Housing For All
Seattle is facing a dire housing crisis that city policies can solve. With the city’s Comprehensive Plan implementation on the horizon, now is the time to think big and bold about housing in Seattle.
Stop the Sweeps The current city policy of destroying encampments established by the unhoused is cruel, inhumane, and needs to end immediately.
Affordable Housing We must rapidly build affordable housing throughout the city by increasing investments in social housing, ending zoning laws which have segregated Seattle, and prioritizing housing for Seattle’s Black Trans & Queer communities.
House the Unhoused The city should invest in hotels and tiny village accommodations for Seattleites experiencing homelessness.
Radical accessibility The City of Seattle should create a fund inside the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department to support people who use the parks for housing, enabling parks to help sustainably and humanely address the needs of unsheltered people while expanding green spaces in the city and absorbing unneeded roadways.
Solidify an effective regional approach to addressing the housing affordability and homelessness crisis.
Divest from Policing to Invest in Community
Seattle spends far too much of its revenue on cops and courts, while our communities lack basic necessities. City policies can change to invest in human needs. We must address the root causes of harm, invest in culturally responsive community-led care solutions, and stop punishing people for the failures of the system.
Following the recommendations of Seattle’s 2018 “Workforce Re-entry Work Group,” we must stop criminalizing homelessness and sex work.
We must allocate funds historically used on a problematic model of policing to invest in housing, childcare, and support systems for our youth.
It’s time to end Seattle’s contract with King County Jail.
Seattle can lead on racial justice by ending the practice of collecting city revenue through fines and civil asset forfeiture, and can civilianize 911 for a more effective emergency response.
A Seattle Green New Deal can eliminate climate pollution by 2030, address historical injustice and to create thousands of good jobs. SEATTLE FOR A GREEN NEW DEAL has already been leading the way and it is time that the City Council follow the lead of the people.
In a cosmopolitan, 21st century city, public transportation should be universal and free.
To address and alleviate present and historic wrongs, Seattle must formally collaborate with the Duwamish and other Coast Salish nations to arrive at a stewardship plan for Seattle -- a city named for a Duwamish Chief.
To lead a just transition to a sustainable future, Seattle must empower and employ Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and women-led construction companies in building social housing and infrastructure.
Fossil fuels are responsible for 86% of all residential and commercial emissions. The City of Seattle should fund a just transition by replacing fossil gas systems for all low-income residences while requiring commercial buildings to reach Carbon Zero by 2025. Pay for replacing fossil gas systems for all lower income residential buildings and require commercial buildings to eliminate their emissions in five years.
Because transportation is Seattle’s largest source of carbon emissions, we must mandate and incentivize employers to allow workers to labor from home.
Children, Youth, and Families Deserve to Thrive
City policies can give young people, parents, and households the support they need to thrive -- not just survive -- in Seattle.
The COVID-19 pandemic has reintroduced the need for municipal broadband internet. We must identify a funding source and timetable to provide this 21st century infrastructure to a 21st century city.
Instead of cops and security guards, restorative justice coordinators, family support workers, counselors, and healthcare professionals belong in our schools. We can start by increasing funding to the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department’s My Brother’s Keeper and My Sister’s Keeper initiatives.
Elders and children deserve quality eldercare and childcare. Let’s partner with organized labor to raise wages for homecare workers, while eliminating antiquated zoning laws that make childcare facilities in much of the city.
Racial & Economic Justice
The wealth gap in Seattle is unjust and racialized. City policies can help to close it. When we alleviate the burdens of the most marginalized, all will benefit.
Following the recommendations of the City of Seattle’s 2018 “Progressive Revenue Taskforce on Housing and Homelessness,” Seattle must tax the wealthy to support people forced to the bottom of the economy.
Seattle has the power to implement commercial rent control. Especially as we recover from COVID-19, this would help reduce the rates of displacement seen in community small businesses, particularly those in the Central Area and South End.
Gig workers and contract laborers need a comprehensive Freelancer’s Bill of Rights that includes city ordinances ensuring timely repayment, portable benefits packages, and a ban on non-compete clauses that restrict worker mobility.
Following the lead of Evanston, Illinois, Seattle can be the largest city in the nation to provide reparations to eligible Black residents. They can be funded by additional budgetary cuts to the Seattle Police Department negotiated in the biennial negotiations between the City of Seattle and the Seattle Police Officers Guild.
We have much ongoing work to do in addressing the devastating impacts of stolen land and genocide upon the Coastal Salish peoples of our region.
Disaster Relief & Preparing for Disasters
When disaster strikes, people with the most wealth have the easiest time, and poor people and BIPOC are in the most danger. City policies could make a difference in preparing all of Seattle for the next time the air is full of smoke, or for when the next pandemic or earthquake hits us.
Ensure a just recovery from COVID-19, so that no one loses housing, people can re-enter the workforce, and COVID-19 doesn’t leave Seattle with even worse racial and gender wealth gaps than we had before.
Ensure racial, economic, disability, and gender justice in Seattle vaccine distribution planning.
Build infrastructure for disasters to come, building out neighborhood hubs and resourcing block-by-block preparations so that everyone has backup sources of water and power, air filters, masks and other necessities for when disaster strikes.
Assume that the federal government responds to disasters slowly and unevenly and prepare for Seattle to shore up our communities (especially those often excluded from federal disaster relief, like undocumented communities) when disaster hits.
Thriving Sustained Local Arts and Culture Community
Local artists and cultural workers are essential to the health of our communities. Arts and cultural practices promote the mental, social and spiritual health of our communities, and access to the arts helps young people thrive.
Create Arts Centers in areas currently experiencing the highest levels of police surveillance.
Protect arts districts and ensure that the cultural workers and artists who have made them vibrant can continue to live and thrive there.
Fund five hundred currently unemployed people, especially the long-term unemployed, to become community historians, community story-tellers, musicians, and artists.
Ensure quality neighborhood-based arts programming for all youth.
Healthcare is a human right. Access to quality healthcare, including mental healthcare, should not be dependent upon someone’s employment, marital status, immigration status, or gender. Ensuring that everyone has health care prevents expensive emergency room visits, reduces the spread of disease, and improves everyone’s health in the City, as well as reducing contact with the criminal legal system.
Guarantee mental health care to all Seattle residents who want it.
Guarantee full-spectrum health support for all Seattle residents who use drugs who want it.
Guarantee access to gender-affirming health care to all Seattle residents
Support community schools which would include health services for youth and families
Democracy and Participation
We need the people of the City, especially working people, to have more say in what goes on in our city. That means how we develop the city, and how we generate revenue and what we spend it on.
Ensuring full transparency and accountability for all aspects of the budget.
Scale up participatory budgeting so that people can spend revenue based on collectively identified community needs.
Build City processes designed for participation and accountability rather than elite control.
Fund neighborhood and community-based trainings for building local mutual aid projects and networks.
Ensure that participation in City processes is accessible to all Seattle residents, reimagining democracy through the lens of universal design.