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

The issue each Seattle mayoral candidate is passionate about

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 is a little different. Everybody has an issue that rises to the top. So we asked the candidates about the issue they are most passionate about.

QUESTION: Every candidate has an issue they're passionate about. What’s one thing you’d do differently to tackle ___________?

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

"Protecting Civil Rights is non-negotiable. The Seattle Police Department has been under a federal decree since 2012 for repeatedly violating our civil rights — due to lack of police oversight. Our city negotiated revisions that permit less oversight & allow more abuse. There is no timeline for resolution. Police unions must not hold our civil rights ransom. I will nullify the sections of the police union contract that limit accountability & oversight & contribute to civil rights violations."

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

"We are facing a humanitarian crisis and not been treating this crisis as an emergency. We have over 12,000 people homeless every night! As ED of the Chief Seattle Club I've been devoted to serving the Seattle urban Native population through our work of running a day shelter, a health clinic and providing meals and building housing. I know what it takes to serve our most vulnerable populations. With hard work, collaboration and creative solutions, we can bring all of relatives into housing."

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

"Childcare! We’ve seen throughout this pandemic how essential affordable childcare is for working parents and for our entire economy. That’s why I’m running to establish universal childcare for every kid in Seattle from birth to 5 years old, accessible in every neighborhood and affordable for every family. We can make that a reality, if we have leaders who have the bold vision and experience solving big problems. That’s the kind of mayor I’d be, and I’d be honored to earn your vote."

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

"As the daughter of migrant farmworkers who earned my first paycheck at age 8, I believe we need a mayor who will fight for working people. I’m proud to be supported by UFCW 21 and Unite Here 8 as the only labor endorsed candidate in this race. They are supporting me because I have a record of accomplishments that raise the standard of living for working people. As Mayor, I will appoint a Deputy Mayor of Labor & Workforce ensure labor is actively included in policy-making decisions."

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 see every day the effects of our broken healthcare system – too many neighbors don’t have coverage or can’t afford needed care. I’ve proposed a bold new universal healthcare program that would ensure ALL Seattleites are covered. Small business employees, gig economy workers, young people, and anyone experiencing homelessness or economic disruption deserve quality physical and mental healthcare. Working together, we can build a system that shows our commitment to healthy communities."

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

"Systemic racism. Create more communication streams and avenues as it relates to cultural understanding."

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

"Seattle’s fastest-growing sector of pollution is buildings while our biggest-contributing sector is transportation—more specifically, driving. To tackle the climate crisis, we must build dense, sustainable neighborhoods and significantly reduce the need for a personal car. No other candidate is willing to go as far as me on land use and take the steps necessary to achieve our goals, which must include ending the apartment ban and creating spaces for businesses in each of our neighborhoods."

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

"Our current leadership is failing when it comes to providing the basic services a city government should provide: fixing our roads and bridges, ensuring our neighborhoods and businesses have adequate protection, keeping our parks clean and safe. I am not taking Democracy Vouchers because I believe their taxes should be used on public services that affect their day-to-day lives. Services used to provide housing for the homeless, robust public safety programs, and fixing our roads, are critical."

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

"Our creative economy. 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. I will establish a rent recovery fund for live music and art performance venues to stay afloat through the Covid pandemic and develop workforce programs that connect Seattle’s youth to career opportunities across creative sectors."

Don L. Rivers

(Receiving democracy vouchers)

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 am passionate about developing multicultural competency. I am passionate about humanity and I am also passionate about developing a format of inclusion. Where everyone is included and no one is excluded."

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

"Homelessness! I've been homeless before and everyone should have a safe place to live and food to eat. I would start there. This shows I care and we care. Let's build people CHARACTER and CONFIDENCE. People have gotten too comfortable in the state that they're in, and me as Mayor will change that."


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.