by Elizabeth Turnbull
Ending speculations of a potential run for Mayor, Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda announced on Wednesday morning that she will be running for reelection to a City Council position.
“As we turn the page on a tumultuous period for our city and nation, we need leaders who can bring people together to solve complex problems,” said Mosqueda in a press release. “My team and I have led on major policy initiatives and delivered impactful change by creating diverse coalitions. There are many challenges ahead as we leave the COVID-19 era; to restart our economy and get people into housing, a proven track record of delivering will be needed. My team and I are ready to do the work.”
Mosqueda said her future goals included support for houseless individuals, affordable housing, increasing educational and childcare opportunities, the creation of jobs with better living wages, and investment in health, transportation, and infrastructure.
Roughly four years ago, Mosqueda won her seat as a city councilmember — serving in the at-large position 8. Her campaign focused on the houselessness crisis, housing affordability, labor protections, and her stated goal of using the position to fight for equal pay for women.
In the years since Mosqueda’s victory, the city has weathered the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing economic difficulties and has increased awareness of incidents of racial injustice, which triggered a powerful civil rights movement. As a result, City Council members became immersed in a different city landscape than the one they entered.
During her term, Mosqueda proposed the “JumpStart Tax,” which the City Council passed in July 2020. The measure, intended to help alleviate the economic repercussions of the pandemic, taxes workers who earn over $150,000 per year at companies with a payroll of at least $7 million. The tax was passed over opposition from Mayor Jenny Durkan and some members of the business community, including the Seattle Chamber, which filed lawsuit against the City in December 2020, claiming the tax violates the state constitution.
Mosqueda also sponsored the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights, which the City passed in 2018 to ensure wage and other protections for nannies, caretakers, house cleaners, gardeners, and other domestic workers.
At times the councilmember’s relationship with Mayor Jenny Durkan has been tenuous, and following SPD’s use of large quantities of teargas to disperse protesters over the summer, Mosqueda notably rebuked Durkan and suggested that she resign.
As chair of the Council’s budget committee, Mosqueda also showed initial support for BLM protesters’ demand that the Seattle Police Department (SPD) budget be reduced by 50%, a commitment which was later reduced to much smaller reductions to SPD both in the 2020 and 2021 budgeting cycles.
Durkan announced in December that she would not be running for another term as mayor and now that Mosqueda has officially turned her attention to another City Council race and not a mayoral one, questions still remain around who will additionally run in the 2021 mayor election. Former SEED Seattle Executive Director Lance Randall has already announced his candidacy.
Some have floated the idea that Seattle City Council President Lorena González will run for mayor, but as of yet this remains speculation.
Elizabeth Turnbull is a Seattle-based journalist.
Featured image courtesy of Teresa Mosqueda.