Seattle rapper Mackelmore is weighing in on the city’s mayoral race, throwing his support behind Nikkita Oliver and the “Peoples Party.”
The nationally known musician, who’s no stranger to expressing his political views, made the announcement on Facebook.
“The people's party is really about transforming the narrative around who plays a role in elections and who gets elected to office,” Nikkita Oliver said.
She described her campaign as grassroots, hyper-local and centered around community.
“It’s ‘peoples’ with an ‘s’ for a reason,” Oliver continued.
Just last week, former Mayor Mike McGinn and urban planner Cary Moon, jumped in the race to challenge incumbent Ed Murray who, facing a civil lawsuit alleging sexual abuse in the 1980s, could be more vulnerable than once thought.
The Mayor has categorically denied the allegations that surfaced this month and says he's committed to running for re-election.
So far, nine candidates have filed to challenge him, with the filing deadline less than a month away.
Oliver, who describes herself as an attorney, an activist and an educator, was one of Mayor Murray's early challengers.
“I think the more candidates we have the better. It allows Seattle to have a real conversation about what it means to be progressive,” Oliver said.
In what will likely become a battle between progressive candidates, the race could come down to whether voters agree with their vision.
“My vision for the future of Seattle is a place that is accessible, equitable and allows people to build the sort of lives that they can dream and envision for themselves and their families, beyond just surviving,” she said.
Oliver describes her top issues as housing, affordability, homelessness, transportation and police accountability.
She supports a city income tax, along with most mayoral candidates.
Related: Income tax on "high-end" earners proposed by Mayor Murray last week
Oliver has also proposed increasing the amount of affordable housing on the market to 25 percent, a similar position to candidate Cary Moon.
“We put forward the 25 percent first,” said Oliver who launched her campaign before Moon did.
“It’s not new, and it’s not incredibly progressive, but it is the right thing to do to ensure we have the right kind of revenue to meet the housing needs,” she said.
Oliver faults Mayor Murray’s ‘Housing Affordability and Liveability,’ or HALA Recommendations for not going far enough. She believes it let developers off too easy.
“How do we hold corporations accountable and make sure that we have sustainable revenue sources in our city that are not dependent solely on property tax and levies,” Oliver said of her goals, if elected.
While last week's first of the season mayoral forum shows candidates share some of the same policy positions and proposals, they have just three months to differentiate themselves ahead of the August primary, when only two candidates will make it through to the general.
“I hope that the August 1st primary looks like something historical,” said Oliver, noting she’s one of three female candidates running.
“It’s been 91 years since we’ve had a woman as mayor. We’ve never had a woman of color as mayor, and now we have three women running in the mayoral race,” she said. “I think that’s a testament to where we are, not just locally but nationally, that women and people of color see ourselves as having a role, and building policy and being elected and making decisions that impact not just our communities, but all communities.”