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!

And to go in-depth on the #1 issue for Seattle voters:

 

Forums (Check back for updates)

 

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.

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. 16 (Monday) — Mayoral Candidate Debate, 6-8 p.m., Seattle University’s Pigott Auditorium. Hosted by Seattle University’s Institute of Public Service. Seattle Mayoral candidates. Joni Balter moderates along with SU’s Prof. Larry Hubbell. More details to come soon.

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. 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.

 

 

 

 

 


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

Durkan and Moon: Voters’ Guide on Housing and Homelessness

seattle

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. 

We created this online Voters’ Guide on Housing and Homelessness for the Aug. 1 primary. Following its conclusion, we have condensed the answers to just include those from the two candidates who will go on to the Nov. 7 general election: Jenny Durkan and Cary Moon. Scroll down to see their responses.

There are seven questions. Candidate responses are exactly as received and we have not edited them for length, typos or any other factors. The responses are grouped by question, below. You can also read their completed questionnaires here:

Jenny Durkan
Cary Moon

Many thanks to all the primary candidates who participated. To view the answers from all 12 candidates who responded to our survey, click here.

“Changing Seattle” Debate

Debate wide shot snip

The second component of our voter education project is Growing Seattle: Mayoral Candidates Debate Growth, Affordable Housing and Homelessness, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 7-8:30 p.m. at Seattle University’s Pigott Auditorium. Enrique Cerna of KCTS-TV moderated; Vernal Coleman of The Seattle Times, Heidi Groover of The Stranger and David Kroman of Crosscut posed questions.

Watch the Full Video

Seattle University’s Project on Family Homelessness and Solid Ground produced the event in partnership with Housing Development Consortium, Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness and Washington Housing Alliance Action Fund.

Because the event sold out quickly, we worked with our media partners to create a livestream. Crosscut and The Seattle Times jointly broadcast it as a livestream on their Facebook pages, and you can now watch the full video here. Also watch the video of Firesteel’s live pre-debate show on Firesteel’s Facebook page.

Note: Because Seattle University, Solid Ground, Housing Development Consortium and Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness are 501(c)(3) organizations, we are providing this information for education only and are not making endorsements. 

Voters’ Guide 

Question 1:

King County and the City of Seattle have recognized that the crises of affordability and homelessness are complex, regional issues that require regional solutions, exacerbated by the threat of potential drastic HUD funding cuts. If elected, how would you work with other regional leaders and the state and federal governments to identify, enact and implement innovative, forward-thinking solutions to decrease homelessness and increase affordability?

Jenny Durkan

Jenny Durkan

As a City, we must explore working with King County to create a regional consolidation of homelessness services under one roof. This approach would reduce administrative overhead and better coordinate service delivery. We need increased drug and mental health treatment option, low barrier shelters and a system to measure outcomes for providers. With a regional approach, we also could seek Countywide funding, to address the problem of homelessness.

We need to create more housing options in this city. I will look to leverage City and regional tools and partnerships to help meet this need including seeking property tax exemptions for low-income homeowners and for landlords providing affordable housing.

In addition, I will help lead efforts to fight any cuts in federal funding. We must rally our state and local leaders to ensure Congress rejects proposed cuts by the Trump administration.

Cary Moon

Moon.Cary


We need to work at three levels to address the affordability crisis: stop the speculation overheating our market, expand affordable housing, and build the missing middle of workforce housing.

  • I will propose a tax on corporate and non-resident ownership of housing, a tax on vacant properties, and an additional REET on luxury real estate to deter speculation.
  • I will plow proceeds into the production of affordable non-profit and public housing — seeking suitable sites on surplus public land as viable and lead a regional effort to expand the state housing trust fund, and organize the philanthropic sector to focus on housing production. We can work with communities to focus new housing in neighborhoods facing the most displacement pressure.
  • I will improve our land use code and permitting process to add more housing options for multifamily infill development: community land trusts, duplexes, backyard cottages, rowhouses, co-housing, co-ops, clustered housing, and congregate housing.

Question 2:

What is your position on the policies contained in the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA)? What do you agree with? Disagree?

Jenny Durkan

Jenny Durkan

I support the implementation of the HALA recommendations and will focus on the “highest impact recommendations” first. The cornerstone of HALA is the Mandatory Housing Affordability requirement (MHA). Achieving 20,000 new units of low-income housing over the next 10 years – the goal of HALA – requires the participation of the private housing development community. This program’s value was confirmed as projects that vested prior to the MHA program began requesting to opt into it. We must maximize the number of people eligible for these options and make sure both low-income and middle class housing exists in all parts of our city. We should remember that the “L” in “HALA” is “Livability”. Our overall approach must be holistic with our goal livability; neighborhoods and urban villages must have affordable housing, excellent public schools, green space and parks, and thriving small businesses all within easy walking distance to transit.

Cary Moon

Moon.Cary


HALA was a good first step, and I support the upzones and MHA requirements, but there is more to do to improve housing affordability in Seattle. Cities that have solved the escalation problem show that long-term, having a significant portion of public and nonprofit housing is an essential counterbalance to achieve stability in housing costs; we should aim to increase production four-fold. In Single Family zones we should pursue viable low-rise multifamily housing options for working people in the “missing middle” as described above, while maintaining the unique cultural character of neighborhoods. We need to both change the land use code in SF zoning to allow more types of multifamily options, and review and improve the permitting/ SEPA/ design review process to simplify entitlement for quality projects. We should implement targeted taxes to deter corporate and non-resident real estate speculation, and plow the proceeds into affordable housing production.

Question 3:

How would you balance the disagreement and anger expressed by some neighborhood residents towards increased density and affordable homes in specific areas of the city, with our unprecedented growth and need for increased housing options that must be shared equitably across the city?

Jenny Durkan

Jenny Durkan

We must have more equitable development. But we cannot have effective or equitable policies without broad, meaningful, and sustained community input. How we make decisions is very important, and often can be the difference between a policy that is accepted and becomes part of the fabric of our city – or one that is rejected. We know that every part of our city will grow and become more dense. As this occurs, we need to ensure it includes both affordable and middle class homes. Density comes in many forms: from upzones to townhouses to multi-family to backyard cottages and mother-in-laws.

We also must ensure benefits of development flow equitably in the city. Some of neighborhoods have borne the burden unfairly. When planning, those most impacted in our communities must be invited to ask questions, voice their concerns, and share their wisdom.

Cary Moon

Moon.Cary


I support more flexible land use codes in all zones. We have more land allocated to Single Family zoning than in any point in our city’s history, and this limitation is problematic. The starting point is reframing the question constructively: how do we ensure our neighborhoods are welcoming to folks at all income levels and stages in life? What lower cost and multifamily housing types are a good fit with neighborhood character and culture? Invite people to be part of the solution, helping tackle the affordability crisis together, working toward a future city that is inclusive and diverse. We must make a broader range of low rise multifamily housing forms more viable and increase the range of housing types being built. We also must revise the Condo Act to rebalance liability risks; the dearth of new condominiums is further limiting the supply of starter homes.

Question 4:

Did you vote for the Seattle Housing Levy in 2016? Why or why not? What kind of funding mechanism do you believe is best to generate money for housing and homelessness services?

Jenny Durkan

Jenny Durkan

Yes, I did vote for the Seattle Housing Levy in 2016 as well as the previous levies. Affordable housing is one of the biggest challenges facing Seattle and the approach of the 2016 levy – producing and preserving affordable housing, assisting low-income homeowners and providing emergency rental assistance – is a critical part of the solution.

We also have to explore both public housing investments and greater public-private partnerships to address the critical need for low income housing.

I support the Mandatory Housing Affordability program. There is no way we can achieve 20,000 new units of low-income housing over the next 10 years without the participation of the private housing development community.

We need to make sure we are funding the policies that yield the best outcomes. I will make sure that all taxpayer funds are spent effectively and efficiently, especially when it comes to housing and homelessness services.

Cary Moon

Moon.Cary


Yes, I proudly voted for the housing levy. We must address root causes of the surge in homelessness to get ahead of the problem; our housing affordability crisis, defunding of behavioral health and addiction services, and the difficulty securing stable employment are all contributing.

We need to assess the duplication of efforts and inefficiencies in our system, and collaborate across agencies and service providers to optimize the most effective solutions. I would work to find efficiencies with the existing budget, focus on solving the problem upstream, and focus philanthropists on funding the most effective solutions. And I would implement targeted taxes or other mechanisms to deter corporate and non resident real estate speculation to fund affordable housing.

Question 5:

Given that half the residents of Seattle are renters, what tenant protections — above and beyond what the city has already done — would you push to enact to ensure that potential tenants are being treated equitably?

Jenny Durkan

Jenny Durkan

First and foremost, we must ensure that renters are at the table when we discuss housing policy and issues of growth and density. We must bring more of their voices into City Hall. I support a stronger, direct voice like the new Renter’s Commission that was formed. We also must have policies to ensure that we enforce discrimination laws and that we break down the barriers that prevent people who have experienced homelessness and or who have criminal records from obtaining housing.

Cary Moon

Moon.Cary


We need to increase tenants’ rights to provide stability and protections to renters. The Seattle Renters Commission is a good first step, but we can do more to empower the voice of renters. We need to create a Renters Bill of Rights, where we lay out equitable standards that renters can expect. We need to set up legal assistance for low income people facing code violations, disputes, and the threat of eviction. We need to fund enforcement for renter protections. We need to identify better methods to prevent evictions of families with children and safeguard transitional housing for families and victims of domestic violence. We need to examine best practices for rent stabilization across the world, and figure out how to make it work in Seattle. And fundamentally, we need to exponentially expand affordable housing from only 6% of Seattle’s housing market toward a goal of four times this share.

Question 6:

Virtually every city in Washington has responded to the growing homelessness crisis by criminalizing behaviors such as sitting, lying or sleeping in public. If elected, (a) will you work to repeal and/or mitigate the impacts of ordinances that criminalize homelessness in Seattle, and (b) will you oppose attempts to introduce such ordinances?

Jenny Durkan

Jenny Durkan

Yes, I absolutely and unequivocally reject policies that criminalize homelessness. Housing is a human right, and I believe in housing first. We must not infringe upon people’s civil rights, and must do all that we can to avoid worsening the trauma of those experiencing homelessness. The best way to do this is to provide them, as quickly as possible, with the services they need based on their individual situation. The strategies we need to pursue must be focused on mental health and substance abuse treatment, low-barrier shelters, and ultimately long-term housing. People experiencing homelessness are our neighbors and are disproportionately people of color, those who identify as LGBTQ (especially among the youth population), and have a history of domestic violence abuse or experience with foster care. We must approach this issue with compassion, and help get people off the streets and into safe housing, not criminalize them.

Cary Moon

Moon.Cary


Yes. Poverty is not a crime, and we must vigilantly protect the human rights of the poor and vulnerable as we work to offer suitable shelter to our houseless neighbors. We need to address root causes of our homelessness surge to get ahead of this problem and collaborate across agencies to find the most effective solutions to help people back into secure housing.

As mayor I will:

  • Prioritize long-term supportive housing options and housing first approaches.
  • Provide more low-barrier shelters that allow the right mix of options to match needs, like allowing pets and enabling couples to stay together.
  • Address the immediate need for emergency shelter with temporary solutions like more self-governed tiny house villages hosted by churches and neighborhoods as we get more lasting solutions moving.
  • Expand shelters for victims of domestic violence that are essential to their survival.
  • Invest in treatment for mental health, drug and alcohol dependency.

Question 7:

The recent tragic killing of Charleena Lyles highlights the issues of police accountability and the intersecting systems of care in our community whose failures led to her death, including housing, mental health, child welfare, justice and more. How would you address the failure of these systems to work together?

Jenny Durkan

Jenny Durkan

The recent shooting of Charleena Lyles is a tragic reminder that police reform is never done; progress requires constant and urgent evaluation of what we can do better. We failed Ms. Lyles before the police got to her door. We must better align our systems – health care, mental health, children and family services, courts and housing – to help people in a holistic fashion.

As US Attorney, I led efforts to begin police reform in Seattle and as mayor, I will continue implementing reforms – particularly in the areas of de-escalation and crisis intervention. Under these reforms, progress has been made. But we also know that community trust can be earned or lost with every officer interaction. We must keep pushing and evaluating if policies, training and oversight are working in practice and to make sure the community has a voice in that process.

Cary Moon

Moon.Cary


I am feeling anger, rage, and grief at the tragic killing of Charleena Lyles. She needed help, and our systems failed her again and again. As a black mom of four experiencing the toxic stress of poverty, housing insecurity, domestic violence, fear of losing her kids, and suffering a mental health crisis, Charleena urgently needed the best care we could provide. But because we as a society have drained our funding for mental health care and social services, we had little to offer her.

As Mayor, I will redouble our commitment to do the transformative work to root out systemic racism, systemic wealth inequality, and ongoing societal injustice towards people of color. And work with progressive leaders across the state to build public will for progressive tax reform. We need sufficient revenue to fund the services we all know are essential to helping struggling neighbors get back on their feet.

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

seattle

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:

  • Our organizations developed potential questions and vetted them as a group.
  • We emailed the questionnaire June 30, 2017 to all 21 candidates for Seattle mayor, with a deadline of Thursday, July 13 at 5 p.m.
  • 10 of the candidates returned their questionnaire by the deadline: Gary Brose, Casey Carlisle, Jessyn Farrell, Bob Hasegawa, Lewis A. Jones, Mike McGinn, Cary Moon, James W. Norton Jr., Nikkita Oliver and Jason Roberts.
  • In addition:
    • One candidate submitted her questionnaire after the deadline: Tiniell Cato, 6 p.m. July 13. One candidate submitted a revised questionnaire after the deadline: Nikkita Oliver, 7:16 p.m. July 13. We have included these as well.
    • One candidate, Jenny Durkan, contacted us before the deadline and asked us to accept her questionnaire late. We agreed to a deadline of 5 p.m. Friday, July 14. UPDATE, Monday, July 17, 12:30 p.m.: The candidate’s responses and questionnaire are now posted below.
    • No other candidates contacted us to request we accept a late submission.
  • Four candidates expressed interest in participating but did not submit a questionnaire: Greg Hamilton, Michael Harris, Mary Martin and Larry Oberto.
  • Five candidates did not respond despite numerous attempts to contact them: Thom Gunn, Dave Kane, Harley Lever, Alex Tsimerman and Keith Whiteman.

We created this Voters’ Guide just in time to help you fill out your ballot, which King County Elections mailed July 12. Note: Because we are 501(c)(3) organizations, we are providing this information for education only and are not making endorsements.

There are seven questions. Candidate responses are exactly as received and we have not edited them for length, typos or any other factors. The responses are grouped by question. You can also see the full completed questionnaires, with candidate contact information, at the end.

Many thanks to the candidates who participated.

Save the Date: Post-Primary Candidate Forum on Housing and Homelessness, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 7 p.m. at Seattle University. 

Jump to:

Question 1: Decreasing homelessness and increasing affordability
Question 2: HALA — agree? disagree? Why and how?
Question 3: Neighborhood input on density and affordability
Question 4: Seattle Housing Levy and how best to fund housing and homelessness services
Question 5: Protections for renters, who comprise half of Seattle’s population
Question 6: The criminalization of homelessness
Question 7: How to correct the systems failure that led to the death of Charleena Lyles

Question 1:

King County and the City of Seattle have recognized that the crises of affordability and homelessness are complex, regional issues that require regional solutions, exacerbated by the threat of potential drastic HUD funding cuts. If elected, how would you work with other regional leaders and the state and federal governments to identify, enact and implement innovative, forward-thinking solutions to decrease homelessness and increase affordability?

Gary Brose

Brose_Gary edit

My first step would be to meet with the organizations already in place to hear first-hand what ideas they have for assisting the disadvantaged rapidly and equitably. Then I would make every attempt to reach rapid agreement with the mayors of surrounding communities to pool our resources and minimize overhead as we attempt to work together to create a faster moving system of assisting the homeless find short and long-term shelter. I strongly believe we have to work with the shelters already in place and assist them in providing the services needed. Increasing counselors who can interview individuals and rapidly assign a course of action for each one could help to move everyone through the systems more quickly. Keeping our staffs lean through combining overheads will help us to insure that more money goes directly to solving the homelessness issues rather than to bloated bureaucracies.

Casey Carlisle

Carlisle_Casey


King County and the City of Seattle, by way of their delusional, “progressive” policies, have created these crises, and these crises have been very lucrative for those governments.  The mayor should work only with the city and county governments, not with the state and federal governments. City Hall is largely to blame for Seattle’s cost of living and homelessness problems.  If City Hall focused only on the city by focusing only on the basics – public safety, water, electricity, and roads – City Hall would need far less tax revenue, and the cost of living wouldn’t be so high.  Regarding homelessness, the City is aiding and abetting homelessness.  The Homelessness Industrial Complex is alive and well in Seattle.  $60M will be spent on homelessness this year, but that money only enriches the NGOs that thrive on homelessness.  $60M equates to over $19k per homeless person, but the homeless don’t see that money.

 Tiniell Cato

Cato_Tiniell


As you know, Seattle Washington is an upcoming powerhouse for small businesses, non-profit organizations, and holistic wellness centers for children and adults. As a business owner, I found that you’re only as strong as our weakest link, which is our homelessness in the City.

The mission right now: is to unite all regional, state and federal government to discuss how we can merge our influences together to build an inner circle of leaders that will create the foundation for the powerhouse which in turn will create more traffic coming to and from Seattle Washington.

This economic growth and development will create addition revenue to fund solutions to decrease homelessness and increase affordability. And create jobs & resources, income, medical, education, transportation crisis etc. for all people who the community lacks today.

Jenny Durkan*

Jenny Durkan

 


As a City, we must explore working with King County to create a regional consolidation of homelessness services under one roof. This approach would reduce administrative overhead and better coordinate service delivery. We need increased drug and mental health treatment option, low barrier shelters and a system to measure outcomes for providers. With a regional approach, we also could seek Countywide funding, to address the problem of homelessness.

We need to create more housing options in this city. I will look to leverage City and regional tools and partnerships to help meet this need including seeking property tax exemptions for low-income homeowners and for landlords providing affordable housing.

In addition, I will help lead efforts to fight any cuts in federal funding. We must rally our state and local leaders to ensure Congress rejects proposed cuts by the Trump administration.

*Durkan’s questionnaire was submitted 24 hours after the deadline. We agreed to accept it in the spirit of informing voters.

Jessyn Farrell

Farrell.Jessyn


I’ve been a state legislator and have worked at the executive level in a county transit authority, so I understand how to work with multiple levels of government. I have developed relationships in Olympia as well as in Seattle and King County that will allow me to take the lead in formulating and implementing regional solutions. In the 2016 legislative authorization of Sound Transit, I secured landmark requirements for affordable housing near light rail. This will be a crucial tool in solving the problem long term. Ultimately, we need to pull together as a region to focus on increasing the supply of affordable housing through all available means, and I’m the candidate with the skills to do that.

Bob Hasegawa

Hasegawa_Bob


Seattle is not alone when it comes to addressing the joint crisis of affordability and homelessness. This year during the annual count of the homeless in King County, more than 11,600 people were tallied in this year’s point-in-time count — with 5,485 of them found to be living on the streets, in motor vehicles and tent encampments. Also, according to a survey conducted as part of the count, 40 percent of the 1,131 people surveyed reported becoming homeless at some point in the last three years. This is reflective of the overall state of affairs in the county. We need to do a better job of addressing homelessness and affordability in the region, and as mayor I would meet with other mayors and leaders to find ways in which we can work together to address these issues.

Lewis A. Jones

Lewis Jones


With the future in mind, we emphasize the importance of the uneducated to practice savings and with bank cooperation access to forming an account with a small deposit. Transitional housing for families and females.  Immediate rentals with city funds.  Storage of belongings, mail stops, answering service for jobs, a place to stay dry, for those yet out.  With the CCC-type approach from the Depression era, sanitary houses for washing clothes, showers, wherein the homeless themselves work to keep these places clean, and pay low rent, or work for housing. I will fight homelessness with a prosperity (see the following)

Mike McGinn

McGinn Headshot Voter Guide


As mayor from 2010-13 I enjoyed strong working relationships with other mayors, as well as the King County Executive, because we met regularly and listened to each other. I led regional coalitions on new funding approaches for local streets, as well as opposing coal and oil trains. If elected, I would partner with other regional leaders to convene a working group on how to decrease homelessness and increase affordability. That would mean setting goals and building support for regional funding options as well as land use reforms to make housing more affordable. Statewide, we should restart the conversation around tax reform a way to increase affordability, diversify revenue streams, and reduce our reliance on regressive taxes.  We cannot rely on the federal government to address our homelessness and affordability.

Cary Moon

Moon.Cary


We need to work at three levels to address the affordability crisis: stop the speculation overheating our market, expand affordable housing, and build the missing middle of workforce housing.

  • I will propose a tax on corporate and non-resident ownership of housing, a tax on vacant properties, and an additional REET on luxury real estate to deter speculation.
  • I will plow proceeds into the production of affordable non-profit and public housing — seeking suitable sites on surplus public land as viable and lead a regional effort to expand the state housing trust fund, and organize the philanthropic sector to focus on housing production. We can work with communities to focus new housing in neighborhoods facing the most displacement pressure.
  • I will improve our land use code and permitting process to add more housing options for multifamily infill development: community land trusts, duplexes, backyard cottages, rowhouses, co-housing, co-ops, clustered housing, and congregate housing.

James Norton Jr.

Linda Brooks Photography


As far as homelessness we need to identify what each person suffers from in order to properly treat or provide care for them. There is a huge difference between someone who is homeless and wants to be left alone to a homeless person on hard time, mentally ill and substance abuse. Our current city government doesn’t understand and lumps them altogether.
Affordability and low income affordability are 2 different things. Low income housing does need to increase and I believe there has to a drastic criteria change for those qualified. I have seen too many people who earn to high of an income to qualify yet still need assistance. These people eventually become part of the problem as they slip into the working poor category. I would like to work with our state housing departments to determine a better evaluation process for those who might be qualified and benefit from more housing.

Nikkita Oliver

Oliver_Nikkita


Seattle’s homelessness crisis goes hand in hand with the lack of affordable housing options in our city. Seattle has tremendous amounts of development yet very little of it actually meets the needs of our residents. I will push for the development of truly affordable housing by 1) redefining “affordability,” 2) holding developers accountable to provide 25% mandatory affordable housing, 3) leveraging Seattle’s bonding capacity to build city-owned public housing units, 4) re-assess the current budget/divert funds to our immediate needs, and 5) address the issue of speculative capital.

We Will Also:
1) increase the number of low-barrier shelters and shelters, 2) building housing options that incorporate wrap around services, 3) address the current opioid crisis as a public health issue, 4) work closely with King County and cities in our region to develop a regional plan for quality affordable housing.

Jason Roberts

Roberts.Jason


Housing affordability is defined by the area median income. The AMI is calculated by HUD based on census data. Our regional wage disparity has inflated the AMI to proportions that do not reflect what the average worker earns, hence unrealistic and unaffordable pricing models exist in our housing market. I would like to work with HUD and our state legislators to factor the AMI based on what the average worker earns, not the sum average of all earned wages in the region. Currently the AMI is near 80k per year, I believe a more accurate number would be around 40 to 50k.

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Seattle Mayoral Candidate Forums in July

 

Vote Dog Buzzfeed enhanced-buzz-8457-1372697855-23
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 info@eastlakeseattle.org.

 

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 hinrichc@seattleu.edu. 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

 

 

khadija-diallo-copy
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

 

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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