#BallotGuide Part 2 - Seattle
Hashtag is comprised of more than just the two writers you know and...well, "love" isn't the right word. There are actually five people regularly involved in some aspect or another on facts and research and the like. For our Ballot Guide, everyone chipped in on the writing. These are not personal endorsements of any individual, but are the recommendations of the majority of the #Fam. We purposely did not review any uncontested races.Enjoy!
Mayor of Seattle
Regardless of what some people like to say, there is plenty that differentiates the platforms of Cary Moon and Jenny Durkan.
During the primary, Moon found herself among a constellation of candidates hoping to represent Seattle’s left, sharing a very similar set of values as Nikkita Oliver, Jessyn Farrell, Bob Hasegawa, and Mike McGinn. Going into primary night, pundits had no clue which of these five candidates would make it through the primary to face off against Jenny Durkan.
Where Moon’s policies repeatedly center the needs of the marginalized, Durkan’s tend to defend the status quo. When Moon was (one of, again, 5 candidates) willing to sign on to a letter defending the rights of hotel workers against sexual harassment, Durkan refused. Subsequently, a $20,000 donation was made to an Independent Expenditure committee from the hotel company Hedreen Holdings. After Durkan came out in opposition to moving forward with municipal broadband now, that same IE received massive amounts of funding from CenturLink and Comcast. Where Cary Moon has called for exploring more housing types throughout Seattle, Durkan has suggested that we need to preserve existing Single Family zones, and not allow duplexes or triplexes, earning the endorsement of the slow-growth Seattle Times editorial board.
In contrast, Cary Moon has staked out a position in support of implementing municipal broadband, helping lower the cost of internet access to all Seattleites. She has come out strong in support of more housing types throughout the city, including duplexes and triplexes, acknowledging there is far too much land zoned for detached single-family homes. Cary Moon is also the only candidate to support stopping sweeps of homeless encampments until we have a place for people living without shelter to go.
At a time when the average Seattle resident is fearful they won’t be able to afford to live in this city in the coming years, we need a mayor with bold vision. While Durkan would be a solid Mayor in keeping with the what’s going on now, and has introduced some good ideas to expand existing programs, while also deserving credit for highlighting the injustice of I-200 while pledging to govern as if it did not exist, Cary Moon has laid out a bold vision to lift all communities in Seattle. Vote Moon.
Seattle City Attorney
Pete Holmes has had a pretty awesome career as city attorney. Holmes ran for office in 2009 against noted buzzkill Tom Carr, pledging to stop criminal prosecutions for marijuana possession and opposing the construction of a new jail in the city.
He’s managed to piss off the Seattle Police Officer’s Guild, an organization that holds some pretty wild right-wing views and has been actively fighting the Department of Justice’s Consent Decree.
His opponent, Scott Lindsay, believes the Seattle Income Tax is illegal, which is unfortunate because he’s going to have to defend it in court, and has alienated city council members by leaking council initiatives to the public, in an attempt to torpedo things he doesn’t like. This raises a red flag, to say the least.
Holmes more than deserves another term. Vote Holmes.
Seattle City Council, Position 8
Readers of this blog are in for zero surprises here. #Hashtag is recommending you vote for Teresa Mosqueda for City Council, Position 8. More on that in a second.
This race has split Seattle’s left in a fascinating way. Some have rallied around Mosqueda opponent Jon Grant, and he has earned the support of the Stranger and Seattle Times. There has been some reporting on the Office of Civil Rights complaint against Tenants’ Union that stemmed from his conduct, and he has come out and apologized for making anyone feel badly. This is a good step.
But here lies the crux of the issue: While he now acknowledges these shortcomings, he has not exhibited the growth one would expect. As recently as August, Grant accosted a female canvasser for Teresa Mosqueda. In one interview, he acknowledges and apologizes for the behavior stemming from people feeling he was dismissive toward the work of women, while in another he dismisses the work Mosqueda has done as simply “being a lobbyist,” all the while claiming credit for tenant protections that occurred while he was ostensibly lobbying while ED of the Tenants Union. When asked how he reconciles running against an accomplished, liberal woman of color, he says he sat down with her, and he felt she wasn’t sufficiently knowledgeable on tenant issues. Rather than work to build that plank, he decided a man needs to step in. This is really shitty “allyship”. Following complaints that she isn’t on the front lines enough, he attacks her for being late to a forum due to her being on the front lines against Betsy DeVos. There have been dismissals of these numerous complaints by his supporters, but as Hanna Brooks Olsen noted, this dismissive action is a key part of the problem of toxic masculinity. The Stranger, in explaining their endorsement, stated that they “want another unrestrained activist on the council.” His “unrestrained” has left a long and continuing history of discounting the work women do. Policy positions and history are important, and so is temperament and commitment to gender equity. We do not believe Grant has passed this test.
Teresa Mosqueda is the opposite of Grant in temperament, while being a solid lefty, with a long track record of successfully organizing people to enact good legislation. This has included expanding abortion coverage to all policies in Washington, ensuring that all low-income kids, regardless of immigration status, have access to Apple Health, funding the Paid Family Leave program, and, of course, helping write and lead the charge on Initiative 1433 – raising the minimum wage for all workers. As a member of the Pacific Medical PDA, she is bringing more affordable housing to North Beacon Hill, putting homes above a surface street parking lot. As the only tenant on your ballot, she would bring a lived experience that is lacking to the Seattle City Council.
Some folks have said it won’t matter who wins. We disagree. Grant will be immediately marginalized, and his acknowledged refusal to work with “the five corporate Democrats” suggests he will never get the five votes needed to pass legislation. Conversely, Teresa Mosqueda, if elected, will be able to build those coalitions necessary to pass a Tenant Bill of Rights, to expand affordable housing options throughout Seattle, to help women and minority owned businesses thrive, and to ensure our transit and transportation system meets our environmental values. She has the broadest understanding of policy in this race, and is the only candidate to realize that you can’t push every individual issue into a box, but instead they are all connected, and must intertwine in how one presents ideas. There’s a reason that the people who have worked with Mosqueda are supporting her campaign. Looking at her supporters, we see a lot of folks who have worked with her opponent also supporting #TeamTeresa. That says a lot. Vote Mosqueda.
Seattle City Council, Pos. 9
Lorena González: lawyer, activist, immigrant's right's champion, and is the obvious choice for Seattle City Council Position 9!
González busted on the political scene in 2015 running for an open seat, with a focus on how the city can best ensure its most vulnerable residents are looked after. González ended up winning a whopping 78% of the vote that election. The message was clear: actionable solutions to ensure all residents are welcome was preferable to restricting access to homes across the city.
In the last two years, there's perhaps been no legislator in the State of Washington that's been more effective in affecting change than Councilwoman González. From ushering in paid sick and safe leave into state law (amazing), to quickly setting up a city legal defense fund for immigrants facing Trump-era sanctions (amazing-er), to working to set up and fund the Community Police Commission (Herculean amazingness); and Councilwoman González got all that done in just two years in her seat (there is plenty more – secure scheduling, protections for LGBTQ youth, to think of a couple, that further exhibit this effectiveness as a council member).
On transit and land use, González has proven herself to be a fantastic urbanist. She's voted for every MHA rezone, ensuring that as we grow, developers participate in the production of affordable units. She supports adding flexible housing types to Seattle's single family zones, and pledged to uphold the goals on Vision Zero with a race and social justice lens.
González's opponent this time around is, to put it politely, not a good fit for Seattle: Pat Murakami. Murakami has suggested downzoning every single property in the city "to its current usage,” wants to charge onerous impact fees on development as a way to stall new housing starts (without regard to the legal requirements for such fees), and wants to increase parking requirements on new buildings. Her history of opposing Casa Latina and supporting homelessness sweeps raise red flags, and her campaign has been rife with dog-whistles.
With a Mosqueda-González duo filling out the two city council city-wide seats, there's no telling what amazing policies are in store for Seattle's future. Vote González, and do it now!
Seattle School Board