Candidate Survey Results: Questions 6 & 7; Homelessness Crisis/Criminalization and Rent Control

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These are the responses to questions 6 and 7 of our candidate survey.

Question 5: What is your plan for addressing the city’s ongoing housing crisis and the criminalization of our homeless population? Do you support the city’s sweeps of homeless encampments?

Mayor

Mike McGinn, Mayor

The current policies toward our homeless are unacceptable. The current sweeps policy is mismanaged and inhumane, particularly in the absence of options for shelter. We have the ability and the obligation to fund both short- and long-term solutions. That includes family, low-barrier, and 24-hour shelters. It includes support for well-managed and regulated encampments in the short term. It includes housing policies that provide sufficient low-cost options for rapid re-housing. And it includes expanding options for those struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues. For example, we need citywide expansion of the law enforcement-assisted diversion program that provides treatment in lieu of punishment for drug users.

Since 2013, our city government has lost time by waiting for the state or federal governments to expand their help. In this time of extraordinary growth and wealth in Seattle we need to look to our own resources – both in the public and private sectors – to urgently address this crisis.

Nikkita Oliver, Mayor

We must implement progressive policy strategies that addressing the devastating rise in the cost of the housing. Gentrification, the disproportionate displacement of our cash poor and working class communities of color and LGBTQ communities, is not a Seattle anomaly, it is a calculated global epidemic that deserves solutions as big as the problem. We will explore policies ranging from rent control to directly funding affordable housing. One thing we know for certain is that the housing is not an issue that presents itself in a vacuum, it is without a doubt inextricably bound to education, over­criminalization, and the lack to living wage employment opportunities. We must be diligent and purposeful in addressing each of these issues.

Position: The San Francisco model for Navigation Centers, which are places where people can take a shower, use the bathroom, access laundry and dining facilities, and store their belongings, will improve the lives of people living outside in Seattle. Importantly, Navigation Centers include round­-the­-clock case management, mental and behavioral health services, and connections to benefit programs and housing. In order to ensure success, it is imperative that neighborhoods understand and agree that Navigation Centers should become part of their communities. Ultimately, there must be neighborhood buy-­in in order for Navigation Centers to successfully serve people in need.

Action agenda: In order to locate and open Navigation Centers, Nikkita would reach out equitably to all communities, including Seattle’s communities to the North, as potential sites for these centers.

Position: There is no reason for any person to sleep in a homeless encampment. It is important to bring everyone inside in the short-­term. Sanctioned encampments are not the policy solution to unsheltered homelessness because the City needs to bring people inside. However, shelters with 24/7 access and storage that accommodate a variety of needs are critical. Moreover, as Barb Poppe pointed out, the “number of places…that were just night-time-­only shelters” makes it “very difficult for people who are staying in them to get back on their feet, because they’re
always in transit.” City-­funded shelters should have very few barriers for the Seattleites who utilize their facilities.

Action agenda: Nikkita would ensure that people living unsheltered have access to shelters that recognize their individual circumstances, allow them daytime access and a place to store their belongings, and make them feel welcome.No, We do not support the sweeps of homelessness encampments. These actions are abhorrent and inhumane.

Jason Roberts, Mayor

I feel Mayor Ed Murray, despite good intentions, has failed in regards to the homeless. I intend to create opportunities for homeless to get the help and resources they need to find employment and permanent housing. This requires organization and an understanding of the diverse problems affecting them.

There is much talk about the homeless, but little talk with them. The camps represent a desire to organize and exist as a community. The camp placements are clearly not ideal, compromise must be made on location. Basic sanitation must be provided; such as dumpsters, latrines, water, and other basic needs. Tiny houses can be cheaply made to replace tents, some great models of these houses currently exist. For a city, so eager to accept the refugees of foreign nations, basic human dignity for our homeless, seems to elude us.  Camps are not a permanent answer, but provide a staging point to which we can organize and begin to move people into real housing.  My caveat is that drug and alcohol use is forbidden in any city sponsored camps.

Heroin, meth, crack, and alcohol are huge problems that affect large amounts of homeless in Seattle. Addiction is not a crime! Treatment is paramount to putting people in a stable position to get work and shelter. I intend on putting significant resources in rehabilitation.

Mental illness and disability often fall through the cracks. Due to the unique problems of mental health, problems are often masked by alcohol or drug use. It’s a common statement from social workers in shelters that they are ill equipped to handle the mentally ill. They are often taken to, or directed to, shelters by police or fire officers that have nowhere else to take them. These are the most vulnerable and I intend on investing significant resources here as well.

There is work to be had in Seattle. I am confident that many of the homeless desire that work and want to get back to a normal life. I feel I can be instrumental in getting businesses involved in hiring from the community and giving people the chance to reinvent themselves.

Casey Carlisle, Mayor

The city government immensely contributes to the housing “crisis.” The City’s actions have amplified the natural process of gentrification. We also keep voting on increasing property taxes, so we, too, have contributed to the high rent prices. Property taxes affect all property, not just the mansions of the wealthy. When property taxes increase, not only do rents increase, but our food prices, gym memberships, and the prices of other goods and services also increase. Yes, we want to help the poor, but the unintended consequence of governmental coercion is harming the very same people we’re trying to help. I do not support the City’s sweeps of homeless encampments if the encampments are not on private or City property.

Keith Whiteman, Mayor

I believe in clean-ups not clean-outs of the unhoused population in Seattle. I believe in the fundamental thought that providing basic needs in regards to what the population asks for is not a negative thing. Some people believe that if we give the homeless population what they ask for,what they need to survive and improve their lives, then we are “allowing” them to be homeless and taking away motivation to find housing. The idea that forced incentivization is the best way to motivate an unhoused population to seek housing is wrong. This assume that’s the homeless population are incapable of wanting a better situation, or not aware of how bad of a situation they are in. This is a flawed thought. I understand and appreciate that some people might want to seek a better housing situation, but at the moment they cannot, will not or do not want to. In this case we should offer them applicable help. We should listen to them. They are speaking to us, the city council and the mayor but we are not hearing them.

Hopefully my tax on large companies employing the wealthiest of Seattle would help offset this housing crisis and provide housing vouchers for the newly homeless, especially families. We will also support families and individuals on the ‘edge’ of homelessness due to all reasons.

Another issue is addressing reform of the emergency shelters and homeless shelters. Many of the restrictions, while in place with proper intentions, in reality end up doing some harm. Keeping loved ones and spouses away from each other, enforcing strict in and out times often keep people unnecessarily from seeking shelter and temporary housing when needed. I would also like to explore the options of allowing the homeless population to be able to obtain a PO box from the City of Seattle so that they can receive mail and information in a normal fashion. Often, one hurdle of finding employment is simply the lack of a steady address in which you can apply to jobs with. It is often very hard to start back a life that is on the road, and something like the availability of addresses is a simple and efficient way to help a segment of our population.

Harley Lever, Mayor 

Lever is a leader of Safe Seattle and Neighborhood Safety Alliance, which are dedicated to support of policies tough on homelessness. Safe Seattle was publicly mapping homeless citizens in April 2016.

Mary Juanita Martin, Mayor

Martin advocates a “housing-first” approach and suggests a profit motive keeps people from being housed.

Cary Moon, Mayor

I am absolutely opposed to homeless encampment sweeps. We need to address the complex root causes of our city’s surge in homelessness to get ahead of this problem. So many agencies and service providers are working hard on solutions, but we are not making headway. We need a shared strategy, and a collaborative effort across agencies and service providers, to synergize the solutions we know can work to help people back into secure housing as efficiently as possible.

My Solutions:

  • Prioritize long-term supportive housing options and housing first approaches. Vouchers offer only a temporary reprieve and are only useful for certain folks; further, this funding ends up in the hands of for-profit landlords, leaving families to face the same unaffordable rents after their vouchers expire.
  • Work with shelter providers to identify how to help long-term residents transition to more permanent housing.
  • Provide more low-barrier shelters that offer the right mix of options to match needs, such as allowing pets, sufficient privacy, and enabling couples to stay together.
  • Address the immediate need for emergency shelter with temporary solutions like more self-governed tiny house villages hosted by churches and neighborhoods while we get more lasting solutions in motion.
  • Expand shelters for women and victims of domestic violence that are essential to their survival.
  • Invest in treatment for mental health and drug and alcohol dependency.
  • Identify strategies to prevent homelessness; when families are facing eviction, we need to provide the right resources to keep them in their secure housing. When when folks come out of programs like foster care system or mental health facilities, we need to offer transitional housing and support until they get back on their feet.

Alex Tsimerman, Mayor

Tsimerman’s position is indeterminate.

David Ishii, Mayor

Ishii’s position is indeterminate.

Bob Hasegawa, Mayor

Hasegawa told South Seattle Emerald: “Homelessness has so many root causes. We’re not adequately funding our mental health system, a huge part of that is providing treatment to our military veterans . There’s oppression against youth who happen to be LGBTQ – and they’re a huge part of the homeless issue. Then there’s the structural unemployment built into our economy. It used to be that 3 ½ percent unemployment was high, during the recession we got into the double digits, now 6 to 7 percent is totally acceptable. At any given time you have 6 to 7 percent of people on the street.  If you don’t have a job, especially in the city of Seattle, you can’t afford to pay rent. The criteria for paying rent and moving into these places is steep. You have to have 3 months damage deposit. Pretty soon you’re looking at thousands of dollars just to move in.  We do have the means to make sure everyone is sheltered. Look at the city of Berlin. 50 percent of their housing stock is publicly owned. We can provide for a lot of needs by recapturing the common good.”

Jenny Durkan, Mayor

Durkan said she would “increase public/private partnerships, “direct more resources” to mental health, drug treatment.”

Jessyn Farrell, Mayor

Farrell’s position is indeterminate, though she described homelessness as a “moral outrage.”

Michael Harris, Mayor

Harris calls the city’s homelessness crisis an “epidemic” and says the city needs to address the problem with the resources it already has. He suggests police officers should be on the frontline of the problem.


City Council

Jon Grant, Pos. 8

If elected I would move to put an immediate stop to the sweeps of homeless encampments. I personally volunteered with my campaign staff and volunteers at the Field of Dreams encampment that was swept by the city last month. Speaking with and working alongside residents of the Field, it became very clear to me how the city was failing in its responsibilities to provide basic standards of living to all residents. I heard from residents who had requested services like fire extinguishers and trash pick-up from the city that fell on deaf ears. For months the city ignored or rejected these requests, then used the very concerns of fire safety and trash accumulation as justification to sweep residents. I personally testified at City Council against this sweep and supported residents in their effort to submit a counter-proposal to the city.

It is a morally bankrupt position to continue to treat human beings like garbage, rather than like the neighbors they are. I support increasing access to low-barrier, 24 hour shelter options. I support a Housing First model that is truly housing first. Too often, the city’s Housing First model requires x,y, z before you can get housing. But if that x is you need to be clean and sober or z is you need to not have a criminal record, that’s not really Housing First. We must first house the homeless and then offer treatment, counseling, legal assistance, and everything else to stabilize their situation without precondition.

I support raising taxes on corporations to radically expand the supply of affordable housing in Seattle, including long-term supportive housing and housing for individuals with very low or no income. The only way we can truly end homelessness is by investing in a housing market that can affordably house everyone in our city.

I was the sole member on the Mayor’s “HALA” housing committee to abstain from the final proposal because I believed it did not go far enough, and I released a counter proposal that required stronger renter protections and mandated that developers pay their fair share. This matters for a number of reasons. Different levels of government have outsized influence on different policy areas. The federal government has tremendous influence on immigration policy. The state government has tremendous influence on education. Local government has tremendous influence in one critical area: land use. This is why developers ‘invest’ enormous sums of money to buy seats on the city council, and Mayor’s office. For this reason I believe the rue test of whether you are actually a progressive at the city level falls on your politics regarding land use.

This matters because our decisions on land use is what drives gentrification, displacement, racial segregation, which communities get to live where, and how wealth is transferred between classes. Many people would argue we have one of the most progressive city councils in the country. In fact, every city councilmember embraces strong social justice rhetoric and platitudes. But when we look at their land use decisions there is a different story. I would argue there are only three progressive voices on the city council. You can tell who they are by the recent vote to upzone the University District where an amendment was proposed to increase the affordable housing mandate on developers but lost by a 6-3 vote. Because private developers stand to lose so much money on these land use decisions, it is rare that city council members, or candidates, would take a strong position in opposition to their interests.

As a result, we get tepid half-measures to address our housing crisis. The developers give up some small concession so that politicians can say they did something to their constituents to address the crisis. And while this incrementalist approach is seductive in its lack of adversity, in the meantime generations of Seattleites are getting pushed out of the city, racial segregation grows, poverty concentrates, and working class and low-income people have nowhere they can afford to live.

If a candidate is not being specific with their views on housing and land use, it is a red flag. That is why I am being incredibly specific with my housing proposal. If a politician isn’t willing to explain where they stand on an issue or specifically what they plan to do, how can anyone hold them accountable?I propose the following: For the city to set its Mandatory Housing Affordability-Residential (MHA-R) policy to a uniform 25% affordability requirement per building across the city. For each rezone the city should conduct a feasibility study and economic analysis to determine if the developer can afford the mandate, or exceed it, and in either case default to the maximum affordable rate. The same feasibility and economic analysis should apply to the commercial linkage fee program.

Sheley Secrest, Pos. 8

We are in the midst of a housing crisis in Seattle. The lack of accessible and affordable housing is destroying our vibrant cultural communities and pushing people out of the city. The 2015 Seattle Housing Authority Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) laid out an aggressive plan to create 20,000 affordable housing units by 2025 and we need to make sure we are delivering on this plan.

I am a housing-first advocate. Our policies toward homeless people should be rooted in helping them, not pushing them out of the way. Instead of destroying what little they have in the way of a makeshift home, we should be working to provide them with opportunities to live in actual housing. Once housed, we can work on the issues that led them to be homeless. That is a wise and just society.

Charlene Strong, Pos. 8

I support providing housing for those living in encampments.  Declaring a state of emergency regarding our homeless situation is a statement that exemplifies how grave the issue is for those who are unsheltered.  There is and has been a lot of money, resources and time going in to finding relief for families, but in my estimation, much more can and should be done to help people who are struggling. Being able to discuss the issues of people who are living in inadequate shelter must be accomplished with an understanding that it is not judgment of one’s situation, but working to find realistic relief for the homeless.  People who are living under our bridges, green spaces and neighborhoods in tents is not even close to adequate housing in fact it is inhumane to think this is a viable solution to homelessness. I believe we need to look at ways to provide housing to people who feel they do not fit into the transitional shelters our city and agencies provide. People with pets and partners and addiction are not easily sheltered which leads them to the encampments.

The addiction problem in our city is directly related to the homeless population. Addiction is real and it has to be looked at not only with compassion, but also as a public health crisis. It is estimated that 80% of people in encampments are struggling with addiction or mental health issues and continuing in these environment prevents them from getting much needed support and access to care. As someone who had a relative living in a car as a result of addiction, this issue hits close to home. The key difference for my family member was that he had support from my family to get help. Many people in our homeless population do not have that same support, which is where the city must step in.

Being homeless is not a crime, and as a councilmember for Seattle I will look for ways to streamline housing and track the agencies that are getting the best results so we can allocate the proper funds to the agencies that are having the greatest impact.

Regarding addiction, if we do not approach care for those who are addicted with multifaceted approach working with healthcare, housing, and aftercare we are likely not going to see any appreciable resolution in the level of those addicted in our city.  Every 36 hours someone dies of an overdose in king county, that is too many and it will only worsen if we cannot work to have long term treatment facilities that work to return patients to environments where they will have the most success in staying clean.

Sara Nelson, Pos. 8

I would take a three-pronged approach to addressing homelessness: make changes to our service delivery based on the Poppe Report recommendations; develop an innovative housing fund to generate new models of low-cost housing; and increase mental health and drug rehabilitation resources. I will have the political will to make necessary changes in our contracting with service agencies.

Hisam Goueli, Pos. 8

Goueli proposes expanding the Housing First program, making sure it can be permanent, and providing mental health care. He does not support encampment sweeps.

Mac McGregor, Pos. 8

McGregor supports a “housing first” approach, and believes providing housing for the homeless will give them the security they need to tackle root problems like substance abuse and mental health issues.  He believes this can be achieved by partnering with private organizations as well as through the Tiny Villages Project.  McGregor supports the sweeps, although believes that more care must be taken to preserve the property of the homeless, as well as provide ample warning.

Teresa Mosqueda, Pos. 8

I do not support the sweeps of homeless populations that causes additional trauma to individuals who are already living in survival mode. The city has taken steps to make sure we get homeless individuals the immediate housing they need by expanding access to low barrier housing, so that those who need a warm place to sleep at least have shelter. I support the creation of navigation centers, additional low barrier facilities, and the purchase of vacant buildings to convert those facilities to shelters and permanent supportive housing.

Permanent supportive housing helps families and individuals transition into the housing they need with holistic services – like mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment, and family counseling – but recognizes the first thing families need – safe housing first. We need to get our homeless community members into stable and affordable housing first, and then we can help their mental health, substance abuse, and general case management needs.

We can also do more at the local level to address economic security of the working class. I’ve been working with workers, low income, vulnerable populations my entire career, and housing security is one of the reasons I am running. I have fought for wages and working conditions so no one has to choose between paying bills and paying rent. Like most people in Seattle, I am a renter – I understand the need for affordable housing – not only to rent, but also to buy a home. My fiancée and I looked for a house last year, but were quickly priced out. This year, my rent went up $250/month just last week, which is an overall $3,000 yearly increase. I support all efforts to get more folks into affordable housing and off the streets. I support making sure that we have both long-term revenue and immediate revenue to meet the affordable housing needs of all our residents – including those who are unsheltered.

Rudy Pantoja, Pos. 8

Pantoja advocates for “compromise, and by compromising [he] mean[s] working together and not working against each other and being civil.”

Ian Affleck-Asch, Pos. 9

Any government has a duty to all peoples it governs to care for their needs as best it can. I believe we don’t do enough to provide housing to the disadvantaged in Seattle. I think that -through a revitalization of our housing program with a focus on micro-structures (“apodments”) using our available resources and our unemployed population to construct their own jobs and homes, we can bring a real end to homelessness in Seattle. That we criminalize living for homelessness is a major problem, one that should be a thing of the past in any developed society of our stature. The homeless are not criminals, but even if they were, it is our duty as their government to care for and rehabilitate them. I do not support the sweeps of our homeless encampments, but argue that we instead to regulate and maintain their housing choices, and ensure that any homeless persons are well-cared for and safe. When “The Jungle” was swept and teenagers were found to be sexually trafficked, I was distraught that such a crime had not been stopped earlier. We must bring justice and safety to all people.

Lorena González, Pos. 9

From her campaign website: “Prior to joining the Council I worked as a civil rights attorney fighting for the rights of those who have been disenfranchised. I want to continue this work on the council by working to address social inequities when it comes to homelessness and other critical issues facing our city. I love Seattle. It is an amazing place to live and work but we can continue to do better. Just over one year ago the city announced a state of emergency when it comes to our homelessness crisis. We must continue to improve how we deal with our unsheltered neighbors, including the growth of unsanctioned encampments. It is unacceptable that we have more than 3,000 people – many of whom are women and children – living outside. I continue to be committed to a “Housing First” model, addressing known inefficiencies in our emergency shelter system and increasing accountability for city-funded services.”

On sweeps, González says, “if taking people’s property and putting it in storage where they have to jump through loops to get it back” is the city’s best way of connecting people to services, González said, “we’re doing something wrong.”

David Preston, Pos. 9

Preston is the moderator of a Facebook page called Safe Seattle, which is almost solely dedicated to support of policing homeless. He is a fervent supporter of sweeps.

Marguerite Richard, Pos. 9

Richard’s position is indeterminate.

Eric Smiley, Pos. 9

Smiley says we need affordable housing and storage for property.

Pat Murakami, Pos. 9

Murakami has criminalized the homeless in an interview with KOMO, saying, “They leave trash behind. They steal items and resources, such as water and electricity.”

Amanda Carter, Pos. 9

Carter’s position is indeterminate.

Question 7: Do you oppose state laws preventing Seattle from enacting rent control legislation and other forms of rent stabilization?

Mayor

Mike McGinn, Mayor

I support removing the state prohibition so that Seattle can have more flexibility in providing tenant protections.

Nikkita Oliver, Mayor

Yes. Again, The Peoples Party encourages rent control as one tool to fight displacement of Seattle’s vulnerable populations. It does not increase inventory—another tool necessary in the fight against displacement—and is a stop­gap in the fight against displacement. Nonetheless, Seattleites have a right to stay put and rent control will be a small tool in exercising that right.

Jason Roberts, Mayor

I support the City Councils recent efforts to remove the State ban on rent control. In lieu of such an event, I would propose an “average” rental price for 1 and 2 bedroom units based on the median income in Seattle. Any property owner charging over that amount will incur increased tax rates in proportion to the excess. That tax can be funneled back into low income housing efforts.  Housing and Health care are two things that the free market should not be allowed to exploit.

Casey Carlisle, Mayor

Because I care about the poor and the homeless, I do not oppose state laws that prevent Seattle from enacting rent control. It might seem counterintuitive to oppose rent control, but we don’t need to theorize. Look at “progressive” New York City. Rent control exists there, and their rents and rate of homelessness are greater there. If we truly care about the poor, we’ll never enact rent control. If an idea requires force for it to materialize, then the idea isn’t worth pursuing.

Keith Whiteman, Mayor

While I would support a form of rent control legislation if properly constructed, I would like to focus on building truly affordable housing and not bargaining with developers. I do not believe in the constant shifting of zoning laws to allow for the inorganic growth which is being created by one sector of our economy. I believe we should support more local and smaller developments of  apartment and living situations. I do not believe that large, multi state or even international development companies are the only ones who will built what we need to thrive here in Seattle. I think we are settling on them because it is the quickest, easiest and yet less effective, less progressive and sometimes just darn right cheap and ugly.

One of my campaign platforms is the reorganization of the Design Review Board. For an
entity which is so significant and heavily participated as is the DRB, it should be a full time paid staff with the time and leverage to make sound decisions. It should not be made up of mostly architects and real estate developers, but rather have a blend of sociologists, historians, indigenous representation. Again, more can be read about this on my platform page.

Harley Lever, Mayor 

Lever’s position is indeterminate.

Mary Juanita Martin, Mayor

Martin’s position is indeterminate.

Cary Moon, Mayor

Yes. I think we need to look at a broad array of approaches to solve the housing crisis in Seattle. HALA was a good first step, but there is more that we can do to improve housing affordability in Seattle. Increasing tenants’ rights, enacting legislation that stabilizes rent increases, and ensuring adequate legal protections to renters are all part of the solution. Second, we need to prevent evictions of families with children and safeguard transitional housing for families and victims of domestic violence. Third, we need to exponentially expand affordable housing from only 6% of Seattle’s housing supply toward a goal of four times this share. Cities that have solved the escalation problem show that a large proportion of public and nonprofit housing is an essential counterbalance to helps achieve stability in housing costs. Fourth, we should pursue viable alternative housing options for working people in the “missing middle” like duplexes, townhouses, ADUs, DADUs, congregate housing, community land trusts, co-ops and co-housing while maintaining the unique cultural character of Seattle’s neighborhoods. Fifth, the Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) inclusionary zoning and targeted upzones of HALA are a solid part of the solution, and should be continued. (I believe the MHA requirements in the upzone in downtown and SLU was not assertive enough; we could have asked for more.) And lastly, I believe we should implement targeted taxes or other mechanisms to deter corporate and non-resident real estate speculation to strengthen neighborhoods, and plow the proceeds into affordable housing production.

Seattle has become one of the most expensive cities in the country. More than half of Seattle renters pay more than they can reasonably afford for housing. People who work in Seattle should be able to afford to live in Seattle. If we don’t solve this problem with bold solutions now, in just a few years the majority of Seattle’s workforce — and our children — will be forced to live outside the city.

We do need to look carefully with a racial equity lens at how upzones could be pursued in the Central District and other neighborhoods with significant Black, immigrant, Asian, and POC communities to ensure we are identifying the right mix of solutions to help communities thrive together, not be displaced or dispersed. We need to ensure new growth is carefully balanced with the need to preserve neighborhood cultural character. Our healthiest communities have a diverse mix of folks at all income levels, young families and elders, people early in careers and more advanced, Seattle natives and newcomers, Americans and immigrants. Infill housing for folks at all ages and income levels can be done well, and can facilitate healthy communities where everyone can thrive. I would work collaboratively with planners, advocacy groups, and neighbors to identify the right mix of old and new housing.

Alex Tsimerman, Mayor

Tsimerman advocates for “50% of apartments for people who make less than $40,000 and rent cannot be more than 30% of income.

David Ishii, Mayor

Ishii’s position is indeterminate.

Bob Hasegawa, Mayor

Hasegawa’s position is indeterminate.

Jenny Durkan, Mayor

Apart from intimating rents are too high, Durkan’s position is indeterminate.

Jessyn Farrell, Mayor

Farrell’s position is indeterminate, though she’s led efforts to tighten up landlord liability in tenant displacement.

Michael Harris, Mayor

Harris’ position is indeterminate.


City Council

Jon Grant, Pos. 8

Yes, I oppose state laws preventing Seattle from enacting rent control or rent stabilization laws. If elected I would move the city to initiate a lawsuit against the state to strike down the rent control ban. The ban is unconstitutional because it has a disparate impact on women and people of color and the city should immediately move to challenge this decades long practice of allowing landlords to price gouge their tenants. Currently 45,000 Seattle tenants currently pay more than half their income toward rent, meaning that one in six tenants are severely rent burdened. We must fight back against rent hikes.

Until we strike down the ban I have proposed giving tenants the right to collectively bargain with their landlords for long term leases to stabilize rents and improve living conditions. The city has for a long time believed its hands are tied by the state ban on rent control to address rent hikes. The city must change its attitude and push back against economic eviction by any means necessary, and establish new protections for renters beyond rent control until the ban is overturned. Because the city is prohibited from regulating rent directly, this proposal would enable landlords and tenants to negotiate directly over rental contracts for rents, rules, and living conditions. The city would enforce their right to collectively bargain with the landlord by freezing all permits, licenses, and rental registrations where the landlord has any ownership stake until they meet and negotiate in good faith with the tenants.

Sheley Secrest, Pos. 8

Seattle should have the power to solve its housing problems. State laws that might work in small towns in eastern Washington do not work here. I would like to see the state law prohibiting Seattle from enacting rent controls repealed.

Charlene Strong, Pos. 8

The constant increase in taxes and zoning regulations are forcing people out of their communities by increasing the cost of living and not making enough housing available. We should look at less taxation and less regulation.

Sara Nelson, Pos. 8

I oppose rent control, because it does not work. San Francisco and New York have rent control and they experience the highest rental prices in the nation. The answer to rising rental prices is to build more housing stock.

Hisam Goueli, Pos. 8

Goueli opposes the laws.

Mac McGregor, Pos. 8

McGregor opposes these laws.

Teresa Mosqueda, Pos. 8

Yes, I would like the city to have this tool in our tool box to help address our affordable housing needs. I have fought against other state level proposals that try to limit what cities can do, and will continue to fight against all local preemption efforts that prevent local governments from implementing their own laws to protect the working class.

Rudy Pantoja, Pos. 8

Pantoja’s position is indeterminate.

Ian Affleck-Asch, Pos. 9

We absolutely must stabilize or regulate our rent costs in Seattle. Companies are profiteering from the new minimum wage by hiking prices to ridiculous levels, and forcing people from their communities. I do oppose the state laws in question.

Lorena González, Pos. 9

González’s position is indeterminate.

David Preston, Pos. 9

Preston’s position is indeterminate.

Marguerite Richard, Pos. 9

Richard’s position is indeterminate.

Eric Smiley, Pos. 9

Smiley’s position is indeterminate.

Pat Murakami, Pos. 9

Murakami’s position is indeterminate.

Amanda Carter, Pos. 9

Carter’s position is indeterminate.