A Healthy, Housed and Resilient King County
I am running for King County Council District 8 to improve the opportunity for local families to be healthy, housed, and resilient. We can do this by investing in greater behavioral health and public health support, addressing displacement and expanding housing that make it possible for people to stay stably housed, and investing in what working families and small businesses need: affordable childcare, accessible transit, and good job opportunities.
As Budget Chair for Seattle City Council, I have delivered on policy and made significant investments to support small businesses, provide cash assistance for workers, pass grants for childcare expansion, rental assistance for working families and small landlords, cash relief for immigrants and refugees, and food security for Seattle families. With your support, I will be that champion for District 8 in King County to create a more equitable and healthy economy and community for all by providing the infrastructure that allows every person to achieve economic security and improve population health.
The importance and the vulnerability of the public health system is on full display since the pandemic hit our region. This includes vulnerabilities in our systems due to gaps in resources and services for behavioral health as we see more people with compounding health crises experiencing homelessness and a lack of places to care for them. King County is the jurisdiction with purview and oversight of the public health system and behavioral health. My priorities are to:
- Increase funding and support for Public Health Seattle/King County to have a stable workforce and adequate resources necessary to address our compounding health crises today and the possible public health emergencies of the future.
- Address gun violence, youth violence, interpersonal violence as the public health crisis that they are by supporting local communities and jurisdictions to have direct and early investments.
- Increase access and expand gun awareness programming and money for dispute resolution programming that can educate youth on the severe risks and dangerous consequences of having a gun at school coupled with direct funding to community based programming for cultural and linguistically appropriate services.
- Increase access to care by investing in behavioral health services and workers, support human service providers who care for those who are experiencing homelessness or living in supportive housing by creating wage parity and creating career ladders into public health service.
These investments are more important than ever, as we see the shadow pandemic of isolation and depression compound the public health crisis of addiction and the looming global pandemic. I will bring my commitment to creating a healthy community for all as the central pillar of my service to King County residents.
While we have made massive investments in creating additional housing in Seattle, it’s just not enough to serve the population who work in Seattle and reside in the City, let alone the number of people who are coming to our region. We need additional housing options, as well as holistic services to care for vulnerable individuals so they can stay housed and healthy. King County has the ability to invest in both the capital infrastructure needed to build housing and the workforce needed to keep folks stably housed. My priorities are to:
- Address displacement and increase workforce housing across District 8. From Vashon Island to Tukwila and north to throughout West Seattle and First Hill, employers and workers have told me that they need workforce housing in this district. Teachers, nurses, construction workers – workers of all kinds – are getting priced out and pushed out of our region. When we invest in building more workforce housing, it creates more opportunity for workers and business owners to have greater opportunity and stability.
- Support and grow the “supportive housing” workforce that provides care to vulnerable community members are being re-housed so people stay housed and healthy.
- Create incentives to build more green, lasting and affordable housing throughout our region in partnership with local jurisdictions and communities to promote density, greenspace, trees, and community cohesion as part of the effort to combat climate change.
The lack of housing across our region has caused the cost of a home to skyrocket for working families across King County, resulting in displacement for working families and especially among communities of color. I’m committed to working with local jurisdictions and prioritizing funding to expand the opportunity for first time home ownership, building affordable housing options across our region, and addressing the root causes of displacement.
Between federal, state, county and city programs, we should be able to provide childcare access, health services, accessible transit and job training opportunities for workers and businesses.
My priorities are to:
- Achieve near universal accessible and affordable childcare for all in our region by braiding revenue and creating the infrastructure needed to deliver childcare service, which in turn support workers and small businesses.
- Provide accessible transit around our region by shift from “peak-hours” to routine and regular hours to recognize that people need transportation around the clock, whether to get to the grocery store, daycare, community center, or their place of employment – at any hour.
- Create good living wage jobs for all by investing in job-training, union apprenticeships, and childcare for all workers. These investments support workers and small businesses, and ensure the wealth that is being generated in our local economy is shared.
Engaging in economic opportunities that support small businesses or create good union jobs creates stability and prosperity, especially for women, people of color, lower wage workers, which in turn helps address the gender and racial exclusion from good living wage jobs in our region.
The diverse needs of neighbors across District 8 require someone who will be a champion, a work horse, a listener and an organizer, and an action taker who will serve in partnership with the local leaders and community members from White Center to Burien and Tukwila, from Vashon Island through the Duwamish Valley to South Park and Georgetown, to the Chinatown International District, First Hill and Pike Place Market area. I will deliver on the vision of a healthy economy and community throughout this diverse District with a focus on improving the public’s health, housing, and worker & small businesses support necessary to create opportunity for all.