A More Inclusive Neighborhood Planning Process
When it comes to the neighborhood planning process, it is essential that residents’ voices are heard. My goal is to make sure the countless hours of dedicated work by community members are not ignored, and are considered when rezoning proposals are introduced. Preserving the character and flavor of Seattle neighborhoods is important to me and I will work hard to make sure the integrity of our neighborhoods is preserved. I will visit the neighborhoods throughout the City on a regular basis to listen to residents about their vision for their neighborhoods and I’ll make sure City planners incorporate their desires in any rezoning proposals.
Housing Affordability, Accountability and Inclusion
Affordable housing in Seattle is a serious issue that must be addressed with a strong policy and accountability. I will work to develop a policy to include a minimum of 25-30% of affordable units in every new housing project and I’ll work to make sure the units remain affordable for the life of the project. I will also work to establish a unit within the Office of Housing to verify compliance on a regular basis of the affordable unit policy as well as the City’s existing policies for inclusionary housing.
I am genuinely concerned about the families, individuals, and children living on the streets of Seattle and I am going to do whatever I can to help address their needs. I will work with the Real Estate Division of the City’s Department of Finance and Administrative Services to identify surplus property that can be used as campuses to provide medical, mental health, social services, and job counseling on site. I will also work closely with the Seattle Police Department to address the criminal elements that prey on those who are homeless. I will also work with the Mayor and my City Council colleagues on strategies to get people out of tents, alleyways, and cars into permanent housing.
Economic development is a process whereby we work to improve our quality of life. In doing so, it is important for neighborhoods to be accommodating and safe; it is important for businesses to thrive and prosper. I will work with the Mayor’s Office, my City Council Colleagues, the Seattle Office of Economic Development, business associations, Chambers of Commerce, and neighborhood stakeholders to develop a comprehensive 5-10-year City-wide economic strategy to recruit businesses and help existing businesses stay in and expand within our City. Additionally, I will continue both my support for neighborhood community development efforts and the creation of pathways to careers for our youth. I will also work to develop local incentive programs to encourage the development of affordable commercial space for small businesses.
According to the Seattle Office of Planning and Community Development, “Equitable development means making public and private investments in neighborhoods that support those most in need and that considers past history and current conditions so that future outcomes are equitably distributed, both for those currently living and working in Seattle, as well as new arrivals.” I will work to make sure that equitable development actually happens in every neighborhood in the City of Seattle. I will work to make sure that developers do not ignore community neighborhood plans but act instead to include residents in planning processes from the beginning to ensure neighborhood needs are met. I will work to introduce legislation to set aside a portion of the Equitable Development Fund to provide loans to small commercial property owners so they can develop properties themselves rather than having to sell to large developers.
As a member of the Seattle City Council, I pledge to be a good steward of the tax payer's money. I do not believe the solution to every problem the City encounters is to raise taxes. I believe with a close examination of the budget through the lens of efficiency, we can run the City with funds we have and avoid overburdening residents with constant tax increases. My pledge is to not introduce or support a measure to increases taxes, unless such action proves necessary.