The Emerald invited top mayoral to tell readers why they deserve South Seattle’s vote. Voters have until Aug. 3 to cast their vote in the primary election.
My Plan for a Thriving South Seattle
by Lorena González
I loved living in South Park, one of Seattle’s most vibrant, diverse neighborhoods. Like many of South Seattle’s culturally rich neighborhoods in our city, South Park also suffers disproportionately from the impacts of systemic racism and economic inequality.
As a former child migrant farmworker and the daughter of immigrants, I’m all too familiar with how systemic racism prevents Black, Brown, and Indigenous families from building generational wealth. A recent report from Prosperity Now shows that white household incomes are 2–3 times higher than those of Black and Native American households.
These inequities are exactly why my plan, “Progress for All,” is worker- and neighborhood-focused. As mayor, I will ensure all of our communities, small businesses, and working people have the resources they need to thrive. By centering the wellbeing of families, communities, and small businesses and not the demands of the corporate elite, we can build a more just and democratic economy where everyone prospers.
As the candidate in this race with the strongest backing from worker-led labor unions, I know that working people must be at the center of Seattle’s future. As mayor, I will reset the system to lift up workers into good jobs by establishing incentives and technical assistance for worker co-ops, worker-owned collectives, profit sharing, and employee ownership. I will expand worker protections by establishing a citywide Access-to-Hours policy so that current hourly employees who want to work up to 40 hours can get more hours before new part-time employees are added. And I will raise standards in this gig-dominated economy by ending sub-minimum wages and making it easier for everyone to access benefits.
Environmental justice is also a critical part of my platform. Environmental racism has had severe impacts on the health of South Seattle communities along the heavily polluted and heavily trafficked Duwamish River valley. The life expectancy for residents of Georgetown and South Park is 8 years shorter than Seattle and King County on average and 13 years shorter than residents of Laurelhurst.
As mayor, I will partner with Seattle For A Green New Deal leaders and direct resources to their community-based priorities for clean air, clean water, and environmental justice. My team will work to create thousands of stable, high-quality jobs by retrofitting homes, restoring the Duwamish River and the Salish Sea ecosystems, and building green infrastructure, and we will modernize our industrial infrastructure and prepare to build technology for the green economy.
As a mother of a young child, I know that the cost and accessibility of childcare are also a huge strain on family budgets. And too many families, especially in South Seattle, live in “childcare deserts” where childcare is completely inaccessible in their neighborhoods. We need to treat childcare as essential infrastructure, not a commodity to be bought and sold. This means looking at every source of funding: city, regional, state, and federal. We finally have a president that understands the importance of these critical investments, and we need to seize this moment.
My administration will also provide technical assistance to childcare providers to help them navigate the bureaucratic hurdles so they can focus on what they will do best.
Finally, we need to re-imagine policing in this city to meet this civil rights moment. As a civil rights lawyer for more than a decade, I fought for justice for victims of police violence, remembering my personal loss of a family member to police gun violence.
I’m proud of the work I have done to expand civilian oversight of the police department, reduce the police budget, fund participatory budgeting, and establish the Department of Community Safety and Communications. As mayor, I plan to build on the progress we have made by fulfilling our commitments to participatory budgeting, working with community-led efforts to shift funding from the Seattle Police Department to investments that will heal communities, and appointing a police chief who is committed to accountability.
South Seattle deserves connected, livable, safe neighborhoods that all have affordable childcare options, good public schools, safe parks, and modern public transit, with housing and rent everyone can afford, where all kinds of businesses can prosper, and where all jobs pay a living wage.
I’m running to be your next mayor because I believe that’s the kind of city we can build if we dream big and work hard. I hope to earn your vote.
📸 Featured Image courtesy of the candidate.
Before you move on to the next story … Please consider that the article you just read was made possible by the generous financial support of donors and sponsors. The Emerald is a BIPOC-led nonprofit news outlet with the mission of offering a wider lens of our region’s most diverse, least affluent, and woefully under-reported communities. Please consider making a one-time gift or, better yet, joining our Rainmaker Family by becoming a monthly donor. Your support will help provide fair pay for our journalists and enable them to continue writing the important stories that offer relevant news, information, and analysis. Support the Emerald!