From DeWolf for City Council
I am proud to have earned critical endorsements from my union brothers and sisters from Teamsters 117, 174, and 763, Ironworkers Local 86, SEIU 775, and UA Local 32. And as of Wednesday, the MLK Labor Council. I believe in unions and workers organizing.
These are endorsements I sought out.
During the MLK Labor Council endorsement process, people have inquired whether I sought the endorsement of SPOG specifically. I did not.
This moment does invite an opportunity to share my values and ideas since this experience has shaped my neighbor’s understanding of who I am.
As a queer, Native person, my identities have been at the receiving end of systems violence. John T Williams, the impetus for the consent decree, and folks like CeCe McDonald, are important examples that have shaped my feelings about police accountability and the need for more trust between Native, black, immigrant, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, and other marginalized communities and the police.
On the School Board, I’ve been grateful to work with the NAACP Youth Coalition and I endorse their call for counselors NOT cops. I don’t believe in sweeps and integrating police into our homeless outreach because these methods can harm our communities and criminalize the most vulnerable. On the Capitol Hill Community Council, I expanded L.E.A.D. to our neighborhood, which reduces the interaction of our neighbors with the criminal justice system. As someone who sat on SPD’s Native American Advisory Council, I worked on building and restoring trust between our community and the police.
“Zachary has been a longtime champion for safety in our communities-he sat on the Native American Advisory Council with SPD. I look forward to working with him on Council to continue championing police accountability,” said Jay Westwind Wolf Hollingsworth, Chair, John T. Williams Organizing Coalition (former Community Police Commission member).
During the campaign, I’ve advocated for expanding the Community Service Officer program and L.E.A.D., for making sure officers live in Seattle and our neighborhoods and that they are representative of the communities they serve; and, allowing a civilian liaison at the negotiating table. There are ways we can invest in the community, through long-term environmental design tactics and opportunities for youth employment. Even more, we should be investing in community based violence prevention programs and victim re-entry programs, meaningful de-escalation training for law enforcement, and community accountability for use of deadly force and racially motivated enforcement.
The values I hold, particularly when it comes to my community, is to center the people most affected by an issue in the solution. Communities of color and queer and trans people are disproportionately impacted by police violence and mass incarceration. For too long, our leaders have felt compelled to advocate for more policing. In my experience, I’ve found that our communities often hold the solutions to our own safety and well-being. And law enforcement, as members of our community, are accountable to our values and must also center those people most impacted.
To govern is to work with others, no matter our differences, to find solutions that reduce harm, build trust and harmony, and allow all of our neighbors—regardless of their race, ability, sexuality, or gender identity—to live free of fear of violence. As your council member, I will continue to do what I feel is right: centering my neighbors most impacted by issues in the solutions.