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Popular on Capitol Hill — and possible mother of the Pike/Pine ‘superblock,’ Mosqueda says she’ll run to keep seat on City Council — not join race for mayor

(Image: City of Seattle)

After leading Seattle through a sometimes fractious effort to begin the process of redirecting the city’s budget from policing to social and community spending in the midst of a summer of Black Lives Matter protests, citywide City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda announced Wednesday she will seek to retain her seat at City Hall in November’s election ending speculation of a possible run for mayor.

“As we turn the page on a tumultuous period for our City and nation, we need leaders who can bring people together to solve complex problems,” Mosqueda said in her announcement sent to media Wednesday morning. “My team and I have led on major policy initiatives, and delivered impactful change by creating diverse coalitions. There are many challenges ahead as we leave the COVID-19 era; to restart our economy and get people into housing, a proven track record of delivering will be needed. My team and I are ready to do the work.”

CHS reported on Mosqueda’s election to the council in November 2017, calling the Washington State Labor Council lobbyist a worker rights advocate who had focused on immigrant and refugee rights against workplace discrimination.


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Mosqueda joined the council along with fellow Latina and citywide representative M. Lorena González. The two citywide members have become arguably the two highest profile members of the council as it has both squared off and forged compromises with Mayor Jenny Durkan. The council’s longest serving member, District 3’s Kshama Sawant serving Capitol Hill and the Central District, meanwhile, forged an uneasy alliance with the more moderate duo in her 2019 reelection battle against gobs of Amazon and pro-business cash.

With González, Mosqueda led the council’s budget efforts to set a new course on police spending in 2021 with a 20% cut to $400 million in annual Seattle Police Department spending and a new tax on big businesses. “We have much more work to do, and we must get to work on those next steps now,” chair of the budget committee Mosqueda said following the budget battle.

Capitol Hill urbanists might also be happy to see Mosqueda’s decision. The councilmember has been supportive of proposals to create a 6-block pedestrian-and cyclist-first “superblock’” on Capitol Hill.

Durkan’s announcement that she will not seek reelection after finishing her single term this year has thrown 2021 open as a big year in Seattle politics with both of the council’s citywide positions and the mayor’s office now clearly up for grabs. The 2021 race will also be the first time the city’s Democracy Voucher program — hoped to empower a greater diversity of candidates to keep up in expensive campaigns — will be extended to include the city council races and the run for the mayor’s office. Mosqueda said Wednesday that her campaign is planning to participate in the program.

Mosqueda’s announcement on her run for reelection includes a powerful list of early endorsements including Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, Attorney General Bob Ferguson, State Representative Nicole Macri, UFCW 21, SEIU 775, and small business owners Makini Howell of Plum Bistro and Molly Moon of Molly Moon’s Ice Cream.

As for who will run for mayor, the most serious contenders have yet to announce intentions though all eyes are on Mosqueda’s council counterpart González. Crosscut reports former state legislator Jessyn Farrell; Brady Walkinshaw, CEO of Capitol Hill-based Grist; and deputy mayor Casey Sixkiller as possible candidates, along with public safety advocate Scott Lindsay.

Mosqueda’s decision not to run for mayor may be about more than her hopes of victory. Her win in 2017 showed wide support in the city — especially in the core of Capitol Hill and the Central District. “Teresa Mosqueda did a lot better among left-winged Seattleites than Jenny Durkan did. This isn’t a shock; Mosqueda is a labor activist with strong social justice credibility.” one political expert told CHS at the time.

Now she is a veteran city councilmember who has retained much if not all of that appeal. With Wednesday’s announcement, Mosqueda appears ready to focus that power on continuing her work in the council chambers.

Mosqueda said Wednesday her campaign will focus on issues including homelessness and affordability crisis “made worse during the pandemic,” support for childcare providers, stronger “community services and small business supports,” and “further reforms to public safety that have been a focal point of the past year.”


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CHqueer
CHqueer
18 days ago

Mosqueda is an ideologue that played a major roll in the humanitarian crisis engulfing the city with her refusal to build shelter beds and push to defund the navigation team. Thank god she is not running for mayor. This city desperately need more leadership that can build a coalition to solve the city’s intractable problems and less virtue signaling and grandstanding. Hopefully her political career ends in November if not sooner.

Ryan Packer
Ryan Packer
18 days ago
Reply to  CHqueer

How did CM Mosqueda “refuse” to build shelter beds? She has been the major force on the city council pushing for alternatives to congregate shelter during a pandemic.

CHqueer
CHqueer
16 days ago
Reply to  Ryan Packer

Exactly. “Alternatives to congregate shelter” is the key phrase. She would rather let people from all over the country have the agency to rot in and destroy Seattle parks for years than build and require people to go to congregate shelters. She won’t acknowledge that the “alternatives to congregate shelter” are cost prohibitive given the endless flow of drug addicts from across the region into Seattle, the most permission drug culture in the country. I am not saying housing with wrap-around services and affordable housing aren’t import long-term solutions. What I am saying is that in the short-term, congregate shelters and no camping in parks and business districts policies are essential for bringing this crisis under control. Mosqueda and the rest of the Council won’t build shelters because they want homelessness visible so people will support the head tax. This has gone on a lot longer than the pandemic. It is Fxxked up. This is why we have ten times the number of campers per capita of NYC.

Rick W Wilson
Rick W Wilson
9 days ago
Reply to  CHqueer

I completely agree. We have been way to paternalistic toward the homeless in not expecting them to behave in a decent manner – no litter, no accumulations of “stuff” that overflows their home -be it a trailer, car, or tent, and there should be NO camping in any city parks.

RWK
RWK
17 days ago
Reply to  CHqueer

Agree that Mosqueda is part of the problem. We badly need a more moderate City Council, and I hope both she and Gonzalez are gone after next November.