I will be your advocate on policies that are informed by our lived experiences.
I will focus on the 3 A’s:
Housing security is highly personal to me. I experienced homelessness after I found myself without a job and, as a recently out LGBTQ+ immigrant, without any support network; as a result, I know first-hand how important it is to listen to those who are either homeless or on the verge of experiencing homelessness. It was while I was experiencing homelessness that I contracted HIV. These traumas continue to inform my approaches to policy. Forcing the problem “out of sight, out of mind” through violent sweeps and stigmatization only drives our most vulnerable people even more into the shadows - and keeps those who need healthcare, assistance with mental health and addiction treatment, and job opportunities even further removed. Our housing policy must never lose sight of the humanity of our unhoused neighbors.
And of course, while we must address the near-decade long “state of emergency” homelessness crisis, we also know that the best way to remedy this crisis is also to prevent homelessness in the first place.
We can achieve our goals on the 3 A’s through social housing, ethical zoning, better financial incentives, through more intentional outreach to historically underserved neighbors and neighborhoods, and more mindful planning when it comes to updating our comprehensive plan.
I have been working on social housing campaigns, and in particular, I am heavily involved in I-135 which seeks to provide to social housing to those most in need in Seattle
We need to ensure that our transportation is multimodal, and safe and accessible for all, whether you bike, ride, walk, or roll. This means sidewalks. This means bike lanes. Heck, this means filling the potholes on our long-neglected streets in District 3.
And I will do this by listening to and leading from community input, especially from those who have been least heard and yet are most impacted in this policy work. An old Nigerian proverb says that the “one who wears the shoe knows where it pinches.” Transit riders and users of our multimodal systems will be at the center of all transportation policy I advocate for at the city. I will take the lead on transportation from organizations like the MASS (Move All Seattle Sustainably) Coalition and everyday users of the system.
Our policies need to show a holistic approach to public safety. It’s beyond time to stop equating public safety solely with punitive and reactive measures, especially when community trust must be built before community safety can be realized.
As an LGBTQ+ community and an immigrant leader who lives in Capitol Hill, first and foremost, we must recognize that our LGBTQ+, and especially trans, and/or BIPOC, and/or Asian American community members, must feel that they can walk down the street safely just by existing as they are. And, as a resident who buys my groceries from the local Viet-Wah neighborhood and other small, family-owned businesses, I know how much our small businesses are those that are most directly impacted by the feelings of helplessness that can come with any threats to their existence in safety.
These communities and businesses often know best who their neighbors are and what they need, and the City of Seattle must do more to listen to and partner with us. Our grassroots community leaders are the stakeholders who will rise to the occasion, especially when empowered through resources and coordination.
We know we have the will in our neighborhoods to come together through crime prevention measures - everything from after school programs, to housing programs, to behavioral health counseling.
The more we stop crime by focusing our efforts on all the complex but interrelated root causes, the healthier we will all be for it.
We must never forget that we are on the unceded lands of the Coast Salish people, original and ongoing stewards of the land on which we all live. With that in mind, we must approach our shared commitment to the land, water, and air by prioritizing BIPOC communities who are most directly impacted by pollution.
I believe in the work that has been lead by community on the Seattle Green New Deal, and I will espouse those principles, including but not limited to:
Intentional, ethical, and inclusive zoning to ensure that green spaces are prioritized not just for the wealthiest neighborhoods in Seattle, but for all parts of the city.
Expanding access to multimodal transportation options and moving away from single occupancy vehicles on our roads
Ensuring a just transition for workers of all types who will be moving out of our fossil fuel economy into the new green economy.
Expanding access to EV charging stations for the times when cars and other vehicles are still needed, especially as more delivery and public services such as fire departments and bus fleets are switching to electric vehicles.
Renewing and expanding our commitment to climate resilience policies, especially in impacted BIPOC communities, both at our city level and in partnership with county and state governments as well as with the Port of Seattle.
Expanding healthcare for BIPOC communities, who are more likely to suffer from environmental-related illnesses such as asthma and certain cancers.
Enacting zoning that leads to more multi-family units, and built with environmentally sustainable practices that, as much as possible, exceed state standards.
There is a story that has been handed down in my family for generations. A single broomstick can easily be snapped; bundle 10 broomsticks, and your job is much more difficult.
When we band together as a community in District 3, our power is unstoppable. We can do this.