The mayor of Capitol Hill: Why you should vote for Jenny Durkan*

(Images: Alex Garland)

Seattle’s next mayor will be a woman. She will have two children. She will be wealthy. But there are, indeed, big differences between candidates Cary Moon and Jenny Durkan. Earlier this week, we made the neighborhood case for a vote for Moon. Here is why you might consider Durkan.

Monday night at Seattle University, Durkan attended her fourth mayoral forum of the day. She had likely rehearsed her answers a dozen times but CHS found Durkan to prove an unexpected surprise on most topics. The former U.S. Attorney knows her stuff.

Her background strikes a chord. Durkan was born and raised in Issaquah and bee-bopped around Capitol Hill for middle and elementary school. She later volunteered at an Alaskan high school for a year teaching English where she travelled by boat to small villages. Durkan also lived in Washington D.C. for four and a half years.

During her time at law school, the mayoral candidate voluntarily counseled for the Black Prisoners Caucus. She went to a defense law clinic for the poor, or the “indigent” as she called them. Durkan helped pass a nondiscrimination bill in Olympia for LGBTQIA+ rights. For three decades prior, she fought for gay men’s rights in hospitals and hospice. Durkan was also the first citizen observer on police reform.

“For three years I sat in on every police shooting case there was,” Durkan said. “I have spent decades working for social justice in this city.” Continue reading

The mayor of Capitol Hill: Why you should vote for Cary Moon*

Moon faced off with Durkan at Seattle U Monday night. Tuesday, the candidates are on the bill for the Africatown-Central District Voter Education Forum at Washington Hall (Images: Alex Garland)

If you’re still undecided amidst the live debates and comparison pieces between mayoral candidates Cary Moon and Jenny Durkan, maybe this will finally settle the score.

Moon is personable and approachable. But she speaks from an uncommon point of view: She’s most versed in the lofty language of programs and policies. She often gets into the reeds when discussing affordable housing.

“Definitely my system-thinking, engineer brain likes to go up to the 30,000 foot level,” Moon said. “It’s good for developing solutions but not always good for building public will around them.”

This is the case for a Capitol Hill vote for candidate Moon. * Don’t worry, Jenny Durkan backers — we’ll take a swing for your candidate, next. (UPDATE 10/18/2017: Here you go.)

The crux of Moon’s platform is affordable housing. On the topic, Moon dives into background logistics, naming real estate investment trusts and private equity funds. She said Seattle needs to understand what drives up prices and what viable tools can legally “disincentivize” it. Continue reading

Your ballot is coming soon — where to meet the candidates this week around Hill, CD

With ballots for November’s General Election set to begin arriving in mailboxes next week, you have two opportunities to see the candidates in the flesh around Central Seattle.

Monday nightSeattle University hosts a discussion with mayoral candidates Jenny Durkan and Cary Moon inside the Pigott Atrium:

Conversation with Seattle’s Mayoral Candidates

We talked to both candidates over the summer — The mayor of Capitol Hill 2017: Jenny Durkan Q&A | Cary Moon Q&A. More from both on CHS, soon.

Tuesday, a slate of candidates from nearly every race in the city is expected at Washington Hall for the Africatown-Central District Voter Education Forum:

Africatown-Central District Voter Education Forum

 

 

2017 Primary Election Results: Durkan, Moon, Oliver lead in mayor’s race

Former U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan showed off her political strength and Seattle’s progressive left now knows who it will need to rally around to defeat her following Tuesday night’s first counts in the August primary. Meanwhile, history was also a winner Tuesday: Seattle is now on its way to electing its first woman mayor since 1926.

Urbanist and civic leader Cary Moon is on track to join Durkan in the November race to lead the city after garnering 15.56% of ballots tallied, leading Nikkita Oliver by only around 1,400 votes. The top two candidates will advance through to November’s General Election.

You can read more about Durkan our CHS Q&A with the candidate here and our interview with Moon here. CHS spoke with Oliver about her candidacy here.

For the complete results including Port of Seattle and Seattle school board positions, visit kingcounty.gov.

The mayor of Capitol Hill 2017: Mike McGinn Q&A

CHS: Where have you been?

“Come on guys, listen. I know you guys wanna be mayor, but this is a real issue. Get serious about it.”

McGinn: I’ve been here in Seattle. Probably the thing I’ve worked the most on is still climate, fossil fuel divestment. Working on the Gates Foundation campaign, as well as working with other divestment activists, kinda helping other activists around the country. That’s been one thing. My podcast also, which has been fun and writing in Crosscut.

I also found myself getting deeply involved in the last election cycle, with helping city council candidates that I liked.

Unchained by a damaging sex abuse scandal that removed incumbent Ed Murray from a powerful pole position, 21 candidates are vying this summer to be the next mayor of modern-day Pacific Northwest boomtown Seattle, Washington. Of those 21, only two will survive the first round cut from the August 1st primary. CHS may be on a summer news break but we couldn’t resist opportunities to talk with the candidates most likely to be on the mind of Capitol Hill voters in the coming weeks: Jenny Durkan, Nikkita Oliver, Cary Moon, Bob Hasegawa, Mike McGinn, and Jessyn Farrell. The interviews were conducted in recent weeks at locations across the city including coworking spaces, campaign offices, and a diner. The talks varied but revolved around a core set of Seattle issues: Black Lives Matter, affordability, addiction, and homelessness. We have edited the conversations for clarity and length.

In this Q&A, CHS talks with former Seattle mayor Mike McGinn about his campaign to return to City Hall and — apparently — settle a few scores along the way. Our conversation included a roster of Seattle politicians on McGinn’s shit list and the causes he has pledged to fight for even harder a second time around. You can learn more at mcginnformayor.com.

CHS: How so? Doing what? Knocking on doors? Making phone calls?

McGinn: No, no, no. I get a lot of people asking me what it’s like to run and how do you do it? And what do you need to do to run? And so, that was one of the things I talked to candidates about. The other thing I was talking to them about was, besides kind of the practical aspects of running, I was really trying to use, particularly the last election cycle, I was trying to use it around some causes. And one of them was CareerBridge.

When I was mayor, we launched it, it was a program for returning felons. And so, I’m kind of proud of what we did there. Burgess blocked it. I worked with (John) Roderick, and then, (Jon) Grant, to make it an issue in that race. I made it an issue. I helped Tammy Morales in her race against Bruce Harrell. It wasn’t just CareerBridge, it was also the extension of Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative to 18 to 21-year-olds. Both of those, the Council blocked. So I worked with the candidates to make that an issue, because I knew that if we did that, it’d probably get fixed. And you know what? CareerBridge was expanded. Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative has now been expanded up to 24-year-olds.

CHS: So, as a portal into your soul, what is it about CareerBridge? Why do you think it’s important in Seattle right now?

McGinn: Well, we have systems for arrest, prosecution, and incarceration, mass incarceration. And primarily of the people of color: Black people, Latino. And it kind of became impressed upon me when I was mayor. I was meeting with the black pastors. We were talking about a spike in shootings that occurred. And they said, “A lot of this are people who come back to the community. We know the people who wanna be serious about not returning to crime, who want to make a life for themselves. But they need help.” And it’s not just job training, or social services, it’s a community support network around it as well. And we can help provide that.

So that inspired me. I also went to Mary Flowers, who has worked for HSD, invited me and others from the program to go to meet with the Black Prisoners’ Caucus in Monroe. And that had a deep effect on me too. It was both talking to the men about how they felt and what they’re trying to accomplish, we had a circle. But it was also hearing Mary talk about what it meant to the black community with so many of our men ripped out of it. If we’re gonna be a successful community, we have to address all the reasons at the front end. But all the men and women returning from incarceration to our community, we need to figure out where their place is in this community. That benefits all of us. So, yeah, I just felt really passionate about it. And I’ll be honest. I was still angry at Burgess and Harrell for blocking that then, because they were doing it for political reasons. And they were lame reasons around data. Or it’s not proven itself effective yet. And it’s like, “Come on guys, listen. I know you guys wanna be mayor, but this is a real issue. Get serious about it.” Continue reading

The mayor of Capitol Hill 2017: Jessyn Farrell Q&A

CHS: Alright, I’m a professional, you’re a professional, we’re ready to roll!

Farrell: Alrighty! Good! Good, good! Excellent!

CHS: So tell me about your district. Who do you represent right now?

“There are fewer Title 1 schools in my district now. Title 1 schools are schools where there’s 50% free or reduced lunch or higher. There are fewer than there were when I started out as a legislator because it’s really hard for poor people to afford to live in the city.”

Farrell: Up until when I resigned from my seat, I represented Northeast Seattle, Lake Forest Park, and Kenmore in the legislature. I’d done that for five years. I have been a transit advocate for my career. I’ve gone to law school, worked at WashPIRG, and then, ran Transportation Choices Coalition. When I ran Transportation Choices Coalition, our motto always was, “Holding the line until 2009,” when light rail would open, and then, we would be able to stop fighting over whether Sound Transit should exist or not. We’re still having that fight, but it’s a little different now that people actually get to take light rail and see what it’s like.

CHS: Well, can you tell me about the people you have represented in that part of the city? Way north, that’s super north! It’s like in Canada.

Farrell: North of the Ship Canal, what is it? It is, it’s almost Canada. Okay, so Northeast Seattle is, basically, I have the athletic portion of the U-Dub, not the academics. So that’s very important. I have football and baseball and all the other programs. And then, it goes all the way up to 145th, including all the way out west to Aurora. So there’s Northgate. It’s a really diverse district in that it has some very, very rich parts of town like Laurelhurst and Windermere, and then, some real pockets of poverty in the far north end. I actually grew up there. I was born in very glamorous Lake City.

CHS: I have friends in Lake City. Lake City’s more of my people than Windermere.

Farrell: I’ve lived in and out of that part of town my whole life. I have lived on Capitol Hill as well. And the real issues that people are facing in the north end are not unlike what people are facing in the rest of the city around affordability, as an example, and it comes, I think, in three different flavors.

Unchained by a damaging sex abuse scandal that removed incumbent Ed Murray from a powerful pole position, 21 candidates are vying this summer to be the next mayor of modern-day Pacific Northwest boomtown Seattle, Washington. Of those 21, only two will survive the first round cut from the August 1st primary. CHS may be on a summer news break but we couldn’t resist opportunities to talk with the candidates most likely to be on the mind of Capitol Hill voters in the coming weeks: Jenny Durkan, Nikkita Oliver, Cary Moon, Bob Hasegawa, Mike McGinn, and Jessyn Farrell. The interviews were conducted in recent weeks at locations across the city including coworking spaces, campaign offices, and a diner. The talks varied but revolved around a core set of Seattle issues: Black Lives Matter, affordability, addiction, and homelessness. We have edited the conversations for clarity and length.

In this Q&A, CHS talks with Jessyn Farrell, the three-term state legislator who stepped down from her Northeast Seattle post to be part of the 2017 mayoral race. CHS had questions about transit, development, and, of course, affordability for the urbanist-leaning Lake City native. You can learn more at jessynformayor.com.

Farrell (cont’d): If you’re a renter, you’re really concerned about rising rents, and that’s the case all throughout my district. If you are living on a fixed income, and you own your house, you’re probably worried about property taxes. That’s something that people are worried about. And then, I think traditionally, that’s been a place where families could actually go buy a house. A young family in like the Lake City neighborhood, Pinehurst, a lot of those communities up farther towards 145th, — those are getting really, really expensive as well.

So I think the affordability crisis is hitting my district. It is hitting the rest of the city. And one of the things that really propelled me to actually get into this race was that I am seeing this play out in my district in a really unfortunate way. There are fewer Title 1 schools in my district now. Title 1 schools are schools where there’s 50% free or reduced lunch or higher. There are fewer than there were when I started out as a legislator because it’s really hard for poor people to afford to live in the city. And that’s happening everywhere, right?

CHS: How do we fix it? Continue reading

The mayor of Capitol Hill 2017: Bob Hasegawa Q&A

Hasegawa: We were lied to.

CHS: So, this is about Sound Transit and the way it’s run? Not light rail?

Hasegawa: When it went to the ballot I said “I support ST3. Even though it’s $54 billion, we need it.”

CHS: It’s an interesting fine point, and it’s a big dollar fine point and it just…

“It’s about accountability from leadership. That’s what my whole campaign is about right now.”

Hasegawa: It’s a crucial fine point. If you’re not being told the truth, when we’re passing legislation that has the huge financial impact on people who are fixed income that are already being gentrified and priced out of the city, and mind you, we had the McCleary… We knew we had to find another $4.5 billion just to fund McCleary, so how likely are we going to be able to pass a revenue package now with all the email that I’m getting with people who are angry about the price of their car tabs and all this other taxes that they’re getting hit with.

CHS: But at the same time you said you wouldn’t have done anything different.

Hasegawa: No I wouldn’t have. I didn’t.

CHS: That’s, I think, the hard part.

Hasegawa: I just wanna be told the truth. If you are coming to us, don’t lie. Tell me the truth and let me make up my mind for myself.

CHS: Alright. Alright, well we will try…

Hasegawa: See that’s why I didn’t want to get into it, because it’s too fine…

CHS: You’re telling me it’s not about factual Sound Transit package, it’s about the agency.

Hasegawa: It’s about accountability from leadership. That’s what my whole campaign is about right now.

CHS: Alright. I wonder if people will care. I’m curious to see if people will care.

Hasegawa: Accountability?

CHS: Yes.

Hasegawa: I think people want to be told the truth.

CHS: Yeah? Well I wouldn’t wanna be told the truth. I wonder if people will care that it costs $54 instead of $15 billion.

Hasegawa: You don’t think so? [laughter]

This testy exchange was just the start of things in one of the feistiest conversations in CHS’s interviews with the mayoral candidates. State Sen. Bob Hasegawa didn’t like being labelled anti-transit — his issue is with the way the transit agency is run, he told CHS, not trains. We also talked with the longtime labor leader and 11th District senator about his push to create a municipal bank and his belief that the city needs a champion for South Seattle and underserved communities in City Hall. You can learn more at bobhasegawa.com.

Unchained by a damaging sex abuse scandal that removed incumbent Ed Murray from a powerful pole position, 21 candidates are vying this summer to be the next mayor of modern-day Pacific Northwest boomtown Seattle, Washington. Of those 21, only two will survive the first round cut from the August 1st primary. CHS may be on a summer news break but we couldn’t resist opportunities to talk with the candidates most likely to be on the mind of Capitol Hill voters in the coming weeks: Jenny Durkan, Nikkita Oliver, Cary Moon, Bob Hasegawa, Mike McGinn, and Jessyn Farrell. The interviews were conducted in recent weeks at locations across the city including coworking spaces, campaign offices, and a diner. The talks varied but revolved around a core set of Seattle issues: Black Lives Matter, affordability, addiction, and homelessness. We have edited the conversations for clarity and length.

CHS: I hear people sometimes say that we should put every penny we can towards…

Hasegawa: Education. Continue reading

The mayor of Capitol Hill 2017: Cary Moon Q&A

CHS: Alright lets jump in. Yeah, I don’t know. Do you ever read interviews with candidates? I always find them kind of boring.

Moon: Yeah. Because everybody’s so careful, they say all the positive things.

CHS: Yeah. And there’s not anything that has to change that at all. But I do try… Well, I’ll try and ask more Capitol Hill kinda, Central District kinds of things. I’m curious to know — can you set the stage for me instead of me trying to write… Where are we in Seattle’s history? And what’s going on? What’s the state of this city right now?

Moon: Yeah. I think what started off as feeling like, “Wow, we’re so popular. Wow, we’re thriving when so many places aren’t.” And the feeling of excitement and satisfaction and being part of the winning team. I think that quickly turned to, “Oh my God. What’s going on?” And, “Can I afford to live here?” And, “Are my kids going to be able to live here?” And, “What are we doing to our creative soul?” And you know everybody is freaking out because all of a sudden, it doesn’t feel like we’re in control of this. We’re not guiding the future of our city. It’s happening to us, not by us and for us and that is scary and people feel all kinds of insecurity. They feel housing insecurity. They feel economic insecurity. They feel like, “Is this my culture? Is this like the Seattle I love?” Or, “Is that completely evaporating?” And so people are scared.

Unchained by a damaging sex abuse scandal that removed incumbent Ed Murray from a powerful pole position, 21 candidates are vying this summer to be the next mayor of modern-day Pacific Northwest boomtown Seattle, Washington. Of those 21, only two will survive the first round cut from the August 1st primary. CHS may be on a summer news break but we couldn’t resist opportunities to talk with the candidates most likely to be on the mind of Capitol Hill voters in the coming weeks: Jenny Durkan, Nikkita Oliver, Cary Moon, Bob Hasegawa, Mike McGinn, and Jessyn Farrell. The interviews were conducted in recent weeks at locations across the city including coworking spaces, campaign offices, and a diner. The talks varied but revolved around a core set of Seattle issues: Black Lives Matter, affordability, addiction, and homelessness. We have edited the conversations for clarity and length.

“That wealth is being extracted away from the community…”

Below, CHS talks with Cary Moon, the urbanist and civic leader who was the Co-Founder and Director of the People’s Waterfront Coalition. Moon carries the endorsement of The Stranger into the August Primary. CHS spoke with her about the state of the city, her approach to building our way out of the affordability crisis, and whether City Hall should help make sure Pike/Pine bars and restaurants can pay their rent. You can learn more at carymoonformayor.com.

CHS: But these are the good times, aren’t they? I mean we’re doing financially very well.

Moon: Okay, if you look at GDP, style gross metric, sure. But that doesn’t tell a story of what’s happening on the ground. Because on the ground we’re creating credible wealth through our sky rocketing property values through the profits that are being made by mostly big corporations — some small businesses, too — but that corporation wealth is not circulating back into the community. That wealth is being extracted away from the community and so instead of a healthy economy where everybody benefits and everybody who’s part of building the profits gets to share in the profits and businesses are locally owned so wealth they create gets circulated back in new investment or expansion. That’s what we typically think of, of a booming economy. That’s not what’s happening here. Continue reading

The mayor of Capitol Hill 2017: Nikkita Oliver Q&A

CHS: We already spoke to you way back when. It felt good to be out in front of the buzz around your campaign, so I’m glad we had a chance to get you on. These are boom times for the city, but clearly boom times aren’t necessarily happy times. There seems to be a lot of concern and worry when I talk to the candidates, and I know that’s part of the reason you’ve got involved. So, what’s going on in the city? Why are we this way? Why is it a bummer to be so successful in the way we are structured now? What’s broken and what’s the start of fixing that from your perspective?

“I do feel moved in terms of knowing that there are some incredibly wealthy people in our city who do want to see equity become a reality.”

Oliver: Yeah. I think what’s beautiful about Seattle is people are attracted to our city. It’s green. It’s next to water. There’s an incredible amount of culture here, and some attempts to preserve that and so I think it’s what make it an attractive city. I think the struggle is, is we have lacked a vision for equitable development. We have a race and social justice initiative. We use a lot of equity terms, but in practice we don’t really know what that looks like, and also have not been willing to ask our developers and corporations to invest in that. Also having such an upside down tax system and in some ways legally being relegated to using those structures has really put us in a bad place.

Unchained by a damaging sex abuse scandal that removed incumbent Ed Murray from a powerful pole position, 21 candidates are vying this summer to be the next mayor of modern-day Pacific Northwest boomtown Seattle, Washington. Of those 21, only two will survive the first round cut from the August 1st primary. CHS may be on a summer news break but we couldn’t resist opportunities to talk with the candidates most likely to be on the mind of Capitol Hill voters in the coming weeks: Jenny Durkan, Nikkita Oliver, Cary Moon, Bob Hasegawa, Mike McGinn, and Jessyn Farrell. The interviews were conducted in recent weeks at locations across the city including coworking spaces, campaign offices, and a diner. The talks varied but revolved around a core set of Seattle issues: Black Lives Matter, affordability, addiction, and homelessness. We have edited the conversations for clarity and length.

Below, CHS talks with Nikkita Oliver, the poet, teacher, lawyer, and community activist whose campaign has also formed a movement in the Seattle Peoples Party. We asked Oliver about how her social justice vision applies to issues as ranging as development and transit — and if her views of the city and its issues around race and equity have changed as she nears City Hall. You can learn more at seattlepeoplesparty.com.

Oliver (continued): But also, I just think all in all our city has lacked a vision, not just in terms of urban planning but also in terms of the city we want to grow into be. We have a lot of great language around it and so I could see where people maybe would see it as a bummer but I also see an incredible opportunity for Seattle to take the lead and show what it looks like to see where your city maybe has been failing and admit that, acknowledge it, be accountable for it, and then actually make a real plan forward that challenges this placement and makes our city more affordable and more equitable. So, while I could see where people who maybe share your sentiments are coming from, I also just see an incredible opportunity. There’s so much wealth in this city, and I’m incredibly moved by the number of people who have access to that wealth, who do desire to see our upside down tax situation corrected.

CHS: Has your perspective changed in that regard? You’ve got a chance now… You’ve been exposed to maybe some of the power brokers of the city. Do you feel better about Seattle now that you’re in the race than you did before? Continue reading

The mayor of Capitol Hill 2017: Jenny Durkan Q&A

Unchained by a damaging sex abuse scandal that removed incumbent Ed Murray from a powerful pole position, 21 candidates are vying this summer to be the next mayor of modern-day Pacific Northwest boomtown Seattle, Washington. Of those 21, only two will survive the first round cut from the August 1st primary. CHS may be on a summer news break but we couldn’t resist opportunities to talk with the candidates most likely to be on the mind of Capitol Hill voters in the coming weeks: Jenny Durkan, Nikkita Oliver, Cary Moon, Bob Hasegawa, Mike McGinn, and Jessyn Farrell. The interviews were conducted in recent weeks at locations across the city including coworking spaces, campaign offices, and a diner. The talks varied but revolved around a core set of Seattle issues: Black Lives Matter, affordability, addiction, and homelessness. We have edited the conversations for clarity and length.

“If you look at the real data, there’s no question that it has improved, dramatically…”

The first Q&A in our series is with former U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan, perceived by many to be the likely frontrunner after the August tally. The polished prosecutor was guarded but repeated her strong support for the police reform process at SPD in the wake of the Charleena Lyles killing, said neighborhoods should have more control over affordability-focused rezoning, and weighed in on homeless sweeps saying unsanctioned encampments “are not a moral choice.” The full conversation is below. You can learn more at jennyforseattle.com. View all CHS Jenny Durkan coverage here.

Durkan: When I was in high school, I played in the state basketball playoffs, and I went to a very small high school, I was the center. That gives you some idea. And our coach got sick, so I was player-coach, and we played Chimacum. Oh man, they grew those girls big there.

CHS: I bet, I bet. People used to say that about my hometown. I’m from a small town and all the city kids used to make fun of our town, ’cause they were like, we were supposedly the big, dumb country kids.

Durkan: Big but not dumb.

CHS: Let’s move on to larger things. You are a champion of the Seattle police reform process, you’ve said many positive things about it.

But with the Charleena Lyles shooting, and maybe even especially the community’s reaction to it. Has that changed your view at all on the progress that’s been made? Has that put it into a new light?

Durkan: I think that we have to remember that reform is a process, and I have been clear to say from the minute we announced our investigation to when we announced the consent decree, that a police department has to always improve and get better. And the key to police reform was looking at those data on use of force. We found 70% of the time the police were using force in an 18-month period. They used it against someone who was in mental health or under the influence of drugs and alcohol. 70% of the time. So that’s why so much of the focus was on crisis intervention, and created a crisis intervention committee to say, “Okay, what is the training that we need top to bottom for police, so that they can have a better working relationship on the streets with people in crisis.” Revamped how they were trained, how dispatch was trained so they’re listening for clues and can dispatch the right people to it. Continue reading