“I’m very liberal, but…”

Every day, I hear voters begin the conversation with “I’m very liberal, but….” as they share their disappointment with the Seattle City Council.

Every day, I hear voters begin the conversation with “I’m very liberal, but….” as they share their disappointment with the Seattle City Council.

We can be compassionate and still have an expectation of results.

While other cities have solved chronic homelessness and made giant strides addressing addiction, Seattle has not. I’m sure you know that our elected leaders have been spending vast amounts of money on uncoordinated and unaccountable programs that don’t result in people getting into recovery and stable housing.

Additionally, we have one of the highest rates of property crime in the nation and that is completely untenable. The disorder everywhere is inviting more crime. Public safety and public health are basic government services, yet we’re coming up empty.

You may also know that our city council has been very busy rezoning much of the city in the name of livability and affordability. It’s really maddening, but I want you to know that when I dug deeper, I was able to clearly see that neither livability nor affordability will be the end results of those actions. What a shame, or more accurately, what a sham. Did you know that their actions only yield 10 temporarily affordable housing units per urban village per year?  TEN. That’s about what I have at my own house. Yikes.

Meanwhile, they’re teeing up the next round with absolutely no regard for neighborhoods, small businesses or the next generation. I’m a huge backyard cottage supporter, design them in my work, and was one of the main proponents 10 years ago when we were finally allowed to have them. But now – in the name of some kind of justice – they’re seeking to turn our neighborhoods over to speculators and investors.

I will not stand by silently. 

Special interests instead of the residents and small businesses have been calling the shots. I’m sure you’re ready to turn the page on that. I know I am.

My passion is solving problems with ideas that work. I’ve been doing that as a professional planner and designer for decades and I’m up to speed on the issues because I’ve been involved all along.

I cannot wait to serve the voters of District 6.

If my thoughts resonate with you, please help me spread the word to support my campaign for change and kindly make a contribution.

Your Democracy Vouchers are most welcome here. Call me to pick them up (fun!), mail them to me at: Put Kate On the Council 412 NW 73rd St Seattle, WA 98117 or send them to Seattle Ethics and Elections in the postage-paid envelope in your packet.

Also, a $10 contribution of your own money qualifies me to cash the vouchers.

If you’d consider volunteering on my campaign, shoot me a message.

I meet with voters every day and I’d like to talk to you, your neighborhood, your business associates, or your group so I can learn your priorities and concerns. Please give me a call (206) 579-3703 or send me an email.

Follow the Campaign Trail tab to see where I’ll be this week and next.  I’ll plan a nice kickoff when I’ve reached all of my “voucher qualifying” 150 contributions, so watch for that.

To learn more about me, please check out my BIO and I’m always adding content at a tab called Kate’s Ideas on the website. 

P.S. Don’t forget to like my campaign Facebook page. Facebook is no longer allowed to sell campaign ads or post campaign promotions in Washington because they’re not reporting correctly to the Public Disclosure Commission according to Bob Ferguson’s successful lawsuit. That means I need your help more than ever to promote my posts organically. Click here to visit my page so you can “like” it.

We can do this. I’ll very much look forward to having you out there with me on the campaign trail.

Kate Martin
Candidate for Seattle City Council, District 6, Northwest Seattle
Again, thank you for taking a moment to read this email. Please subscribe to my newsletter so I can keep you in touch with my campaign.

A Sharing Problem, part 1

Seattle is doing way more than their fair share in the way of providing services and facilities to address the homelessness epidemic. The Eastside and beyond need to step up.

Almost 6500 people were unsheltered for the last “one night count”. What they count as sheltered is sketchy. The number is really more like 10,000 in my terms. 

But, look at the numbers below and I fear they’ve skewed even more out of whack in the last year. Seattle is taking 70% and the Eastside is taking 7%. North King Co is taking 3% and South is taking 21%. 

The problem repeats beyond King County into Pierce and Snohomish Counties.

Cut from Capitol Hill Times article. 

The data that jumps out at me is the count in Seattle with a whopping 71% of the county’s homeless, but only 33% of the population.

No wonder we feel overwhelmed and can’t catch up. 

Just because King County government is located in Downtown Seattle, that does not mean that facilities and services should be built disproportionally more here than beyond.

Maybe it would help to move King County government to Bellevue in order to right the ship. 

Even churches on the Eastside build their tiny houses in Seattle rather than in their own backyards. I’m sure their hearts are in the right place, but that’s not sitting right with me.  

As a planner, I think one of Seattle’s biggest planning mistakes – and we’ve made some whoppers – has been to group like things together geographically. The grouping methodology risks the creation of various ghettos. Like SODO (often dead at night except for the wrong uses), 3rd Ave (plethora of bus traffic with dead segments, concentration of service providers and low-income housing feels toxic), and the “civic” neighborhood around City Hall (more dead at night except the wrong uses). Even concentrating commercial uses on the ground floors creates ghettos depending on the time of day. We all have more examples. 

If ever anything needed to be diluted geographically, it is the services and facilities to address poverty, mental illness and addiction. If we could spread the love, neither the affliction nor the cure would be toxic to the people who need the help or hand up, nor anyone else.  As they taught me when I was a volunteer at the North Seattle Boys and Girls Club, everything in ratio. 

I’m a fair person and I can feed a lot of people at my dinner table, and I do, but fair is fair. I can’t feed everyone. Neither can you. Seattle cannot be, nor should they be, the unsupported vessel that receives all of the broke and broken people from across the county, the surrounding counties and beyond.

When we all do what we all need to do, everything will get better. 

Make Kate your candidate in the District 6 City Council race. Your contribution to Kate’s campaign will make all the difference.

 

Room to Recover

Seattle could lead the West Coast by redefining our city as one that supports people to recover and reclaim their lives, instead of as a hopeless dead end destination for people on a downward spiral.

There is an epidemic of broke and broken adults. Many people who survive  childhood or adult traumas (abuse, neglect and more) without therapeutic attention suffer a lifetime of mental disorders including self-medicating addictions. Additionally, hard times and bad luck can strike anytime. Many of us are just a diagnosis or a tragedy away from despair.

I’m certain that we need to build resilience to poverty, mental illness and addiction upstream. Prevention is Sustainable

Meanwhile, everybody deserves to recover, even when their demons are directing them to lay low or stay on the path of destruction. 

I suspect that once people take a few steps toward their recovery, most Seattleites would open their homes, businesses and wallets to further support these people in their upward mobility.

We have to make choosing recovery an irresistible opportunity. Right now we don’t even have an obvious and easy-to-access portal for recovery. When someone is ready to choose recovery, we need to embrace them in that moment completely.

$200M is being spent annually by King County and the City of Seattle to deal with the crisis of homelessness which itself is a symptom. It’s easy to say it’s about building more affordable housing, which is super important and I have many ideas for how we can put that effort on steroids, but fixing homelessness is really about fixing broke and broken people and protecting them from becoming broke and broken in the first place.  

Many of Seattle and King County’s downstream strategies to address those broke and broken people’s issues aren’t working at all. Even “bright spot analyses” are hard to come by which would allow us to at least replicate successes that may be occurring in some areas. One incredibly sad reality is that neither Seattle nor King County even know who composes this unfortunate group of people. The nature of their problems are instead generalized which ignores opportunities to address people as individuals. Meanwhile, upstream strategies – things that would actually fix the problems – are mostly non-existent.

As a councilmember, expect me to be vigilant and critical of seemingly co-dependent relationships with the problems because the failure industry has a way of creeping in. This happens when success relies on more failure. It’s not that different from the perverse incentives of running a private prison – more prisoners is good business. In this way “the homelessness crisis” reminds me of the “the achievement gap”. Tons of money is being spent, a mushrooming of industries responds to that money, and evidence of progress is difficult to find. Some call it the “schools to tent pipeline” and that’s probably not too far off.

Another important aspect of solving this crisis of broke and broken adults is sharing the responsibility fairly with the other towns and cities in King County, our state, and beyond. Two-thirds of the population of King County is outside of the City of Seattle, yet few facilities and programs are distributed there. Everyplace needs to take on the responsibility of providing solutions in ratio with their populations.  Another post “A Sharing Problem, Part 1” addresses that in more depth.

As a councilmember, you can expect me to focus on recovery strategies and to insist that the other jurisdictions pull their fair share of the load.

Please consider making a contribution to put Kate on the council.