District 4 Issues and Solutions

Transportation

  •   Save Vision Zero

    We want to be at zero deaths per year but we are not improving - we are not moving fast enough to protect pedestrians and cyclists.

    Let's work together to ensure that Protected Bike Lanes continue to be built and that we don't abandon this important work.

  •   Access to Light Rail

    District 4 is getting a new light rail station and we need to ensure that it is easily accessible by everyone.

    For those who live too far from the station to walk, I would like to see the number of protected bike parking spots increased.

    Pedestrian access near the station should be made safe from cars and I am open to ideas to turn parts of Brooklyn Ave into pedestrian zones. We have had very little vehicle traffic for the last couple years due to the construction and I think it has demonstrated that Brooklyn could be more useful as a pedestrian corridor.

    We must also decriminalize fare evasion. Yes, fines should be charged to discourage evasion, but there should be no way for those fines to escalate to the point of charging someone with a crime.

  •   Sidewalk Safety

    Not all of our sidewalks and intersections are ADA compliant and some of them are in unacceptable condition.

    Some of the red-light camera revenue has been redirected from improving pedestrian safety to the general subfund. We should use this technology for its initial purpose: to raise funds to improve infrastructure in neighborhoods. We should not being using it as a general tax.

  •   More Greenways

    I am inspired by New York City's decision to convert streets to walkways and pedestrian-friendly areas.

    I believe we should look to repeat their success. I support and want to expand the U-District Green Streets Concept Plans.

    I would also like to improve the Fairview Waterway Path in Eastlake, improved so that bikers are not forced to detour around parking lots.

  •   More Personal Mobility Devices

    I am proud to live in a city that has multiple bike share programs.

    I want Seattle to welcome innovative ways of moving around, including electric scooters and other devices.

  •   Bike Lanes vs Parking Spaces

    Seattle is a constrained city, and adding bike lanes often means reducing the amount of on-street parking.

    Parking impact studies must do a better job of measuring and accounting for new construction when making decisions.

    New residential developments must include adequate off-street parking for new residents.

Trees and Shorelines

We love Seattle because it's green and we cannot sacrifice that as the cost of our growth. On the contrary, we can use this era of construction as an opportunity to build a lush canopy for everyone to enjoy, now and in the future.

  •   Continue the Goal of 30% Coverage

    I support the ambitious Trees for All plan to extend Seattle's canopy.

    This plan includes the requirement that any removed tree be either replaced or compensated for by contributing to a city-wide tree planting fund.

  •   Require New Large Trees

    We are building a lot of new residential condos and apartment complexes. I would like to see a requirement for new large trees at these locations, even if no trees were there previously.

    Big trees have big demands, and this requirement will not be loved by developers. But we must commit to a greener Seattle and accept our role as stewards of the land.

  •   Better Long Term Planning

    Seattle has a wonderful diversity of trees, but we don't always put them in the right places. People are free to plant as they wish, but the city should be held to a higher standard.

    Tall and fast-growing trees should not be planted under power lines, water-thirsty trees should not be planted in dry urban areas, and we should invest in long-lived trees so that we don't have to replace them as often.

  •   Increase Waste Removal from the Shorelines

    The shoreline of Lake Union is a treasure of the city, but it can also be one of the most polluted areas.

    Many of the water way parks lack trash disposal. I would like to see the SPU renew its commitment to ensuring the parks are clean and people have a way to keep them that way.

  •   Rebuild Waterway Parks

    I want to see an overhaul of our Waterway parks. Many were constructed in the 1970s and are maintained only by the surrounding community. It's time that the city repairs and refreshes these parks, rather than lose them to decay. Basic signage is missing, and many are unaware of the public access points. This is an easy bit of maintenance that is long overdue.

Affordable Housing

Affordable housing is needed by many people: young people just starting out, those with low-income jobs, and our elders who have a fixed income and cannot keep up with increasing rents and property taxes.

We have committed to increasing the amount of affordable housing, and I support many of the initiatives.

  •   Support MHA and Beyond

    There are a fair number of criticisms of MHA, but there is one redeeming attribute: it increases the amount of affordable housing we will have. That alone is enough for me to be in favor of it.

    That said, please see my ideas on improved upzoning strategies.

  •   Support Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

    I support both cottages and mother-in-law units on a single property. These are excellent ways to provide affordable housing in the city.

    Parking requirements for ADUs should be based on the neighborhood; if parking is congested and there is public transportation, there should be no parking requirement.

    I am in favor of residency requirements. Other cities have demonstrated that unregulated speculative investment contributes to inflated prices.

  •   Help Locate Qualifying Homes

    Imagine you are experiencing homelessness but today you awarded a voucher to pay rent for the next year. Unfortunately, this is not the end of your troubles.

    Even if you can afford the rent, you can still be inelligible to rent based on criteria from management companies - criteria that you only discover once you apply. This can include your credit score and whether you've been recently evicted among other things.

    If you think finding a place to rent is hard in our city, imagine you don't know if you're qualified. You end up wasting a lot of money and time searching, and this means more time in shelters or on the streets.

    We need a better way to search Seattle's rentable units and match them with your circumstances. We have the technology to make these matches and we should use it.

  •   Co-sign Fund

    If someone is disqualified from renting, they can usually still rent if they have a co-signer.

    I proprose that Seattle establish a fund to co-sign rental agreements for people who are awarded vouchers or otherwise have a pressing need. This fund could give people opportunities to start fresh in the communities that they already know.

    If operated wisely, this fund could function with minimal tax payer investment and will give immediate relief to people in desperate circumstances.

Upzoning

Seattle is growing, and we need to make room for everyone. We need to increase our density. Construction of new housing and new business spaces is the best way to keep rents and property values from ballooning and displacing people who want to live here.

  •   Support Mandatory Housing Affordability

    The MHA isn't without its failings, but it is an important step in the right direction.

  •   Improve Upon MHA

    Growing the city while retaining the charm and beauty of our neighborhoods is going to be an up and down ride. Mistakes will be made and then we will correct them. MHA was an improvement upon HALA and I think we can continue to make improvements.

    To keep that process as smooth as possible, we need to consider the needs of neighborhoods and ensure they have real power in the decision-making process.

  •   Listen to and Empower Residents

    Most major projects have local outreach in the form of community meetings. Unfortunately, not many attend these meetings and they are not well equipped if more did attend.

    We need a better way to poll public opinion on divisive decisions. I propose that fully-transparent opinion polls be conducted by the city that do not require people to leave their homes. Such a poll would focus on creating unbiased results so that everyone's voice is heard.

    The results of the poll would be available online, so that we can all feel the pulse of the city. You and I would both know if our elected officials and city planners were working in our favor.

  •   Increase Retail and Hospitality Space

    I have seen too many housing complexes built without street level retail space, and I want to see future zoning changes require more retail space.

    More local businesses means immediate access to services and basic needs. It means fewer bus transfers, fewer car trips, and fewer parking spaces required.

Homeless

Homelessness must be fought on three fronts: preventing homelessness before it happens, keeping those experiencing homelessness healthy, making the transition to a stable life successful.

  •   Rental Assistance

    Individuals and families can apply for rental relief through several city agencies. While this is not a long-term solution, it has shown to help many get by during times of financial struggle.

    I support the city govenment pursuing rental assistance grants but think that the construction of affordable housing must be our priority.

  •   Housing-first Solution

    We cannot begin to tackle the troubles of those experiencing homelessness if we don't first stabilize their lives and satisfy their basic needs.

    Our shelters are the most important step to getting someone off the streets, and we must invest in them.

    We must also work with funded shelters to ensure that they are accepting as many people as they can by keeping a permissive inclusion policy.

    I would also like to see funded shelters accept people later into the night and allow them to stay later into the morning.

  •   Support for LGBTQ Youth

    A disproportionate number of homeless youth are LGBTQ. We must prioritize a housing-first approach to get these kids off the streets and back into school.

    Gender-based separation drives people away from shelters. We must ensure that shelters are safe havens and that they accomodate the needs of transgender people.

  •   Improved Hygiene Facilities

    Seattle only has 7 twenty-four hour public restrooms city-wide. We must increase the number of 24/7 restrooms. It's not fair to anyone in this city to be denied basic hygiene facilities.

    Our 24/7 portable "restrooms" are often dirty and in need of repair. We can do so much better.

    I propose that instead of wasting money on porta-potties and pie-in-the-sky autocleaning machines, we use what has shown to be effective in San Francisco. Big, solid, simple restrooms with sinks. They're sturdier, easier to clean, and offer great value to people in need.

  •   Encampment Waste Removal

    The city has a small trial program and budget for SPU to remove waste from encampments. I believe that this program must continue and be funded to expand.

  •   Stop the Sweeps

    The homeless navigation team is a necessary service, I would like to see them deployed under fewer circumstances.

    There is safety in numbers, and these encampments provide community for the homeless. You have truly hit bottom when you no longer have someone to help you.

    With all communities, there are trouble-makers, and these communities deserve protection from them. I believe that people living in encampments should be able to call the police without fear that their community will be swept away.