Each of the top six Seattle mayoral candidates has a slightly different strategy to reach voters ahead of the August 1st primary, but in this final weekend before election night, their paths are bound to cross.
Several mayoral hopefuls stopped by Saturday morning’s fundraiser for Charleena Lyles to listen to the community's concerns about police accountability and reform.
It's one of two city issues on the mind of voter Veronica Very, who said policing and also affordability need to be addressed by the next mayor without delay.
“It’s penetrating the community and our social experience in more ways than we understand. And if we don't do anything about, we're going to be in a very serious situation," she said.
Very and her friend, local artist Hiawatha D, listened to the candidates talk on a panel Saturday afternoon at a Power Summit on Building Black Wealth, a forum that focused on addressing equity issues in a Seattle that's rapidly changed.
"I was born and raised here. The city I'm seeing today is not the city I've known,” said Very.
“I would say in last ten years, it's changed. So much, it's very hard to see myself when I walk around the city now,” said Hiawatha D.
The next mayor will have to tackle the many challenges that have come with growth, from homelessness to housing, as well as manage the city's large workforce of more than 11,000 employees across 28 departments.
“Today I'm speaking as someone who has worked for the city for 20 years,” said Chukundi Salisbury, during the audience question and answer portion of the event.
“All of these ideas are great, but how would you manage people who have worked there for 20, 30 years who might be resistant to some of your ideas,” asked Salisbury.
Watch candidates Mike McGinn, Cary Moon, Jessyn Farrell, Jenny Durkan, Nikkita Oliver and Bob Hasegawa's full responses to Salisbury’s question and other audience questions:
Salisbury, who’s also been working to increase voter engagement in local elections, fears that the large number of candidates could deter some people from participating in the primary.
“When there’s too many choices, sometimes people make no choice. That’s the challenge right now, especially in the primary,” said Salisbury. “The sheer amount of people running is going to make it more difficult for people to make informed decisions.”
King County Elections is predicting turnout to be around 38% in the 2017 August Primary. Heading into the weekend, the number of ballots returned stood at under 15%.
Ballots are due by Tuesday either postmarked by close of business or dropped off to an official drop box location by 8 p.m. Tuesday night.
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