Kate’s Ideas

Kate’s Amendments

These are the amendments I suggest for proposed changes to Accessory Dwelling Unit legislation in Seattle.

I love Backyard Cottages and I design them in the work that I do. I also design rental suites for single-family houses, basement apartments, and flexible shared houses, too. I encourage my clients to develop sustainable homesteads over time on the lots they own and live on that can accommodate up to 8 people who the owner-occupant may or may not be related to.

Increasing the 8 to 12 is fine. I’d love to see those 12 people own 4 or less cars. We are 8 at my shared house now, and have 6 cars that are not used all that much. I’m sure that as transit becomes more of “a choice that a person in the free world will make”, as transit planner Jarrett Walker says, we’ll all be glad to have fewer cars. But we’re not quite there yet and meanwhile, storing cars somewhere other than the public right of way makes sense, so moderate private parking requirements are fine with me.

About 12 years ago when we finally broke through in Seattle to allow Backyard Cottages, I was amongst the biggest proponents. Even Carnation allowed Backyard Cottages, but Seattle Didn’t.

Around that time, I was rebuilding my house on the old 1954 rambler foundation to the maximum allowable height of 35′ to the roof peak. The master plan for my site includes a really sweet apartment-above-garage style backyard cottage, too, and as soon as I have enough money saved, I’m going to build it and I can’t wait. Most of my neighbors also wish to have backyard cottages on our alley and we already have laws that allow them.

What we needed were a handful of tweaks to that decade-old ADU legislation. What we really did not need was to to take a sledgehammer to it. It’s clear to me (admittedly a bit of a land use policy wonk) that the proposed changes are special-interest driven and quite politically charged and that disappoints me.

I’m a conservative progressive and I see that the uber-liberal progressives are promoting a land use agenda that is anti-family, anti-group, anti-homeownership, anti-tree, anti-main street, anti-neighborhood, anti-affordability, and anti-social.

It’s all in the name of their deity, which is developer-friendly density. Density used to be a more agreeable concept with me – I am, after all, an old school urbanist with a degree in environmental science and landscape architecture – but I’ve soured on it since it became all about Wall Street.

Supposedly, we can finally put white privilege in check with this “urbanist manifesto” if we just get the owners out and bring the investors in. This proposed legislative “cure” hurts everyone who lives or works in Seattle and wants to afford a piece of the rock and a short commute to work. It does, however, serve the developers, Real Estate Investment Trusts and global investors quite well by basically putting the local residents and workers on the menu.

Fool me once (Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda that had no affordability or livability in it) shame on you. Fool me twice (ADU Legislative Changes), well NO, just NO.

Here are my amendments that could fix what I see as the biggest bloopers of the proposal:

1. Maintain owner-occupancy requirement
-Curtails investment speculation by REITs and global investors
-Prevents shallow-rooted communities and family/group habitat degradation
-Increases homeownership (the ultimate rent control)
-Increases affordable rentals (owner occupants provide cheapest rents)

2. Eliminate .5 FAR (Floor Area Ratio), substitute .2 FL* (Footprint Limit) for primary residence
-Building up not out allows taller houses on smaller foundations which allows for more natural drainage, gardens, trees, and more.
-Still allows for more square footage that can accommodate more residents in the future. A bigger house is definitely better as the transition of parts of Capitol Hill from single families to groups and ADUs showed us.
-Encourage stick-framed pitched roofs for primary residences and DADUs with potential for loft, attic or 3rd floor living area now or in the future vs. flat roof with no potential living space.
*i.e. 5000 sf lot x .2 = 1000 sf footprint, 7200 sf lot x .2 = 1,440 sf footprint

3. Require “rough-in” of electrical, plumbing, and mechanical for potential future accessory dwelling unit(s), not full build out
-Encourage flexible floor plans with stacked flats that can accommodate 1 or more family units in the future

4. Apply same height and size limits of DADUs to garages
-Homeowners can “nickel and dime” development of backyard cottages over time which is “housing in the bank” for the future
-Lots of garages are falling down, but current 16’ height limit for garages (12’ to plate + 4’ to roof peak) limits future potential for carriage houses over garages.

5. Encourage most DADU development to occur on lots with alleys
-Create separate size limits for DADUs on lots without alley access
-Alleys create buffer between backyard cottage and rear yard neighbors
-Parking off alley is easy and accessible – reduces use of on-street parking

6. Maintain 40% allowance for rear yard lot coverage by DADU rather than increase to 60%
-Covering more of the ground is not sustainable, encourage smaller footprint
-Build up not out, 40% rear yard lot coverage is plenty

7. Require additional parking spot for DADU (backyard cottage), but not an additional parking spot for ADU (apartment in house)
-Make exceptions for lots where an additional parking space is not possible or practical

Please share this list with your councilmember and the mayor. Thank you.

Arguments for More Density Don’t Add Up

Lobby groups team up with electeds to make neighborhoods unaffordable for Seattle’s residents and small businesses.

We have to debunk the myth that if we carry the water long enough for the developers and investors, it will trickle down to livable neighborhoods and affordable housing for all, because that is not going to happen.

Seattle is one of the 3 most popular cities in the world for global investors to buy up residential and commercial properties according to Seattle Business Magazine. It’s all kind of a “Swiss bank account” arrangement that essentially has made Seattle a popular black hole that wealthy foreigners tuck gobs of money into. Their all-cash payments make it hard for locals to compete with more traditional mortgages and commercial property financing.

The feeding frenzy they’re having is stoking more and more blade and build speculative development and whopper transactions all the while putting increased financial pressure on the people who already work and live here and removing opportunities to own the homes we live in and the land we do business on.

The global investors are in a crouched and ready-to-pounce position right now expecting that the corruption down at City Hall will throw them yet another gilded bone following the sham rezones related to the ironically named Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda.

The new proposed giveaway to developers and investors is to remove owner-occupant requirements with proposed revisions to the laws that control accessory housing units on properties zoned “single-family”. Once again, the lobbyists print their signs that this is somehow about “Housing for All”, which could not be further from the truth.

Whether you’re a renter or owner, it’s in your best interest to prevent that from happening. Ownership is the best rent control and a good wealth builder. The average renter’s net worth is $5,000 while a homeowner’s average net worth is over $250,000. Interesting, too, is that owner-occupants rent out some of the most stable and affordable housing in Seattle.

I pledge to support increased homeownership across all income brackets and I plan to propose a program to offer zero-interest loan incentives to homeowners willing to tuck rental spaces into their houses.

The BINMIC and Me

Let’s definitely encourage the further development of industrial, manufacturing, and maritime industries and defend the land they sit on in District 6 and beyond.

I went to the North Seattle Industrial Association recently at the Seattle Central College’s Seattle Maritime Academy on the ship canal near the north west corner of the Ballard Bridge.

Sound Transit updated about their light rail study from Ballard to West Seattle and The Interbay Project let the cat out of the bag about wanting to put housing on the armory site.

The Sound Transit folks are working out whether to build elevated or a tunnel to downtown from Market Street and 15th NW. A mix is likely, but to me, not very desirable.

The Interbay Project is a totally top down effort from the Department of Commerce, no less, to build apartments, bars, and coffee places on essential industrial (and emergency response lands) near the train tracks and the water.

I’ve know this for awhile and it’s true. Seattle’s maritime, manufacturing and industrial heritage and prosperous blue color future are being snuffed out, very quietly, by housing developer lobbyists. Most of the politicians are owned by them. Their influence at our expense needs to stop. If you haven’t noticed this is a trend across Seattle, let me bring it to your attention.

There will always be a variety of places to build housing and it will take many forms incrementally over time, but industrial lands are very important to Seattle’s past, present and future and most of all to the next generation of middle-class Seattleites. These areas are where they are for a reason and that should be respected.

Can we just celebrate that we have a thriving Alaskan fishing fleet that calls Fisherman’s Terminal their home? I’m on board for defending that.

When I began my civic life in Seattle 20 years ago, I learned about the BINMIC, which is the Ballard Interbay Northend Manufacturing Industrial Center.

They made a plan, from the bottom up, which is how we used to roll. It was cool.

Then a series of political waves occurred starting with Greg Nickels, when the slow erosion of the sanctity of neighborhoods and their main streets as well as our vibrant Seattle maritime industrial (family wage) traditions started. He ditched Jim Diers, head of the Department of Neighborhoods, who so influenced us with “Neighbor Power”, even before he wrote the book.

Things went downhill from there, but we can fix that. We can feel enabled by District Elections. In my District 6, all of this matters.

Let’s definitely encourage the further development of industrial, manufacturing, and maritime industries and defend the land they sit on in District 6 and beyond.

These are some things I took away from the NSIA meeting after talking to people, listening to their comments, and considering own thoughts, too:

  • Put lightrail in a tunnel to downtown with northern (Crown Hill) and eastern (University, Fremont) extensions
  • Keep the Armory site near the Magnolia Bridge for it’s current use or industrial, manufacturing or maritime industries.
  • Create a strong “Running Start” pipeline so that kids can jump to training in the trades for 11th and 12th grade. (@Armory site?)
  • Establish Economic Mobility as the third leg of the stool with Public Health and Public Safety.

I want you with me on this mission. The BINMIC and me…we’re on the same page.

Transparent Campaigns

In anticipation of running an extremely transparent office, I am running a transparent campaign.

I wish to turn the tables and call for immediate daylighting and reform of the status quo candidate questionnaire system.
 
Behind the scenes, candidates have to answer dozens and dozens of questionnaires from special interest groups and media, but voters don’t get to see most of the questionnaires and the tedious and redundant process takes candidates away from voters. The campaign staff wind up winging it toward the end which is really too bad because I’m pretty certain voters want answers directly from candidates, not staffers. 

Who knew, right? 

I also think  there needs to be other reforms to candidate communications protocols, to shine more light and throttle back on secrecy. The voters should know who is talking to who and what they’re talking about. If the voters told me they wanted me to wear a body camera down at city hall, I would because we’re all pretty mad out here in voter land about how opaque things are down at City Hall. A new City Council could decide to be much more transparent. It would be a refreshing change.

Looking further in the future, the logical office to help develop the rules and manage access to the information is Seattle Ethics and Elections. I think it’s a do-able step we can take toward transparency and open government. 

I’m calling for a publicly-selected, universal set of questions for candidates because – as I like to say – this is not my first rodeo, and anyone who has run for office in Seattle knows there are just too many questionnaires and they’re too private.

I’m also calling for word limits on the responses from the candidates for obvious reasons, LOL. 

A predictable and logical schedule for posting questions and answers makes sense.  Candidates will be encouraged to gain content competency in the subject areas if they don’t already have it. As a candidate has a chance to study up, hear from more voters and sharpen their positions, they could edit their responses to keep them fresh. More importantly, if we want more policy and less politics from our electeds, then they need to do their homework, not claim they’re just politicians leaving the important policy development work to others. 

I’m calling for a questionnaire editing deadline that coincides with the Voter’s Guide deadline and intermediate deadlines for responses, so candidates are encouraged to make their draft positions public earlier. This will help  voters to differentiate candidates. 

It would be golden if registered voters could make public comments as constituents under the candidate responses by logging in with their voter card ID and using their real names. Wow, that alone would be amazing. 

Hat tip to the Downtown Seattle Association, the only organization with a transparent questionnaire process so far!

Here is my partial journal of questionnaire requests and the responses associated with them:

April 19, 2019 Ballard Alliance

From: Mike Stewart <mike@ballardalliance.com>
Sent: Thursday, April 18, 2019 2:29 PM
To: katemartinseattle@gmail.com
Subject: Ballard Alliance Candidate Forum Questionnaire

Good afternoon Kate,

On behalf of the Ballard Alliance, I’d like to invite you to a District 6 Candidate Forum that will be held on Wednesday, May 15 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at Leif Erikson Hall – 2245 NW 57th St, Seattle, WA 98107.

Because there are currently more than ten candidates who have filed for the District 6 City Council position, we will not have room for every candidate. To that end, we are requesting that you complete the attached questionnaire and return it to me by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, April 22. Responses will be evaluated by the Ballard Alliance Board of Directors and up to 6 candidates will be selected for participation in the May 15 Candidate’s Forum.

Thank you in advance for your response.

Best,

Ballard Alliance

(206) 784-9705

mike@ballardalliance.com

www.ballardalliance.com

*

District 6 Candidate Forum Questionnaire

Please complete the following questionnaire and return to mike@ballardalliance.com by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, April 22.

Responses will be evaluated by the Ballard Alliance Board of Directors and up to 6 candidates will be selected for participation in the May 15 Candidate’s Forum.

1. Why are you running for the Seattle City Council District 6 position and what are your qualifications?

2. What are the top three issues currently facing the City that you hope to address as a City Councilmember?

3. Do you think the city is on the right track or wrong track in working with and supporting neighborhood businesses?

4. What is your approach for addressing the homelessness issue? What’s working now and what needs to be done differently?

5. What is your approach for improving public safety for all residents? What’s working now and what needs to be done differently?

6. Have you studied the city’s budget? Do you think revenue growth is high, about normal, or are more resources needed?

7. To date, how many voters have you contacted through doorbelling?

8. What are your total campaign contributions to date?

*

On Thu, Apr 18, 2019 at 3:01 PM <katemartinseattle@gmail.com> wrote:

Hi Mike.

Thanks for your message.

Could you let me know if your questionnaire responses will be made public?  I’m running a Transparent Campaign in anticipation of running a very transparent office. So far, only the Downtown Seattle Association is running a transparent questionnaire process.  I applaud them for that. I hope you have the same policy.

Kind regards,

Kate

*

From: Mike Stewart <mike@ballardalliance.com>
Sent: Friday, April 19, 2019 11:23 AM
To: katemartinseattle@gmail.com
Subject: Re: Ballard Alliance Candidate Forum Questionnaire

Hi Kate,

The candidate questionnaire is not part of any formal endorsement process. It is merely a screener that will allow us to select up to 6 candidates to participate in our upcoming forum, which will be open to the public.

Thank you!

Mike Stewart, Executive Director

Ballard Alliance

(206) 784-9705

mike@ballardalliance.com

www.ballardalliance.com

*

From: katemartinseattle@gmail.com <katemartinseattle@gmail.com>
Sent: Friday, April 19, 2019 1:16 PM
To: ‘Mike Stewart’ <mike@ballardalliance.com>
Subject: RE: Ballard Alliance Candidate Forum Questionnaire

Hi Mike.

Thanks for the message.  

I’ll need to decline participation in your process due to both the lack of transparency of the questionnaires and the uneven treatment of the candidates.  

All 12 candidate questionnaires would need to be made public and all 12 candidates would need to be able to participate in the forum as long as they had passed the SEEC threshold for fundraising.

It’s tempting for organizations to want to have their own primary by winnowing down the number of candidates for their own convenience, but it’s not very democratic, so I prefer not to be a part of that.  

If anything should change about your protocols to made them transparent and democratic, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Kind regards,

Kate

March 25 , 2019 Seattle Hospitality for Progress

Dear candidate,

On behalf of Seattle Hospitality for Progress, the political arm of the Seattle Restaurant Alliance and Seattle Hotel Association, I am writing to invite you to participate in our 2019 endorsement process.

As a first step in this process, we ask that you complete the attached 2019 candidate questionnaire by Monday, April 8 at 5:00 p.m.

We will use responses to the questionnaire to help determine who we invite to participate in the next step in the process, which is a sit-down interview with our leadership committee.

Please let me know if you have any questions about the questionnaire or endorsement process, or if you will be unable to meet the April 8 deadline.

Thank you,

Teddi McGuire
Local Government Affairs Assistant Coordinator
Seattle Restaurant Alliance & Seattle Hotel Association

Here’s the Questionnaire:

ABOUT SEATTLE HOSPITALITY FOR PROGRESS

Seattle Hospitality for Progress seeks to educate candidates on issues facing the hospitality community and endorses and supports candidates for office in the City of Seattle. We represent the diverse restaurant and hotel sectors of Seattle’s economy, which includes more than 2,700 restaurants and 100 hotels.

2019 CANDIDATE QUESTIONNAIRE

Responses are due Monday, April 8 by 5:00 p.m.

To submit your completed questionnaire, or if you have any questions, please contact Teddi McGuire at teddim@wahospitality.org.

Basic Information

Candidate Name:

Party Affiliation:

Phone Number:

Email Address:

Website:

General Questions

*Who is your political consultant?

  • What endorsements have you received?
  • How much money have you raised to date?
  • Are you participating in the Democracy Voucher program?
  • Why are you running for this office?
  • What is your vision for Seattle?
  • What are the main issues you see facing the hospitality community in Seattle?
  • What would you do to support the hospitality industry in Seattle?
  • Why are you interested in the endorsement of Seattle Hospitality for Progress?
  • How would you use the endorsement of Seattle Hospitality for Progress?

Hi Teddi.

Thank you for your message. Having spent over a decade in the hotel and restaurant business with Four Seasons Hotels here in Seattle, I’m very interested in your organization and efforts.

Could you let me know if your questionnaire and endorsement processes are public? I’m running a Transparent Campaign which you could learn more about here:  https://www.putkateonthecouncil.org/transparent-campaigns/

I’ll look forward to your response.

Kind regards,

Kate Martin


March 18, 2019 From Transportation for Washington

Hello, I hope this message finds you well.  

Transportation for Washington endorses candidates throughout Washington State that support creating healthy, safe and affordable communities connected by transit, walking, and biking programs. We are looking for candidates that will grow funding for transit and active transportation, keep transportation investments on track, and work on associated issues such as housing, land use, and climate to create holistic policies.   

Information on Transportation for Washington’s endorsement process, including the 2019 candidate questionnaire, is now available on our website, www.T4Wa.org. 

Thanks for your candidacy. We hope to hear from you soon!

Best wishes,

Kelsey & Transportation for Washington

*

Hi Kelsey.

Thank you for your message.

I’m am running a Transparent Campaign. Can you tell me if all of your questionnaire responses are public?

Thanks,  

Kate Martin

*

Hi Kate, for Seattle during the primaries we are not endorsing but providing “candidate scorecards” to voters. We will be publishing all answers from all candidates (there are yes/no questions only). 

Candidates have the option to add explanations, which we will provide to our board members; however we will not be publicly publishing those optional explanations as that detracts from the scorecard format.

Hope this helps. I understand and appreciate that it is a burden to answer many questionnaires. 

Best,

Kelsey

***

February 25, 2019 National Women’s Political Caucus Washington

From: Cathy Allen <cathy@connectionsgroup.org>
Sent: Tuesday, February 19, 2019 2:56 PM
To: KateMartinSeattle@gmail.com
Subject: Fw: Congratulations on becoming a candidate, Kate

Kate!

On behalf of the National Women’s Political Caucus of Washington, we are thrilled to see you file early — it’s the best way to establish the agenda in your race, and setting the message and starting early is one of the characteristics of many of our winning women campaigns (starting with Patty Murray and her first US Senate race!).

There are two important ways that the NWPCWA can be of help to you. First, we are offering two candidate trainings for women candidates — the first on Saturday, March 2nd in Tacoma and the second, also on a Saturday but in Everett at Everett Community College. Both will get underway at 8 am and last until 6 pm, with breakfast and lunch provided. The cost is $40 if you are already a member of the NWPCWA, and $65 if you are not. 

Last year we trained more than 200 women on the basics of asking for donations, developing your campaign plan, your image, voice and presentation, technology and social media, as well as dealing with negative attacks. And, you probably know how successful we were — as we broke our own record of 40% women in the state legislature (now at 60 women).

These trainings have been our trademark as the oldest national women’s political organization — they are safe spaces to ask any questions you may have about your campaign. 

Please consider RSVP’ing as soon as you can — as we always max out our attendance before the event itself. Just go to www.nwpcwa.org/events to register. You’ll be in very good company.

The other way we can help is that we endorse only women candidates — the best one running in each race. We have a thoughtful questionnaire regarding women’s equality, equal pay, family leave, woman’s right to choose, child care concerns, women’s health and more. After you send in the questionnaire (online), you will be contacted by someone on our Endorsement Committee , and asked to meet with the Committee within a few weeks. After the interview, within a few days after the interview, we meet to determine who should be endorsed.

So many woman throughout the country tell us time and time again that the NWPC endorsement was the first they ever received: former Gov. Chris Gregoire, our new Commerce Commissioner and former US Congressional candidate Lisa Brown, both our women US Senators and many more. Please watch for the questionnaire as the deadline comes up quickly.

And, we would be remiss if we did not ask you to become a member of the NWPCWA ($65 — the best campaign investment you will ever make). Head to our website at www.nwpcwa.org/membership and join us. Our job is to recruit, train and support women candidates…and we’re excited that you’re running. 

Thanks for taking the time to read this. Thank you even more for running!

Good Luck!

Cathy Allen

NWPC of Washington State &

National Vice-President, National Women’s Political Caucus

Become a Member www.nwpcwa.org National Women’s Political Caucus of Washington www.nwpcwa.org News Celebrating 2018 Campaign Heroines. Each year, as the election comes to a close, we ask our endorsed women candidates to nominate a woman who helped them on their campaign.   The NWPC is a multi-partisan grassroots membership organization dedicated to increasing the number of women in elected and appointed office at all levels of government.

*

From: katemartinseattle@gmail.com< katemartinseattle@gmail.com>
Sent: Monday, February 25, 2019 12:42 PM
To: Cathy Allen
Subject: RE: Congratulations on becoming a candidate, Kate

Hi Cathy.

Thanks for your message.

Could you tell me if you’re questionnaires are public?

I know I’ve gone through the process with NWPCWA a few times before. I remember asking each time whether someone could give me feedback on the review of my questionnaire and interview when I was not endorsed, but I didn’t receive any, so I didn’t learn anything from the effort.  

I’ve pledged a Transparent Campaign, so it would be good to know if your organization’s process qualifies.

Kind regards,

Kate Martin

*

I will find out what has happened in the past and be glad to give you some feedback Kate. And I am not certain of the transparency issue as I know there are some candidates who request confidentiality. Will check both these out and be back to you by tomorrow, okay?

Cathy

*

Thank you, Cathy.

*

Because many of our questions deal with a woman’s right to choose, and because women we interviewed have been harassed, sent hate mail, and even been followed, the Caucus decided several years ago to hold them confidential. If you want to release yours, you are free to do so, of course.

Regarding your own previous questionnaires, I will be meeting with former endorsement chairs of the NWPC and will ask them specifically about your endorsements so you know what had been a concern for them (if anything, as it could be there was just better reasons to endorse someone else. But I do so agree you need to know in the event there is something you can do differently to give you more support.

I will email you after I speak with as many who sat in on your endorsement interview as possible. 

Thanks for your patience!

Cathy

*

Hi Cathy.

I know it’s complicated what I’m asking for.

Meanwhile, could you send me a summary of what you are looking for in a Seattle City Councilmember, generally and specifically?

That would be a good starting point for me to address your questionnaire and interview in any case or if I have any questions about your positions or arguments, I can ask about them.

Kind regards, Kate

***

From: Cathy Allen <cathy@connectionsgroup.org>
Sent: Wednesday, March 20, 2019 10:46 AM
To: katemartinseattle@gmail.com
Subject: Re: We do not disclose what is said on the questionnaires to the general public

What we are looking for is someone who is a strong advocate for the empowerment side of women’s issues (right to choose, equal pay, child care, family leave, equal representation — more women elected, appointed, hired into management posts– sexual harassment, domestic violence, LBGTQ rights and respect).

Who can win…has raised the money, is competitive with other women running in her race, is well-known among those candidates, has a strong team with volunteers at her side; no lone rangers; no one issue candidates; no extremists; and no one who is only relying on democracy vouchers to win.

We want someone likeable, who is good with people, even those who she does not agree with; who can disagree but still be civil.

We want to see accomplishments that have to do with betterment of women, children, immigrants, LGBTQ community, the homeless, the disenfranchised, minorities, and others who face hard times and low income.

That’s the best I feel will get you there.

*

On Mar 20, 2019, at 1:30 PM, “katemartinseattle@gmail.com” <katemartinseattle@gmail.com> wrote:

Thanks for this Cathy.

Can you tell me if there’s anyone currently on the City Council currently who you endorsed?

Thanks,

Kate

*

I would think we support Lisa Herbold, and Debora Juarez, as they were endorsed four years ago. No one else.

Sent from my iPhone

February 27, 2019 Seattle Firefighters Local 27

Dear Candidate,

Seattle Fire Fighters would like to commend you for seeking elected office. Fire Fighters truly understand the meaning, spirit, and sacrifice of public service and we hold our elected officials in the highest regard for their commitment to the citizens of Seattle.

Seattle Fire Fighters are active participants in the electoral process to maintain and advance the safety, health, and working conditions for Fire Fighters and to ensure that Public Safety is a priority for Seattle.

As the first step of our endorsement process Seattle Fire Fighters invite you to complete our questionnaire attached.

We currently have a few appointments available for tomorrow, February 28th.  Please let us know if you are available the following times.

1:00
1:30
2:00
2:30

If you have any questions regarding this questionnaire, please contact Local 27 (206) 285-1271.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Regards,

Local 27

*

Seattle Fire Fighters Union Local 272019 Candidate Endorsement Questionnaire

  1. Campaign Information

Candidate Name __________________________________________________________

Position Sought __________________________________________________________

Campaign Committee Name_________________________________________________

Address _________________________________________  Zip code _______________

Campaign Phone Number __________________________________________________

Other Phone Number­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ ______________________    Fax Number____________________

Email Address ___________________________________________________________

Website Address __________________________________________________________

Facebook ­­­­­­­­­­­­­_______________________________________________________________

Twitter _________________________________________________________________

Campaign Manager Name__________________________________________________

Campaign Manager Phone Number ___________________________________________

Campaign Information

  1. Have you ever run for or held an elected office? (please circle one)

Yes                   No

  • If so, did you receive the endorsement of Local 27 or another IAFF affiliate?

Yes                  No

  • If so, did you receive the endorsement of any labor organizations?  If yes, please list.

                                                Yes                  No

  • Have you received the endorsement of any labor organization(s) for your current campaign?  If yes, please list.
  • Please describe your campaign manager’s experience.
  • Please identify your campaign consultant(s).
  • Do you have a written campaign plan?
  • What is your campaign fundraising goal?
  1. Please briefly describe your campaign budget.
  • What other endorsements have you received to date?
  • What other endorsements do you expect/want to receive?
  • What role will public safety issues play in your campaign?  Please provide details.
  • Describe any union experience and or past support for the labor movement.
  1. Priorities
  2. What will your priorities be if elected?
  • What are the most significant issues facing Seattle?
  • What committees are you interested in serving on?
  • What public safety issues will you focus on if elected?
  • What labor issues will you focus on if elected?
  • What issues are you aware of that are challenging the Seattle Fire Department and Seattle Fire Fighters and how you would address these issues as an elected official?
  • If elected, will you meet or respond to Seattle Fire Fighters in a timely manner when we request it due to a concern or question?
  1. Seattle Fire Fighter Issues

PTSD and Fire Fighter Suicide

On the job stresses have a direct link to a high rate of PTSD and suicide for firefighters and EMTs. The Seattle Fire Department has actually experienced two suicides within 12 months in 2016. Research has shown that fire fighters have a higher rate of PTSD than the general population. According to the American Psychiatric Association, the rate of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the general population ranges from seven percent to nine percent. Various research studies pertaining specifically to firefighters have cited PTSD rates for firefighters ranging from 16 percent to as high as 24 percent. Most people associate PTSD with the military (combat veterans). It has been referred to as “shell shock” and “battle fatigue.” The use of these terms has been slowly fading as public awareness of PTSD has increased. What has also changed is that there is an increased willingness to seek professional help for PTSD. It is difficult to determine the number of fire fighters who have PTSD. Many firefighters will not admit they have PTSD due to the social and professional stigma attached to psychological issues. In addition, fire fighters are typically concerned that seeking help for mental health issues could negatively impact their careers. 

If elected, will you support efforts, resources, and funding for programs to ensure the mental and emotional health of fire fighters?

Assaults on Fire Fighters

Seattle Fire Fighters Union, Local 27 has multiple fire fighters who have sustained injuries due to being assaulted by citizens while providing emergency care. Assaults on fire fighters and paramedics have been escalating over the last couple of years. One of the fire fighters who was assaulted during an EMS response may not even be able to return to work due to the injuries he sustained. In addition, citizens who assault a fire fighter or paramedic are not held accountable and charged appropriately for this crime. 

If elected, will you support efforts to reduce assaults on fire fighters? 

If elected, can we count on you to support legislation that sends a strong message that assaulting fire fighters will be not be tolerated in Seattle?

Post-Retirement Medical Coverage

Fire fighting is a dangerous, labor-intensive, and physically demanding job that requires a high degree of skill and efficiency.

Fire fighters are typically unable to work effectively beyond their mid-fifties. Furthermore, fire fighters are more susceptible to certain types of cancers.

Medicare coverage does not begin until 65. Thus, after many years of dedicated service most Seattle Fire Fighters must provide their own medical coverage for up to 14 years after retirement creating a significant financial impact at a time when fire fighter’s health is at risk.

Post-retirement healthcare from retirement until Medicare is a significant financial burden that is unusual for most workers.

If elected, will you support efforts to support the healthcare coverage needs of fire fighters between retirement and Medicare?

Fire Department Service Increases

Demands on the Seattle Fire Department continue to increase at an alarming rate.

Seattle has experienced unprecedented growth in the last several years and has been the fasted growing city in the United States since 2010, adding 116,000 more citizens, which is an 18.7% increase in population.  This is Seattle’s greatest rate of growth since the Klondike Goldrush in 1896.

The homeless/street population has also increased. Seattle Fire Fighters serve every member of our community without regard to financial status, immigration status, or any other criteria. We respond 24 hours a day to alleys and parks as well as to homes and hotels. We serve those living on the streets of Broadway and Belltown as well as those living in the homes of Broadmoor and Blue Ridge. We respond daily into unauthorized homeless encampments to answer the calls of the people living there. These responses have increased dramatically and have become more challenging in many ways.

Meanwhile, over the years the department has eliminated several Fire Engines and Aid Cars due to budget cuts. The growing number of vulnerable Seattle residents including the elderly, people with mental health issues, people with drug and alcohol addictions, and the homeless, are inundating Seattle’s fire fighters with 911 calls that are not acute emergencies although they are in need of help. 911 is oftentimes the primary source of medical care for some of these populations. When fire fighters respond to these calls they are no longer available for more time-sensitive critical emergencies.

Fire department resources have been reduced overall. Normally when a single unit approaches 3500 responses annually then additional resources are considered. SFD has single units responding to 4,000, 5,000, 6,000, 7,000 and over 8,000 responses annually. This is not sustainable.

In 2002 it was projected that 10,963 housing units would be added to South Lake Union by 2020. Between 2004 and 2010, 1.78 million square feet of biotech space was constructed, 2.2 million square feet of office space was constructed, and a total of 257,679 square feet of retail space was constructed. So far, actual development has exceeded the highest projected growth by 10 percent. An economic study has projected up to $154 million in new direct tax revenue may be generated by redevelopment between 2005 and 2025, with as many as 23,000 jobs created in South Lake Union by 2020. Currently, in South Lake Union Seattle Fire Fighters provide fire and life safety services to over 50,000 additional citizens with the same level of resources we had ten years ago.

We must provide the necessary resources to keep pace with the growing demands of our thriving city. services must be properly prioritized and maintained at the required minimum levels.

If elected, will you oppose any reductions and support increases to fire department services?

If elected, will you always ensure that emergency services are maintained at safe and appropriate levels?

If elected, are you willing to oppose efforts to cut or reduce fire department response times or resources, especially in lieu of other non-essential services?

SFD Uniformed Dispatchers

Seattle has one the best and most responsive 911 operations in the nation. One significant reason for this is that Seattle has experienced uniformed fire fighters answering 911 calls and dispatching aid. Having experienced fire fighters as 911 Dispatchers allows the fire fighters on scene and those they are helping get the proper resources. Having experienced fire fighters as 911 Dispatchers is also important because their experience is critical in the allocation of the City’s finite fire protection and life safety resources. In other words, making sure that the proper apparatus and personnel are dispatched to the most serious aid calls.

If elected, will you oppose elimination of uniformed fire fighters as Dispatchers at the Seattle 911 call center?    

5-Person Ladder Companies

The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) sets national standards for the fire service to protect the public and make fire fighters as safe as possible when they do their job. NFPA 1710 sets staffing standards which includes at least four (4) fire fighters on every engine company and ladder company and five (5) fire fighters on ladder companies in high density areas. 

These staffing standards are based on studies and determined by a consortium of participants including members of the fire service, municipalities business, and industry professionals. These staffing standards are minimum standards that ensure timely, safe, effective, and appropriate service levels for communities. 

With the increases population and density occurring in Seattle 5-person ladder companies become even more important than ever.



If elected, will you support five-person ladder companies where indicated and preserve four-person staffing on every fire engine and fire truck in Seattle?

Collective Bargaining

Collective Bargaining is a critical element of positive and effective labor relations. Public Employee Unions are a great asset in dealing with critical issues such as the severe government budget shortfalls we recently experienced. For example, in their 2008 contract negotiations Seattle Fire Fighters proposed and agreed to forego the minimum 2% cost of living increase for their entire 3 year contract to help the City of Seattle during the economic downturn. Then again, in the their current contract, Seattle Fire Fighters agreed to take significantly less than the cost of living for 2012 and 2013. These acts of leadership saved the City millions of dollars and demonstrated the value of a good relationship with workers. In other parts of the country we have seen more aggressive and antagonistic approaches to dealing with public employee unions that may save some money in the short term, but ultimately will destroy morale, decrease productivity, and set a poor example for all employers.

Our right to collectively bargaining is under attack.  Legislators in several states, including Washington, and multiple jurisdictions across this country are working with organizations such as the Freedom Foundation to pass ALEC-sponsored legislation that is detrimental to collective bargaining. The current legislation being pushed by this corporate- funded non-profit calls for public employee collective bargaining sessions to be open to the public in the interest of transparency.  This is not about transparency, it is about destroying unions. 

The goal of the ALEC legislation is to use the misinformed court of public opinion to cripple public unions and continue the march towards a country where greed has no antidote.  ALEC currently has some traction with this model legislation in Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington

Several organizations/offices in Seattle are in support of open collective bargaining for police officers.  These include, the Director of the Office of Professional Accountability, the Office of Professional Accountability Review Board, the Community Police Commission, and seemingly the Seattle City Attorney’s Office. Their support is just the crack in the door that the Freedom Foundation, the Washington Policy Center, ALEC and all the other union busting groups have been waiting for.  We have boards and commissions in Seattle that are playing right into the hands of organized labors’ enemy.  Just look at what is being posted on the website of the Freedom Foundation:  “Other periodicals agree with the Freedom Foundation’s Position”, and they go on to say, “Notes obtained through a public records request—show the Department of Justice, director of the Office of Professional Accountability (OPA), the OPA Auditor, the Community Police Commission (CPC), and the OPA Review Board agreed that the collective bargaining process should be made public.”  The Freedom Foundation is applauding what they see as a first step towards open collective bargaining for all. 

If elected, will you support the collective bargaining rights of Seattle Fire Fighters, City of Seattle employees, and all union employees and oppose any and all legislation, at the City or State level that reduces the rights and abilities of workers to collectively bargain with their employer?

If elected will you oppose efforts or legislation to ‘daylight” or open collective bargaining to the public?

So- called “Right to Work”

We have been seeing attacks on Labor Unions nationwide, with States attempting to enact Right-to-Work laws. These laws weaken Unions and significantly reduce an employee’s voice concerning wages, hours, and working conditions.

If elected, will you oppose and work to block any attempt to bring Right-to-Work laws to Washington State?

Safe Injection Sites

Safe Injection Sites have been proposed by some in response to the opioid crisis.

Safe-injection sites allow drug addicts to inject illegal drugs intravenously in a public facility. 

According to Dr. Caleb Banta-Green at the University of Washington, “It (safe injection sites) may not help with mortality rates. I suspect it does but it’s small. About 1 to 2 percent of opiate injectors die every year. So, you have to be studying thousands of people to see an effect of that.” 

Opponents of Safe Injection Sites emphasize the need for treatment facilities and counseling rather than condoning and normalizing this type of drug use. 

Fire fighters respond every day to people who use illegal drugs, including intravenous heroin users, and we know that condoning and supporting heroin addiction is the wrong path. Addiction to heroin is only part of the horror we see. Heroin use means crime, incarceration, and criminal predators, job loss, broken families, homelessness, child abuse, child prostitution, and more devastating effects. In terms of harm, allowing heroin addiction to continue creates extraordinary harm in a wide variety of ways. 

If elected, what is your position on this proposal?

Navigation Team

The City of Seattle has a Navigation Team which is a specially trained team comprised of outreach workers paired with Seattle Police Department (SPD) personnel, to connect unsheltered people existing in unsanitary, unhealthy, and inhuman conditions to housing and critical resources, while helping to address pervasive intolerable situations related to homelessness in Seattle.

If elected, how will you address the issue of unauthorized encampments?

If elected, will you support unauthorized homeless encampment sweeps?

If elected, will you support the Navigation Team?

If elected, how will you address the numerous conditions in public places in Seattle that create an unsafe working environment for fire fighters?

Prioritizing Basic Services including Public Safety

Public Safety is a core function of any municipal government. However, while the City of Seattle has grown astronomically, and the number of emergency responses has increased with that growth in both number and type of response, the Seattle Fire Department has remained static. In fact, the fire department has fewer fire fighters than in previous years. In addition to front line fire fighters, the Training Division is under-staffed, especially in light of the increased training demands caused by an intentional reduction in the number of fire fighters hired over the last decade. Staffing all of our fire engines and fire trucks is critical to protecting the citizens of Seattle and ensuring that there are enough fire engines and trucks is just as important. 

List some specific examples of how you will prioritize public safety if elected.

*

Good Afternoon.

Thank you for your message.

I’ve pledged to run a Transparent Campaign: https://www.putkateonthecouncil.org/transparent-campaigns/

Could you clarify whether your questionnaire process is transparent? By that I mean, can the voters see all of the questions you pose and the responses that all of the candidates make?

Likewise, are the other steps of your endorsement process also transparent to the voters?

Thank you in advance for your response.

Kind regards,

Kate Martin

*

Dear Ms. Martin,

Seattle Fire Fighters, IAFF Local 27 is a labor union. Our primary mission is to represent our 1,000 members to protect their health, safety, and security. We also advocate for the highest quality service, equipment, and training to serve the citizens of Seattle. 

Our endorsement process is a private process designed to inform and educate our members in order to support candidates for office who will prioritize fire fighter Issues and public safety. We do not typically publish or distribute documents or information related to our endorsement process other than our endorsement itself unless it is in the interest of our members and/or public safety. 

I would be glad to answer any other specific questions you have 

Here are some new dates and times.  Please let us know if you are available.

Tuesday, March 5th

2:00

2:30

3:00

3:30

Friday, March 8th

8:00

8:30

9:00

9:30

Sincerely, 

Kenny Stuart

President

Seattle Fire Fighters Union, IAFF Local 27

Lieutenant

Ladder Co. 8

Seattle Fire Department

“Do right, fear not.”

*

3-5-2019 repeat request

Dear Candidate,

Seattle Fire Fighters would like to commend you for seeking elected office. Fire Fighters truly understand the meaning, spirit, and sacrifice of public service and we hold our elected officials in the highest regard for their commitment to the citizens of Seattle.

Seattle Fire Fighters are active participants in the electoral process to maintain and advance the safety, health, and working conditions for Fire Fighters and to ensure that Public Safety is a priority for Seattle.

As the first step of our endorsement process, Seattle Fire Fighters invite you to complete our questionnaire attached.

We currently have a few appointments available March 18, 2019. Please let us know if you are available the following times. First-come-first-serve basis.

10:00

10:30

11:00

11:30

1:00

1:30

2:00

2:30

Thanks,

Seattle Fire Fighters Union, Local 27

517 2nd Avenue West

Seattle, WA 98119

Phone: 206.285.1271

*

3-8-2019 Repeat Request

Dear Candidate,

Seattle Fire Fighters would like to commend you for seeking elected office. Fire Fighters truly understand the meaning, spirit, and sacrifice of public service and we hold our elected officials in the highest regard for their commitment to the citizens of Seattle.

Seattle Fire Fighters are active participants in the electoral process to maintain and advance the safety, health, and working conditions for Fire Fighters and to ensure that public safety is a priority for Seattle.

As the first step of our endorsement process, Seattle Fire Fighters invite you to complete and return the attached questionnaire.

We currently have appointments available on March 18th, 19th, and 22nd. Please let us know if you are available any of the following times. These are filled on a first-come-first-served basis.

Monday, March 18th

3:00

3:30

Tuesday, March 19th

12:30

1:00

1:30

2:00

2:30

3:30

3:30

Friday, March 22nd

12:00
12:30
1:00
1:30
2:00
2:30

Thank you,

Seattle Fire Fighters Union, Local 27

517 2nd Avenue West

Seattle, WA 98119

Phone: 206.285.1271

*

February 28, 2019 Laborers Local 242

Morning Kate,

I would like to introduce myself and extend the opportunity to sit down with you in the near future and discuss your candidacy for Seattle City Council. I have attached our questionnaire, if you could take a moment to look it over and fill out. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me! If you would like to meet let me know what your next couple of weeks look like and we can go from there. THANKS!

Billy Hetherington

Assistant Political Director
206.441.0470 (Office)
206.552.3284 (Cell)
22323 Pacific Hwy. S.
Des Moines, WA 98198

*

LIUNA LABORERS LOCAL UNION 242

LIUNA—the Laborers’ International Union of North America—is a strong and proud union of workers founded by immigrants in 1903. A half-million strong, we are united through collective bargaining agreements which help us earn family-supporting pay, good benefits, and the opportunity for advancement and better lives. Chartered as a construction union, LIUNA is also one of the most diverse and effective unions representing public employees, federal sector workers, and service contract workers. Members run LIUNA, electing officers at all levels and participating in the day-to-day affairs of their Local Unions. Members set priorities for contracts and are key to the union’s growth and success. The mission of LIUNA is implemented through nine Regions, more than 40 District Councils, and 380 Local Unions.

Laborers Local Union 242 represents over 5,000 members in King County. We work in all aspects of construction, both Buildings and Heavy Highway. We also have members who perform maintenance at the Port of Seattle, Seattle and King County Housing, Seattle Public School, Northshore and Lake Washington School Districts, and Seattle University. We are committed to our training programs and currently have over 500 registered Laborers Apprentices.

Laborers Local Union 242 members, retirees, and their families are looking for candidates who will do more than support our wages and benefits. We are looking for champions of the working class who can be counted on to fight for LIUNA members. To this end, our members canvass for candidates, make phone calls and most importantly, Vote!

Please fill out the questionnaire, return it and we will schedule an interview.

Dale W. Cannon
Business
Manager/ Secretary Treasurer

Laborers Local 2422019
Laborers Local Union 242
Candidate Biographical Information
Name: Click here to enter text.
Candidate for what office: Click here to enter text.               
Party Affiliation: Click here to enter text.
Political Background (offices held or currently held, offices ran for, party positions, etc.):                     

Click here to enter text.

Community or Organizational Memberships (past and present): Click here to enter text.

Current Occupation: Click here to enter text.

Current Employer: Click here to enter text.

Are you currently or have you ever been a member of a labor organization? Click here to enter text.

If yes, which labor organization? Click here to enter text.

Campaign Information

Campaign Address: Click here to enter text.                City: Click here to enter text. Zip: Click here to enter text.

Campaign Phone: Click here to enter text.                    Home Phone: Click here to enter text.

Email Address: Click here to enter text.                         Website Address: Click here to enter text.

Campaign Manager: Click here to enter text.                Phone Number: Click here to enter text.

Treasurer: Click here to enter text.                                  Phone Number: Click here to enter text.

EIN:

Community Workforce Agreements/Project Labor Agreements

A Community Workforce Agreement (CWA) is based on the foundation and process of a nationally utilized Project Labor Agreement, a construction project tool for both public and private construction owners to facilitate community involvement and ensure labor harmony as administered by local, state or national Building Trades Councils. Over time these agreements have proven effective to save time, money and headache by the upfront agreement to project expectations.  Projects under CWAs avoid labor discord that could lead to pickets, strikes, misclassification or other conflicts concerning wages or working conditions.  CWA projects guarantee that the owner and the represented crafts will work together with the community to provide opportunity for pre-apprenticeship, apprenticeship and veteran employment to construct a quality project on time and on budget.

Will you make a personal commitment in your campaign and when elected to promote Community Workforce Agreements, based on Standard Project Labor Agreements, for all public construction projects?

___________ YES ____________ NO

Just Transition

Laborers Local 242 members work throughout the United States and the Puget Sound Region building and maintaining natural gas infrastructure. ML King County just enacted an Emergency Moratorium on construction of new fossil fuel facilities. We find this short side and not well thought out. There will be a need for transitional fuels, like natural gas, and we will need to insure workers have the necessary training to transition into meaningful employment in emerging industries.

What is your position on “Just Transition”?

Prevailing Wage

Prevailing wage laws have ensured a living wage for construction workers for decades, giving Americans the chance to get ahead and prosper. The Davis-Bacon Act, state prevailing wage laws, the Service Contract Act, and related statutes require locally prevailing wage rates and benefits be paid to construction workers on projects that are taxpayer funded. Prevailing wage laws establish a wage floor to keep low road contractors from driving down local standards of living. These laws protect paychecks, defend taxpayers and create jobs. In Washington State, some projects are exempted from prevailing wage.

Would you support requiring prevailing wage on any project that receives a public subsidy to include: loan from the state or any county, municipality, or political subdivision; the work occurs on land that a party to the contract leases from the state or any county, municipality, or political subdivision; the work occurs on land that a party to the contract purchased from the state or any county, municipality, or political subdivision for less than fair market value as determined by the state, county, municipality, or political subdivision at the time of the sale; or one or more parties to the contract received or will receive a qualifying tax preference?

___________ YES ____________ NO

Across the nation prevailing wage laws are under attack. Do you oppose legislation that undermines prevailing wage laws and will you work to end exemptions?

___________ YES ____________ NO

*

Hi Billy.

Thank you for your message.

I’ve pledged to run a Transparent Campaign: https://www.putkateonthecouncil.org/transparent-campaigns/

Could you clarify whether your questionnaire process is transparent? By that I mean, can the voters see all of the questions you pose and the responses that all of the candidates make?

Likewise, are the other steps of your endorsement process also transparent to the voters?

Thank you in advance for your response.

Kind regards,

Kate Martin

*

January 25, 2019 UAW Local 4121

Greetings,

UAW Local 4121 is the union at the University of Washington for over 5000 Academic Student Employees and Postdoctoral Researchers.  We are beginning our candidate endorsement process for the Seattle City Council election and would like to learn more about your candidacy.  If you are interested in participating in this process, please fill out and return the attached questionnaire to uaw4121@uaw4121.org by 5:00 PM on Friday Feb 8, 2019.

We appreciate your willingness to serve and look forward to your response.

Thanks,

Dylan Mayer
Recording Secretary
UAW Local 4121
dylan.mayer@uaw4121.org
2066336080 (Office)

Kate’s Mailbox

Kate’s Mailbox features weekly email exchanges with voters.

Wednesday April 10, 2019
Email inquiry from Brian Duncan

From: Brian Duncan
Sent: Wednesday, April 10, 2019 11:54 AM
To: Kate Martin <katemartin@putkateonthecouncil.org>
Subject: Re: this is fixable

Ms. Martin,

I’m undecided on this contest at this time. 

What do you think of this proposed 36th Dems Resolution? Will you speak for or against at the meeting?

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1UqTWFV268XXxcHVUmW08ZFXO_6ob5_qC78SQDci0N4E/edit?link_id=1&can_id=6e78ba36794b1b537d710ca1548a43f4&source=email-april-meeting-notice-elections-and-constitutional-law-discussion&email_referrer=email_524889&email_subject=april-meeting-notice-elections-and-constitutional-law-discussion

Best,
Brian Duncan
PCO, 36th Dems

*

From: Kate Martin <katemartin@putkateonthecouncil.org>
Sent: Wednesday, April 10, 2019 1:42 PM
To: ‘Brian Duncan’
Subject: RE: this is fixable

Hi Brian.

Thanks for the message.

I am a non-partisan candidate running for a non-partisan position on the Seattle City Council in District 6. I’ve always voted Democrat.

When I ran for school board in 2011, I was introduced to the partisan Legislative Districts, which most voters don’t know much about. I became a member of the 36th District Dems. I joined the Metropolitan Democratic Club and later served on their board and as Treasurer. In 2016, I decided things were too polarized and that I’m not really partisan.

I don’t see how solutions can emerge from compartmentalizing into tribes of this nature. I stopped paying my dues to the 36th Dems and the Metropolitan Democratic Club. Those tents are way too small and there’s too little debate. A shortage of diversity of ideas ironically prevails in these groups that otherwise spend a lot of time talking about diversity.

This proposed resolution regarding the KOMO “Seattle is Dying” video reinforces to me that there’s no place for me in the 36th Dems. Is the video perfect? No, it’s too long, a bit dramatic, and it needed more focus on “bright spots” where solutions are working. Does it warrant a resolution of this nature? In my opinion, no.

Less than 1/2 of 1% of voters in District 6 belong to the group. Few have any idea what goes on there. I noticed quite a few processes when I was a member that were not actually “democratic”. At this point, I’m a “small d democrat” and I’m okay with that.

What do you think of Evan’s resolution?

Kind regards,

Kate

***

Friday, April 5, 2019
email inquiry from Camille Miller

From: Camiller
Sent: Friday, April 5, 2019 4:08 PM
To: katemartin@putkateonthecouncil.org
Subject: Seattle City Council Questions

Hi there,

I am a Seattle resident and I would like to know what your opinion is on the current property tax level in Seattle. Do you agree with the property tax rate?

Thanks,

Camille Miller

*

From: Kate Martin <katemartin@putkateonthecouncil.org>
Sent: Friday, April 5, 2019 5:39 PM
To: ‘Camiller’
Subject: RE: Seattle City Council Questions

Hi Camille.

Thanks for the message.

I could go on and on about taxes and what we do or don’t get in return for them, but I’d rather hear what you have to say. If you could give me a quick summary of what you think and why, then I can keep the conversation going.

Generally, I might be okay with the level of taxes we’re paying if we were really getting what we need out of it.

We have vast amounts of money going toward a public education system that is very out of step with reality and inadequately connected to families and communities. Only 50% of the kids even learn to read, write and do math. More pathways are needed for youth and adults so they can successfully blaze the trail to their futures or recalibrate their adult lives at any point.

There’s way too many barriers to education and re-education as well as job training and re-training and too small an emphasis on social-emotional development early on so that kids can get ready to learn equipped with the behavior skills needed to deal with their teachers, classmates, family, and more.  Too big an emphasis on grade-level rather than letting people move at a pace that makes sense for them, whether sped up or slowed down.  

I want to spend money on Success Coordinators for families and kids so they can craft  their own development plans to self-actualize their own lives at any point and so we can help turn people’s lives around when things go south no matter how young or old they are.

Kids need vouchers to go do activities and enrich their lives without financial barriers.

I’d like to redirect some Families and Education levy money to these pursuits.  

We have public safety and health crises in every direction with no strategic solutions even being discussed. I only hear how we need more money. I do think we are going to need more money for all that, but they have no plan currently. I’m a planner. I want a plan based on reality, not ideologies. We need to turn this epidemic off upstream and meanwhile figure out who everyone is, what their obstacles are and triage them to a menu of supportive housing options suitable for their needs and well-coordinated with the neighborhoods and districts.  

Everyone rides Uber because the transit system doesn’t adequately serve our intra-district needs. I don’t hear an adequate response from the transit folks on that phenomenon except they want to tax them.  I think that transit needs to be a choice that a person in the free world can make (a Jarrett Walker quote).

I want a police precinct (co-housed with recovery portals and other social worker supports) in every council district. The precincts south of the ship canal have one per 100,000 residents – one in each council district. We have one for 300,000 people – one for 3 council districts.

I want anyone who works or lives in Seattle to have access to the city’s self-insured healthcare pool at cost. We’d have Cadillac coverage for cheaper than “bronze level” prices. And our whole bodies including our brains, eyes, teeth and everything else would be covered.  

I think owner-occupied properties should probably be taxed at a lower rate. We need to encourage more ownership across all income brackets perhaps including more co-ops where people can affordably own shares in the house or building they live in.

Like I said, I could go on about what we’re getting for our money, but I’d love to know what you think? Always happy to meet for coffee or a beer as well.

Thanks for the conversation.

Kind regards,

Kate

***

Wednesday, March 27, 2019
email inquiry from Todd Sanchez

Original Message—–
From: Todd Sanchez <todd.sanchez@gmail.com>
Sent: Wednesday, March 27, 2019 5:29 PM
To: katemartin@putkateonthecouncil.org
Subject: I’d like to contribute

but I’m unsure of your position on the “missing link” of the Burke Gilman Trail.

My feeling is that it should parallel the railroad tracks as originally intended.

Could you please clarify your feelings about that particular issue for me?

Thanks and good luck, I’m with you on everything else!

But I have to say that certain waterfront businesses have been obstructive and selfish in their resistance to having their free use of public property taken back! I do not accept that completing the trail along the tracks will impact their, or any other waterfront business’s future or impact safety negatively.

Todd Sanchez

*

—–Original Message—–
From: Kate Martin <katemartin@putkateonthecouncil.org>
Sent: Wednesday, March 27, 2019 6:36 PM
To: ‘Todd Sanchez’ <todd.sanchez@gmail.com>
Subject: RE: I’d like to contribute

Hi Todd.

Thank you for your message.

I’ve reached out to bike advocates at least 5 times in the last few months to help me form my position, but no one ever gets back to me.

I’m a planner and a designer. I’ve been creating win-wins my entire career. I just want a briefing on the various proposals put forth so far so I can understand all the arguments and have a chance to incubate that.

If you’re that person or you know who that is, great. I’d appreciate the introductions. It’s been a disappointment so far.

I worked on the Pedestrian Master Plan and followed the Bike Master Plan. I also worked on Greenways with Cathy Tuttle and others.

I’m not a bike rider, but I’m not a skateboarder either and I worked 10 years on that movement in Seattle.

I want to make sure we accommodate the needs of the industrial and maritime businesses. Seattle is starting to shrug off that important habitat, but I’m not with that. Again, I’ve made a career of win-wins, and to me, this is no different.

I want a chance to fully understand it.

Thanks for any help you can lend.

Kind regards,

Kate

*

Kate,

I guess that explains what I perceived as your reticence in taking a position!

Thanks for sharing your very thorough reasoning for holding off for a while.

The “missing link” brouhaha is a minefield. Very entrenched and vocal folks on both sides, even some splinter sides!

Politically I’ve got to think the safest way is to promise to “listen” and seek “consensus” on the plan “that best serves the public.” Then make a typical “behind closed doors deal” after you’re elected. Anything else and you’re risking the enmity of half the electorate.

I’ll share my thoughts below. Lengthy, ignore if you wish. I know your time is valuable.

I’m just an old retired man. An ex merchant mariner. But I’ve lived in Ballard since the early ‘70s and raised a family here.

It must’ve been 15 years ago or so that my wife got the bicycling bug and decided to commute to work from our home up Sunset Hill off 32nd to Group Health on Capitol Hill. I was a little concerned, she was then pretty much a novice biker and I worried about her riding in traffic. It was either the first day she rode, or shortly after that I had some errands downtown and decided to follow her in the car. Turning right off Market on to Shilshole Ave. NW she was hugging the side of the road and concentrating on pedaling hard. I guess to try to keep up with the traffic. About 30 feet past the corner a box van passed her and I swear his passenger side mirror missed her by inches. It was at that moment that I started wondering why there was a gap in the Burke Gilman trail.

I started looking around, reading news articles, asking the blind guy at the Little City Hall. I attended meetings, talked to the Ballard Chamber of Commerce, talked to that old girl that worked at the Ballard News Tribune, talked to friends. And was surprised by what I learned.

What I took away was that three waterfront businesses, I’m sure you know the ones I’m talking about, were effectively blocking the completion of the trail. For their own selfish reasons. Mostly to be able to continue using public property for their own purposes. One guy in particular I felt was doing it as an ego trip as well, out of pure mean spiritness it seemed.I sat behind him and his attorney at a sort of town hall up at Whitman. They had “salted” the audience with his employees who obviously had scripted questions and comments. The owner and his attorney were chatting with each other seemingly very pleased with the orchestrated performance.

That caused me to look further into the history of the Ballard Terminal Railroad. If you’re not familiar with how that went down let’s just say it’s interesting. And thought provoking.

By this time I’d become more sure that the best solution to the “missing link” was to follow the original plan along the railroad right of way.

First was human nature. If folks are going to bike that way, they’re going to take the easiest route. Like water finding its way. Bikers are not going to wend their way thru Ballard. They’re going to take the fastest, most direct way. And the safest way to accommodate that is a separated bikeway. Now that isn’t possible everywhere in Seattle, but here, along a traffic dense, dangerous route we have that opportunity.

By this time I’d heard all the objections. To me the most fatuous one was the “safety” issue raised by the waterfront businesses. One in particular. They were concerned about the cross traffic, that one of their drivers might accidentally kill someone.

So I did some more reading, asking around. This is maybe 10 years ago now. What I read was that statistics showed that having a designated bike path with marked crossings was safer than random mixed traffic sharing the main roadway. If I remember correctly there had been a survey of businesses along the Burke Gilman trail from Fremont towards Ballard asking their experiences and opinion. And the owner of Pioneer Sand and Gravel, a business with similar large trucks, said his drivers much preferred the trail, they knew where the bikes and pedestrians were and there was an intersection. Much more rational and predictable behavior than before. And, I think, that sentiment was pretty much shared by all the other businesses.

I also did some reading about bike paths in the Netherlands and Belgium. Where they are much more common and more heavily used. I remember particularly a study done about a bike path along a canal. The area along the canal was industrialized, at least commercialized, so there was commercial traffic coming and going. The canal was still lightly used but it’s towpath no longer served its original purpose. So the municipality had formed a separate bike path on that right of way. The question was how did that interact with the commercial traffic. And the answer was much the same. Rationalizing, channeling, the bicycle traffic in it’s own “roadway” made life safer and easier for everyone.

Now looking ahead for the Shilshole Ave NW waterfront area there’s still another reason that building the “missing link” as planned makes sense. At some point in time the old Yankee Diner site is going to be developed. I don’t think it will be ‘light industrial.” I think that ship sailed when we lost all that property to the Fred Meyer development. Of which the which, surprise, surprise, the Ballard Terminal Railroad played a key part. As I said it has an “interesting” history.

What I think will, should, happen is that Silver Cloud will renew its option on the property, I’m not sure why they let it expire, and build a much needed hotel there. If not Silver Cloud, a similar boutique chain. It’s a natural location with the public pier next door. A bike trail in front would be perfect for tourists and guests of folks living here in Ballard. I think you can visualize that.

And, finally, this is more along the lines of gossip, I met a guy who claimed to know the owner of the sand and gravel operation. He said that sooner, if not later, he was going to sell out. That the sand and gravel business was just a “place holder” for the property until it’s “highest and best use” was for more residential or restaurants and the like.”Mixed use” gentrification as is taking place along the downtown Seattle waterfront. As I say, that’s gossip, but it makes sense. And I think it also makes sense for the city to look ahead as well and build a vital and lastingly useful addition to our transportation network and our leisure options.

Thanks again, and good luck navigating the “minefield!”

Todd

***

Tuesday, March 19, 2019
email inquiry from District 4 resident, Laurel Andrews

Hello, I am writing about a problem with new bike lanes on N.E. 65th St. Because of these bike lanes it is very difficult for a Taxi to pick me up which is the only way I can get to and from work at Seattle Public Utilities Due to my disability.

I bought a condo at 1026 N. E. 65th St. in 2006. At first I rode a bus to the Seattle municipal Tower and when that did not work for me anymore I took a taxi. I have weak legs and ankles due to a disability.

Now, there is a bike lane in front of my building with posts so that cars cannot pull in to pick me up.  Often the taxi stops in the middle of the lane to pick me up, causing cars to wait behind us.

I have contacted the Seattle department of transportation numerous times and basically they did nothing. They would tell me about other load/unload zones. However, I cannot stand to wait for a taxi. I bought the unit in my building because it had a bench.  And some taxis drive right by because they don’t see my building address in time to figure out how to stop and let me get in. Because of one-way streets it takes quite a while for them to go around the block and get back to me.

This is all for bike lanes which are not used much. And SDOT  refuse to allow something like a load unload zone. Yet, downtown in the new bus lane going north on fifth they are allowing both bikes and buses to go in that lane. It just does not make sense to me. 

I used to feel very enthusiastic about the city and about the city Council. No more. I hope you can do a better job.

I would love to talk with you further about this issue. There were also problems with their public information process which basically made it impossible for me to participate and to find out what they might be considering for my street.

Thank you for listening,

*

Thank you, Laurel, for your message.

You hit some real high notes for me and I appreciate that.

I worked directly on the Pedestrian Master Plan and also participated as a citizen in the Bicycle Master Plan.

I’m certainly not willing to sacrifice our neighborhood main streets to a 3% or 4% transportation mode, no matter what it is, and we don’t at all need to do that.

There are win-wins. I often mention as a theme of my campaign that we seem to have a sharing problem in various areas. This is one. 😊

I think we can reduce the speeds on a bunch of the main streets and around the parks to make a “sharrow” kind of sharing of the right of way very possible without ditching accessible parking and loading altogether. People live entire life cycles, if they’re lucky. Some need vehicular access and that only makes sense. Plus, reduced speeds are much healthier. The slower the better.

The future of our main streets could hopefully be “sharrows” on steroids. Think Pike Place Market. Peaceful, accessible, and multimodal without killing the businesses.  I think incrementally moving toward shared rights of way punishes no one and moves us forward tremendously.

Please share your further thoughts with me. I truly appreciate the opportunity to discuss this issue.  

Kind regards,

Kate

“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.

HALA Is the New Redlining

HALA, Seattle’s so-called Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda – crafted by Ed Murray in a room with developers – proposes to upzone valuable land along our main streets and elsewhere giving developers additional stories of height in exchange for nothing.

It’s a political smokescreen for the massive displacement of vulnerable people and small businesses, immense net losses of affordable housing, further erosion of livability, and in case that wasn’t enough to cause us to take a closer look under the hood, let me pile on that it will result in systematic re-segregation as well.  

But isn’t HALA supposed to go a long way to solving our housing affordability and urban livability problems going forward?

Well, it doesn’t even attempt to. It’s fancy “branding” designed to fool you with words like Mandatory Housing Affordability. It’s politicians and political consultants at their worst which, on their terms, is their best. It galvanizes the trajectory of a city that once embraced all, but now favors the spin doctors, the well-connected, and the elite.

Wrap your head around this:

Over 20 years, across this entire city, this humongous hoax will result in – wait for it – 10 units of affordable housing per urban village per year. This is not permanently affordable housing mind you- and it’s not net units of affordable housing after bulldozing the affordable housing we already have in these locations. It’s 10 units of temporarily subsidized below-market rate housing.

TEN. 10. Only 10. 10 units of pseudo-affordable housing per urban village per year.

You’ve got to be kidding me.  

That is nearly the same number of affordable housing units that I created on my own “single family” 5000 sf lot without any “incentive” at all.

The “Grand Bargain” that our disgraced former Mayor Murray worked up with his crony capitalist campaign contributors hurts many of the people, neighborhoods, and small businesses of Seattle, stuffs the coffers of the City and the wallets of the developers, and lays no sustainable path forward for the next generation.

And the BS never stops.

New mayor, same problem. Jenny Durkan bends her ear to the same consultants and benefactors and puts addiction to the rush of the property taxes, real estate excise taxes, and general fund windfall ahead of sustainable policy.

Meanwhile, the City Council tamps down sensible opposition to HALA with neo-urbanist excuses for the duping in a rushed scramble before they resign or get booted out of office.

Ed Murray’s grand bargain is as dishonest as the man himself. Let’s retire policy and electeds of that ilk. Instead of the kind being walking around on leashes by the same consultants and contributors who baked this cake, we need honest electeds making policy and legislation that serves the needs of the people and businesses in the districts across Seattle and beyond.

We need to give Seattle a future that’s better for the next generation and that most certainly means preventing HALA legislation now. Call your councilmembers and the mayor at (206) 684-4000 today because they’re fast tracking.

Remind them that 10 pseudo-affordable units per urban village per year in exchange for massive upzoning is nothing more than a “grand swindle”.

Talk about how it redlines because developers don’t have to actually put those crumbs of units in the new buildings where they displace folks, they can instead pay a fee to concentrate the lower income people elsewhere – further north or south – which is repulsive.

Tell them it’s not even a good response in real time let alone a gesture to the future.

Mention that you will push for repeal of any HALA legislation that finds its way into ordinance.

Don’t let them respond with false claims that we can’t do better because we can and we must.

Going forward we need to shift the focus from the next cocktail to the next generation.  

  • We need all market-driven redevelopment to pay its own way for impacts on our city infrastructure just as Seattle’s historic neighborhoods did when they developed otherwise it won’t get done or punishes the next generation by kicking the can down the road.
  • We need to support all development in every zone across the city to be in sync with our environmental, economic, and social justice aspirations so that we can meet our goals of sustainability and inclusivity with every step we take, not promise we’re going to do it at some later date.   
  • We need to pivot to quality human habitat from the “stack and pack and cram ‘em in on the arterials and transit route” accountant mentality of the last dozen years especially.
  • We need to maximize stable households and happy childhoods with every single move we make for this is where a lot of mental illnesses can be prevented.
  • We need to encourage more opportunities for people to own their own land and develop their own homesteads so that we can have permanently affordable and stable housing in our single-family neighborhoods and elsewhere – for both owners and renters – which will help families, schools, and communities across Seattle immensely.  

Kate wants to be your candidate in the District 6 City Council race.

Your contribution to her campaign will make all the difference and will help her qualify for Democracy Vouchers. Your vouchers will arrive in your mailbox in mid-February. Vouch for Kate!

Owner-Occupied Communities

Owner-occupied communities are the answer, not the enemy.

Let’s agree on these things:

  • Seattle is probably not getting any smaller.
  • A diversity of housing types and neighborhoods is essential.
  • Homeowners and small businesses owning their own buildings and land are good things.
  • Affordability is essential for renters and owners of housing and business spaces.
  • Strong families, schools, neighborhoods, and business districts are golden.
  • Trees and open space deserve more than enough room in our neighborhoods.
  • Entire life cycles are natural and our built environment should reflect them seamlessly.

So why are our electeds in such a hurry to toss those things away with blanket rezoning of just about the entire city?

Seattle needs a sea change in November when it comes to the city council’s land-use committee and the sustainability committee in order to re-build the middle class, stabilize housing and its costs for renters and owners, maintain verdant and humane places for people to live, and assure that our next generation of renters, homeowners, small business owners, and entrepreneurs will have a place they can call home.

For some time now, we’ve been fed a steady diet by our electeds that these lovely neighborhoods need to be snuffed out in the name of social, economic, environmental or some other kind of justice.

That premise is false and the battle cry is nearly criminal.

We already have all the potential density we’ll need for the next hundred or 200 years in our “single family” zones (i.e. SF5000). Similarly, our mixed-use commercial zones already have all the potential density they need for at least 25 years, but probably 50 or more since another Amazon in Seattle is probably not going to happen in the immediate future.

So, again, I ask – what’s the rush?

We should all ask our councilmembers to table the rezoning because there is so much political mismanagement of density and affordability issues. A new council not so beholden to developer-driven lobbyist rhetoric can bring better ideas that send a message demanding gentle density and an acknowledgement that the people who live in Seattle and the people that own businesses in Seattle – now and in the future – actually matter whether they own or rent. We all want solutions, not fakery.

In SF5000 zones, with a long-term “gentle density” approach, owner-occupants over generations will develop their land to fill the building envelopes and cover the lots as prescribed. We can expedite that with incentives any time we want, but we never have. Why do the electeds offer obscene incentives to commercial developers to supposedly create affordable housing that they barely create, yet they never do that for residents and business owners who are long-term owner-occupants?

From their developer giveaways, all they get is crumbs in the way of affordable housing and nothing in the way of affordable business space. Did you know that most of the deals they’re making for those crumbs of affordable housing expire into nothing in 75 years? Yikes. That’s one heck of a can to kick down the road, people.

It seems to me that we need those strong-rooted long-term owner-occupant homeowners and business people who are so essential to the neighborhood fabric to be the developers, not necessarily all the folks blowing in for the boom. I hope that makes sense to you.

If we helped folks add affordable rental spaces to their houses, basements, backyards, and business spaces, it would make it so much easier for them to make the payments. More could own their home and place of work and more people could afford the rental spaces those people create. Over time the situation gets nothing but better.

On a SF5000 lot you need to leave 65% open space and limit lot coverage to the other 35%, but you can build up to 35′ to the roof peak with a pitched roof and have a backyard cottage, too.

Additionally, lots of our commercially zoned properties have 40′ limits. Helping people to maximize the residential land they live on and the commercial land they own and run their business on would be huge.

In our SF5000 zones, the height and coverage limits allow for a verdant neighborhood with room for sun, trees, yards, gardens, streetscapes and off-street parking. When the building envelopes are maxed out over time as they are at my house, you can fit a lot of people on 5000 sf without crowding and without increasing building footprints from their historic proportions. People can have room to live a life, not just a place to sleep.

Tax incentives and Zero Interest Loans could help expedite that process whenever we’re ready. I know I am. My neighbors said they’re interested, too. We could certainly create all the affordable housing and business spaces we need in 5 – 10 years.

Long-term owner occupants could keep the “gentle density” development going on into the future, too, because our policies and programs could support that and home economics will insist on it. More homeowners, more businesses that own their own buildings, and more affordable home and business rentals in great neighborhoods. Yes!

We could set goals for continually raising the ratio of owner-occupancy and the number of affordable rental housing and business space in these zones, too, so we can make sure as many people as possible can own the house they live in and the building they do business in, and that the spaces they rent to live and work are stable and affordable.

We can and should slow down the blur that is gutting the fabric of our neighborhoods at the expense of most of us via the current blade and build redevelopment trends directed by our electeds and carried out by their commercial developer comrades. They just might not be thinking of any of us, the importance of quality human environments, or our social fabric.

A new designation or overlay like Owner-Occupied Residential Zones and Owner-Occupied Business Zones could get this done. It would strengthen our families, neighborhoods, schools and small businesses.

There’s so much I could do as a city councilmember to help people get a piece of the rock and hang onto it once they have it and our families, communities, schools and businesses will all benefit.

Please comment or give me a call (206) 579-3703 to share your thoughts.

***

Your contribution to my campaign today will make all the difference.

PS: Four $25 Democracy Vouchers will arrive in your mailboxes in mid-February. Please consider contributing them to 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.

 

Prevention is Sustainable

It’s a lot easier to prevent poverty, mental illness and addiction than to fix them once they occur.

We can’t just keep tamping down symptoms while problems get bigger.  

Seattle and King County are spending over $200,000,000 a year on the downstream side of the epidemic of broke and broken people, but things are getting worse.  While the electeds keep doing the same thing expecting different results, few voters would argue that their approach has failed. 

When the word “prevention” is used by Seattle or King County government in conjunction with homelessness, they usually mean preventing someone from being evicted.  I wish they had more interest in preventing the whole problem of broke and brokenness in the first place. That would certainly stem a tremendous number of eviction problems downstream, but as you know, neither Wall Street nor politicians typically focus on the long term and we all pay a price for that. 

I will be the politician that does.

It makes me think of the decades it took for Finland to go from having one the world’s worst education systems to one of the best, lest anyone think the “Finnish Miracle” happened overnight.  

Failure to effectively guide kids through their development and education systems that don’t work for most are huge pieces of the root problem. When 50% of the kids in our state can’t read, write or do math, it’s no wonder that multi-generational poverty, mental illness and addiction proliferate.

It also makes me think of Iceland and how their youth drug and alcohol use plummeted when they started issuing leisure vouchers so kids could participate in their hobbies and interests without financial barriers.

Kids who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcoholism than those who begin at age 21 and kids who haven’t used hard drugs by the time they enter high school, probably won’t ever use them. 

The ironically named ACEs – Adverse Childhood Experiences – mostly related to abuse and neglect – account for much of the epidemic of broken adults. A healthy, well-developed brain is the secret sauce and since there’s no way to re-do those first 25 years, it is there we should focus. #thisisfixable

Please consider making a campaign contribution so I can talk about strategic solutions that actually fix problems down at City Hall. We can’t just let the electeds waste our money dabbling around with the superficial treatment of symptoms while Seattle continues to reek of political failure. They’re still claiming we can build our way out of this by ramping up failed policies and programs with money from taxes on jobs. 

I hope you’ll head upstream with me to prevent problems from happening. Prevention is sustainable. 

Fair Is Fair Healthcare

It’s time for Seattle Single-Payer.

It would be sensible and economical to open up the City of Seattle’s healthcare plans to anyone who lives or works in Seattle who wants to pay the premium. It’s a real Cadillac plan that is likely more generous yet more affordable than what folks are doing on their own or through their employer.

Most municipalities, many corporations and lots of unions are self-insured. Self-insurance pools cut out the insurance companies other than using them for administration of the self-insurance and it turns out that the bigger the pool the lower the costs.

The City of Seattle is self-insured and that plan covers about 28,000 people – most of their employees, their children, and some spouses. We could make that 100,000 people or 200,000 people.  It’s literally the more, the merrier or at least the cheaper. 

For employers to be able to just put the cost of that in someone’s check and have it all be handled elsewhere, they’d save money and headaches.

This could be helpful to anyone who isn’t on Medicaid or Medicare.  

This would also make health insurance more portable. Workers wouldn’t be shackled to “benefits” so much. More freedom to navigate a family, a career, a life.

And it wouldn’t cost the city an extra dime because the pool pays to participate in the program, not the city. 

Here is a summary of some of the benefits:

  • Provides an option for anyone who doesn’t qualify for Medicaid or Medicare
  • Reduces individual costs with enlarged self-insured pool
  • Strengthens bargaining power with providers and pharmaceutical companies
  • Gives workers more flexibility with portable insurance
  • Simplifies employee health insurance benefits for businesses
  • Adds no costs for the City of Seattle

Let’s lead the way. Fair Is Fair Healthcare has no drawbacks and provides better coverage than most plans for less money. Everyone wins. 

Please like and share this post to so others can learn about my plan for single-payer in Seattle. Thank you. 



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.