard,
I’m a small business leader, and I carpooled here this evening. DAN: Hi, my name is Dan Strauss. I was born and raised in Ballard, love this district immensely. I had the opportunity
to carpool this evening. HEIDI WILLS: Hello, I’m Heidi
Wills, and I live in Fremont. I’m running because I care very much about climate protection,
and I was the second person in the state of Washington
to get a hybrid vehicle, and I drove my hybrid vehicle tonight to get to a house party right after this. [ED]: Hello, my name is Ed Pottharst, and I’m a planner at the
Seattle Parks and Recreation and I bicycled over here. That’s why I’m a little
bit hot and sweaty, but I’m cooling off right now. [HEIDI GROOVER]: Okay, we
can start from this end since you already have the mic. These are one minute
answers, and please again, identify yourself before you answer. First question, how can
we make Seattle streets, including sidewalks and intersections, safer and more accessible for everyone, including people with disabilities? Specifically, do you support installing automated traffic enforcement cameras, implementing speed limit reductions, and banning rights on reds? Ed, you are first. ED: Ed Pottharst here. I fully support automated
camera enforcement, and banning right turns on red. I think pedestrian safety
is really critical. Here in the city of Seattle, we have a goal of eliminating – – pedestrian fatalities and serious injuries by 2030, and we still have a long way to go. I think one thing I would push for is building out, connecting networks, and protecting bike lanes
throughout the city, and also fully embracing the
concept of complete streets where you have sidewalks
with curb ramps, so that people with
disabilities can navigate much more easily around the city. HEIDI WILLS: Yes to everything, and we also need more
crosswalks to improve safety. We also need more marked
sidewalks to improve safety. We need infrastructure
improvements in our city. One fourth of our city still
does not have sidewalks. Just basic safety
measures for pedestrians. I’ve been on the city council before. I was there in the year 2000
to 2003 and I was an advocate for transportation
infrastructure improvements, giving me the nickname “Sidewalk Wills”, and I would be an advocate
again if I get the opportunity. [HEIDI GROOVER]: Please
remember to identify yourself before you’re speaking, thank you. DAN: Hi, I’m Dan Strauss, and I absolutely believe in
lowering the speed limits, especially in residential areas. I was hit by a driver while I
was riding a bike in Ballard, and I spent four days
in Harborview Hospital. The outcomes could have
been very different after that day had the car been larger and more in the middle, and one of the reasons I was hurt so badly was because of how fast it was moving. I’ve worked on trying to not
allowing for blocking the box automated enforcements since 2014. Absolutely support banning right on red, because that’s how big cities operate. I would take it a step farther and say that we should be able to
allow all pedestrian crossing for all crossing for all directions. And absolutely in favor
of protected bike lanes. A connected network of
protected bike lanes, and a connected network
of transit-only lanes. We absolutely need complete
streets in our city. TERRY: My name’s Terry Rice. I do support lowering the
speed limits in the city, especially in the residential zones. Automated traffic cameras keep cars from blocking the intersections and
camera enforcement for that, and as well as banning
those right-hand turns. But this goes into also
how do we go beyond that to build a really safe infrastructure, so that means focusing in
on the Bike Master Plan, and getting that to completion
in its original form, and it means final mile investments, so things like crosswalks
that light up and have flags, sidewalks that have curb cuts
and that are wide enough, and infrastructure of
bike lanes that allows for riders to move between
the most important parts of the city and between the
residential parts of the city. So that interconnected
bike infrastructure, as well as the future
infrastructure for transit, whether it’s electric scooters
or other forms of transit that we don’t know about
yet or that are coming soon. So that’s how we build that inclusive, accessible, and safe transportation. JOHN: I’m John Peeples, and
I am a big fan of sidewalks. The curb ramps, I’m all
for adding more ramps. That is not my phone. I’m a big fan of repainting the lines. I absolutely disagree with
the use of camera enforcement. If you want enforcement,
hire more police officers. Let the human beings do it. Schools only for the camera enforcement. The speed limit, we just
reduced the speed limit to 20 miles an hour in residential areas. I don’t see the reason to reduce it more. Not only do I do not agree with banning right turns on red, but I’m a fan of left turn on red if it’s one-way to one-way. Curb to curb, there is room for all of us. Buses, bikes, cars, trucks. We share the road, and pedestrians, and I like the all-way walk as well. We need to share the road, there’s enough room for all of us, and we can move everyone
through town safely without restricting one user
in favor of other users. And that’s it, thank you. JOEY: Hi, I’m Joey Massa. I absolutely support these
automated camera systems. In fact, I was caught
by one not too long ago, and I’ll tell you, I learned my lesson. The data bears out that these systems show great impact on
helping folks to realize the existing laws we have. I think the policy of
giving folks warnings for the first six months
in efforts like this. One of the more consistent
issues as a city has been more education, letting folks know about the semi-drastic changes
that we’re making. Further, as far as sidewalk accessibility, I think there’s great
work to be done as far as enabling disabled individuals
to travel down sidewalks. My wife and I are both rather able-bodied, but I’ll tell you what, every night I carry a flashlight with me because there are so many cracks
in so many of our existing sidewalks. We have so much work to
do on our infrastructure, I think we should be
looking at jobs programs to be working on these
issues, to be expanding our bike network path-to-path, leaning away from things like
sharrows and half-minded compromises, and leaning fully into
more effective solutions. KATE: I’m Kate Martin. I’d like to respond to this
question in a couple of ways. I served on the Pedestrian
Master Plan advisory group. I also served on a couple other transportation committees along the years. I’ve been involved for about 20 years. The speed limit reduction is a no-brainer. The kind of injuries
that people sustain when they’re in an accident when
there’s low traffic speeds is completely different and we’ve had some incredibly awful pedestrian-car accidents historically in this district,
so I really support that. I’ve often been thinking
around Green Lake, it would be really great to
have a reduced speed limit. Enforcement sounds really good. I’d love to see crosswalk enforcement. I’d love to see cops out
there actually ticketing people for not yielding the
right-of-way to the crosswalk. [AUDIENCE MEMBER 1]: Yeah! KATE: I’d like to finish the sidewalk network, the greenway network, and
the natural drainage network. It’s super upsetting up
on 92nd with the greenway from Crown Hill to the new schools I’m sure that there’s no sidewalks, and there’s no signs telling the kids
to walk facing the traffic, so those are all
improvements we could make. MELISSA: My name is Melissa Hall. Reduced speed limits, yes. Better sidewalks, yes. They’re in very poor condition in a lot of the city that has them. I am in favor of ending turn-right-on-red, because we are an urban city. Traffic camera enforcement, absolutely if we can get authorization. It doesn’t look like we are
going to get authorization, so I would like to experiment
with moving the stop lights to the other side of
the street, so that you can’t see them
if you’re in the crosswalk, which is a behavioral
change that has been shown to be effective in preventing
blocking the box at crosswalks and doesn’t require additional authorization for the legislature. I’m sorry. Yes, to a protected bike lane. I would very much like to
see a street safety program focused on pedestrians,
because I am a pedestrian, but also because a walkable
city is a livable city. SERGIO: Sergio Garcia, and in almost 15 years of police work, I’ve seen people get hit by parked cars, so I’ve seen a ton of things out there. I am all for finishing sidewalks and improving the infrastructure of them. No to red light cameras, because we don’t know where the money goes, the money does not go back to the city, and it takes away the ability to give breaks for people who have a legitimate reason as to why they ran a red light. It causes also people to stop at the middle of the
street, it causes accidents. If anything it does not cause,
it is a normal traffic flow. Yes to lowering the speed limit. Wherever there is studies
that shows them to be lowered, and there is a process for that. Bike shares blocking
sidewalks is also a big thing. We’re going to, we want more
scooters, and more bike shares, that they’re blocking the sidewalk, and for somebody that has limited mobility, it is a problem. I’ve had to get out of
my police car and move 37,000 Lime bikes out of the intersection. JAY: This is Jay Fathi, I have a quick personal story regarding two of the three
tenants that we’re talking about. This was probably about 10 years ago. We’ve lived in the
neighborhood for about 21 years and my wife and I have two
sons who are now 16 and 14. They were in the car with me and, jumping ahead, I got a ticket in the mail that said “you got a ticket
for running a red light, taking a right turn at Market and 15th.” And I said, “No I didn’t, I
wasn’t even there that day. I don’t remember that.” It said click right
here on this video link. I sat down with my kids,
they were both 5 and 7, and there was a picture of me with them in the car running through it. But in all seriousness,
absolutely I support all three of those things. We can achieve Vision Zero, no question. All these injuries and death
essentially are preventable. I support all three of those
things as a family physician. As a public health doctor,
I have taken care of so many people that have
been injured, some severely, and we can definitely drop
that and get to Vision Zero by adopting policies
like these three things. [HEIDI GROOVER]: Okay, Jay, you’re
first for the next question. What does racial equity mean to you and how does it affect
your approach to land use, transportation planning,
and public outreach? JAY: What does racial
equity mean to me, and how does it, could you
say that one more time? [HEIDI GROOVER]: How does
it affect your approach to land use, transportation planning,
and public outreach? JAY: Okay, that is a
very challenging question to answer in 60 seconds. Everybody has an inherent bias. Everyone experiences, we have institutional racism that is built in. We all have implicit bias. We have to take active measures
to address those biases, and those things need to be
integrated into our policies regarding transportation,
housing, and everything we do as a city from a municipal
government standpoint. I know the city has a
racial equity toolkit, and many of the organizations
have such a thing. These are things that need
to continue to be pushed. I think Seattle is a
national leader in many ways in this area, but the
work is far from done and we need to continue on the
path that we’re already on. SERGIO: This is Sergio Garcia, and this is a big one for me. I think that we’re doing
a good job as of now. I think that there is definitely
room for more improvement. My story with that is that I am trying to have my mother and father move up here. My mother grew up in an environment that she went into the sixth
grade and she needed to start cleaning houses at that age. She never had the luxury
to ride a bicycle, right? Now she has two bad knees,
slightly overweight, doesn’t speak English, and my pitch to her is move to Seattle so
you can ride a bicycle. uphill, downhill, in
the rain, in the cold, and put all your cleaning
equipment in the back. Doesn’t make sense,
so although I am advocating for alternative means of transportation, I think education is huge,
same thing for housing. You know, we need to have
these people sit at the table and actually see what
it is that they need. We need the people that
we’re trying to target at the table to have these conversations and not just anybody make
the decisions for them. MELISSA: I’m Melissa Hall. When it comes to racial equity, my mantra in this is plan with, not for. I can’t pretend that I can see past my biases and experiences. I can only know that my
bias and experiences exist and I need people with other
perspectives at the table. We will never get past
the history of redlining if we don’t deeply acknowledge it, so planning is the area where
I think our history of racism most needs to be confronted
in a systemic way. That looks like having
people at the table, but it also looks like community support, and that looks like going
to the community and saying, “Hey, what do you need from
us in order to be stronger?” As far as transportation, we know that there’s a modal split, and what side of the modal split you’re on depends on, well… Cars get more money, we know this. That’s a thing that we can
change at the local level. It’s not written in stone. KATE: Kate Martin speaking right now. I had an interesting opportunity to get a window into equity. I was married for 25 years
to a Mexican immigrant, and for a white girl that was raised in a white neighborhood, it really gave me some perspective
on what really goes on, including when my son was
in high school at Roosevelt, and they just assumed that
he wasn’t going to college because he had a Mexican last name. It was fascinating. From the land use perspective, I’m really tired of us cramming all of the lower income families
onto arterial streets. I think that’s a complete injustice. I’d like to maintain 35% law coverage so we have enough room for the trees and the water to get back into the ground and all the other great things that happen about carbon reduction by
having less land coverage. I’d like to get more people
renting from owner-occupants in those neighborhoods that
live in a house of eight people that I share with seven
others, and I would like to encourage everyone
to do that kind of thing, to tuck a few more
people into their house. I really believe in ownership, so I’d like to get more ownership
across all income brackets. JOEY: Hi, Joey Massa again. One part of my history that’s
very important to me is I grew up on the Gulf
Coast in Baton Rouge and Lafayette, Louisiana, and one
of the things you see there is the impact of disparity
and focusing on certain sects of population and how
damaging that can be culturally. Further, here in Seattle,
we aren’t far removed from those history and those
injustices throughout our time, so focusing on not the loudest voices, not the most populous voices, but rather on voices equally is vital. In my campaign, I’ve made
sure to surround myself with diverse voices with advisors across different class and population brackets, and really emphasizing repaying our dues to those societies I think is vital. JOHN: I’m John Peeples,
and every single person is an individual and the
rules apply to everyone. Two wrongs do not make a right. When it comes to planning, I
like to plan with, not for. Invite everyone, everyone has
a choice to show up or not. Love your neighbor as yourself. Treat others like you’d
like to be treated. Make a household budget. TERRY: Racial equity
to me means understanding the historic inequities, as well as the institutional bias that exist in our policies
and in our budgets and in how we have historically
allocated resources. So that, in Seattle, looks a lot like the
exclusionary zoning practices that have been in place
for a very long time. We know that often as redlining. The long-term result of that has been that multi-family units and affordable units are infrequently
available in neighborhoods that tend to be more
white or more affluent and that they’re tucked
into certain neighborhoods, and today a lot of that
affordable housing, or what we understand to
be affordable housing, is built in a very small
number of neighborhoods. But it goes much beyond just
the housing and land use. This idea of where we need to
be talking about racial equity and using the tools available,
like the King County toolkit, should infiltrate every part
of government and every policy. DAN: Hi, this is Dan Strauss. Systemic racism is a part of our society and it needs to be addressed. I understand that if
information is presented to me in a way that it makes sense to me, it doesn’t mean that it’s smart. It just means that it’s presented to me in a way that I understand it. And for me, I understand
that implicit bias is also throughout our community. I’ve had the opportunity
at the city of Seattle to work on racial equity toolkits. I understand that if the
17 bus route on Sunset Hill needs more service, that also means that the #7 bus route needs more service. I look to work with my community partners and learn from them and to take direction in areas that I don’t have the answer to. And t’s really important to me that as we develop our city, we do it in a way that is equitable for all of us in Seattle. HEIDI WILLS: Thanks, I’m Heidi Wills. I had an opportunity to meet
someone just two days ago who experienced redlining when she moved to our area from Mississippi, and that’s doctor Maxine Hayes, and you may have heard of her. She was our Secretary of Health
for the state of Washington, but she couldn’t get a home
near a children’s hospital when she moved here to be
a doctor in our region. The history of segregation
and racial injustice is deep in our community and
we do need to acknowledge that. I had the opportunity to work
for 13 years in South Seattle and work with children in
communities that are underserved, and see first-hand how there
are fewer opportunities for children of color in our community than there are for kids who aren’t. I think that organizations like the one I had an opportunity to
run called The First Tee that uses life skills and
mentorship to help young people, can help build successful futures. ED: Ed Pottharst. I think that Terry gave
a very good explanation of racial equity and systemic racism, and for me, it’s deeply embedded when it comes to land use and housing issues. Transportation, land use, and housing. In the city of Seattle,
we have single-family zoning that covers two-thirds of the city and that did not come about overnight. It was brought up over
a long several decades and it had an impact on the
amount of affordable housing that’s available in Seattle and many other communities throughout the country. People of color, people with disabilities, have lower income and
are less able to afford single-family homes, and
so I think we need to look at the single-family
housing policies in the city. [HEIDI GROOVER]: Okay, Heidi,
you’re first on this question. This is a scenario. In your district,
SDOT has proposed to redesign a street to make it safer
and predicts that the changes will result in fewer deaths
and serious injuries. However, this redesign will slow down vehicle traffic by 30 seconds each way and lead to a loss of 50 parking spaces. As a result, the community is split about whether this project is
good for your neighborhood. How would you manage this
controversial project? HEIDI WILLS: She said I have to go first. ED: Oh, okay. HEIDI WILLS: Yeah, yeah, you get to be last. You get to think about it longer. Are you sure this is hypothetical? (crowd laughter) I think that, the goals, right? If we keep coming back
to the goals, right? We really need to have conversations as a community on how
we’re going to be safer and lower our carbon footprint, and if those are our goals, right? We want to be carbon
neutral by the year 2050. That’s the goal established
by the city of Seattle, and to get there, we’re going
to have to make hard choices. I think we need to continue
to have that conversation as a community, as a whole,
because there’s going to be trade-offs to get there,
and we might lose some car storage along our streets, but what we gain is so much more. DAN: This is Dan Strauss, and this is a situation
that sounds very familiar to one that I’ve worked on recently. What I would say is that
we need to be able to meet our residents where they are and when they have trouble understanding the fact that increased
bicycle infrastructure will allow more people
to access their stores. When we have protected bike
lanes, and when we have bicycle infrastructure, it increases the amount of people that are actually able
to access the space, and with car storage on public space, it often times decreases the
ability for people to access. Even though it’s been the
way we’ve always done it, doesn’t mean it’s the way of the future, and we need to be able to
work to build a progressive and equitable future for
all of us here in Seattle. [HEIDI GROOVER]: Just a
reminder, the question was how would you manage this
controversial project, so hoping to hear about
how you would manage the controversy around the project. TERRY: Terry Rice. I would want to hear from the community that’s affected by it. I’d want to spend time in
that community and understand what their fears are about the project, what their concerns are about the project, and what their aspirations are for their neighborhood and for that area. And then we do have to
make hard decisions. We have a serious problem in our city with pedestrian, with biker safety, and with a lack of infrastructure
to support better safety, and we’re in the middle
of a climate crisis, so we have to make different decisions about how we use our road space and how we use our land space if we’re going to make meaningful
and substantial progress, but that doesn’t mean that we want to leave folks out in the dust. I’m a small business leader,
and there are real concerns for small businesses in
Seattle that are already facing pressures from
rising costs of rent, rising costs of labor,
so what can we do as a city to help the small
businesses that fear that that absence of street
parking or car storage is going to have a negative
impact on their business. What can we do to help support them as we make the hard
decisions we need to make in order to really move our city forward? JOHN: I’m John Peeples, and as far as managing
the controversy goes, definitely want to listen
all of the stakeholders. The pedestrians, the bike riders,
the automobile drivers, and those who need to find parking when they drive various places. So listen to the stakeholders
and sit down with everyone, even those who are opposed to each other. Get them all at a table,
two, three people, and explain their various fears
and concerns to each other, and look for ways to find common ground, and then when it does come
to making those hard choices, people can be kept safe without slowing down traffic and removing parking. Things like eye contact
and waving people through and being good neighbors and knowing that everyone has a place on our streets. It doesn’t have to be one or
the other, it can be both. JOEY: Hi, Joey Massa again. One of the many reasons I
decided to get into politics and specifically into this position is the lack of communication between our elected leaders and our residents. I got my start in this city as a bouncer and one of the most vital
skills for a bouncer is clear and effective communication, active listening, and being able to redirect frustrations
into productive means. So, a lot of the times, that means explaining why even
though this might not seem convenient for you right
now, it’s convenient for all of us in the long term. It’s going to be helpful
for you in the future and that the choices we
make right now are gonna lead us to a better tomorrow, whether that means a
hangover or, you know, not bumping someone who you
didn’t see crossing a crosswalk. So, thank you. KATE: This is Kate Martin speaking. I’m a planner by profession,
and so I’m really interested in great planning processes and
basically creating win-wins. I feel like we’ve made
a lot of mistakes with incredibly top-down kind of situations. We don’t want to do what happened on 35th. We don’t want to do what
happened on Roosevelt. We don’t want to do what happened on 65th with super top-down decisions. When I first got involved
in neighborhood planning back in the end of the 90s, we had a bottom-up planning process where the neighborhood solved the problem that they were asked to solve. We did a great job doing that. I would suggest that we
go back to doing bottom-up neighborhood plans where we’re not punishing businesses,
we’re not punishing people, older people, people with children, and we’re creating win-wins for everybody. MELISSA: This is Melissa Hall. In this situation, the city council doesn’t have a lot of authority and there’s a limited ability
to manage the controversy. The problem is that we keep having this conversation over and over again. Instead of constantly fighting
individual little battles over specific street
redesigns, I think that the answer is to be more comprehensive. We did this when we did transit redesign. We can come up with objective standards for street redesign every
time we resurface streets and apply them objectively
and in a way that makes sense throughout the entire city. The fact of the matter is,
as much as we care about what people think
in their backyards, you’re gonna make biased
decisions in your backyard because that’s gonna affect
you in a different way than it affects the rest of the city. We need to sit down,
have that real hard conversation about what’s best for the city,
and come up with level of service standards
for all of the roadway and not just the part that cars go on. SERGIO: Sergio Garcia, and sorry, I was doing the math on my phone here, but the question is how do
we manage the controversy. I have almost 30,000 hours
of managing controversy now. When people call me,
I never show up and it’s never people like,
“Hey, you know, we kinda agree and we called you just to
tell you that we agree.” (crowd laughter) It’s always controversy,
and I have to make that decision. I cannot leave that
location until we resolve, either short-term, long-term,
or come up with a great idea, and this is controversy that
comes from my neighbors. A tree is covering my yard, or you know, marriage issues or other personal things. It’s a skillset that
I’ve been able to develop and I intend to utilize it
if I get that opportunity. JAY: This is Jay Fathi. How to manage the controversy. First of all, it’s very
important to define what problem are we trying to solve, and everybody needs to be
on the same page for that. I would use the skills that
I’ve used as a physician for over 25 years, which
is, number one, to listen. You want your physicians to listen to you and make sure you are heard
and they are considering things. Number two, you want
them to implement a plan that is evidence-based,
that’s going to follow data, and you’re going to
track it and follow it. I would also manage it
by utilizing the skills that I’ve employed in every
job that I’ve ever had, which is bringing groups together to solve difficult
problems, whether that is recreating a brand new health plan for thousands of unionized nurses and healthcare workers at Swedish for the benefit of their
health and their families, or working with two huge
government agencies in Olympia to put 25,000 foster
kids on a streamlined, unified health plan
across Washington State. I’ve had success doing those things and I trust that that sort of skills would serve me at
managing this controversy. ED: Ed Pottharst. I think the city council members have a responsibility not
only to represent people but also to help people understand
city policies and goals, so in the case of this controversy,
I’ve talked with people and shared with them that
we want to help increase pedestrian safety by
lowering the speed limit. We want to eliminate pedestrian
fatality and serious injury and keep families and their children safe. With regards to parking,
I’ve been wanting to help people understand that
we are trying to become a more carbon-friendly city. We’re trying to provide more
transit options for people. More mobility options, including
bicycling and scootering, and hange can be hard, but one thing we have to keep in mind is that, in my view especially, arterials are primarily for mobility. I think that parking should
be a much lower priority, especially for arterial streets, and I think that if we can help people understand that,
they will come around. [HEIDI GROOVER]: Okay. Alright, Dan, you’re going
to be first for this. The United Nations climate report tells us we have about 11 years to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50%. Given that more than 50% of Seattle’s greenhouse gas emissions
come from transportation, what are the highest priority actions to put Seattle on the
path to decarbonization? DAN: Absolutely. So again, this is Dan Strauss. It’s creating transit-only
lanes, so that we are able to use our transit that we have, that allows you to go to your bus stop, catch a bus within 10 minutes, get where you’re going without
getting stuck in traffic. The reason that I’ve
heard that a lot of people who desire to use buses don’t,
is because the frequency of the bus and/or because
express buses stop running after a certain period of time. There’s not as much
service as they desire. We can use the Seattle
Transportation Benefit District funding in more expansive ways. We can work with King
County Metro to expand the amount of coaches that we have and the amount of drivers that we have, and when we have reliable
and frequent service, it will allow people to be
able to rely on the bus. I currently, if I don’t catch my bus, I take a bus every day, if I don’t catch my bus by 6:15, my 20 minute ride becomes over an hour. TERRY: I think it begins with more ABC lanes,
or anything but cars lanes, so lanes for buses, lanes for bicycles. Also, we have to look
at ensuring that there’s adequate coverage from metro transit for all parts of the city so
that all neighborhoods are well-served and have options when it comes to metro transit. We wanna look at things like frequency, to make sure that the bus
is running often enough. ST3 can be expedited by doing things like waiving permits and helping
to expedite the permits to get that built, and then finally, looking into the final
mile of metro transit to ensure that sidewalks
are well maintained, that crosswalks feel
safe and they light up so people feel comfortable
crossing the street to get to their metro station, ensuring real-time tracking
of buses through an app, giving people greater ways to pay. We wanna reduce the friction, reduce the pain points in
becoming a metro rider, so that it becomes the easy option, so that people want to
choose that over their car, and that they know that it will be fast, it’ll be safe, and it will be reliable. JOHN: We should definitely increase the number of buses on the streets. That will encourage those
who want to ride the buses to ride the buses rather
than drive everywhere. With more buses on the streets, more routes along the arterials, more people will be on the buses and fewer cars will be on the street. That way it’s done naturally, organically, and we don’t demonize people who aren’t doing things the way we do them. So, in addition, the buses
need to be engineered in a way that they’re not belching out dirty particles, because buses
aren’t squeaky clean either. Nowhere in my vision of
Seattle is there an ABC lane. Curb to curb, there’s room for us all. And, lastly, so many of those Al Gore United Nations predictions over the last 34 years have been wrong. (crowd murmuring) JOEY: Joey Massa here again. Emphasizing shared transit options. Whether that means
effective private solutions such as shared bicycles,
scooters if they’re viable, ReachNow and LimeCars,
those types of things. Helping folks to make the
choice to move away from individual car ownership and lean into shared vehicle and shared transit options. One of my campaign plans
that I’m most excited about is expanding our passenger ferry system, creating terminals in North Seattle, and even on Lake
Washington and Lake Union. Expanding our options for getting folks off of the road period in general, and onto better shared
transit opportunities. And really, creating trust
in our transit systems that as individuals we can move away from personal car ownership. The other week I was trying to
get down to South Lake Union and there was no effective
way other than a two hour ride in a bus for me to get down
there, and so I drove my car, and then while I was down
there, three rail cars passed me with no one on them. So, choices like that make it frustrating. KATE: This is Kate Martin speaking. I’d like to quote Jarrett Walker. I don’t know if you read his
blog called Human Transit but it’s super fantastic
and he always says that transit needs to be a choice that a person in the free world would make,
and we have some improvements to the system that we
have to make that true, however we are making
quite a bit of progress. The things that I could
suggest for our neighborhood, it’d be when we do that light rail tunnel, let’s just run it all
the way up to Crown Hill. That would really help. Let’s consider what I call a beach bus that hits all the parks, Golden Gardens, Green Lake, Warren Magnuson Park, and just circulates us
on some microtransit. I think that would really help. As I mentioned, definitely finish the sidewalk and greenways network. That would get a lot more people out. I just think that
of course we’re going to have more electric vehicles
and more self-driving cars or however that’s gonna unfold, but when I went to the Climate Summit and they featured Portland last weekend, the things that they’re doing, they’ve come so far in
achieving their goals that 171 action steps that they’re taking, I think we can emulate some of what they’re doing down in Portland. Thank you. MELISSA: Melissa Hall. I think the most effective way to get people out of cars is
to change our urban form. It’s something we’re
gonna have to do anyway because we don’t have enough space for the people who live in Seattle. Transit users, walkers, people who use non-car based transportation live in dense, compact spaces. They live in small towns and big cities, and this is what we have
to create if we want people to change the way
that they get around. We need to change the
places that they need to go. Slow densification, we can’t do it without
the resources and support networks. We’ll encourage people to walk around in their neighborhoods
more and use transit to get between neighborhoods
because it’s not a huge lift to get from one
neighborhood to another. Looking to urban form as
a way to revise the way that we get around is ultimately
the way that we’re gonna solve car dependency
and the climate problem. SERGIO: This is Sergio Garcia, and I think that we’re all going to agree, we’ve been to a couple
of forums already here, and everybody’s going to agree that the answer here is in
public transportation, so I’m not gonna go over that. I think what we need to
do here is start thinking out of the box and start
addressing some of the people who can not choose the alternative
means of transportation. My mother that can’t ride the bicycle, or me who can’t respond to your calls
for service on the metro bus. As much as I would love to,
it just wouldn’t work out, so there’s a couple of things that we could get creative here with. Alternative work schedules
for city employees. I work five days a week,
but if I were to work four days, 10 hour shifts,
I made a little math here. That would take away one day a week, that’s 11,700 hours of giving
out fumes of my vehicle. That is 655,000 hours a year. That is equivalent to 728,000
pounds of carbon a year just me alone, and if you make that with
all the city departments, those are just ways
to think outside of the box here. We could also hire crossing
guards to assist us, maybe. JAY: Hey, it’s Jay Fathi. Let’s just be perfectly clear that climate change is a
very real existential threat to the human race and planet Earth. Our cities have been designed around cars
for the last century, and that
absolutely needs to change. This is a fundamentally, critically important time moving forward here. We have to get people out of their cars. A lot of the things have
already been discussed. In Seattle, we have
geographic limitations. We have to expedite light rail. We have to get more buses. We have to try to get more bus-only lanes. We have to look at
these alternative things such as scooters, and we can’t do this
without addressing density, because we need to have more walkability, and we need to have more sorts of urban villages where people don’t need to get around as much, and I think we’re on a good track. ED: I agree with Melissa that we need to change the urban form in Seattle, in order to mitigate for climate change here in Seattle. And to me, that means several things. It means having greater
density in our urban villages and centers throughout the city, close to frequent transit service, improving our transit
service throughout the city. Maybe having microtransit
connecting the urban villages. Light rail is not going to be enough to meet our transit solution, but I would look at ways to accelerate the
construction of light rail. Right now, the construction schedule is dependent on the flow of revenue. If we could beat that flow of revenue up, perhaps by congestionpricing, that might be a way to get the light rail system
in place sooner than later. I think that converting
to electric vehicles is a important component as well. HEIDI WILLS: We need bold action. When I was on the city
council 20 years ago, I had the opportunity to help lead the way for Seattle City Light
to become carbon neutral by divesting in coal power,
investing in wind power, and creating the Green Power
Program for solar projects. I helped lead the rewrite to
the Commercial Energy Code to be one of the strongest in the country, but we really need to be multi-modal. More walkable, more bikable. We need to electrify our city. We have an opportunity
to fall along the lines of metro, which is committed to have all electric buses by the year 2040. To do that with Sound Transit, too. They’re gonna go in the
next year to buy at least 60, if not 100, buses to
come through our communities, looking at reliability and cost and not the overlay of
being carbon neutral. We need a leader on the city
council to lead bold action on these initiatives, and I’ll do that. [HEIDI GROOVER]: Terry, you
are first for this question. Seattle has the most regressive tax system of any state in Washington State, which has the most regressive tax system of any state in the United States. Do you believe Seattle needs
significant new revenue to address housing and
transportation needs, and if so, what specific tax policies would you advocate for at the city level? TERRY: We do need
new tax policy for sure, and that starts by continuing
to take the fight to Olympia to move away from a primarily cells-based and property-tax-based revenue system, and to an income tax so we can have a more
equitable approach to this. However, in the interim, we do have some really serious challenges, from housing affordability to
our response to homelessness, and the infrastructure that we’ve been talking about
that we need to build today. And that’s going to take money. It’s not clear at this
point how much revenue we’re going to need to
raise, but one area that I do want to raise
additional revenue is by beginning to tax vacant rental
units for large land owners. So this is not a tax that
would apply to someone who owns five units or 10 units or 15 units, but if you own more than 50
units in the city of Seattle, and you have units that
are sitting vacant for more than 90 days, we’re gonna begin to
tax those vacant rental units and we’re gonna use that revenue to invest it back into the city of Seattle around transportation projects
and affordability projects. JOHN: We most certainly do
not have a revenue problem. We’re just spending too
much of what we do take in. We have plenty of revenue. We do have a balanced budget,
thank you very much, but what we need is a rainy day fund to prepare for an unfortunate
unforeseen disaster in the future, and as far as
personal accountability goes, there’s plenty that each individual can do to reduce his expenses. Roommates, and reducing personal expenses, seeking higher paying work,
seeking lower-cost housing. All these individuals can do to mitigate what some see as,
what I consider to be, a perfectly fair taxing system, except that they keep adding more to it. JOEY: Hi, Joey Massa again. Not to get back on this horse, but there are multiple reasons
why I jumped into this race. One of those is, a few
years ago, I was working as a project manager in construction. The three cardinal rules
of project management are timeline, scope, and budget. That highlighted my interest
in our city’s inability to make any three of those categories in almost every project that we ran. So do we need more revenue? To be honest,
I’m not sure yet. I believe we need an audit of
our city’s internal services to make sure that we’re
spending our budget effectively and not wasting money in those means. Further, as a progressive, I stand against regressive taxes and fees, such as the sweetened beverage fee which affects lower income populations
more than higher income populations, road fees that are not revenue neutral, and other means along those ends. KATE: Yes, it’s really a question,
do we need more money? The city budget has gone up
in just the last few years from four billion to six billion dollars. Boston is a city of our
size and they operate on, I think, 1.5 billion less than we do. They have twice as many cops as we have, and I can tell you that it
was safe to walk the streets when I was there, and there
was no disorder going on. I think that in our tax system, most of our taxes are
going to the education system, which I consider a completely fossilized
organism that needs reform. Only 50% of the kids are
learning to read, write, or do math in that system,
and we really need to be front-loading the investment
in a kid’s first 1,000 days and not be worrying quite
as much about whether we’re paying for their community college. I think that would make a huge difference. I do realize it’s a regressive tax system. If the lead-up is to say
do I support an income tax, I don’t, but I really
support us going in and, to your point, just really
auditing what we’re doing and making sure that
we’re not so wasteful. MELISSA: This is Melissa Hall. I think taxes are a way
of returning luck share back into the community because luck isn’t evenly distributed, and money
isn’t evenly distributed and we do our best to fight
against those sorts of things. Unfortunately, our ability to respond to the regressive tax system
is very limited right now. That’s mostly out of the
city council’s hands, and in terms of what we can do, well, personally I hope that
the high earner’s tax has a really good day
in court this summer, but that’s wishful thinking. Realistically, in order
to meet the challenges that we have ahead of
us, we need more income, and there’s only one tax that I can find that the city of Seattle
has ever collected that it’s not currently collecting, and that’s a head tax or a pay roll tax. So, unfortunately, that’s
where we have to look right now because we don’t have a ton of options. I do hope that we get a more
inclusive, less regressive tax system, and I would
definitely support that. Thank you. SERGIO: This is Sergio Garcia, and do I think that we have
a regressive tax system? Yeah, it’s pretty bad. That being said, I agree
with Kate and Melissa here. It’s kind of out of our hands right now. I also think that we need
to comb through the money that we’re currently spending. I think that we’ve lost, as residents, we’ve lost complete
trust in how responsible our local government is
being with our money. I know that the more money
we get throughout the years, if it is not evaluated,
audited, a lot of this money just sits around and we don’t
know what happens with it. I can give you an example,
just within my department. We don’t buy our police cars. Police cars are worth
normally $25,000, $35,000. We have the fleet department,
fleet and services department, which purchases those cars,
and turns around and leases them to the police
department four times the rate. So we end up paying
$100,000 per police car. That’s money right there that we could utilize for affordable housing. They do the same thing
with our police radios. JAY: It’s Jay Fathi. We are a state that is
very proud of being blue, and we are a city that’s very
proud of being very very blue. The fact that we have the
most regressive tax system in the country is unconscionable. It is absolutely infuriating. We need to do everything we
can to move away from that. I personally believe
that those that have more should pay more, whether
it’s an individual or it’s a corporation or a business. I believe in a state income tax. I support capital gains tax. I support working families tax
credit from the state level, so we need to continue to
work with our state partners who are pushing hard for those
types of reforms to occur. From the city standpoint, yes, there needs to be accountability. The government budget
of the city seems to be growing and growing and growing, and I eagerly anticipate
serving on the council to look at the numbers
and crack the books open and strive for some more
increased accountability. That said, on the homelessness
issue alone, Seattle spends two to three times less
than other cities our size. We’re going to need to spend more money to address that crisis. ED: To build more affordable housing, I think it would be worth-while
to go back and look at the employee hourly tax
that was proposed last year. I know it did not have a good outcome, however, I think that it could have been fashioned in a way to make it
more acceptable to businesses. I think we could have done a better job of bringing businesses to the table and maybe having the tax be
on gross profits rather than gross revenue, and also
making it more progressive. The proposed regulation
only had two tiers, so it was somewhat
regressive in some ways, and I think we could
have an improved version that could have provided a great infusion of affordable housing back to the city. Another funding source for
addressing homelessness, I would love to see the state government provide annual funding to
locally-based community groups that work on homelessness issues like Lake City tax forms and homelessness. HEIDI WILLS: Yes, we need a more
progressive tax structure from the state, with a capital
gains tax and income tax. We also need to restructure
the real estate excise tax. That’s, right now, a flat fee. Why don’t we graduate that for more expensive homes contributing more? But there are things we
can do at the local level until we get those changes from the state. Why not impose a $1 fee on Uber
and Lyft rides into downtown and dedicate those dollars
to affordable housing? There’s precedent for
that in New York City. If we move forward with
congestion pricing, we could do that on a sliding
scale, so we remember equity. For bold action, let’s lid I5, and create more affordable housing, and knit those communities in a very dense area to
provide more housing. The reason it’s so important is 46% of renters in our city
are severely constrained. They’re spending over 50%
of their income on housing. DAN: This is Dan Strauss. I absolutely agree with
the idea of lidding I5. I’ve had the opportunity
to work on this project, and we’ve seen other cities
like the district of Columbia be able to use space above
freeways, then mix-use it, so that you’re able to create the revenue that you need to have
to build the housing. We’re absolutely going
to need a lot of money to build the housing that
we’ve underperformed with, and we need to have our regional partners. Regional partners in Snohomish
County, Pierce County, King County, and I’ve got
relationships in these places. I’ve got relationships in this
state to be able to work on passing an income tax, and what we can do, what the city council can do
today about the regressivity in our city is indexing our
fines and fees to the value. For instance, a parking ticket. If a Mercedes gets a parking ticket, it should be paying
more than a 1986 Honda. This is something that we can do today to benefit our state allies. [HEIDI GROOVER]: We are shifting
now to 30 second answers. Candidates, please remember
to identify yourselves. Audience members, please remember, if you have a question, write it down. Someone will come around and get that. We’ll be getting to those soon. Starting with John, the Move
Seattle levy initially promised improvements for seven new rapid ride bus lines for the routes. Now, the full improvements are expected on three or four routes. What will you do to deliver
the rapid ride expansions promised in the Move Seattle levy? JOHN: This is John Peeples,
and a promise was made. That promise needs to be
kept by the city government. What that means is, as your
city council representative, I will be seeking to
audit all city departments looking for money that we can
use to make up the difference and fill out the rapid ride
system that was promised. JOEY: Hi, Joey Massa again. As I said before, effective solutions require costly solutions. The thing with that, often they’re not just fiscally costly,
they’re politically costly. We need to elect leaders
who are willing to stick their necks out for
effective solutions and not welch on decisions that we’ve
made and promises we’ve made to our residents when those
political costs become evident. KATE: As long as I’ve
been paying attention, we’ve been estimating the
projects are gonna cost one thing, and then when we actually go to implement them, they’re like 3x. Every time. So it seems a little disingenuous that we keep repeating the
same thing with the voters where we keep telling
them one thing and then we deliver a completely
reduced menu to them. I’ve had some experience
where even simple things, like I don’t know whether SDOT has to literally bid these and stick
to it or what we’re gonna do, but I’ve had situations
when I was working on traffic comming for neighborhoods where they had no idea what things cost. MELISSA: Melissa Hall. The Move Seattle levy has
underperformed and overpromised and it’s just kind of a thing that I don’t see an easy way out of. What we can do in the future
is make sure that levies are structured so that we have transit improvements happen
with the money first. After that, bicycle improvements. After that, maybe some
roadway improvements. Right now, what happens
is everything gets cut and it’s not really an
expression of our values. SERGIO: I’m a firm
believer that the way we start addressing climate change here, being the number one issue world-wide, is through public transportation
development and housing. We’re gonna have to keep
a promise on this one and we’re gonna have
to get creative as far as where we’re gonna get this money. If we don’t pay now, we’re
gonna pay it 30 years from now, just like we did with
public transportation. We’re doing a lot a talking and we need to put this money up-front and
resolve these issues now. The bill is just gonna get bigger. JAY: Hey, this is Jay Fathi. You know, two words
that are kind of boring, but they’re very important,
is fiscal responsibility. I don’t know where that money went, but obviously we need to find it, and we just got done
talking about climate change and how we need more
buses and more RapidRide, and so, absolutely,
this is a high priority. We need to deal with it and we need to be very very judicious and
realistic when we’re forecasting things around
fundings for levies, and also just the city finances overall. ED: Ed Pottharst. It’s unfortunate that
the Move Seattle levy has been reset, not just with
regard to RapidRide lines but also with regard to building out the bicycle trail network, and
those are really unfortunate and I think partly it’s
a result of planning that was not well performed when
the levy was put together. At the same time, the
problem doesn’t go away. We want more transit options. [DAVE]: Ed, you have to stop.
ED: Sooner than later. [DAVE]: Time. HEIDI WILLS: I’m Heidi Wills. It’s due to public transit that I got involved in public
service to begin with. At the University of Washington, I was student body president and I helped get a UPass program there, which was very controversial, believe it or not. Now it’s an of-course, being
modeled all over the country. But I ran for city council
because Charlie Chong said some disparaging things about buses, and that’s what fired me up,
and on the council, I think we need an advocate who will provide adequate oversight, advocacy, and help.
[DAVE]: Heidi, that’s it. HEIDI WILLS: Sorry, thanks. DAN: This is Dan Strauss. What we can do is we don’t
need to wait for the coaches that are associated with RapidRide to be built for us to use everyday
coaches on these routes. We understand that RapidRide attempts to be bus rapid transit. It doesn’t perform because
we don’t have dedicated lanes for the RapidRide to truly
be bus rapid transit. We can do all-door boarding without having to wait for all of these machines, the carburetors, to be put in. We can get going with the
resources that we have today. [DAVE]: That’s it. (crowd laughter) TERRY: Yes, we need more accountability and more transparency when
it comes to city spending, absolutely, but I think the question was how would we fund the gap
when it comes to Move Seattle, and the answer is, a transportation
impact development fee that we would assess
to large developers to raise more revenue,
to raise new revenue, to invest in our mass transit and our public transportation systems. JOEY: I already answered this. [HEIDI GROOVER]: Okay,
okay, Joey, you’re first. What do you think is the
most important strategy, a specific actual strategy or policy, Seattle can pursue to make
the city affordable to live in and prevent displacement,
especially communities of color? JOEY: The short answer is density. We have a housing shortage. We have a housing shortage that’s existed for nearly 20 years at a minimum. We need to be doing what we can to increase density within our city. This is vital, not only for those disparities you spoke
about in the question, but in addition to achieving
zero carbon emissions and those others goals that
are so vital to our city. KATE: One of the things
that I’m talking about would help is I’m very much
into owner-occupied communities because they really
strengthen our neighborhoods, and we can bring more
people into like I did. I suggest that we make zero
interest loans available to owner-occupants to be able
to tuck a basement apartment or carriage house above the
garage or a rental suite in, so that people can move
into our neighborhoods, and we can keep the owners that are there, including the older people that are getting taxed right out of their houses. MELISSA: Melissa Hall. I think that one of the things that, I agree, we need density. One of the other things I would
very much like to see us do as a specific policy is expand our current concurrency program, where right now we just look at the availability of the
transportation and transit, to also look at the
availability of housing when we build retail or we build office spaces that create a need for housing. If there isn’t housing available, we should probably stop driving the need. SERGIO: Sergio Garcia. I think the question here is, do we just want people of color in Seattle or are we okay with them
living in our neighborhoods? I want to live in Seattle
and I want to live in the nice neighborhoods
that most of us in here live, so it’s very important to get creative. Development’s important,
supply meets the demand, and it’s also getting creative with ADUs, doing mother-in-laws,
so it gives people like me the opportunity to live
amongst everyone in here. JAY: Hey, it’s Jay Fathi. Increase density, increase supply, and continue to be creative in ways that we can
in our financing approaches, particularly for communities
of color and groups and populations who have traditionally been underserved and marginalized. ED: Ed Pottharst. I think that one specific
strategy that can be employed by the city is to expand the
program of community housing. We could build a program whereby the city buys the land and people build up equity through ownership of the
building, the housing. More family units rather than the land so that lowers the cost overall.
[DAVE]: Time. HEIDI WILLS: Heidi Wills. You know, right now, we’re allowing
for property tax exemptions for new buildings for only
12 years, and that’s for 20% to 25% of those units. 12 years goes by really fast, and I think that we need to allow
for extension for that and also expand that
for existing buildings, working to increase the supply
of more affordable housing. That was fast. DAN: This is Dan Strauss. Expanding and streamlining the ability for detached accessory dwelling units and attached accessory
dwelling units to be used to keep people in their
homes and to provide additional property tax
relief for larger sections of our population that are
either on fixed incomes or are not making market
100% earning mean income. We need to be able to keep people in their homes that they own. TERRY: We do need greater density. We need density that looks
like low-income housing, that looks like that important
missing middle in housing. Places where nurses and teachers can live. We also have an opportunity
to expand zoning for duplexes and triplexes
to bring in that lower income and moderate income rental
units, and then making it easier for people to build things like backyard cottages
and mother-in-law units. We can do things like put
those plans available online so that homeowners can download a plan. JOHN: This is John Peeples,
and to reduce cost of housing we need to increase the
density in our urban villages and bring that about by
reducing code, regulations, rules, and permitting to reduce the cost of building low-cost housing. [HEIDI GROOVER]: All right, Kate, you’re first for this question. According to SDOT, 45,000 city
blocks are missing sidewalks but the city only has the money
to build 25 blocks per year. That means it would
take around 1,800 years to complete the city’s
entire sidewalk network. What are you going to do about this? KATE: Yeah, Kate Martin speaking here. I actually did a study in 2008 and 2009 with a $100,000 grant from
Department of Neighborhoods, and I actually documented how we can finish the sidewalk network. We came up with four financing strategies that would all be successful. We worked with block studies
and we talked to neighbors who were ready to organize
to get their sidewalks, so it was kind of based
on organizing blocks and having three or
four financing options. This is doable, we can do
this, and we need to do it now. MELISSA: Melissa Hall. I think that getting
sidewalks all over the area is gonna require a certain
amount of creativity. The first obvious option is
to go in and add sidewalks when you restripe, but
that’s not going to be an option for most of these places. What I would like to see is us figure out how to make sidewalk building
something that a community can do together reasonably,
because a lot of the cost of that sidewalk is actually
labor, and it’s something that communities care very deeply about. Given toolkits, they’d put them in. SERGIO: Sergio Garcia talking. I think that we also need
to get creative here. Sidewalks is not the only issue that’s gonna take us 18,000 years
to resolve at this point. There’s a few issues on the table that are going to take
us a little bit longer. There’s grants out there. We need to work with the neighborhoods. We need to get creative
and find that money. That money is there. Like I said earlier, I think
it’s a hard sell right now to ask people who are barely hanging on to their residence for more money. I’ve met, knocking on doors and through work, a handful of people. [DAVE]: Time. JAY: I don’t know if
it was 18,000 or 1,800, but wow, either way, that’s absurd. When you think about the core functions of a municipal government, it’s to provide for infrastructure
and things like that. To hear that that is a project,
that cost is beyond absurd. Being someone who has not yet
worked inside city government, I would look for answers
and I would call people like my friend Kate Martin. Sounds like she’s got some
of the answers already. ED: Ed Pottharst. I would do two things. First, I would propose a levy
to fund sidewalk construction. Again, that would a heavy lift, and it’s not going to solve
the problem overnight. It would certainly increase
the level of funding available for sidewalk construction. The other I would do is expand the funding for cost-effective pathways
in lieu of concrete sidewalks. Concrete sidewalks are very expensive, not just because of concrete, but because of drainage.
[DAVE]: Time. HEIDI WILLS: This is a
really important issue, not just to able-bodied pedestrians, but to all of us folks
who are in wheelchairs, to seniors, to children,
to people who are vision-impaired, and it is a basic service
of city government. I was able to dedicate
more funds to sidewalks when I was on the city council and get the moniker Sidewalk Wills by building voting blocks. I locked arms with Nick Licata, and together we dedicated more funds out of the general funds to sidewalks. [DAVE]: On time. DAN: Hi, this is Dan Strauss. I went to Nathan Hale at a time where there was no
anything around the school. We walked around the gravel. Today, when you walk around there, there’s asphalt and there’s paint, and while paint doesn’t keep you separated from people who are driving, it does present people a very clear path of where
they should and should not be. We know that, as Ed was saying, drainage is the most expensive
aspect of creating sidewalks, and so when new development
is occurring on property, we need to require that
those sidewalks are built. (crowd laughter) TERRY: The truth is that
there’s not enough money to do everything that
we wanna do in Seattle, and very few new funding sources have been identified
by this panel tonight. So, we do want to fight for those additional resources to make this happen, but in the mean time, we have to look at what sidewalk developments
are going to have the highest impact to get us towards our transportation equity goals, to get us towards our
climate change goals, and then looking at
building in neighborhoods that have historically been underserved. JOHN: This is John
Peeples, and I would have a combination of creative
financing to reduce the cost of all those sidewalks,
and community building. Volunteer labor is a great idea. At the very least, a curb to separate pedestrians from vehicles and bikes. And also, prioritize, leave the places where people don’t want
sidewalks to the very end. JOEY: Hi, Joey Massa again. I think one thing that I haven’t heard so far yet is our lack of skilled labor. It’s a national issue, and I think it’s a local issue as well. We talk a lot about funding folks to go to community colleges, to colleges. I grew up in a union family. I know that part of the reason why these costs are so high is
a lack of family-wage jobs, a lack of individuals who are capable and willing to work on
these types of projects and address the needs that we have. So, do we need more funding? Absolutely and those are
challenges we have to overcome, but our labor pool also needs to grow.
[DAVE]: Time. [HEIDI GROOVER]: I’m going to move on to yes or no questions now,
so get those signs ready and then we will get to your
questions, so if you have them, please write them down
and give them to us. First lightning round question, and keep your card up,
because I’m going to read off the responses so that this
is accessible to everyone. First, do you support completing the Burke-Gilman missing link along the preferred alignment on Shilshole? Jay, you gonna…? Okay, so, Jay. Okay, we don’t have time for that,
but Jay is qualifying, Heidi is qualifying, and oh, you, yeah. Sergio no, Melissa yes,
Kate no, Joey yes, John no, Terry yes, Dan no, Dan qualified no, Heidi qualified something, Ed yes. Do you support the proposed
backyard cottage legislation? I’m seeing all yeses
except for Kate and John. Is that right? All right. Do you support funding the
center city connector street car? Got, okay, Jay yes, Sergio yes. Melissa yes, Kate no, Joey no, John no. Sorry, Terry yes, Dan
yes, Heidi yes, Ed yes. Do you support implementing congestion pricing in downtown Seattle? Jay yes, Sergio no, Melissa no, Kate no, Joey no, John no, Terry no, Dan in the middle somewhere,
Heidi yes, Ed yes. Would you support allowing
triplexes and quadruplexes in current single-family zones? Jay yes, Sergio yes, Melissa yes, Kate no, Joey yes, John yes, Terry yes,
Dan yes, Heidi yes, Ed yes. Do you support electric
scooter sharing in Seattle? (laughs) Kate, do you have…? No position. Jay yes, Sergio no, Melissa yes, Joey no, John yes, Terry yes, Dan
yes, Heidi yes, Ed yes. Do you support impact
fees on new developments to fund transportation improvements? Looks like all yeses except for… Who, Kate? KATE: Are you specifically
saying we’re taxing specifically for
transportation improvements? [HEIDI GROOVER]: Yes, specifically for transportation improvements. Okay, so, everyone yes
except for Kate, all right. Do you support the proposed affordable housing
development at Fort Lawton? Okay, Jay yes, Sergio
no, Melissa yes, Kate… No position. Sorry, Joey yes, John no, Terry yes, Dan yes, Heidi yes, Ed yes. Should Seattle grant tenants a right to council when they’re facing eviction? So it’s the right to a lawyer
like you get in other cases. Everybody says yes. No, except for John says no. And finally, do you support a per-ride fee on Uber and Lyft trips
in downtown Seattle? Jay yes, Sergio yes, Melissa
yes, Kate no, Joey no, John no, Terry yes, Dan
yes, Heidi yes, Ed yes. Okay, we did it. Your questions… All right, so this person wrote, will you advocate for
light rail to Ballard? But that’s coming already, so
the next part of the question, bridge or tunnel, so I think
you all can make this quick. Bridge or tunnel? Sure, yes is tunnel, so
that means you’re going to find the money necessary to pay for the tunnel if it’s not. All right, Jay yes,
Sergio yes, Melissa no. Oh sorry, tunnel, okay. Jay tunnel, Sergio tunnel,
Melissa elevated bridge, Kate tunnel, Joey elevated, John tunnel, Terry tunnel, Dan tunnel,
Heidi tunnel, Ed tunnel. Would you support efforts in Olympia to legalize rent control? Let’s do this as a question
because the person also asks, if not, what policy
tool would you implement instead of rent control? Although, nevermind,
we’ve already talked about what you would do, so yes or
no, rent control in Olympia. Would you support
lobbying for rent control? Okay, Jay no, Sergio no,
Melissa yes, Kate no, Joey no, John no, Terry yes,
Dan no, Heidi no, Ed yes. Often, community input means
the voices of home owners. What will you do to ensure
that the city’s renters have a voice in public
policy, given that they might have a harder time
making it to office hours or taking time off work for
council forums, et cetera? We’ll start, who has the microphone? All right, Melissa. MELISSA: Melissa Hall. First of all, I am a renter. Second of all, this is
why one of the wonders of the information age is
that we don’t actually have to drag people physically to
office hours or meetings. We can do this stuff online. We can have remote meetings
and we can take email comment, which is a really useful tool. SERGIO: Sergio Garcia, and I think there’s something about being
in person and being heard and not just getting a
yes or no through an email or through a forum. Office hours, and I am renter, I think that we definitely
need another renter on council. Right now there’s only one and I think they’re in the process of buying a house, so if we want to kind of
be inclusive to renters or people of color, then you’re in luck. JAY: What is it, just over half of the folks in Seattle are renters. We absolutely need to
have the voices of renters heard without question,
and I agree with Melissa, there’s creative ways we can do it. Whether it’s flexing hours or
whether it’s virtual meeting. There’s lots of ways we can do it, but we absolutely have to do it. ED: Ed Pottharst here. I agree with Melissa that online forums can be a great way of access for renters. I also think that it’s
really important that those of us who are
homeowners understand that the objective here is to build inclusive homeowner
communities throughout Seattle, which means homeowners,
renters, people of all kinds, and it’s really important
that we take that perspective when thinking about affordable housing, legislation, and so forth. HEIDI WILLS: Yes, Heidi Wills. If I get elected, I’d
love to have an office in the district in the Ballard library to make it easier for people to interface with their representative. I think we need more housing
of all shapes and sizes for all people of all income
levels throughout our city, and I think we need to bring
back neighborhood planning and have it bottom-up
rather than top-down. When I was on the council, we had a very robust neighborhood
planning effort. I’ve seen first-hand that it works. DAN: This is Dan Strauss. I’m also a renter, and so, I’m a renter. I was the first candidate to say that I would open a district office and I would also make the office hours available throughout the district. Even though I love Ballard so much, I know Ballard’s not the
only part of the district. I would also make sure that we
had hearings and office hours outside of the typical
nine to five schedule. TERRY: I am also a renter, but I think the conversation goes beyond renters and homeowners,
and I’m thinking about how do I reach out to communities that have folk how are working two jobs or have folks who can’t
easily make it downtown, so where can I meet the
constituents of District 6 where they’re at, whether
that’s at a library or at a transit station or at
a farmer’s market to set up, to be available to hear the
voices from the District. So renters yes, homeowners
yes, but there’s so many more communities that we wanna
make sure we’re hearing from. JOHN: John Peeples. I am a renter and I do not feel excluded because I’m a renter. I would have city council
and committee meetings in the morning, in the
afternoon, and in the evening, so a wider variety of
people can attend in person. I’d also have office hours in city hall and out here in the district. The main thing is better
communication of the agenda so that people can make
plans to leave work early or take a day off so that they can attend. [DAVE]: That’s it. JOEY: Joey Massa again. I own my boat, but rent my mortgage, so I guess I’m a little
column A, little column B. That being said, as many
candidates have said, there are incredible
information technology tools that allow us not only
to gather information but to aggregate that
information to allow others to put their input on that
aggregated information. Further, as everyone’s
saying, office hours. I don’t think canvassing
your district should end when your candidacy ends. I think we should be, as representatives, out here and visible to our communities. KATE: I’ve gone to a lot
of meetings over 20 years and I don’t remember anyone saying that renters couldn’t
come to the meetings. I would like to get some
communication tools out there and I think it could
be technology-oriented, but I think it also could be a
District 6 advocate newspaper that I’m thinking of
putting out when I’m elected so I can keep people informed about the important issues that
are going on and maybe put a response card inside that they could answer some questions in. Just mail it back so that I could take the pulse of what’s
happening out in the district. [HEIDI GROOVER]: This is
a bike lanes question, so if you would also like
to address your feelings on the Burke-Gilman missing
link, please feel free. What bike projects in
your district will you work to complete and what else will you do to make biking a more practical, safer, and more accessible option across Seattle? SERGIO: So there is
no other bike project in this district that anybody could argue that is more important
than the missing link. I think that right now it wouldn’t be in my position to give an opinion. I am still talking to both sides. I do have mixed feelings. What I could tell you that I do believe in completing
the missing link. It is important. I think I will be able to do that. It is also going through the
judicial system right now, I don’t think that we should
give an opinion on it, and as far as the bigger picture here, I think is education
to be a little bit more inclusive of people of
color and other cultures. JAY: Hey, this is Jay Fathi. The benefits of bicycling are enormous for a multitude of reasons. Climate change, your health, as a community health
physician, as a family doctor, certainly especially if
you’re wearing your helmet. Absolutely need to get more and more folks bicycling for a
multitude of reasons. I support the Bike Master Plan. It’s a great blueprint. If anyone’s not aware,
they should look it up. It’s got really a nice roadmap laid out. We have to continue to get more and more to experience time out of their cars. So they can appreciate
bicycling and safety. (crowd laughter) [DAVE]: Haha, cheater. JAY: That was like the first time. He never had to hold that up for me. That was the first time. ED: Ed Pottharst. I strongly support completion
of the missing link along the Burke-Gilman Trail. It’s been really frustrating
how so many years have gone by and yet the missing link is still there, and I’d like to see that
end as soon as possible. I think the preferred
alignment on Shilshole is the most direct and
beneficial one for the community, I hope that the community
along the way understand that this can be a benefit of them as a way of showing the community what the maritime community’s about.
[DAVE]: Time. HEIDI WILLS: Heidi Wills. I sponsored the resolution to complete the Burke-Gilman Trail along Shilshole. That was 16 years ago. We haven’t gotten very far. I do believe that the
safety features there can coexist safely with
existing businesses, but the existing businesses
do not believe so, and they have not felt like
they’ve had an advocate on the council and if they don’t have an advocate from District
6, who do they have? So I think we need to bring
them with us in this discussion. Their ideas, thinking outside the box, are like the highline in New York City. It maybe doesn’t have to be an either-or, it can be a win-win.
[DAVE]: Time. HEIDI WILLS: With an elevated.
[DAVE]: Time. DAN: This is Dan Strauss. I started going to Burke-Gilman Trail meetings when I was eight. I have watched politician after politician fall on their sword and not get this done. We’ve got about a mile left
to complete and I think that we do need to come back
together as a community. I didn’t go to college right
away after high school. I went to AmeriCorps and
one of my options was jumping on a fishing boat or a
family wage job on the docks, and we need to be able to preserve those jobs in our community and we
need bicycle infrastructure because I got hit by a driver.
[DAVE]: Okay, time. (crowd Laughter) TERRY: This issue’s really close to me. I started my career in
the maritime industry on a ship canal, and I
understand the concerns that come from that industry that’s so deeply under threat
from so many other parts of their business as
well, but it’s time to complete the Burke-Gilman link. It’s time to complete the missing link. It’s time to invest in getting
the Bike Master Plan done, and as I go door-to-door, the
project I hear the most about in the district is the
8th Avenue bike lane. People are really interested
in getting upgrades to that 8th Avenue bike lane as ridership picks up on that route as well. JOHN: John Peeples. I strongly support the completion
of the Burke-Gilman Trail. Mixed feelings, but that ship has sailed. Construction is beginning soon. I want to be an advocate, however, for those businesses that stand to be adversely affected by the
current Shilshole route. Elsewhere in the district,
at the very least, the green paint lets
other users of the road know that bikes may be there. JOEY: So, to kinda expand
on my earlier statement, I live on the very end
of the missing link. My wife and I live in a marina
just behind Stone Gardens, so everyday I go to my gym,
which is on the other end next to Trader Joe’s, which I
also get my groceries there. So on one hand you have, if
you build it they will come. On the other hand, we have a
problem that already exists. I see bicyclists making poor choices. I see cars making dangerous
choices every day on that route, and the reality is, it’s
only a matter of time until a dangerous accident happens because we haven’t put
infrastructure in place. KATE: As a planner,
I’m kind of appalled by that route along Shilshole. The Alaskan Fishing Fleet feeds America and there’s no reason to
threaten those businesses. We have very important
maritime industrial land that we should not kill
by a thousand cuts. The route on 17th is already a greenway. We could pick up 17th and then move from there onto Leary Avenue, which is a tremendously wide street
that would be very safe. Both of those 17th and
Leary Avenue, very safe. And I recommend that –
[DAVE]: Time – because it would not
adversely affect anyone. [DAVE]: Time. MELISSA: I support any route that gets the Burke-Gilman connected,
but my understanding of the question was it was what would we do to support
bicycle infrastructure. Specifically what I would
like to see us do as a city is expand the tax credits and
loan programs that we have for electric cars to electric
bicycles because I think that’s a real winning opportunity
for Seattle bicyclists. [HEIDI GROOVER]: Much of
Seattle’s affordable housing is in buildings, are you .. Did you get to, you answered that, okay. Much of Seattle’s affordable
housing is in buildings that are more at risk of
collapse in a major earthquake. How should Seattle preserve
its existing affordable housing while encouraging or mandating seismic retrofits that can be expensive? SERGIO: Who’s turn is it? [HEIDI GROOVER]: You started
last time, so Jay. JAY: Of course, I always get to start on the really easy questions. Not. I’m really sorry, we had
microphone confusion, can you just get to the nub of it again? What was the question? [HEIDI GROOVER]: So a lot of
affordable housing buildings may be at risk of collapse
in a major earthquake. How should Seattle
preserve affordable housing while encouraging or
mandating seismic retrofits? JAY: That’s a problem. Obviously, particularly if
it’s affordable housing, we’re gonna be talking about
underserved communities. Very likely communities of color, people that have been marginalized. I don’t know the answer to that question. That’s a very good question. That’s something that’s not
something that we can tolerate. We need to do something about that, whether it’s, yeah, I don’t know. Great question, would
love to hear your input. Going back down this way? [HEIDI GROOVER]: Let’s just go back this way. We’ll make it easier. JAY: Sorry. SERGIO: My turn? I thought I was going to have
more time to think about this. (crowd laughter) It’s a difficult question, right? But the reality is that we need to start paying attention to that. We’re focused on so
many issues in the city and we’ve forgotten about
what happens if we get hit by an earthquake, right? We don’t even have a
plan as first responders. That’s why we need to encourage more first responders, nurses,
and people who could aid in such a situation and
meet with the experts on what we could do to retrofit
and, moving forward, what it is that we need
to do to start building and planning ahead for
when that day comes. It’s not if, it’s when. MELISSA: Unreinforced
masonry is dangerous. Unfortunately, like you said, it takes up a lot of our affordable housing. We can’t deprive people of homes when we don’t have any other
place for them to live. However, we need to start
doing visible disclosures for people who live in
unreinforced masonry housings so they’re at least aware of
the danger that they’re taking. It’s not easy to find that
information, and I would like us to start just massively
building more housing. The problem with these buildings is that many of them are also historic, so it’s not like they’re gonna be retrofitted easily.
[DAVE]: Time. KATE: Yeah, there’s
quite a variety of costs associated with retrofitting buildings, but my idea would be to
provide zero interest loans to help people afford to
on wood frame buildings to do the tie-downs to the foundation, which there’s actually
a pretty simple process For masonry buildings,
it gets more expensive. I think zero interest
loans for that and for fire suppression systems in
those affordable buildings would make a lot of sense and
improve safety quite a bit. JOEY: Boy, this question’s
just like black swan events. They hit when you’re not expecting. So as folks have said,
increasing density is vital. Creating more housing
stocks so that we can create the opportunities
for folks to move out of and restore those unprotected buildings. Effective code legislation
that looks to the future more than just five years
ahead, 10, 20 years ahead. Then, again, communication
with constituents, communication with
residents who are living in those dicey kinds of locations, letting them know the risks
that they’re currently facing. JOHN: John Peeples here. While we’re building
more low cost housing, the retrofits indeed are expensive and the plan would be to
go one building at a time, temporary housing for
the current residents, a city-wide call to housing
for those residents, who can then move back into
their retrofitted building when the project is complete. TERRY: Tax credits, loan assistance, and technical assistance and support are how we can begin to do this work on the buildings that need it. It also proposes a unique opportunity while we’re already working
with building owners to encourage them to look
at their energy consumptions of those buildings and
see how we can put in some incentives to help
lower the carbon footprint from those buildings as well. DAN: Hi, this is Dan. Loans to reinforce unreinforced masonry are often times not
taken by property owners because when they go to sell the building they’re still stuck with the loan, so being able to tie those
to the actual building is something that we can do. Tax credits and technical systems is also things that we can do and
we have these tools now. (crowd laughter) HEIDI WILLS: Heidi Wills. There is examples in
place of how we do that to encourage conservation measures in existing affordable housing units. It’s rate payers who help pay for that through our public utilities,
Seattle City Light. If we want to do that with tax incentives, and we decide as a community
that that’s a public benefit. I think though that
right now we’re finding that there’s a huge need for more housing and if we had additional
dollars they’d go there. ED: Ed Pottharst. Seattle is an earthquake-prone city, and the safety of all people
living in Seattle is paramount. I think we can come up
with a program that would steadily retrofit the
unreinforced masonry buildings over a period of time, and
at the same recognize that we have more affordable
housing stuff than we know. Other cities like Portland and Sacramento have been taking advantage
of inexpensive hotels for temporary relocation.
[DAVE]: Time, okay. [HEIDI GROOVER]: Okay, we
are running out of time. We’re going to start with
you for this final bit, Ed. It’s just closing statements. You get one minute each. Please remember everyone is trying to distinguish among you all,
so if you think there’s something that really makes you stand out, please help the voters by
telling us what that is. So one minute closing statements, and then Matthew from the MASS Coalition will come up and close us out. Ed, you are first. ED: Okay, yeah, Ed Pottharst. A bit about me, I was born
with hearing loss and I use cochlear implants and read
lips to help understand people. I’m a planner with Seattle
Parks and Recreation. I have 30 years of public service experience with the city of Seattle. Before Parks and Recreation, I worked with the Department of Neighborhoods. I was the neighborhood court liaison and I had to grant funding to community groups all throughout Seattle. Prior to that, I worked
for Seattle City Light. I was a environmental natural resources protection specialist. I’m running for city
council because I want to see the city take strong
action on urgent issues. Climate change, affordable
housing, homelessness, and social justice, including
police accountability, and I look forward to
working with the other city council members,
other levels of government, the county, the state, to come
up with creative solutions. I look forward to seeing
you on the campaign trail. Thank you. HEIDI WILLS: I am Heidi Wills, and I’m the only candidate
who’s had this job before. It’s been 20 years but
I think the fact that I’ve been a policy maker
helps with so much turnover coming to the city with four new people. Automatically, maybe three more, and these are major
challenging issues that we have before us, and these are issues that I’ve been in the trenches working
on for three decades. I come as a policy maker, as a mom raising children in this community. Two kids in middle school having lived in the district for over 16 years. I’m a nonprofit director
specialized in youth development. I’m an environmental champion,
having worked on issues related to sustainability
for most of my life, and I’m a collaborative
leader who cares about listening and bringing your voices to city hall on the issues that affect you. If I have an opportunity
to serve you again, I’ve had a lot of life experience –
[DAVE]: Time. – since I’ve been on the city council,
[DAVE]: Time. HEIDI WILLS: And I think I’ll be a better policy maker.
[DAVE]: Time! [DAVE]: Listen, time seriously, people. We’ve got a lot of people.
DAN: Time is serious! My name is Dan Strauss,
and I have the knowledge and relationships to make the ideas that you’ve heard tonight into reality. I have almost a decade
of legislative experience in four different legislative bodies and I currently work for the city council. I can take the relationships that I have today, the current
relationships, and make realities for you tomorrow. I’ve already just this year
coordinated work groups with the state, county,
city, ports, Sound Transit, and community to fund
transportation projects, develop green building
codes, improve our parks, and I am so committed to
creating a protected bike lane and bicycle master plan
throughout the city, not just our district. I’m born, raised, rooted in Ballard. I’m really excited to earn your support and the opportunity to serve you. TERRY: Well, thank you
all for being here tonight. [AUDIENCE MEMBER 2]: Name? The stakes in this election. [AUDIENCE MEMBER 3]: Name!
TERRY: I’m sorry, Terry Rice. The stakes in this election
couldn’t be higher. It’s truly a choice between
continuing to respond to the crisis of today, or
stepping back and doing the hard work to invest our
future for Seattle 10 years, 20 years, 30 years from now. So that’s a vision where you
can walk to a grocery store, or you’re a block away
from a metro transit stop or a light rail station,
where our communities have a diversity of age, of race, of income, and of occupation. Where there’s access to
green spaces like parks. Where the city where you feel safe, and the city’s well taken care of. That’s the vision that we can fight for, and most importantly, where we champion climate change policy and
taking a whole-sale adoption of the 170 point plan that
Portland has put in use and we’re taking that fight to Seattle to make sure that we are
truly climate leaders. JOHN: John Peeples, and I’m running to represent you all on the city council to bring your voice back
to the city council. That’s been missing lately. I’d bring in engineers,
system-wide thinking perspective to upstream contributors
to today’s problems and thoughtfulness of the
downstream consequences. Seattle has a very bright
prosperous, dignified future ahead of her, and we’re
gonna all participate and we’re gonna do so
without vilifying each other. There’s a role to be played by everyone and I’m looking forward
to contributing to that. Vote for John Peeples,
and 100% voter turn-out and registration rate for August primary. Let’s knock out the other council districts in voting turn-out. JOEY: Again, my name is
Joey Massa and I’m running for city council as an
independent progressive. One of the top questions I
get when I’m out canvassing in the district is what does
progressive mean to you? And to me, the core belief
of progressivism is that government should
function as a living body, changing and adapting to
the needs of its society. This is a thread that has
been lost not only in our national politics, but
in our local politics. This philosophy throughout our history has been used to incredible effect. From leaders like Lincoln
and Theodore Roosevelt to Woodrow Wilson or FDR,
effective progressives look at challenges straight on and ask not what is, but what can be. What can that future look like? Now, more than ever, we need
leaders who are willing to lean into costly solutions,
take political risks, and put the city before any other agenda, and that is what my
candidacy is rooted in. I’ve served our state
and nation as a veteran. I know how costly some
of that service can be and I’m willing to be
vulnerable in those ways. KATE: Yes, I’m Kate Martin speaking. I’ve been a community member here in Phinney Ridge, Greenwood for 33 years. I raised my children here,
I’m a professional planner and designer, and I’ve
made a career out of solving problems, and this
job will be no different. All of our problems are fixable. All of our affordable
housing problems are fixable. I have an outline of
how we’re gonna do it. As I mentioned earlier, ownership is the ultimate rent control,
so my goal is to get us from 42% home ownership
to 75% home ownership. I just want to make a note that I am walking the talk of density. I’m a yes in my backyard person, but I do not want us to
make the same mistake that we just made where
we cause a feeding frenzy of investors and speculators
in our neighborhoods. No species uses density to
measure quality habitat, and we should be no different
than salmon or orcas in creating the kind of quality habitat that we actually need for humans. Humans are suffering, we can fix that.
[Dave]: Time, time. KATE: Thank you for
your time, Kate Martin. MELISSA: Hello, my
name is Melissa Hall. My wife and I and our
two-year-old live in a quadruplex that was developed out of a single-family home in Lower Fremont. Every day, we both walk to work. We’re lucky enough to have a great daycare across the street we can walk the kids to. We can stop by the grocery
store on the way home, and we have a favorite breakfast place. It’s a really high quality life. Unfortunately for us, it’s also an expression of extreme privilege. That’s what I want to change. I think a dense, urban walkable lifestyle is an excellent lifestyle,
but I’m not asking anybody to do anything that I’m not. As far as what I’m like, you probably shouldn’t
believe anything I say. I’m running for office, so instead, I’m gonna make one more proposal that I didn’t have a change to fit in. We’re not allowed to use
traffic enforcement cameras to enforce people in transit-only lanes, so instead I suggest we
do a dual transit-only and tolling lane, with
a toll that reflects the cost of a person being
in the bus-only lane. SERGIO: Sergio Garcia. I don’t think that there’s
all these candidates running throughout the city, and all
these people are showing up to these forums because
we are seeking experience. If we were to live our lives based on just looking for people with experience, the first people that
would affected would be people of color, people of
limited mobility, women. I think that we’re here because we’re fed up with what’s going on. I bring an interesting
perspective to the table. I’ve been knocking on your
doors and petting your dogs and cats way before this became political. I’m also the only one that
hasn’t been told to stop. I think me and two other people. (crowd laughter) Yeah, I think it’s time for a change. I bring a voice of refreshment. I am just a person, I am
just seeking for change. I think I could apply my
skills of compromising and making decisions, the
right decisions, for your best interest like I have
been for over a decade now. JAY: Doctor Jay Fathi. Thank you again everyone for coming. Very inspiring to see the
turn-out and hear your questions. I’ve been a resident of North
Seattle for the last 50 years. When I went to the
University of Washington and medical school at the
University of Washington, I chose to become a family doctor and I chose to work at the
45th Street community clinic in Wallingford, taking care
of people who didn’t have health insurance, immigrants, people with severe addiction and mental health issues, and people that were homeless. I took care of hundreds of people that lived in their cars, lived under bridges. I’ve got a career that’s centered around taking care of people that have less. I started a community
health program at Swedish, and ended up running an
Obamacare health plan that put 250,000 people
on health insurance that didn’t have it
before across our state. My wife and I have lived in
this district for 21 years. She’s a nurse practitioner
and a professor at the UW, and we have two kids in public schools, and I look forward to
working with you and for you as your city council member, thanks.

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