Candidate Survey Results: Questions 12 & 13; Fossil Fuel Divestment & Seattle’s Sanctuary City Status

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These are the responses to questions 12 and 13 of our candidate survey.

Question 12: In the wake of the city council’s vote to divest from Wells Fargo in support of climate justice and indigenous rights, do you support divestment of Seattle’s pension funds from companies that invest in fossil fuels?

Mayor

Mike McGinn, Mayor

Yes. Under my term as Mayor, we were the first city in the nation to commit to fossil fuel divestment. In the past few years I have worked on divestment campaigns at local and national levels, including the Gates Divestment campaign. If elected, I would continue our efforts to completely divest from fossil fuels.

Nikkita Oliver, Mayor

Simply put, yes. We cannot eat money and we cannot drink oil. Furthermore, we must bank only with institutions that reflect our values and principles as a city. Divestment from fossil fuels has been strongly lead by native peoples. In a city named after Chief Sealth, a Duwamish/Suquamish chief, we must follow the lead of the first caretakers of this land both in how we learn to live sustainably with the Earth and in our business practices as a city. This is an investment in our future!

Jason Roberts, Mayor

I support a practical approach toward city investments. Divesting from Wells Fargo made a statement at a time when it had a positive political impact. However, if we divest from everything we disagree with; it could be a detriment. I would support divestment if it reinvested with no harm to the pension funds.

Casey Carlisle, Mayor

We can’t police the morals of everyone we wish to do business with. In the name of climate and indigenous justice, how is it moral to inflict financial injustice? If the City finds a financial institution that can manage our pension funds at a lower price than that of Wells Fargo, then we should divest from Wells Fargo and hire that company, but if Wells Fargo is providing the lowest price – and if we are to divest from them – then we’re only punishing ourselves. As individuals, we’re free to boycott companies for the sake of our sensibilities (at an increased cost), but when we’re talking about public money, i.e. your money and that of your neighbors, then not wasting money for the sake of good intentions is the only moral option. The City Council has no right to decide the fate of so many pensions; this decision should be made by the thousands who pay into their pensions.

Keith Whiteman, Mayor

I do not blanketly support the divestment of Seattle’s economic portfolio from companies that invest in fossil fuels. Just for the sole reason that, financially, I am not prepared to speak to divestment as a whole as I am not a trust manager and it would be beyond my scope of efficacy. I believe that our consumption of fossil fuels and the constant intensifying process of harvesting that energy has a wholly negative impact on our society.

I do believe that we can responsibly and proportionally invest in firms, companies and banks that support good while at the same being responsible with the city’s money. If there is a case like the NODAPL divestment, where we can stand up for what this city stands for and desires then I will support that entirely.

Harley Lever, Mayor 

Lever’s position is indeterminate.

Mary Juanita Martin, Mayor

Martin’s position is indeterminate.

Cary Moon, Mayor

Yes. I worked hard to divest from dirty energy and other unjust industries, personally for my family, and believe it is both morally right and can be politically effective at scale. I would lead this charge.

Further, I would step up and be an advocate on the broader environmental and justice issues. Seattle can reclaim the mantle of climate leadership started with the Mayor’s climate initiative, with a new focus on equity and environmental justice. I spoke out against coal trains, marched against DAPL, marched against the immigration ban, marched with women in Washington DC, marched with Black Lives Matter, and have spent years advocating for transit, for parks, for sustainable compact growth. Now, more than ever, Seattle leadership needs be vocal and visible as the organized opposition to Trump’s nightmarish idea of America, and the beacon for a just, sustainable, progressive city that shares prosperity and where all are welcome.

Alex Tsimerman, Mayor

Tsimerman’s position is indeterminate.

David Ishii, Mayor

Ishii’s position is indeterminate.

Bob Hasegawa, Mayor

Hasegawa has suggested that divested funds from such companies would be better put to use in a publicly owned bank.

Jenny Durkan, Mayor

Durkan’s position is indeterminate.

Jessyn Farrell, Mayor

Farrell’s position is indeterminate.

Michael Harris, Mayor

Harris calls for Seattle to be “powered entirely by clean energy” by 2035.


City Council

Jon Grant, Pos. 8

We were very vocal in supporting the divestment ordinance proposal by Kshama Sawant and I think it says a lot to see how much that ordinance was delayed by some other members on the city council. I think that the way we demonstrate that solidarity is not by tapping the brakes when we need to show that solidarity. We should have had that ordinance passed a long time ago and broken our relationship with Wells Fargo off far sooner. Now that weʼve done that, we need to go a step further. The city currently has itʼs pension fund invested in the fossil fuel industry, I think that the next step we take to show solidarity with indigenous rights movements is to fully divest. Not just from Wells Fargo, but divest our pension fund also from the oil industry. If we can do that, I think it will send a very strong message and be a progressive example for other cities across the country. The more Seattle sets the progressive agenda for the rest of the country, the more we can continue to lead.

Sheley Secrest, Pos. 8

Yes. If we aren’t good stewards of our environment, what kind of a world are we leaving for our children – including my three children? Global climate change, and humanity’s effect on it, is no longer up for debate. We must take strong steps to reverse the trend. There are plenty of good ways for Seattle to invest its funds; we don’t need to support companies that are destroying our future. More than that, I actually believe that the mega banks are bad for many of our minority communities. I have worked with people who wanted to start businesses, but were considered poor investments. That only stagnates the growth of black and brown owned businesses. If the city invests in smaller, local banks, those banks would have the resources to invest in the community here.

Charlene Strong, Pos. 8

I think that ideally we should strive to protect our environment, it would need to be looked at how costly and complicated this move would be to implement. Going forward it seems reasonable to have our city strive for environmental protections that promote reducing greenhouse emissions.

Sara Nelson, Pos. 8

Yes. What options are available not only for SCERS but for the basic mechanics of making payroll every two weeks for City employees? In principle I am there, but I need more education to understand what I should include in my legislative agenda. I’m listening!

Hisam Goueli, Pos. 8

Goueli’s position is indeterminate.

Mac McGregor, Pos. 8

McGregor supports the city’s divestment from Wells Fargo for its investment in the Dakota Access Pipeline because of both the social and environmental impact.  He would like to see the city increase its use of renewable energy by utilizing offshore wind farms.

Teresa Mosqueda, Pos. 8

Divestment is one form of economic boycott that we can use judiciously to hold corporations accountable because our public dollars and investments ought to be invested into organizations that show good corporate citizenship. There large multinational corporations are rooted here in our community, how do we hold some of these large corporations accountable, many of whom have some notoriously bad labor records as well.  We should have a broader conversation with the with the community about how we use this tool to hold corporations accountable and invest more invest in those that invest in our community, treated workers and our environment well. As a city council person, I will continue to empower workers, including public-sector employees, to take charge of their financial futures and retirement investments.

Rudy Pantoja, Pos. 8

Pantoja’s position is indeterminate.

Ian Affleck-Asch, Pos. 9

Dependence on fossil fuels is scientifically pitiful and should be avoided wherever possible. I do support that divestment.

Lorena González, Pos. 9

González supported the Wells Fargo Divestment, saying, “We are taking a bold policy step today that is what this movement wants to see and asks to see.”

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.

Question 13: The recent arrest and detention of Seattle resident Daniel Ramirez Medina, a DACA recipient, shows that the Trump administration is willing to harass and deport even legal immigrants. Without a plan for enforcement, Seattle’s status as a sanctuary city is merely a title. What is your proposed protocol for upholding the rights of DACA recipients and other immigrants (including those who are undocumented), and enforcing Seattle’s status as a sanctuary city?

Mayor

Mike McGinn, Mayor

I will do everything in my power to protect immigrants, including those that are undocumented. Our current immigration policies are inhumane in how they divide families. As Mayor I urged King County to not collaborate with ICE on detainer requests. We also worked with DACA “dreamers” to help document their long-term residence by issuing utility bills in their name. I support the litigation against Trump’s travel ban, and against his attempt to withhold funds from sanctuary cities. I will stand with any member of our community facing discrimination due to religion or country of origin. Seattle is better because of our immigrant and refugee communities, and I will do all I can to defend them and our city against the Trump administration.

Nikkita Oliver, Mayor

Position: Immigrants and refugees should be as safe as possible within the City of Seattle. Seattle’s current commitment to being a “sanctuary city” is one is mostly of word and not deed. Instead, Seattle should be a welcoming city that actively protects immigrants and refugees while acknowledging that City policies and practice cannot ensure total security. Currently, law enforcement and incarceration act as the primary funnel that leads non­citizens to detention and deportation.

First, the City of Seattle should create and expand diversion opportunities and programs that provide alternatives to arrest or conviction that could lead to immigration detention and deportation.

Secondly, when people can access workforce development, investment programs, and workplace trainings it increases the likelihood they will be able to sustain themselves and their families. Access to employment can reduce the likelihood of arrest or immigration detention.
Finally, the City should reassess the way it tracks people who may or may not be, for example, be gang affiliated because such tracking puts them in danger for arrest that could lead to immigration detention and deportation.

Action Agenda: Nikkita and the Peoples Party believe there are many clear steps the City of Seattle can take to ensure the safety of our immigrant and refugee communities. Law enforcement:

Nikkita will ensure: 1) policies limit communication between local law enforcement and immigration enforcement regarding people in custody; 2) ICE cannot use city facilities or resources for civil immigration enforcement, including “check points” or traffic perimeters; 3) all people have access to city benefits and services regardless of immigration status; 4) city agencies and employees do not request information or investigate a person’s citizenship or immigration status; and 5) city databases, facilities, equipment, personnel, and other resources cannot be used for the purpose of implementing registries.

Reducing arrest: Nikkita would enact policies to reduce arrests, especially arrests for “quality of life” crimes such as crimes of survival (theft or sex work), certain drug related offenses, certain driving offenses, and loitering.

Employment: Nikkita would create programs to support vulnerable people’s access to meaningful employment.

Privacy: Nikkita would reassess SPD’s use of the gang databases to track alleged gang affiliation and create clear procedures for removing individual names.

Jason Roberts, Mayor

I will not support Trump’s dragnet of undocumented immigrants. There is a lot of push back on the Mayors decision citing that undocumented immigrants are “illegal”.  There have been and always will be undocumented immigrants in Seattle and around the nation. Ethically, practically, and fiscally it makes no sense to capture and deport these people. Violent criminals, whatever their immigration status is, will never be tolerated. As Mayor, I will preserve our status as a Sanctuary City.

Casey Carlisle, Mayor

According to Mayor Murray’s spokesman, Benton Strong, Seattle law states, “City officers and employees are directed to cooperate, and not hinder, enforcement of federal immigration laws.” Let’s change that law, so that City officers and employees are in charge. The law should read, “Welcome to Seattle: County, State, and Federal officers and employees are directed to cooperate, and not hinder, enforcement of City immigration laws.” Murray would rather leave the current law unchanged. Why does he seem comfortable groveling to the many levels of government “above” the City? The mayor should serve the city and only the city. Maintaining our status as a sanctuary city means that we’ll be forced to do without federal funding. Raising taxes to fill the gap isn’t justifiable. We need the City to stick to “boring” tasks, like fixing potholes, instead of social engineering, like forcing people to fund the arts; if we focus on “boring” tasks, we’ll be able to do without federal funding.

Keith Whiteman, Mayor

I plan on continuing to express Seattle’s commitment to helping all of it’s population,
even undocumented residents. I will inform the SPD to continue not to report undocumented occurrences to the federal government when they have interactions. I think the idea that we would eliminate or scare a sector of our population out of asking for help from our emergency services is a crime in itself. To force them to choose anonymity over safety should be considered an affront to our common beliefs as Americans.

In light of our current federal situation, I will also continue to fight for our rights as a city municipality to express the fact that it is wholly illegal and unfortunate for the federal government to threaten a state with spite and withholding of funds that have no direct relationship to the issue at hand.

Harley Lever, Mayor 

Lever’s position is indeterminate.

Mary Juanita Martin, Mayor

Martin’s position is indeterminate.

Cary Moon, Mayor

Seattle must stand for racial equity and the liberation of all people. But too many outcomes show we are missing the mark. White Seattleites need to come to grips with racial and economic inequality and the barriers that exist in our systems and institutions — and we all must work in partnership across race and class to dismantle them. Our city must step up its accountability to communities of color and disenfranchised communities, including transgender and gender diverse people. We must amplify the important work already done by Black leaders, Native leaders, immigrant leaders and people of color from the civil rights era through the Black Lives Matter movement and complete the transformation to true inclusion and power sharing.

To live the vision of the sanctuary city we claim to be, we need to stand strong in protecting immigrants and refugees, and pursue concrete solutions such as a legal defense fund for our neighbors and families being persecuted by ICE. We need to invest in the next generation of leaders by offering training in civics, organizing and advocacy to young leaders of color and from immigrant families. We must provide equitable resources for education across all neighborhood schools, including more after school, childcare, and summer programs in communities of color, because every child deserves the chance to pursue their dreams — no matter their zip code. We need to make sure all our young people have access to entrepreneurship with municipal wifi. I will work to rebalance who has a seat at the table in every public decision-making body, and establish standards that ensure we share power across race, class and gender in city boards, commissions and all departmental leadership positions.

Sanctuary City is a wonderful moniker, but unless we can achieve transformations toward a more affordable, inclusive, racially just, and welcoming city that builds broad prosperity, it is just an empty promise. We need to implement the practical and bold solutions described in my platform or we will continue on the path toward a city of haves and have nots, a place where more and more of us are not sure we belong and feel our roots are tenuous at best. With our wealth, our creativity, our spirit of innovation, and our shared progressive values, we have tremendous responsibility to rally energy and shared commitment to be the living beacon of hope, standing in stark contrast to Trump’s nightmare vision for America.

Alex Tsimerman, Mayor

Tsimerman’s position is indeterminate.

David Ishii, Mayor

Ishii’s position is indeterminate.

Bob Hasegawa, Mayor

Hasegawa’s position is indeterminate.

Jenny Durkan, Mayor

Durkan’s position is indeterminate, though, as a US attorney, she oversaw raids of cannabis retailers and targeted Occupy protesters.

Jessyn Farrell, Mayor

Farrell’s position is indeterminate.

Michael Harris, Mayor

Harris’ position is indeterminate.


City Council

Jon Grant, Pos. 8

I think we have a very low bar for being called a sanctuary city. The way that we define that, is that we simply prohibit city workers from inquiring into your immigration status or citizenship status. What I would like to see is that the city pass an ordinance that says “We will not uphold any ICE detainer orders. We will not collaborate with ICE or Homeland Security for their detainer actions.” I think until the city takes further steps to block the deportations from happening, the city will continue to be a funnel for immigrants and refugees into the deportation system. We need to close every single one of those channels so that we are in no way collaborating with ICE. Furthermore, my understanding is that SPD meets with ICE and Homeland Security on a regular basis and shares municipal data with them. I think we should have that looked into, and if thereʼs anything outside of public safety, that information sharing should be prohibited.

Additionally, the city of Seattle needs to safeguard the city from budget cuts from the Trump administration by creating new revenue sources from the private sector. We have seen a lot of levies being passed in recent years, which are a regressive way to raise revenue. I would like to
see the city to address that by raising corporate tax rates to pay for services and affordable housing. I think the city needs to dedicate a portion of its general fund to provide free legal representation to immigrants and refugees who are facing deportation. I think every immigrant or refugee who is facing deportation by the Trump administration, should be entitled to a free lawyer. They should also be entitled to a lawyer to assist them with naturalization services so they can become a citizen. For most immigrants and refugees who are new to this country, thereʼs no way they could afford a lawyer to help them become a legal resident and legal citizen. I support the current City Council plan to dedicate $1 million toward a legal defense fund for immigrants in our city.

I would also like to expand the right to vote to non-citizens in municipal elections. We currently have a system of taxation without representation as immigrants pay the same sales and property taxes but have no say in how that revenue is invested in their communities. Enfranchising non-citizens with the right to the vote would create a more accountable local government to all its constituents.

Sheley Secrest, Pos. 8

As an attorney the first thing I say is, “enforce the law!” NO ONE can detain without cause and NO ONE can deport citizens at all. And no one can deport documented immigrants without due process. I have worked for the voiceless and represented several people who have been abused by the court system…and won. I have no problem walking my fellow councilmembers through the process of challenging the Trump administration.

Charlene Strong, Pos. 8

Our city does many things that are right and we are often leaders in our nation regarding civil rights. Immigration is a federal issue, and our city does not have to support the efforts of enforcement by ICE, nor should our police force be required to work with ICE to detain or report undocumented citizens. Our Mayor has said that “no City of Seattle official will ever ask about immigration status” and police will not help ICE detain or deport immigrants “who are doing nothing more than raising their families” and I wholeheartedly agree with that statement.

Sara Nelson, Pos. 8

I support continuing Seattle’s existing policies preventing municipal law enforcement from coordinating with federal agencies at the expense of the rights and safety of our immigrant population. I find it unconscionable that the Trump administration looks to upend these immigrant populations and strike fear into families who are simply looking to make a better life for themselves and their children.

Hisam Goueli, Pos. 8

Goueli’s position is indeterminate.

Mac McGregor, Pos. 8

McGregor supports all current efforts to enforce Seattle’s sanctuary city status.

Teresa Mosqueda, Pos. 8

The election of Trump, and his hostile agenda towards immigrants and communities of color, was one of the primary reasons I decided to launch my campaign for Seattle city council. I applaud Seattle’s status as a sanctuary city. Elected leaders should resist attempts to co-opt our law enforcement personnel into enforcing President Trump’s agenda and use every legal venue possible to protect immigrant communities in our city. Seattle must do everything it can to prevent families from being torn apart by unjust, illegal and short-sighted immigration policies. I am proud to have the endorsement of AG Bob Ferguson, I have worked in the labor movement to file Amicus Briefs with the WA State lawsuit and the recent NWIRP lawsuit. As a City Council member, I will stand up to make sure that no lists are being shared with identifying data, that SSN numbers aren’t being requested when they aren’t needed, that we proactively go into our communities and workplaces to show that we are standing in solidarity with our immigrant and refugee community, and that no DACA youth are detained or deported. I will hold firm when federal funding threats become a reality, and bulling becomes budget cuts. I am fighting for that now at the state and city level, and will continue to do so on City Council.

Rudy Pantoja, Pos. 8

Pantoja’s position is indeterminate.

Ian Affleck-Asch, Pos. 9

The most important way we can protect undocumented immigrants is by providing aid to receive citizenship. I believe that all of Earth should be traversable by all People of Earth, and that the notion of borders is ridiculous. These people come here because they want to live here. They respect us, and we should do the same. What we really need is immigration reform on a truly massive scale. Until we reach that reality, we must protect people’s right to live where they choose to, as long as they do their best to contribute to our society.

Lorena González, Pos. 9

González said of a Medina hearing, “I’m disappointed that Daniel wasn’t released…That was the hope. However, Judge Donohue’s comments indicate that he understands the gravity of the situation for both Daniel and DACA recipients across the nation. I’m pleased to hear that he has directed his judicial colleague to consider Daniel’s bond hearing in a week. However, we still need answer from ICE and will follow closely as this court pursues them. Seattle stands with all people that consider this country their home.”

González sponsored a resolution (Res 31730) to say that Seattle employees will serve all residents, regardless of legal status and that the city will work to create a legal defense fund for immigrants and refugees.

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.