District 3 candidate Ami Nguyen has announced a new running mate.
The challenger for Kshama Sawant’s seat on the City Council gave birth Saturday morning, her campaign has announced.
Complete with a press release featuring proud grandma Ly Tran, little Caitlyn joins a race marked by the amazing amount of cashed poured into the battle where her mom has held her own thanks in large part to the city’s Democracy Vouchers program. Nguyen, whose “get out the vote” strategy is centered on meet and greets and “aggressive” doorbelling, Nguyen, a public defender vying to become the first Vietnamese American to serve on the council, has focused her campaign on D3 communities beyond Capitol Hill.
“There’s never a perfect time to have a baby, but I’m excited to be in a position where I have the chance to help build a more inclusive Seattle for Caitlyn to grow up in,” Nguyen said in the announcement. “I want her to feel safe walking our streets, have access to great educational opportunities, and create a city that is affordable so that if she chooses to remain here in the future, that option is available to her. But right now, I’m just happy that she’s here and healthy.”
If she makes it through the August Primary and emerges victorious in November, Nguyen won’t be the only new mother with ideas for improving childcare at City Hall. In April, Teresa Mosqueda announced she was pregnant marking a first for a sitting City Council member. UPDATE: And in July, the council’s Lorena González said she was having a baby, too.
In a CHS D3 candidate questionnaire (you’ll see more about the results… soon!), we asked candidates about how they would make childcare more affordable for working families.
“As an expecting mother and a beneficiary of pre-k programs as a child, this is a very personal issue for me. We need to provide higher subsidy amounts to childcare providers so that they can stay in business and pay their employees living wages,” Nguyen wrote. “We need to increase income eligibility for childcare subsidy so that low-income and middle-class families can qualify. We also need to conduct a study regarding at what income level childcare subsidies should be based on a sliding scale. This also ensures that our children are not segregated by socioeconomic class.”
More candidate answers from the survey are below:
- Logan Bowers: Right now childcare centers are not allowed in Single Family Zones without the care-giver applying for a conditional use permit. This makes it more difficult for small, family-run daycares to operate even though they are often more affordable and convenient for working families. I support allowing childcare centers and other small businesses that meet people daily needs to locate close to their customers in residential areas, including single family areas. I also support the expansion of programs that allow residents of public housing to operate child care centers. These kinds of small businesses create income for residents and make child care convenient for parents.
- Zachary DeWolf: Property tax relief for families that provide child care facilities in their home; expansion of universal preschool; opening up opportunities for low-income communities to access subsidized preschool programs; providing flexibility or lifting the cap on subsidies for child care services supported by city agencies/depts because federal programs have eligibility criteria that excludes undocumented or mixed-immigration status families; and, investing in before and after-school programs.
- Pat Murakami: I would offer incentives to companies to offer on-site childcare to their employees, so parents can spend time with their children during breaks and lunch, and increased opportunities for tele-commuting. There is also potential to create incentives for companies to offer on-site childcare to their business neighbors as well. I would like to examine the possibility of requiring employers that don’t pay their employees enough to live within a reasonable distance of work, to pay for the employees’ commute time. We also need to prioritize childcare facilities in our permitting process as the lack of adequate facilities is one of the causes of childcare scarcity. We must create programs to help our current childcare workers become certified to meet the state’s new certification requirements, through tuition assistance and/or floating childcare workers who fill- in while another childcare worker is attending college classes.
- Egan Orion: We need to do more to ensure everyone in Seattle—especially working families—can take advantage of affordable and meaningful childcare. The market price for childcare is outrageous and makes having a family nearly impossible for those on a lower income. We shouldn’t make families choose between work and having children; they should be able to do both. If Seattle truly believes in working class families, it will create programs to subsidize childcare and streamline requirements for childcare facilities without sacrificing health and safety. This would be a major priority in my first term on city council.
- Kshama Sawant: Childcare today poses serious financial hardship on working-class and middle-class families. My office has consistently raised this issue in the City’s legislative agenda, alongside other workplace issues impacted by the affordable housing crisis. The most effective way, as we have seen, of winning progressive change in Olympia, is to build fighting movements right here in Seattle, such that politicians in the city and state level are not forever passing the buck to one another while the lives of working people get more and more difficult. In fact, my idea of legislation for a massive expansion of social housing is that it should address workers rights and community needs in an all-encompassing way. Meaning, publicly-owned affordable housing for working families should be massively expanded by taxing big corporations, and by ensuring social housing buildings incorporate publicly-funded childcare and other vital social services with good jobs (with high standards for wages and benefits). Achieving any of this will require fighting movements, and elected representatives with the political courage to stand with those movements. Otherwise, these will remain merely good ideas on paper.
Ballots are due by August 6th.