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seattle mayoral race 2021 mayor
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Credit: KUOW / Teo Popescu design

How would Seattle's mayoral candidates tackle climate change?

Seattleites are voting for a new mayor this year. We're asking all the 2021 primary candidates how they would address a range of issues facing the city.

This week: climate change.

QUESTION: After almost two decades of promises to lead the nation in reducing carbon pollution, Seattle’s emissions continue to increase (based on the numbers that have been released). What’s one thing you’d do differently to help Seattle meet its climate change goals?

Clinton Bliss

"Integrity, Compassion, Wise Action. Independent Democrat."

caption: Clinton Bliss is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary election.
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Clinton Bliss is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary election.
Credit: Courtesy of the Bliss Campaign

"Our human systems are literally a dead end. We must develop systems that allow us to rejoin other inhabitants on this planet and re-enter the cycle of life. We can end trash by manufacturing products with materials that are endlessly recyclable or compostable. Working with businesses and nonprofits, design and build a 200lb individual human mag-lev car that provides quick and safe human transport throughout the city, replacing the 4,000 pound auto, and cutting carbon production by 95%."

Colleen Echohawk

"Enrolled member of the Pawnee Nation, Candidate For Seattle Mayor"

(Receiving democracy vouchers)

caption: Colleen Echohawk is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary.
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Colleen Echohawk is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary.
Credit: Courtesy of the Colleen Echohawk Campaign

"An Echohawk administration would have the courage to implement the policy that politicians have talked about for years and have not followed through. Our carbon emissions have only gotten worse since the Nickels climate plan. Another way that I will differ from other candidates is that I will consult with the tribal governments and ask for their guidance of their land, waters and resources."

Jessyn Farrell

"A former legislator, nonprofit leader, and working mom who knows how to make progress on tough issues."

(Receiving democracy vouchers)

caption: Jessyn Farrell is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary election.
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Jessyn Farrell is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary election.
Credit: Courtesy of the Jessyn Farrell Campaign

"We’re falling short because our 'solutions' aren't scaled to the size of this existential crisis. I’m the only candidate with a serious plan to get us to net zero by 2030. I worked with leading policy experts, community advocates to create a comprehensive climate plan that slashes carbon emissions from transportation and buildings and invests in the green economy. When I’m elected I'll create a Chief Climate and Environmental Justice Officer to work across departments and ensure accountability."

Lorena González

"President of the Seattle City Council and candidate for Mayor of Seattle."

(Receiving democracy vouchers)

caption: Lorena González is a Seattle City Council Member running for mayor in the 2021 primary election.
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Lorena González is a Seattle City Council Member running for mayor in the 2021 primary election.
Credit: Courtesy of the Lorena González Campaign

"I understand firsthand how important tackling this problem is. Growing up as in a family of migrant farmworkers, our livelihood was directly affected by climate change. One of the biggest things our city can do is improve our public transportation infrastructure to reduce the need for single occupancy vehicles. Prior to the pandemic, I commuted daily by public transportation. Making these critical investments will help us combat climate change and improve quality of life for Seattle residents."

Bruce Harrell

"I’m running for mayor to reset city hall, unite Seattle around our progressive values, and move our city forward."

(Receiving democracy vouchers)

caption: Bruce Harrell is a former Seattle City Council Member and candidate for mayor in the 2021 primary election.
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Bruce Harrell is a former Seattle City Council Member and candidate for mayor in the 2021 primary election.
Credit: Courtesy of the Bruce Harrell Campaign

"We’ve seen that following the science allowed our region to have one of the nation’s best COVID responses. Time to do the same for climate change – I’ll take action by recruiting and elevating the experts – scientists, climate specialists, environmental justice leaders. I passed Seattle’s Climate Action Plan and Green New Deal – let’s act on them now to create a localized clean energy economy with new union jobs, 100% clean buildings, great parks, and an Emerald City for generations to come."

Rodney Holt (write-in candidate)

"I have the social aptitude to navigate through these perilous times and unite the people of Seattle."

(Receiving democracy vouchers)

caption: Rodney Holt is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary election.
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Rodney Holt is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary election.
Credit: Courtesy of the Rodney Holt Campaign

"Increase education. We would have regular PSAs to inspire the seriousness of this matter. The repercussions, if we fail to meet specified goals."

Andrew Grant Houston

“'Ace' is a queer architect of color, small-business owner, activist, millennial, renter, and transit rider."

(Receiving democracy vouchers)

caption: Andrew Grant Houston is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary election.
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Andrew Grant Houston is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary election.
Credit: Justin Khanna

"Nearly 60% of our emissions come from transportation and so reducing our vehicle miles traveled (VMT) is critical to solving this problem. I am proposing the Just Transition Tax, a 1% income tax that will fund 4 things: Green Apprenticeships, a new green building PDA, B&O Tax Relief, Equitable Development Initiative Projects. We will use progressive revenue to build a pipeline of sustainable housing and businesses, creating complete communities and reducing the need for residents to drive."

Arthur Langlie

"I bring a new set of skills to this position as a builder of teams and solutions."

caption: Arthur Langlie is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary.
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Arthur Langlie is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary.
Credit: Courtesy of the Arthur Langlie Campaign

"We should convert Seattle’s fleet of vehicles from gas to electric while supporting City Light’s program to install more charging stations around the city. Electric cars are the future, and we should be doing everything we can to get our city prepared. As one of the first carbon neutral utilities in the US, it already uses renewable energy when water supplies run low. It’s cars, buses, ships and planes that emit the most carbon where we need to see the most improvement."

Lance Randall*

"I am a problem solver who will prioritize delivering results for our residents."

(Receiving democracy vouchers)

caption: Lance Randall is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary election.
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Lance Randall is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary election.
Credit: Courtesy of the Lance Randall Campaign

"I will prioritize Seattle’s leadership in the green economy by partnering with Trade Unions including, but not limited to, carpenters, ironworkers, electricians, and teamsters to develop pipeline and training programs for Green New Jobs. I will also identify ways to partner with start-ups and established companies to accelerate their impact and create more green jobs for our community."

Don Rivers*

caption: Don Rivers is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary.
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Don Rivers is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary.
Credit: Courtesy of Don Rivers Campaign


"I really like what CAT (Climate Action Tracker) has said about what Morocco's plan was to reduce CO2 emissions to a consistent level that is limiting warming. They are calling for generating 42 percent electric production to renewables by 2020 ... I will be implementing some policies and adopting legislations that are committed to reducing emissions 80 - 90 percent by 2050. Diverting resources to renewable energy projects."

Bobby Tucker

caption: Bobby Tucker is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary.
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Bobby Tucker is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary.
Credit: Courtesy of Bobby Tucker

"Sometime when you are trying to get something done and want it done you have to be closer to it and not just depend on others alone. Me and my team will call a meeting to see what are we not doing, and what's not working."

RELATED: How would Seattle's mayoral candidates help businesses recover?

NOTE: Each Seattle mayoral candidate was asked to describe themselves and answer the same questions. Follow the coverage leading up to the August primary at KUOW.org/elections. Stay tuned to KUOW's Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages for an opportunity to offer your own answers to these questions.

Colleen Echohawk is a former KUOW board member.

Candidates invited to participate in this survey but who did not respond by deadline: Henry Clay Dennison, James Donaldson, Stan Lippmann, Casey Sixkiller, Omari Tahir-Garrett.