Ten minutes before West Seattle candidates Lisa Herbold and Shannon Braddock arrived at the KUOW studios, host David Hyde paced around his desk.
“Lisa Herbold,” he said, pointing with emphasis at a colleague who was not Lisa Herbold. “Some people on the City Council think the city needs to move further to the left and faster. Others not so much. Where would you place yourself in the Seattle political spectrum?”
Hyde had heard that Herbold had bite, and he wanted to be prepared.
Herbold has been an aide to Councilmember Nick Licata since the late 1990s. She’s a native New Yorker who moved to Seattle to open an office for ACORN, the now-defunct progressive advocacy group. She has a grown daughter and grandkids.
Braddock, too, is a mom and a legislative aide. She works for Joe McDermott on the King County Council.
When Hyde posed his question in the studio, Herbold demurred that she didn’t like to think in terms of left and right but “in terms of moving our city toward a fair place.”
Braddock, too, didn’t want to think in terms of left and right. In the control room, someone joked that in Seattle, it’s become left and Socialist.
The candidates’ conversation quickly veered toward affordable housing and whether developers should be paying fees when they build.
These are called linkage fees or impact fees. They help pay for the cost of new growth.
“I believe that developers need to be paying their fair share,” Herbold said.
Braddock agreed: “I don't think the market will by itself take care of this,” she said. “This is a place where government has to step in.”
(The half-hour conversation stayed solidly on housing, touching on the Move Seattle levy and transportation. Listen to highlights above or the full version below.)
Wrapping up, Hyde asked the women about their political heroes.
Braddock said Ann Richards, former Democratic governor of Texas: “She was somebody in an environment where it was very hard to be a progressive and a good Democrat.”
Herbold named anthropologist Margaret Mead: “I have had a Margaret Mead quote on my desk for 25 years, as long as I've been doing this work trying to create positive political change. ‘Never doubt that a small group of committed individuals can make positive change in the world; indeed it's the only thing that ever has.’”