Two people want to lead the city of Seattle. Only one will be mayor. That person will shape the future of Seattle. The Record recently spoke with candidates Jenny Durkan and Cary Moon.
You’re asking voters to put you in charge of Seattle for four years. How do you envision our lives here by the end of your term? Will Seattle be as hard to afford four years from now if you’re mayor?
I hope within four years we’ll have turned the dial some, and that Seattle’s not only more affordable, but more welcoming in every part of the city.
We literally are rebuilding this city. How we’re going to rebuild it for the next generation, how can we envision it, how can it be a cool, eclectic city in the future that protects all the things we love? We’ve got to figure out how to work with neighborhoods to build that density that makes sense and how to focus on urban village cores first and build out density.
The city can be more affordable if we tackle problem at its roots. First thing we have to do is stop speculation, which is increasing prices so rapidly. It’s not normal for housing prices to be rising this quickly. We have to put disincentive in this activity.
If you have wealth, it’s easy to buy a house in Seattle, flip it in a year or two and make those returns. You’re helping escalate the prices by piling on. We have to put disincentives, whether it’s at the sale, or whether it’s something you do at the back end with the capital gains tax on the proceeds of a non-primary residence.
This is only for folks playing on our market as a commodity; make it less attractive as an investment.
Traffic is going to get even worse than it is now, right? What would your administration do?
[With all the construction — convention expansion, the ferry dock, taking down the viaduct], it’s going to be terrible, but it gives us opportunity, a chance to be innovative.
If I’m mayor, I’ll go to major employers like Amazon, Starbucks, and we’ll do it as a city — stagger work times, have more people telecommute. Second, make transit better, get transit sped up.
We have to have more transit service, focus more on pedestrian, bikes and transit. Only way we can accommodate all the trips that we have and are coming in the future is to make sure we are using our street space as efficiently as possible.
Would either of you consider lifting a ban on roosters in Seattle? (Question courtesy of our Facebook page)
I grew up in Issaquah where there were lots of chickens and roosters. I think they can be good, you just have to make sure they’re not the ones that crow every time there’s fireworks off.
I have lived in multi-family housing since I was 18 years old since I left my parents’ house and would love to learn more what her arguments are.
Some people say, I don’t want any more growth, I like things the way they were. Are you envisioning a greater Seattle?
If you quit growing and innovating, you’re in danger in this new economy of being left behind. Our economy is changing so rapidly that we’re in the midst of a greater economic revolution than the industrial revolution. And if we don’t figure out the problems we have now and build that city of the future, we will have a problem.
I lived here in the ‘70s when Boeing sneezed and the city emptied out and we were in devastating economic times.
We are a city of the future. So we have to figure out how to build a city that will accommodate that in the future … the place that will endure the changes.
We need to support the innovators who are already here, we don’t need to import additional businesses. We need to support the local people who are inventing great things, whether they’re restaurant, retailers, musicians, nightlife entrepreneurs … that’s how you keep wealth in the community.
Support the training we need in our schools so that local kids can get those jobs, but we also need to be really careful about gentrification and displacement because we all see what’s happening. We have pushed out low-income communities, artists and musicians. We pushed out communities of color who simply can no longer afford to live here. We have to support communities to grow and thrive in place.
Finally, the all-important Seattle question: umbrella or no?
Every time I don’t want it to rain, I carry an umbrella.
I learned 20 years ago when I first moved here to always have a hat and always wear rubber soled shoes from October to April. So I’m happy without an umbrella.