Build A Local Economy That Works For All
In Seattle, we have a booming economy—it’s one of the reasons our city has experienced so much growth over the past decade. However, as we grow, we need to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to succeed and share in that prosperity. In Seattle, we should encourage the growth of our small businesses, promote good living wage jobs, ensure educational opportunity for all, grow economic stability, and build trust and respect for all in our community. That’s how we create a thriving local economy that works for all, not just the wealthy few.
As your Seattle City Councilmember, I will:
Every worker should be able to put food on the table, a roof over their head, and go out to local shops and truly thrive—no one should have to just survive. I am proud of our city for being a national leader on minimum wage, sick leave, wage theft protections, and secure scheduling. Building on our city’s success, I helped to draft and pass the statewide initiative (I-1433) to raise the minimum wage and provide earned sick and safe leave for all workers in our state. While we have a lot to be proud of, there’s still a great deal to be done to create an economy that works for all.
We need to create and promote good stable jobs, and recognize that women and people of color are disproportionately represented among low-wage workers. One way is to create greater equity in the workplace and in society for working families. While voters approved the Family and Education Levy, which invested $235 million over seven years, there are still far too many underserved families that can’t afford child care. Child care is also an industry dominated by women, people of color, immigrants and refugees, and provides a critical service to allow families to be economically stable, but often child care providers themselves are not sufficiently paid. I will push for more affordable childcare that works for families and providers. Far too many working families are having to make impossible decisions about whether to stay home or forgo thousands in earnings due to expensive child care costs. Many working parents are forced to return to work far too early after birth or adoption, or go without needed pay because of a lack of paid family and medical leave for all.
As your City Councilmember, I will work fight for greater economic stability for all, by supporting child care for all families, family and medical leave for all residents, and equal pay for women. These policies are critical to creating greater equity and stability for Seattle’s working families, good for our local economy, and are smart public health policies.
- Expand the child care subsidy program to all families so that no family is paying more than 10% of their income on child care for children from birth through age 5.
- Create an Early Care and Education Workforce Board, jointly run by the City and provider organizations to recommend policy and investment priorities.
- Support and expand the Seattle Preschool Program to serve more families in our city.
- Pass paid family and medical leave for all residents of our city—if the state fails to pass paid family leave, we must step up.
- Prioritize and pass legislation demanding equal pay for women, allow workers to discuss and compare wages without fear of retaliation, and prevent the tracking of women into lower paying jobs.
We can build an economy in Seattle that reflects our progressive values and creates greater opportunity across our community when we support access to educational opportunities, good living wage jobs, and help out small businesses. Small business entrepreneurs, women and minority business owners, help create active community centers and neighborhood economic hubs when given a chance to startup and thrive. Many small business owners tell me that they often face problems in finding the right size space that fits their needs and is affordable. Many more say they need finical assistance in the first few years to make sure they have the economic stability and financial backing needed to invest in their business. We can address these needs.
As your City Councilmember, I will work with small businesses and community partners to enhance city resources to support small businesses and help find the right-sized spaces. By including women and minority business owners from the community in planning & development, we can help create or incentivize smaller affordable retail spaces on the first and second floors. By working with immigrant, women, and minority business owners we can enhance micro-lending programs to help address barriers to get through the toughest first few years – which creates new jobs.
- Expand assistance for small loans for businesses through a targeted micro-lending programs in underserved areas throughout Seattle and for women/minority owned businesses.
- Mirror Portland’s MicroMercantes program to create space for small businesses to startup, much like the food innovation zone envisioned in Rainier Beach that just hit a hurdle.
- Incentivize the creation of smaller retail space around transit hubs to promote economic activity and walkable neighborhoods.
- Push for progressive tax options, like a statewide high-income earners tax and a tax on Capital Gains, to right-side-up our upside-down tax system so that small businesses shoulder less of the tax burden.
- Create a citywide municipal broadband utility, modeled after the success the city has had with Seattle City Light, so that all Seattle residents have fast, affordable internet to help businesses, help workers find job opportunities, and create access for all.
As Seattle and the surrounding area grows, our traffic becomes increasingly gridlocked and we spend far too much time on the road and away from our families. Our time spent in traffic takes a toll—it impacts our economy, our health, and the environment. Exhaust fumes pollute our air and contribute to climate change and our quality of life. Time spent in between commutes drains us mentally and physically, and when we have too many cars on the road, it impacts our ability to move freight and support our businesses. Our region has incredible investments in the form of ST2, ST3, and the Move Seattle levy, but we must look for ways to do more to ensure we create real and immediate transportation solutions. We can find ways to ensure our community spends less time commuting and more time with friends and family.
As your City Councilmember, I push to expedite projects to better connect our city so we have safe streets, bikable and walkable communities, and public transportation solutions.
- Build sidewalks where there are none to promote safe routes to schools and safe walkways for those using strollers, walkers or wheelchairs.
- Complete the cycling infrastructure master plan to connect our communities, workplaces, and commerce.
- Support Transit Oriented Development for housing and businesses to create more walkable, livable communities.
- Improve our roads by slowing traffic in residential areas, filling potholes and fixing unsafe surfaces, and investing smart grid technology that helps improve commute times and move people and commerce more efficiently.
- Expand the bus pass program for youth needing to get to school and seniors wanting to stay mobile and connected.
When we have an accessible network of sidewalks, parks and community centers distributed equitably throughout Seattle, then we promote vibrant healthy urban spaces that create more than just a place to play—it promotes public safety and a sense of respect and investment in our communities. We see the public’s health improve and communities that thrive. Seattle has a flourishing network of parks and public spaces—however, much of the city remains cut off from greenways, public spaces and parks that should be for all in our community to enjoy. Further compounding our ability to be healthy and feel safe is that many in our community fear being targeted and arrested by our own police, and many families and individuals hesitate to contact the police when there is danger. While we’ve seen a decrease in use of force by police due to the community-directed reforms, we need recognize the use of force is still higher against people of color. When we invest in policies that promote trust through community-oriented policing solutions we can improve public safety, we will see the public’s health improve as well.
As your City Councilmember, I want every resident to be able to feel safe, feel respected, enjoy our public spaces, and connect with the thriving communities throughout Seattle. When we prioritize investing in the public’s trust, then the public’s health, safety, and sense of overall respect improves. I want Seattle to be a community where people want to live, where kids feel safe going to school, where all are valued and respected by our community police, and where our local economy can truly thrive.
- Invest in clean and accessible public spaces, parks, greenways, non-scheduled playfield times, and community pools/center activities—equitably throughout Seattle
- Invest and implement the city’s Age Friendly Initiative to promote the health and safety of our elders, and cross-generational strategies to promote Seattle’s diverse communities.
- Continue to advance multidisciplinary crisis teams, including mental health professionals, social workers, and crisis counselors as well as specially trained police officers to help de-escalate and deal with emergency situations.
- Continue to support ongoing crisis intervention training, deescalation training and continuous implicit bias training that takes on issues of race – because the brain is a muscle and needs ongoing training.
- Support an Independent Community Oversight Board to ensure community-driven solutions to promote trust with our police force – which is good for the public’s health.