Ours is a grassroots campaign driven by neighbors with shared priorities, not by big consulting firms and special interests. The two best-funded candidates in this race are spending enormous amounts of the money donated to them to the two biggest consultants in the city. At some point you have to wonder whether those funds are really helping those candidates connect with voters, or just helping fuel the "battle between the consultants" occurring in races all over our city.
But if you're like me, you care first and foremost about your community and your neighbors, and you are deeply concerned about:
AND you demand accessibility, transparency and accountability from your public servants and law enforcement.
I was the first candidate to file for Seattle City Council District 5, back in November of last year. No other candidates entered the race until months later, after the incumbent announced that she would not be seeking another term.
Immediately, people started asking me, "Why on earth would you want to be on the city council, with all the problems facing Seattle right now, and so many residents directing their anger toward council members?"
My answer is that I love my city, my city is in crisis, I share the frustration and I want to help. My father, who passed away two years ago, impressed upon me his love of Seattle, and my son Jimmy (his namesake) turned four this year, which is how old I was when I formed my first lasting memories. I want my son to be able to enjoy and grow to love the same beautiful, thriving city that I was raised in.
As a lifelong Seattle and District 5 resident, and a civic and district activist for more than 20 years, I have long considered running for office, but never felt the urgent call I feel today, inspiring me to launch my campaign. I have the skills, track record, relationships and energy needed to work with neighbors and civic and community leaders to build on and accelerate the progress already being made by Mayor Harrell and councilmembers. But I can't roll up my sleeves and jump in to help without your support.
In my view, the functioning of the council in recent years has been impaired to a degree, with members sometimes unable to work collaboratively to effectively address issues, allocate resources, and enact responsible policy. Some members preferred ideological posturing and grandstanding to finding practical solutions to problems. If I thought that the culture of the council was going to remain in that state, my decision to stand for election might have been more difficult. But I believe that the remaining members and the other viable candidates running today are individuals who can work with one another, and also share my dedication to collegiality, responsiveness to constituents, and good governance. In a word, I am positive about our prospects as a city, and I believe that through innovative public policy, collaboration and hard work, we can fully reverse course, revive and even improve the Seattle we remember from not so long ago.
Our city's challenges affect us all. I supported the move to establish council districts in order to increase representation of all neighborhoods and populations in Seattle, but I still believe that every councilmember is "at-large" in the sense that they not only represent the residents of their district, but residents city-wide. As your councilmember, I will be committed to holding regular office hours at different geographical locations throughout District 5 as well as at City Hall, and I will regularly attend community meetings and events throughout the city. I will attend council and committee meetings consistently, and encourage residents to attend and testify. I will work with other councilmembers and the mayor to make sure that commissions are filled, community liaisons are hired, and the broadest possible chorus of voices is heard.
Seattle is a compassionate city, but a city divided in important ways about how to solve the many interwoven crises facing us. We need a councilmember in District 5 with the proven leadership experience, institutional memory, and earned trust to leverage relationships across diverse communities, bring everyone to the table, and work with liberals, moderates and conservatives alike to achieve real and lasting results. As a pragmatic progressive who possesses those qualities, I believe I am the candidate in this race who is most deserving of your vote.
I ask you for your help, and I thank you for your caring and your vigilance!