Platform

Introduction

Over the last 10 years, Seattle has been recognized for its growth and prosperity. However, not all Seattleites have been able to share in that prosperity, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated these inequities.

Seattle can be a model city for sustainability, equity, and accountability for its citizens. We can leverage Seattle’s creativity and ingenuity to model a city where everyone can live freely, create, and prosper.

My plan invests in our people, our culture, and our future to bring dignity to the homeless, revitalize our economy, rebuild our infrastructure, enrich our music scene, increase public safety, and enact real climate change solutions.

THE DIGNITY PROJECT

A comprehensive approach for ending the unhinged neglect of our neighbors experiencing homelessness in the city.

To end City Hall’s neglect of those experiencing homelessness who are sheltering in makeshift tents and RVs on our streets, in public parks and wooded areas; I am proposing a unique plan that I call “The Dignity Project”. This plan is based on the successful model “Hillsborough Hope” Tampa, Florida. All elements of this project will bring about dignity, stability, and opportunity for those who are displaced, as we continue our efforts to develop housing options. With this approach, the city will be able to clean the streets, dispose of trash and debris, remove graffiti, and enforce our local ordinances prohibiting camping on the streets in tents and RV’s.
  • Establish “Dignity Communities” using surplus city property and leasing private property to create safe places for temporary shelter with service providers on site, amenities to meet basic human needs, support teams and job placement for sustainable earned income.  These communities will be places of compassion and support but will have expectations of those being cared for to ensure that needs are met and progress towards recovery is being made.

  • Call to action for the public to organize “Dignity Teams” which will provide direct financial support to help individuals transition into permanent housing and find job placement. The teams should have a minimum of 40 members who are willing to invest an average of $100 per month over a period between 12 and 18 months. The teams will also use their network to find individual jobs.

  • Recruit “Dignity Counselors” to serve as liaisons to provide direct support and guidance to individuals and families who are being served in the communities. These liaisons will have experience and connections to help veterans, youth and family services, those with mental health, the formerly incarcerated, those addicted to drugs and the disabled. 

  • The “Dignity Dinners” will be celebrations to recognize our neighbors who have fully transitioned into permanent housing and have a job making a sustainable earned income and an opportunity for them to meet their support teams face to face.

  • Immediately empower teams of nurses, substance abuse specialists, job development specialists, and specially trained police officers to enter existing tent cities to provide substance abuse, job readiness, and other transitional services. This will allow us to be proactive in reintegrating many of our homeless neighbors back into the community while we prepare the “Dignity Communities” for launch. 

  • Expand shelter capacity by partnering with churches to provide overnight shelter for homeless families and children where available. This can ensure safe and dignified housing for some of our most vulnerable while expanding additional shelter and bringing more neighbors off the streets.   
  • Title 18.12.250 – Camping.  It is unlawful to camp in any park except at places set aside and posted for such purposes by the Superintendent (Ord. 106615, section 13, 1977).

    Title 18.12.257 – Liquor offenses.  It is unlawful in a park to consume, or to possess an open container holding, or to open a container holding liquor without a permit (Ord. 1134336, section 15, 1987).

    Title 18.12.260 – Littering and trash deposit.  It is unlawful to throw or deposit any refuse or other material in any park, except in designated receptacles (Ord. 106615, section 14, 1977).

    Title 15.48.040 – Sitting or lying down on public sidewalks.  A person shall not sit or lie down upon a public sidewalk, or upon a blanket, chair, stool, or any other object during the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. downtown or in a neighborhood commercial zone.

    Title 12A.08.040 – Criminal trespass.  A person is guilty of criminal trespass if he or she knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in a building.

    Title 12A.08.030 – Reckless burning.  A person is guilty of reckless burning if he intentionally causes a fire or explosion and thereby recklessly places a building of another in danger of destruction or damage.

    Title 11.72.440 – Parking Enforcement; Seventy-two (72) hours. Violators of the 72-hour rule face $44 tickets and the risk of getting their vehicles towed, costing upward of hundreds of dollars. The Seattle Municipal Code also prohibits RVs, tractor trailers and large trucks from parking on streets or in alleys outside of industrial areas between midnight and 6 a.m.

    INVESTING IN THE MENTAL HEALTH OF SEATTLE

    Supporting our addiction and behavioral health services. 

    For Seattle to reach its full potential, we must invest in our people, including their mental health. We need to invest in a behavioral health and addiction services system where our service providers and community-based organizations have the infrastructure and support they need to support our community. My plan will focus on supporting our children, youth, and families along with building capacity of our organizations to support our homeless community and those struggling with addiction.
    • Partner with service providers and city departments to create an updated Youth Action Plan. 
    • Increase capacity of our behavioral health and addiction service providers by identifying ways to provide necessary infrastructure. This can include information technology and administrative support to maintain records of its clients.
    • Provide incentives for community-based organizations to hire and retain staff members reflecting the diversity of the communities they serve. This will allow the City to build trust with our various communities and effectively support their specific needs. Incentives can include internship programs for local youth interested in mental health and addiction services. 
    • Partner with our neighboring cities to partner to increase per-capita spending throughout the area. This will improve mental health and addiction services across the region and reduce the service burden on individual cities. 
    • Evaluate the City’s current contracting process with Human Services Providers to determine improvements in both accountability of services delivered and pay of service providers. I want organizations to be both effective in supporting our homeless neighbors while also paying our service providers a livable wage. Doing so can provide financial stability to our homeless community and the workers supporting them. 
    Oddfellows closed up store front
    Seattle public park closed with caution tape
    SEATTLE’S POSITION ON THE WORLD STAGE

    Reclaiming leadership in sports and tourism.

    In 2020, due to the pandemic, sporting events were cancelled, and tourism declined significantly. Many sports and tourism jobs were lost, and local hotel occupancy rates plummeted. As Seattle comes out of the pandemic, we will accelerate our economic recovery by investing in the promotion of sports and tourism to bring visitors back to our city.
  • Invest in tourism to market the downtown core, the waterfront and neighborhood business districts to visitors.

  • Create a partnership between the City, Seattle Public Schools and the private sector to move the renovation of Seattle Memorial Stadium forward.

  • Collaborate with the Seattle Sports Commission to bring more professional and collegiate sporting events to Seattle and provide support to local high school and recreation sports programs.

  • Launch a national marketing campaign to attract visitors to Seattle focusing on African American, Asian and LGBTQ tourists.

  • Partner with the Port of Seattle and the cruise lines to ensure safe pathways for passengers walking from the waterfront to visit the downtown core.
  • PUBLIC SAFETY SERVICE

    A system with a focus on commitment, accountability, and community partnership.

    The most important responsibility of our local government is to keep the public safe and protected. To do this we rely on our public safety service delivery system which consists of the Police Department, Fire Department, First Responders and Human Services Providers.  For this system to function properly each agency must be adequately funded and staffed. These agencies must be mutually supported and work together as a team. I will keep my commitment to keep Seattle safe and protected by maintaining a fully funded public safety service delivery system. Based on the recent demands for social justice in our country, it is especially important that our Police Department is motivated to improve.
  • Implement checks and balances to both address biased policing by some individual officers and ensure that all public safety personnel are living up to their pledge to protect and serve. 

  • Work with the Police Chief, Commanders and the Seattle Police Officers Guild, to develop and implement a program that addresses the need for “Culture Change” within the police department which will be the “Value Standard” by which every police officer must adhere to while serving the public.

  • Implement a comprehensive program for progressive discipline for removing officers that are detrimental to public safety before they cause community crises.

  • Provide police officers with the proper support when responding to calls to help avoid injuries and fatalities. Reallocate funding within the police department to provide opportunities for experts in mental health, drug counseling, de-escalation techniques and crime prevention to accompany police officers on calls where special assistance is needed.

  • Work with the National Alliance on Mental Health to develop a training program for police officers to be able to identify and stabilize situations without lethal force until mental health experts arrive on the scene.

  • Develop and implement a “Relationship-Based Policing Program” for the department to create community trust and partnership. I, along with the Police Chief and the Commanders, will be more interactive with our residents through regular “Town Hall Meetings.” The goal of these meetings is to work with residents to develop a “Community Policing Philosophy” based on organizational strategies, crime prevention techniques and public safety programs that have been implemented around the country.

  • To replenish our dwindling workforce of first responders, create the “Public Safety Youth Academy.” This program will train young people from our local community to carry the torch as the next generation of those who will keep Seattle residents safe and embody the spirit of community service.
  • Seattle Antique Market on Alaskan Way
    RE-ENERGIZE SEATTLE’S CREATIVE ECONOMY

    Investing in Seattle film and music sector.

    While Seattle has rightly earned a reputation as a creative city, the combination of the recent economic boom followed by Covid-19 comes at the expense of its creative culture and economy. Seattle is losing its creative edge as a result. I will turn this trend around by working with arts and entertainment leaders to make Seattle the most creative city in the world where people can make a living making music, film, art, and theater. The benefits of this effort extend far beyond artists too, because the more creative Seattle is, the better equipped its culture will be in attracting talent and coming up with innovative ways to address societal challenges like homelessness, addiction, mobility, public safety, sustainability or simply enhancing the visual environment
  • Establish a rent recovery fund for live music and art performance venues to stay afloat through the Covid pandemic.

  • Create a city-wide film partnership incentive program with the Seattle Convention and Visitors Bureau to attract out-of-state film productions that pay living wages, pour money into communities, and advertises our region to the world.

  • Develop workforce programs that connect Seattle’s youth to career opportunities across creative sectors.

  • Expand the Sea-Tac Airport City of Music busker program across the region to attract people back to public spaces and increase revenue opportunities for musicians.

  • Create “agent of change” laws to protect the business of live music venues in development.

  • Incentivize developers to incorporate live music and arts venues into their redevelopment efforts.

  • Create a music instrument lending library with Seattle public libraries where people can check-out musical instruments and take lessons.

  • Incentivize large scale music scoring productions to be done in Seattle by local musicians.

  • Encourage philanthropic foundations to create and expand giving programs that support artists and arts institutions.

  • Work with the Seattle Film Commission to identify ways the City can prioritize film permitting needs and encourage private investment from local corporations
  • EQUITABLE DEVELOPMENT

    Leveling the playing field through more inclusive zoning. 

    Seattle has experienced unprecedented growth in the last decade, spurred on by job growth and speculative development. Throughout this growth, housing has become more expensive and taken longer to permit and construct. The development community and city processes have struggled with this growth, resulting in fewer housing units being produced than needed and higher costs across all types of housing. Zoning regulations establish exclusive conditions throughout the city and increase disparity within the city between individual citizens and neighborhoods. Focus on creating a more equitable policy that will enable a future where more people can have access to vibrant and walkable neighborhoods and afford to live in the city.
  • Organize a group of industry and neighborhood leaders with city staff to prioritize the creation of a diversity of rental and for sale housing options. This will include reviewing opportunities to create a staggered Residential Zoning where density limits are responsive to site conditions, land values and desired outcomes.

  • Focus the resources from the Federal Housing Urban Development Agency to build, acquire, and sustain housing for the homeless. Federal fund utilization will free up Seattle Housing Levy dollars so those dollars can be used to build affordable housing for those living well below the poverty level.

  • Build a partnership between the Office of Housing and Seattle Department of Construction and Inspection to support those in jeopardy of losing their housing due to COVID-19 or an unforeseen circumstance. The City can use Housing Levy dollars to fund this program. 

  • Implement policy change to allow for more affordable home ownership and equitable access to amenities, such as schools, open space and public safety in the city’s Single-family zones.

  • Create more flexibility within the Single-family zones, such as reducing the minimum lot size at block ends, establishing more opportunities for Land Trust models, and creating partnerships between landowners and levy funds to enable property owners to build wealth and limit displacement.

  • Assess city review processes on regular intervals and determine solutions to improve permitting timelines to produce more housing.

  • Identify opportunities within the design review process to create a more predictable and consistent process across neighborhoods and projects.

  • Incentivize sustainable practices across the construction industry through policy adoption and public/private partnerships in order to reduce the carbon footprint of renovations and new construction in our city

  • Revitalize downtown cores post COVID and support small business growth locally

  • Review current policies for permitting requirements for small businesses, with particular focus on street level storefronts. This will include innovating policies to expedite the permitting and construction process for these locations.

  • Maintain affordable commercial space in new development projects by utilizing funds raised through the Mandatory Housing Affordability program or other Levy dollars or other Public – Private partnerships in order to minimize displacement of local businesses and maintain diversity in our neighborhoods.
  • WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

    Pathways for individual success.

    Every Seattleite deserves the opportunity to be successful and have financial stability. Seattle can only achieve its full potential when each of us can contribute at our best. As Seattle has become more expensive to live in, it is important for our youth, low-income residents and encumbered workers to be able to increase their personal income to afford to live in the city. We will invest more into our local workforce development programs and work closer with our regional partners and businesses to provide more internships, apprenticeships, training and job placement to enhance the quality of life for all our residents.
  • Continue to fund and expand the “Seattle Promise College Tuition Program” by partnering with our local 4-year universities to offer college scholarships for students who want to continue their education beyond community college.

  • Work with affordable housing developers to implement workforce development training programs and jobs fairs at their developments to provide job opportunities for their tenants.

  • Expand the Seattle Department of Education and Early Learning and partner with Seattle Public Schools, King County Workforce Development Council and local businesses to create a career pathway program for our youth from middle school through college.

  • Establish a partnership with Seattle Communities Colleges and businesses to create course curriculums and certificate programs to provide residents with training and skills to get jobs.
  • Seattle King Street Alley
    TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE AND MAINTENANCE PLAN

    Keep Seattle safely connected.

    Transportation is essential to Seattle’s economic growth and the revitalization of its downtown. A well-maintained and fully functioning infrastructure is necessary for efficient and safe mobility in Seattle. This mobility includes automobiles, trucks for freight and delivery, public transit, light rail, bicycles, and pedestrians. An excellently maintained and safe transportation sector enhances Seattle’s economy and constitutes an effective the nexus for First Responder access, Fire Department access, Human Services access, and Police access to ensure public safety. A well-managed and accountable Seattle Department of Transportation can ensure the safety and effectiveness of the city transportation sector.
  • Invest in the new infrastructure require to support Seattle’s promising future. We will take the opportunity to use new infrastructure projects to focus on the safety of our residents and further cement Seattle’s climate leadership, including:
    • Assess the four options identified in the Magnolia Bridge Planning Study, and be prepared to develop funding to build the identified option. 
    • Identify leadership opportunities locally, regionally, and nationally and ascertain potential funding sources for the infrastructure in Seattle’s Clean Transportation Electrification Blueprint.
    • Upgrade our traffic movement, signal, and crosswalk technology to improve safety. This will include technological options to reduce the number of vehicles that run through traffic signals’ red lights and sound alerts at crosswalks to assist the blind and those who are otherwise occupied.  

  • Review the transportation priorities that have been identified as a result of the 2015 “Levy to Move Seattle,” that provided $930 million, and the November 2020 Transportation Plan. We will use this review to adjust priorities based upon anticipated funding changes due to COVID-19’s impact on tax revenue and the City’s needs, if necessary. This will include a benefit versus cost analysis of all transportation projects to evaluate our priorities:
    • Provide accountable oversight in the rehabilitation of the bridges and roads that have been planned within the “Levy to Move Seattle.”
    • Review the Bicycle Master Plan to determine the necessary funding for access and safety.
    • Ensure that the West Seattle Bridge repair project is effectively and efficiently managed to be structurally sound, safe, and within budget.

  • Identify the funding to repair and maintain not only the West Seattle and Magnolia bridges, but also our drawbridges, pedestrian and bicycle bridges, roads, and sidewalks:
    • Review current plans and priorities for repairing and maintaining roads to ensure safety of all users.
    • Develop a process to determine and provide the repair and maintenance needed on the city’s 100+ bridges.
    • Determine the necessary options to increase crosswalk safety and reduce the number of pedestrians that are injured and/or killed each year.
  • SWIFT ECONOMIC REBOUND

    A plan for continued continued economic development success.

    The city must move swiftly to revitalize the downtown core and our neighborhood business districts, stop the exodus of businesses and the elimination of jobs.  Every business in Seattle is important to our economy and we must recreate a business environmental where all of them can thrive in the city. To help Seattle’s economy rebound I am going to act quickly and intentionally with plans that are both realistic and aimed to bolster our local business’s ability to survive and continue to operate successfully in the city.
  • Bring together downtown commercial property owners, county and city officials to create a property tax incentive program to refill the commercial retail spaces that have been vacated. The program will reimburse expenses incurred by landlords who undertake tenant improvements or provide free rent to bring small businesses back to downtown.

  • Review the processes for city reviews, inspections, and small business permits to reduce the time required for small businesses to start-up. 

  • Create a rapid response program through a partnership with neighborhood chambers and business associations to quickly assess and meet the needs of small businesses in their business districts. The organizations will receive adequate funding to build staff capacity to conduct outreach to struggling businesses and will have access to resources and city staff to solve problems.

  • Restore the vitality of our downtown core by making it safe for residents, employees, shoppers and tourists who frequent the businesses, entertainment venues, hotels, retail stores, restaurant and attractions. I will emphasize more public safety resources on the streets of downtown walking the beat to deter criminal activity and arrest those who commit crimes against people and property.

  • Create a partnership between the city government and our local corporate foundations to raise money to fund a local grant program to provide significant financial assistance to small businesses. The grants can be used to catch up on delinquent lease payments, rehire employees, replenish inventory, upgrade equipment, and for marketing to help them recover from the damage caused by the pandemic and economic downturn.

  • Strengthen relationships with state and federal officials to ensure that funding available comes to Seattle to support recovery.

  • Encourage workers to return to downtown by working with local artists, our many sports franchises and community organizations to create city-sponsored events and experiences which will restore the value of togetherness in the heart of downtown. From live music shows to food festivals and sports rallies, the city core will become a destination, not an obligation, of daily life in Seattle.
  • LEADING ON CLIMATE CHANGE

    Driving sustainable job creation.

    Lance’s environmental vision infuses his experience in job creation with Seattle’s climate leadership to support green job creation through infrastructure projects and private sector innovation. Lance’s focus on green job creation provides opportunity for all people, of all communities and backgrounds, to participate in and benefit from the wealth creation resulting from the creation of a green and equitable economy. Seattle has a long-standing reputation as a leader on environmental issues. These next 4 years will be critical for humanity as we address the huge issues in front of us. Seattle has an opportunity to re-assert our regional, national and worldwide leadership, and we see the policies below as central to building a sustainable future.
  • Partner with Trade Unions including, but not limited to, carpenters, ironworkers, electricians, and teamsters to develop pipeline and training programs for Green New Jobs. 

  • Identify ways to partner with start-ups and established companies to accelerate their impact and create more green jobs for our community. 

  • Monitor the success of heating oil taxes and make changes if they disproportionately impact low-income communities. I support the elimination of fossil fuels and embrace electrification but do not want low-income Seattleites disproportionately impacted by the transition. 

  • Continue the City’s partnership through the Duwamish Valley Action Plan addressing economic opportunity & jobs, a healthy environment, transportation & mobility, capacity building, and public safety. I will meet with the community to determine how I can use experience creating jobs and opportunity to support the Duwamish Valley community.  

  • Update our stormwater management systems to reduce pollution from streets, bridges, and highways into the Puget Sound that damage wildlife. These investments will create engineering and construction jobs for our community. 

  • Support Seattle City Light’s focus on updating our electric infrastructure to adapt to climate change. I will also encourage frequent review of their Climate Adaptation plan to ensure planning includes latest technology and updated climate forecasts. 

  • Continue investments in electrified transportation including incentivize investments in infrastructure for both privately- and City-owned electric cars, electric delivery trucks, electric bikes and scooters and electric powered public transportation.

  • Create engineering and construction jobs and reduce our energy consumption through identifying opportunities to integrate more Smart Grid technology.

  • Enforce Seattle’s new building codes that ensure buildings transition from oil heating fuels and expand opportunities for solar power on our buildings. I will also explore new Building Performance Standards following the passage of the Clean Buildings for Washington law (HB 1257) and assess if they are sufficient or need additional provisions following the standards’ release.
  • Black Lives Matter sticker on barricade