There has been a filing spree at Seattle City Hall: Four candidates, with credibility, all announcing their intentions to run for Seattle City Council.
Andrew Lewis, an attorney in the Seattle City Attorney’s office, has thrown his hat into the District 7 ring. Longtime Councilmember Sally Bagshaw recently announced she would vacate the seat.
“You never get punished in politics for getting in too early,” Lewis said Friday while laying out his campaign goals. “We have an affordable housing crisis that is manifested every day in people sleeping on the streets.”
The Lower Queen Anne resident says affordable housing is a key part of his campaign.
“We can build 5,000 units of affordable housing in three years, and that's a commitment I want to make,” said Lewis. “I want to reach that goal.”
Naveed Jamali, a Queen Anne based former military intelligence officer and author, also announced his candidacy this week. He is also running for Bagshaw’s seat.
“The best way you can positively impact people's lives in local politics,” said Jamali.
Jamali says he wants an examination of city spending on homelessness and public safety.
“I'm very concerned the staffing levels of the Seattle Police Department are not on par with what they should be, look at comparable cities. San Francisco, Boston, smaller in population, smaller in size, and they have more police officers,” Jamali said, adding, “I think the big question with homeless - is $90 million budget line item - and the thing that concerns me about that - why is that a model where we're primarily outsourcing the services?”
Alex Pedersen, a former staffer for Seattle Mayor and Councilmember Tim Burgess, is running for District 4. That’s the seat being vacated by Rob Johnson.
“Not all the city councilmembers are being as responsive as they could be to their constituents,” said Pedersen, who lives in Ravenna. “I was ready to go once there was an opening because I bring private sector and public sector experience to the table.
Pedersen believes the city should be using evidence-based strategies to handle homelessness in particular.
Beto Yarce, another candidate, filed paperwork this week for District 3, which includes Capitol Hill, Leschi, and the Central District. Yarce said he was willing to talk about a Head Tax to pay for homelessness, but at an official kickoff on Thursday highlighted how is management style is different than the current seat holder, Kshama Sawant.
“I will approach problems by united rather than dividing. I know how to break through divisive rhetoric and effect real challenge,” said Yarce. “I think she needs to get focused on District 3 and I don't think she's doing that.”
Seven of nine Seattle City Council seats are up for re-election in 2019.