As a Seattle anti-growth group is launching yet another legal challenge against the city’s Mandatory Housing Affordability plan, a District 3 candidate says she didn’t approve a recent coupon envelope mailer distributed around Capitol Hill that appeared to endorse her run for the City Council while taking a swing at planned upzoning.
“My campaign did not do this, nor is it anything I would ever have budgeted for,” Pat Murakami told CHS earlier this month about the Valpak flyer warning about “loss of public view and decreased property values.”
“I never open the Valpaks that are mailed to my home, and I assume the majority of folks don’t open them either,” she said.
The coupon-sized flyer was distributed earlier this month and promotes the CHARM group — North Capitol Hill Against Rezoning Misuse. CHS reported on the group’s last-ditch efforts to stop a planned upzoning in the Eastlake neighborhood as the City Council passed the expansion of Seattle’s Mandatory Housing Affordability program and upzones in the city’s densest areas.
While she said the Valpak promotion was a surprise, Murakami does support the message. “I support the neighborhood plans that the City has chosen to ignore,” she tells CHS. “They took existing residents needs and concerns into account and allowed for adequate density and growth, with a vision of how Seattle would look in the future. We planned for urban centers with the businesses and services that would be used by the nearby community, thereby reducing auto use and transit demands. It is a shame we’ve allowed out-of-state/country developers do what they want without concern for the surrounding neighborhoods. I want win-win developments.”
Representatives for CHARM have not responded to our questions about the promotion. Murakami said last week she was also waiting to hear back from the group so she can declare the marketing as an in-kind donation or reimburse them. A Valpak campaign of this scale can cost as little as $300.
CHARM has supported and shares legal representation with the Seattle Coalition for Affordability, Livability and Equity group which announced Tuesday it will appeal the Mandatory Housing Affordability upzone ordinance to the state Growth Management Hearings Board. “Issues include displacement of existing residents, preservation of trees, historic resources, and failure to consider alternative policies,” the announcement reads.
Murakami, meanwhile, also faced criticism last week for her statements at a transportation forum held near 16th and Jackson when she said she had to drive to the event because of concerns for her “personal safety.”
Omg Murakami just said she DROVE here BC she "has to be concerned for personal safety." This is my neighborhood! Many of us walked, biked here, so that's not the issue. What does she mean by "personal safety," I wonder? #d3forum
— Whit (@whitnuld) May 24, 2019
We asked Murakami to explain her statement and whether her concerns were specific to the Central District or Seattle in general.
“I know too much about where and when crime occurs in Seattle,” Murakami said. “Most of the street robberies in my neighborhood take place within 300 feet of mass transit stops. A woman was shot to death for not giving up her purse, right in front of her house – followed home after getting off Light Rail. There are many non-compliant sex offenders living on Seattle streets, and while I’m not as likely a target as someone younger, senior women have been raped on occasion.”
Murakami said she “stopped wearing a lovely necklace” given to her by her husband “because necklaces have been snatched off women in broad daylight.”
“I drive with my car doors locked after 5pm because I know about the attempted carjackings that have taken place in my community,” Murakami writes. “I always pay attention to my surroundings, turn around when I hear someone approach me from behind to make eye contact. I never let my cell phone serve as a distraction or wear earbuds in both ears when walking. As a result, I’ve never been assaulted or robbed, and I’d like to keep it that way.”
Find the latest CHS coverage of Election 2019 here.
BECOME A 'PAY WHAT YOU CAN' CHS SUBSCRIBER TODAY: Support local journalism dedicated to your neighborhood. SUBSCRIBE HERE. Join to become a subscriber at $1/$5/$10 a month to help CHS provide community news with NO PAYWALL. You can also sign up for a one-time annual payment.