Let’s make Seattle a city of opportunity for everyone. We can open that door by providing access to quality primary and secondary education, housing our families can afford, and protection and support for all workers.

OUR PLATFORM

Education

Everyone should have access to a good, affordable education.

School gives you a better chance at success, but right now, our public schools are underfunded and college graduates are swamped with debt. As a city, we can help solve this problem through:

Free College

Everyone deserves access to higher education.
  • For $12 million a year (less than 1/2 of one percent of the City’s annual budget), we can give every Seattle high school graduate the opportunity to go to college.
  • Expand South Seattle Community College’s 13th Year Promise Scholarship program so all graduates of high schools within the City of Seattle are eligible for one free year at any of the Seattle Colleges.
  • Expand Seattle Promise scholarship program to provide a full four-year scholarship to every student in the Seattle Colleges who demonstrates financial need, enrolls full time and maintains a 3.0 GPA.

ORCA Cards for Students

Transportation should not limit students’ opportunities.
  • Work with King County Metro, Seattle colleges and school districts to provide free ORCA cards for high school and college students.

Open Textbooks

Creating our own freely available textbooks for K-12 and higher ed would save our students and school districts millions of dollars a year.
  • Work with teachers, unions, Seattle Colleges, and Seattle Public Schools to create textbooks for K-12 and higher education.
  • Textbooks would be freely available online under a Creative Commons license, and could be printed at cost for schools and students to purchase.
  • British Columbia started funding the creation of open textbooks for their public universities in 2012, and the move has already saved students millions of dollars.

Innovative Summer K-12 Educational Programs

Make enriching summer learning opportunities available to all students
  • Help close the opportunity gap by offering free summer learning program to all students.
  • Remove some of the cost burden of childcare from working parents.
  • Work with teachers, Seattle Public Schools and community partners to create programs that are tailored to community needs.

Facility Improvements for schools that needs it most

Every student deserves to get an education at schools that are clean, safe, and up-to-date
  • Work with Seattle Public Schools and the State of Washington to improve school facilities in communities that need it the most.

Housing for All

Everyone in Seattle deserves a safe place to call home.

Business is booming in Seattle, and so are rent and property taxes. Many families who have lived here for years or have come for a chance at a better life can’t afford to live in the city. We can build more housing for low and middle income families by the following:

Smart Density

Our city is growing - let’s choose to do it intelligently.
  • Create livable and walkable neighborhoods where people of all income levels can thrive and live together. To do this, we need to make sure our neighborhoods have multiple transportation methods and encourage local businesses to use the street level of multi-floor residential buildings. We all need the neighborhood grocery store, cafe, restaurant, hardware store, and more.
  • Increase density and allow upzoning in our urban villages and along mass transit corridors
  • Work with the community to make sure that increased density does not negatively change the character of the neighborhood.
  • Promote development of long-lasting, low water, and energy consumption buildings.

Affordable Housing

Everyone in Seattle deserves a safe place to call home.
  • Target 25% Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) for units in all new buildings, and work with the communities to find the right amount and level of affordability for them. We need the highest percent possible without slowing down development.
  • Support non-profits and other organizations providing subsidized housing and other affordable housing options. Funding should be based on efficiency and amount of housing created.
  • Housing First model to focus on getting homeless Seattleites a permanent place to live first, then address health and substance abuse issues. Housing First is the compassionate, practical, and least expensive solution.
  • Change zoning to allow for mother-in-law cottages and other Accessory Dwelling Units.

Upgrade Seattle

Internet access is a necessity and should be treated like a public utility
  • Create an internet public utility district for the City of Seattle. We need better options accessing broadband internet. Everyone needs access to the internet for work, study, and staying connected to friends & family.
  • Work with UW, Seattle Colleges and City Light to turn unused infrastructure into a high capacity network.

Vacancy Fee & Underused Land Tax

We can't allow developers, banks, and investors to profit on empty buildings.
  • Our growing city can’t afford to have buildings and properties held empty and unproductive for the sake of speculation. Current property taxes do not create enough of a motivation to sell. This would help stabilize housing prices and increase the number of homes for rent and sale.
  • Vacancy Fee of 1% of property value per month after a three month grace period on residential properties that are not declared as a primary residence.
  • Land value tax for all commercial properties that are either unoccupied and/or underdeveloped.
  • Funds will go toward community economic development and affordable housing.
  • This would remove the homes and businesses that are sitting boarded up and abandoned in our community.

Workers’ Rights

Make Seattle a city of opportunity for everyone.

Business is booming in Seattle. We need to protect our workers so they can take advantage of this and not get taken advantage of. We can do this through:

Just Cause for All Workplace Discipline and Termination

No one should be fired without a reason.
  • Just Cause is a social justice issue. You can’t determine if a firing was for discriminatory reasons if employers are not required to give reason for termination.

Seattle Capital Gains Tax on High Earners

Seattle has an upside-down tax system - those who can afford to pay taxes should pay their fair share. Tax investments, not labor.
  • Establish a 5% tax on capital-gains earnings above $250,000 for individuals and $500,000 for joint filers.
  • Capital gains is not a tax on wages or earned income, but a tax on appreciated assets, like stocks and bonds, or investment properties.
  • Funds will go toward education and affordable housing.

Parental Leave for All

Six weeks of leave paid fully by the employer, for ALL employees.
  • Every parent deserves to spent the first six weeks of their child’s life together.
  • Parental leave improves morale in the workplace, promotes health of new parents and babies, and strengthens our entire community.
  • All employers should pay into a Parental Leave pool at the same rate per employee. This fund could then be used to pay for the leave of new parents.

Secure Scheduling for All

All workers should be able to know their schedules so they can plan their lives.
  • Two weeks notice for all schedule changes.
  • No punishment for refusing to take additional shifts.
  • On call / stand-by rate paid as 5% percent of normal income.

Increasing minimum wage to $16/hr

All workers should be able work 40 hours a week and afford to live in Seattle
  • To afford a one-bedroom apartment in Seattle, a worker has to make $24 an hour or work 87 hours a week at minimum wage. $15 is a good start, but it’s still not high enough.

Expanding the Office of Labor Standards

Our labor laws are only as good as their enforcement
  • Enforcement of Seattle labor laws is shamefully inadequate. It takes over 200 days to enforce a basic violation like wage theft or uncompensated overtime.
  • We need to collaborate with partners in the labor community to establish a Seattle Workers’ Center that can assist any worker in Seattle.

Help Small Businesses by Providing Education and Resources

Small businesses provide jobs to hundreds of thousands of Seattleites - they deserve the information they need to be successful
  • Regulations are complex. Seattle should make it simpler for business owners to navigate and comply with them.
  • Understanding best practice in employee scheduling, labor laws, inventory control, basic accounting, forms/permits, laws/regulations, and available community assistance are vital to the success of a business. We need to give every small business owner access to learn how to do this successfully.

Other Issues We Care About

While our campaign is focused on making Education, Affordable Housing, and a Better Workplace a reality, there are other issues that we all care about. Here are our positions on other issues that we care about.

Welcoming Immigrants and Refugees

Seattle is a Sanctuary City
  • Create a legal defense fund for immigrant families targeted by unjust federal policies.
  • SPD should support our community and not become a tool for federal immigration enforcement. Our city is less safe when community members are afraid to call the police because they or their family might get deported.
  • Continue providing Citizenship Workshops to help immigrants and refugees with their naturalization applications and get on the path to citizenship.
  • Create a program for local residency cards that is safe and efficient.

Changing the Culture of Law Enforcement

Better Training and Adoption of a Community Policing Model
  • Support independent community and civilian oversight of Seattle’s Police, including a strong and effective Community Police Commission.
  • De-militarize the police and refocus on police working within the community and building trust based relationships.
  • Stop the overly expensive construction of the proposed North Precinct headquarters.
  • Redesign the Youth and Families Justice Center from the ground up with community involvement in the entire process. The current facilities are unsafe for both residents and the people that work there, but the current proposal ignored the needs of the community.
  • Create a police academy in Seattle with a curriculum with required training in conflict de-escalation, harm reduction, sexual violence victim advocacy, working with people with mental health issues, restorative justice, and cultural competency.
  • Focus on harm reduction, connecting with the community, and de-escalation rather the punishment: reduces addiction and related problems, reduces impact on the surrounding community, and lowers cost of social, police, and emergency services.

Communities of Color

People of color have borne the weight of unequal treatment in their jobs, homes, education, and law enforcement. We must seek to build equity for all. In addition to creating opportunities for education, creating more affordable housing, and stronger workers’ rights, we like to:
  • Better enforcement of current hate crimes and discrimination laws.
  • Better access and promotion of resources for communities of color. Create a stronger network of nonprofits and community groups that serve people of color.
  • Promote diversity hiring within the City of Seattle government and require anti-bias training for anyone involved in hiring processes.
  • More involvement of communities of color with the Office of Neighborhoods to ensure neighborhoods do not lose their culture.

LGBTQ

Seattle has a reputation for being a safe and accepting city, but LGBTQ folks are some of the most likely to be targeted for discrimination, harassment, and hate crimes in Seattle. Hardships such as homelessness, workplace discrimination, and sexual assault are also significantly higher in the LGBTQ. We must be more inclusive by:
  • Better enforcement of current hate crimes and discrimination laws. Work with the Seattle Police Department for LGBTQ friendly policing within Capitol Hill.
  • Better access and promotion of resources for the LGBTQ community. Create a stronger network of nonprofits and community groups that serve the LGBTQ community.
  • Continue the work on creating more gender neutral restrooms.
  • Support Seattle’s ban on conversion therapy for minors.

Public Health & Wellness

We are only as strong as the weakest in our community. Healthcare is a human right.
  • We support Housing First and building more affordable housing for low and middle income families because safe and healthy homes are the foundation for good health.
  • Restore funding to community TB nurses.
  • Expand harm reduction model of the University District Needle Exchange and allow for safe injection sites.
  • Work with community partners to expand emergency mental health care options.
  • Work with local and state partners to continue outreach on public health insurance options.

Transportation

We need more options for transportation within our city. We must continue the expansion of mass transit, especially light rail. Better mass transit will lower C02 emission and reduce traffic.
  • Expand light rail and mass transit options. Fund the study of the proposed Ballard to U-District portion of the West Seattle to Ballard light rail.
  • Look at all available options to speed construction of new light rail and mass transit.
  • Free ORCA card for high school & college students
  • Support SDOT’s Sidewalk Development Program, so all parts of the city can have safe walking conditions

Environment

Let’s protect the natural beauty of our surroundings.
  • Limit wastewater and runoff from roads from entering our waterways without treatment.
  • Support efforts to clean Puget Sound and the Duwamish River.
  • Encourage construction of new buildings to be LEED Silver and above in energy efficiency ratings.
  • Stop the oil and coal cars through regulation.

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