Seattle Candidate Forums, Fall 2017



Patriotic Labrador dog with USA costume
Patriot Pup photo credit: iStockPhoto


Seattle voters: Learn more about our next Mayor and City Council members at candidate forums this fall. Be sure to ask the candidates about their housing and homelessness platforms!


Candidate Forums (Check back for updates)


Mayoral Candidate Debate credit Dean Rutz_The Seattle Times 203429_MayoralDebate_64-550x440_w-creditline


Aug. 17 (Thursday)Tourism Industry Candidate Forum, 2:30-5:30 p.m., Bell Harbor International Conference Center. Hosted by Visit Seattle. Dave Ross of KIRO Radio moderates discussions with Mayoral and at-large City Council candidates. $10. Register here.

Sept. 12 (Tuesday) — Changing Seattle:  Mayoral Candidates Debate Growth, Affordable Housing and Homelessness,  at Seattle University. Free. Enrique Cerna of KCTS-TV moderated, with Vernal Coleman of The Seattle Times, Heidi Groover of The Stranger and David Kroman of Crosscut posing questions. Note: This event sold out and was livestreamed as a joint broadcast on Crosscut’s Facebook page and on  The Seattle Times’ Facebook page. Watch it hereYou can also watch the video of the live pre-debate show on Firesteel’s Facebook page; see recaps of media coverage of the debate, community questions and more at Solid Ground’s recap; and visit our Voters’ Guide on Housing and Homelessness, which we’ve updated for the general election.

Sept. 19 (Tuesday) — Seattle Candidate Forum on Education, 5:15-7:30 p.m. at Asian Counseling and Referral Services, 3639 Martin Luther King Jr Way S, Seattle. Hosted by School’s Out Washington. Seattle Mayoral, City Council and School Board candidates. Free; register here.

Sept. 20 (Wednesday) — Seattle Human Services Coalition candidates forum, 5-7:30 p.m. at Miller Community Center. Seattle Mayoral, City Council, City Attorney candidates will talk about the role of human services in building a just and thriving community in Seattle and King County. RSVPs requested by Sept. 18.

Sept. 28 (Thursday) — Mayoral Candidate Forum on Homelessness and Affordable Housing, 6:30-8 p.m. at St. James Cathedral, 803 Terry Ave. Hosted by St. James Housing Advocacy Committee. Free and open to the public. More information: Patrick Barredo,, 206/382-4515.

Oct. 2 (Monday)Seattle Mayoral Forum on Arts and the Environment, noon-1:30 p.m. at KEXP (Seattle Center). Florangela Davila of Crosscut and Brady Piñero Walkinshaw of Grist will moderate. Hosted by ArtsFund, Crosscut,, KING 5, KEXP, Seattle City of Music and Seattle Parks Foundation, along with numerous community partners. Free; also to be livestreamed on KING5’s Facebook page and those of the partners. More information on the event page. 

Oct. 7 (Saturday) Seattle East African Mayoral Candidates Forum, noon-3 p.m., Rainier Arts Center, 3515 S. Alaska St. Hosted by numerous East African community organizations. More information on the event page.

Oct. 10 (Tuesday)Seattle for All Ages Mayoral Debate, 7 p.m. on KOMO (Channel 4/ABC). Hosted by KOMO and AARP, moderated by KOMO’s Mary Nam. Livestream on and on KOMO Newsradio 1000AM / 97.7FM. Debate watch parties at Rainier Beach Community Center, 8825 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle 98118, and Central Area Senior Center, 500 30th Ave. S., Seattle 98144;  doors open at 6:30 p.m, no RSVP required. Submit questions by email to  or on Facebook at  and  The debate will also be televised on KOMO 4 TV Saturday, Oct. 14 at 9 p.m. UPDATE: Video from the debate is posted here.

Oct. 12 (Thursday)API Candidates Forum, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Nagomi Tea House, 519 6th Ave S., Seattle. Hosted by API. Seattle Mayoral, City Council, and Port Commissioner candidates.

Oct. 15 (Sunday)Our Seattle: Meet the Candidates, 4-6 p.m., Rainier Arts Center, 3515 S. Alaska St. Hosted by Democracy Voucher Program in partnership with Town Hall and others. Enrique Cerna of KCTS 9 will moderate discussion with candidates for mayor, City Council and City Attorney. Registration required; information here.

Oct. 16 (Monday)Conversation with Seattle’s Mayoral Candidates,   6:30-7:50 p.m., Seattle University’s Pigott Auditorium. Hosted by Seattle University’s Institute of Public Service. Seattle Mayoral candidates in conversation moderated by SU’s Joni Balter and Prof. Larry Hubbell, with David Kroman of Crosscut. Preceded by reception 6-6:30 p.m. Free; Register here. UPDATE: Video from the event is on KIRO7’s Facebook page.

Oct. 17 (Tuesday)Africatown Voter Education Candidate Forum, 5:30-8:30 p.m. at Washington Hall. Hosted by Black Dot and Africatown-Central District with numerous partners. Candidates for Mayor, City Council, City Attorney, Port of Seattle and Seattle School Board will participate. Registration and more information on the event page.

Oct. 18 (Wednesday)Seattle City Council Debate, 6-7:30 p.m. at The Seattle Public Library, Central Branch, 1000 4th Ave. Hosted by Seattle City Club and The Seattle Public Library. Candidates for at-large City Council positions 8 and 9. Free; register here.

Oct. 19 (Thursday)Public Health & Safety Candidate Forum, 6-8 p.m. at New Holly Gathering Hall, 7054 32nd Avenue S. Hosted by Public Defender Association. Seattle mayor and City Council candidates. Free; register here.

Oct. 22 (Sunday)Mayoral Candidate Forum, 5-6 p.m. at Phinney Neighborhood Association (host), 6523 Phinney Ave N. David Hyde of KUOW will moderate. More information on the event page.

Oct. 24 (Tuesday)Seattle Mayoral Debate, 6-8 p.m. at Starbucks Support Center, 401 Utah Ave. S. Hosted by Seattle CityClub, KING5, KUOW and GeekWire. To be broadcast and livestreamed. UPDATE: Full audio is available here.

Oct. 26 (Thursday)Northeast Seattle Mayoral Candidate Forum, 7-9 p.m. at Congregation Beth Shalom (6800 35th Avenue NE). Co-hosted by the Northeast Seattle Communities of Hawthorne Hills, Laurelhurst, Windermere, Windermere North, Wedgwood, Ravenna-Bryant and View Ridge. Submit questions or get more information from

Oct. 29 (Sunday)Seattle Peoples Party Mayoral and City Council Position 8 Debate, 5-7 p.m., Blaine Memorial UMC, 3001 24th Ave S., Seattle (NEW LOCATION). Moderated by Nikkita Oliver.  City Council Position 8 debate at 5 p.m., followed by mayoral debate at 6 p.m. Will be streamed live via Facebook Live on the Peoples Party Facebook and the event page. Free and open to the public. More information: Daeshik Kim, 808/222-1453, UPDATE: Watch the archived video here.

Oct. 31 (Tuesday)2017 Mayoral Forum, noon-1 p.m., The Seattle Public Library, Central Branch, downtown Seattle. Hosted by Friends of The Seattle Public Library and The Seattle Public Library Foundation. Free and open to the public; no registration needed. Moderated by Q13 FOX News’ C. R. Douglas. Bring your questions to submit in writing. This event may be televised; see the event page for more information.



You can also see what the candidates said about housing and homelessness in this two-page guide created by Housing Development Consortium, Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness, Washington Housing Alliance Action Fund and Campion Advocacy Fund.


Check back as we’ll be updating this regularly. Hosting a forum?  Please send details to Thanks!

Durkan and Moon: Voters’ Guide on Housing and Homelessness


To help Seattle voters make the important choice of how to vote for our next mayor, we’ve partnered with leading housing and homelessness advocacy organizations and service providers on a 2017 voter education project, with two major components:

  • Voters’ Guide on Housing and Homelessness
  • Changing Seattle: Mayoral Candidates Debate Growth, Affordable Housing and Homelessness, Tuesday, Sept. 12 at Seattle University

Voter’s Guide

The first, below, is this online Voters’ Guide on Housing and Homelessness, produced in partnership with Solid Ground, Housing Development Consortium and Seattle-King County Coalition on Homelessness.  Continue reading

Voters’ Guide on Housing and Homelessness — 2017 Seattle Mayoral Race (Primary Election)


UPDATE, Aug. 15: To see the updated Voters’ Guide and responses from our two general election candidates, Jenny Durkan and Cary Moon, click here.


To help Seattle voters make the important choice of how to vote for our next mayor, we’re partnering with Solid Ground, Housing Development Consortium and Seattle-King County Coalition on Homelessness on a 2017 voter education project.

We created this online Voters’ Guide on Housing and Homelessness for the Aug. 1 primary, using the results of our Mayoral Candidate Questionnaire on Housing and Homelessness. Our methodology: Continue reading

Seattle Mayoral Candidate Forums in July


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We don’t have a dog in this fight. We just want you to vote! Image from Buzzfeed.


Seattle voters: Still trying to decide who to vote for in the mayoral race? Here’s a list of some candidate forums (fora?) coming up before the Aug. 1 primary. Be sure to ask these candidates about their housing and homelessness platforms!

UPDATE JULY 16: Check out our Voters’ Guide on Housing & Homelessness, published in partnership with Solid Ground, Housing Development Consortium and Seattle-King County Coalition on Homelessness.


July 8 (Saturday) Seattle Neighborhood Coalition forum, part 2, 9-11 a.m. at Central Area Senior Center. With the other three of the “Top 6” — Moon, McGinn, Hasegawa (first forum was June 10).


July 10 (Monday) – Seattle Youth Mayoral Candidate Forum, hosted by Seattle Young People’s Project. 6-8 p.m. Black Power Epicenter, 6218 Beacon Ave S. Ages 22 and under invited. Candidates: Cary Moon, Mary Martin, Nikkita Oliver, Harley Lever, Gary Brose, Jenny Durkan*, Mike McGinn*. *apparently tentative


July 11 (Tuesday)Candidate Survivor, hosted by The Stranger, partnering with Washington Bus. 8 p.m. at Neumo’s. “Top 6” candidates plus Greg Hamilton and Jason Roberts (chosen by poll).


July 13 (Thursday) – Seattle Mayoral Forum, hosted by Allied Arts & Forterra. Doors open 6 p.m., event 7-9 p.m., Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center. Top 6 invited. Enrique Cerna moderating.


July 15 (Saturday)CIRCC Mayoral Candidates Forum, hosted by Coalition of Immigrants Refugees and Communities of Color, at Eritrean Association of Greater Seattle, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. No indication as of July 7 as to which candidates are attending.


July 17 (Monday)Seattle Mayoral Debate, hosted by KING, KUOW, Geekwire and City Club, 6:30-8 p.m., Impact Hub. “Top 6” candidates. Ross Reynolds and Natalie Brand moderating. Top 6 invited. KING and KUOW will air live, and Geekwire will livestream.


July 18 (Tuesday)Candidate Forum, hosted by Eastlake Community Council. 7-9:30 p.m., Pocock Rowing Center, 3320 Fuhrman Ave. Candidates for mayor plus District 8 & 9 City Council. Submit questions to


July 19 (Wednesday)Queering Politics Candidate Forum, hosted by LGBTQ Allyship, Southside Commons, 6-9 p.m. With mayoral candidates Nikkita Oliver, Bob Hasegawa, Jenny Durkan, Jessyn Farrell, Mike McGinn, Cary Moon, Jason Roberts, and Alex Tsimerman. Also attending are select Position 8 & 9 candidates. Nicole Keenan, executive director of the Fair Work Center, will moderate.


July 20 (Thursday)Dark Horse Mayoral Forum, 6-9 p.m., Box House, 124 S. Washington St. Hosted by “dark horse” Jason Roberts. With mayoral candidates Casey Carlisle, Greg Hamilton, Michael Harris, Harley Lever, James Norton and Jason Roberts.

Any others? Please send them to Thanks!

Happy Hellos and Hard Goodbyes, 2017 Edition — Part Two, the Hellos

Tess Madison Katie


A few weeks ago, we said goodbye to our wonderful project team from the 2016-17 school year. Now comes the “happy” part — welcoming a new team of Seattle U students. Say hello to three new project assistants, all with different backgrounds but a common desire to make a difference in the work to end family homelessness.


Tess Riski, Project Assistant

Tess Riski headshot

A rising senior double-majoring in Journalism and Teaching for the Humanities, Tess Riski joined us in mid-June 2017. After some orientation and training, she quickly jumped into our busy summer.

On her first official day in the office, she wrote about what she learned during #SeaHomeless, the day of concerted reporting on homelessness by 20 different local media organizations. She’s also helping us with our collaboration on a voter education project about Seattle’s mayoral election with housing and homelessness partners, including an online voters’ guide and the fall candidate forum.

Finally, she’ll be helping us prepare for the upcoming project with Pongo Teen Writing and Schoolhouse Washington, before doing a study abroad this fall.

You can read more about her here. Welcome, Tess!


Madison Vucci, Digital Design Project Assistant

Madison Vucci photo

Senior Madison Vucci is the fifth Digital Design student to serve on our team. When she joins us in mid-July, we’ll draw upon her design skills to help promote the voter education project and the Pongo project.

Madison says an early understanding of inequality in America is the root of what pushed her to make an impact on society with her art.

Digital Design Prof. Naomi Kasumi, who every year recommends the design student she feels is the best fit for our project, connected us to Madison. Prof. Kasumi first introduced us to Madison’s work by showing Catherine one of her class projects — a phenomenally creative and highly functional civil rights tool that maybe Madison can share more about sometime. Thank you, Prof. Kasumi, for yet again sending a great design student our way.

Check out Madison’s background here. Welcome, Madison!


Katie Bradley, Project Assistant

Katie Bradley2

This fall, Katie Bradley will join our team after a summer internship at Amazon. Katie is a senior double-majoring in Strategic Communications and Public Affairs, which means her education straddles both our previous home in Communications and our current home in the Institute of Public Service.

Katie also works as a resident assistant in one of the SU residence halls and serves as executive vice president of SU American Marketing Association. She learned about our project from her friend and fellow Strat Comm major, our just-graduated project assistant Shan Yonamine. (Thanks, Shan!)

When she’s officially on campus this fall, we’ll ask her to write her bio. Till then, we await her arrival with great anticipation. Welcome, Katie!



Flashback: Revisit some of our previous project teams:

We’ve had many more awesome students on our team — most recently, Haley, Krista, Paige and Emma — and apparently we didn’t do a tribute to all of them because they graduated at different times during the year. You can see some of their great work by entering their names in the search box below.






What I Learned About Family & Youth Homelessness from #SeaHomeless

Tess Riski headshot

By Tess Riski, Project Assistant, Seattle University Project on Family Homelessness

Editor’s Note: Seattle University Journalism and Teaching for Humanities rising senior Tess Riski recently joined our project team. This is her first post for our project. Read more about her here.


All day this past Wednesday, June 28, a host of Seattle media outlets participated in #SeaHomeless and concentrated their reporting on a group of people often kept in the shadows of mainstream news coverage: those experiencing homelessness.

I just started my position as Project Assistant at the Seattle University Project on Family Homelessness, and this last week has been an intense learning process for me. Continue reading

Happy Hellos and Hard Goodbyes, 2017 Edition — Part One



Team 2016-17
Our 2016-17 SU student team, L-R: Khadija, Mandy and Shan, happy to be days away from graduating.


By Catherine Hinrichsen, Project Director, Project on Family Homelessness


The annual tradition of saying goodbye to our graduating student team never gets easier. But here we are again, celebrating the reason why our project remains strong: We choose a team of outstanding student assistants each year, and we get to watch them change the world while they’re still in school. Then it comes time to let go. Continue reading

“Designing for Social Change” — Mandy’s Reflection

By Mandy Rusch, Digital Design Project Assistant 2016-17


Photo Mandy working on pamphlet
Me hand-folding the pamphlets I designed for Renters’ Rights 101 in May.


What I’m proudest of

I am proudest of the All Home Infographic reporting on this year’s Count Us In data. When I was first brought on as the design assistant here, my supervisor, Catherine, showed me Amy Phung’s One Night Count infographic from 2016 as an example of the type of projects I would be working on. I remember how excited I was about the scope and impact of her work, especially when I heard that it had been used to advocate for policy change.

Continue reading

“My Dream” — Khadija’s Reflection

By Khadija Diallo, Project Assistant, 2016-17



Me at the beginning of the year.


For the past year, I have had the pleasure of working on the Project on Family Homelessness as a project assistant. It was my dream to be part of the project from the minute I heard about it. I wanted to start using my Strategic Communications skills for good and I knew I could have an impact on my community if I worked on this important Project.

I’m happy to say that I was right. Continue reading

“Helping People Comes First” – Shan’s Reflection

By Shan Yonamine, Project Assistant 2016-2017


One of my favorite memories as a project assistant was attending Housing and Homelessness Advocacy Day in February.

As my time as a project assistant comes to a close, I can’t help but look back at when I started on the project last summer. I recall looking through our blog and seeing all the posts, events and infographics created by previous project assistants and I was filled with wonder and excitement. I was excited to work on a project that produced such amazing work, but I wondered if I would be able to do the same. One year later, I am happy to say that I have. Continue reading