A roundup of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!
curated by Vee Hua 華婷婷
✨Gleaming This Week✨
- District 2 Councilmember Tammy Morales Announces Reelection Bid
- 13th & Fir Family Housing Open for Applications
District 2 Councilmember Tammy Morales Announces Reelection Bid
by Ashley Archibald
(The following reporting originally appeared on Real Change and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
Councilmember Tammy Morales announced Wednesday that she would run for reelection in District 2, making her the second sitting councilmember to declare their candidacy in a year in which all seven district seats are up for election.
Councilmember Andrew Lewis, who represents District 7, is currently running unopposed. Four councilmembers — Lisa Herbold, Kshama Sawant, Alex Pedersen, and Debora Juarez — have already bowed out. Councilmember Dan Strauss, who represents District 6, has yet to say if he will run one way or another.
Flanked by leaders in the region’s housing, transportation, and tenants’ rights worlds at the entrance to El Centro de la Raza, Morales touted her progressive policy track record and success at bringing investment and resources to a district that has historically not seen it.
The result, she said: A district that sees roughly half of the traffic deaths in Seattle, displacement of longtime residents, and a toxic combination of over- and under-policing.
Morales positioned herself as a councilmember that has collaborated with community members and a bulwark against powerful interests.
“Powerful business interests, right-wing propagandists — you’ve probably all received the emails — owners of obscene wealth are dividing communities and using their political influence to make life easier for themselves, and they are attempting to hijack our city government and tilt democracy so that the loudest voices are listened to over the common good,” she said.
Morales pointed to her voting record during her three years in office, which took place almost entirely during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. She said that her office helped secure $200 million for investments throughout the city and in District 2. She has put her weight behind efforts including: a reduction in traffic deaths through the Vision Zero program, environmental investments in the Green New Deal, and abortion protections after the fall of Roe v. Wade.
Morales supported efforts to tax big business to expand the community safety net. Those council votes eventually resulted in the JumpStart tax, which was used to fill in gaps in the city budgets for the past two years.
She also highlighted efforts to keep tenants in place through eviction protections, many of which were challenged in court by landlord groups.
Rising rents, which cause homelessness and displacement, are still a major concern in District 2.
Several people who came to support her declined to sign a form to qualify her for democracy vouchers, a publicly funded form of campaign fundraising, because they no longer lived in Seattle.
One was Violet Lavatai, the executive director of the Tenants Union, an organization that advocates for tenants’ rights.
“I should be living here, where I grew up, but that’s not the case,” Lavatai said. “Having Tammy at the forefront as a community leader, she is the voice of us who are considered marginalized and vulnerable communities.”
Two other people have declared for District 2 according to the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission: Dawn Lucas and Isaiah Willoughby.
Morales won election in 2019 handily, securing 50% of the vote in a slate of seven primary contenders and 60.5% in the general election. Her professional background is in regional and community planning.
13th & Fir Family Housing Open for Applications
Located in the Yesler Terrace neighborhood and across the street from Bailey Gatzert Elementary School, the 13th & Fir Family Housing (115 13th Ave., Seattle, WA 98122) is now available for leasing. All of its 156 units are dedicated for affordable housing, available for those earning up to either 30% or 60% of the area median income (AMI). Unlike many affordable housing units in the area, it will be designed to accommodate families, as unit sizes include studios, one-, two-, three-, and four-bedroom units.
Applications are open now for occupancy in May 2023.
The 13th & Fir Family Housing building borders the Chinatown-International District and Central District — an area which is “designated at a high risk of displacement and high level of access to opportunity,” according to SCIDpda’s press release. They also note that, “To benefit residents of the community who have been displaced from the area, some units are set aside for households: where one or more of its members live, work, or go to school in the area; or whose families or businesses have been displaced from the area in the past.”
Interested applicants can apply online at 13Fir.com. Those with language assistance needs may contact one of SCIDpda’s leasing partners to support them in the application process.
To learn more, visit 13th & Fir Family Housing’s website, call 206-584-7723, or email 13Fir@SCIDpda.org.
Editors’ Note: A previous version of this article stated that Councilmember Tammy Morales launched her reelection bid on the steps of Beacon Hill School. This article was updated on 02/07/2023 to correct the location to El Centro de la Raza.
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