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Western Washington city leaders call for special session in Olympia over rent and mortgage cancellation and health care

South Seattle’s representative on the City Council Tammy Morales joined a group of western Washington officials this week calling on Gov. Jay Inslee and the state’s legislative leaders to call a special session in Olympia  in support of rent and mortgage cancellation and accessible health care as the COVID-19 crisis continues.

“I know I’m not alone in losing sleep over this,” Morales said in the online conference. “All of us who are here today have called for the same thing in our communities because we’ve been hearing the same stories across Washington state. This movement gets to the root of the problem that eviction moratoriums, forbearance, and payment plans just can’t solve. You can’t pay rent during the mortgage crisis or mortgage during a crisis if you don’t have money and mortgage rent and cancellation will ensure that people stay housed during this pandemic.”

Morales was joined by Krystal Marx, Deputy Mayor of the City of Burien, Brandon Hersey from the Seattle Public Schools board, Daniel Hammill, Councilmember, City of Bellingham, Hollie Huthman, Council member, City of Bellingham, Varisha Khan, Council member, City of Redmond, and Kate Burke, Council member, City of Spokane, in the session.

The group called on state leaders to reconvene in a special session on June 1st and “immediately pass two types of relief for their constituents:”

  • Cancel rent, and call on Congress to pass the Rent & Mortgage Cancellation bill co-sponsored by Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal; and,
  • Extend the rent increase freeze for 6 months following the end of the Governor’s eviction moratorium and permanently lift the ban on rent control.

Earlier this month, Inslee extended and expanded a statewide eviction moratorium and freeze on rent hikes through the beginning of June. A longer period of protection for renters and those unable to pay mortgages could be the product of special legislative action if the session is called.

Morales, meanwhile, has teamed with District 3’s Kshama Sawant representing Capitol Hill and the Central District in a push for an accelerated plan for a tax on big business payrolls to pay for new housing and a program that would provide emergency relief checks to residents starting this summer. The proposed legislation has begun its move through the city council’s chambers.

Sawant is also calling for a rent strike in May to help protect tenants facing financial challenges during the COVID-19 crisis.

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11 thoughts on “Western Washington city leaders call for special session in Olympia over rent and mortgage cancellation and health care

  1. Let people go back to work. That would fix the problem.

    We stayed home. We accomplished what was needed. It’s time to move past this feel-good guidance before things get really bad. Cancelling rent and mortgage payments is a super short term/short sighted fix. This is going to get really bad when small biz start closing permanently and then there are no options for people to go back to work.

    • “We accomplished what was needed”? You think the worst has passed, when over 150 more cases in WA were reported overnight, and still practically none of the general public has been tested? Have YOU been tested? Do you know anyone who has? I don’t. If you think the worst has passed, what are you basing that on?

      • Yes I know a handful of people who have been tested. It’s a certainty that tens of thousands more people in WA have had or do have the virus than is known or reported because of low testing.

        I don’t care about how many cases are reported. I care about how many hospitalizations and deaths are reported. And it’s low enough now in my mind that we could start to open up in a responsible way to help avoid catastrophic financial impact to our community.

        But I get that most people in Seattle are happy to be scared and/or virtue signal and won’t agree with a logical approach…

      • “…a logical approach…”

        The logical approach would be to listen to medical professionals and science to make choices on when to open up and how quickly; not what’s in your mind. What’s in your mind is your opinion and it sounds like that’s not based on any sort of actual data or facts.

        I think your comment can be summed up quite succinctly – “I don’t care about anyone but myself and I want things back to normal NOW.”

  2. IF you don’t have the money to pay your rent, contact your landlord. I’m betting most will be happy to work with you.

    In terms of the idiotic proposal by some council members to stop paying rent, I would say this: We are headed for the Great Recession (much worse than 08). But if you want the Great Depression instead, stop paying your rent. Anyone who advocates this policy, please watch some historical videos of the 1930’s! “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.”

    • you say “stop paying your rent”

      like percentage of ppl unemployed, with zero help from state and CARES, have a choice

      what I would give to go back, to an exe level role, dealing with dumbfux everyday.. unfortunately, ‘ronas all, “bitch, stay inside”

      And talk to landlords.. who? the ones who tell United Way (after they harass you for stimulus, tell you to actively go out to look for work, and send emails stating to go get assistance) “no we will not accept your offer to pay their rent this month. we’ll set them up on a payment plan instead”


      this entire world is a fucking scam

      yea.. just a lil salty

  3. Tammy Morales is turning out to be a Sawant wannabe. With the “cancel rent” proposal, she seems to be ignoring (probably intentionally) the fact that laid off/unemployed people will be getting, and in some cases already have, a very adequate income in order to pay their rent. They will have state unemployment, the federal add-on of $2400/month, and the one-time stimulus check. In some cases, they will actually have more income than when they were still working.

    • I believe this is an example of our city “leaders” not letting a good crisis go to waste. Notice how the Big Business Tax is now all about Coronavirus instead of whatever lame pet projects it was for before.

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