Equity and Social Justice

Much lip-service has been paid to the ideas of equity and social justice, though many of the most actionable steps that the City could take have been bogged down in process. As a result, many of our families and individuals are being kept out of the wealth that’s being created. Here are a few of my proposals.

  • Supporting Education and Youth. Our teachers, parents and schools work hard to support all of our kids, but deep opportunity and achievement gaps persist. That means we need to continue being creative not just to make sure we have the resources we need, but that we also are implementing programs that go beyond the traditional classroom so that each student’s unique needs are being met.Setting education policy must always be a collaborative process with the community. That’s how we successfully doubled the Families and Education Levy when I was in office, including many new programs (like dental health clinics in schools) that are helping close these gaps. A few ideas that I support include:

    • More funding for apprenticeship and mentoring opportunities for LGBTQ youths.

    • Assist Seattle Public Schools in finding revenue to provide more hands-on counseling resources and family support to promote high school graduation and post-secondary college or work training for all students.

    • Work with the Seattle School Board to promote culturally-competent education in the classroom at all levels.

  • Human Services. When I came into office in 2010, we were in the depths of the worst recession since the Great Depression. We had to make deep cuts in the city budget, but we protected funding for human services. That’s an achievement that we accomplished by working with the community and is one that I am probably most proud of from my administration. With the rapidly deepening economic divide in Seattle, these services everyday becoming even more critical. And just like supporting our kids’ education, we need to think outside of the box. A few ideas I support include:

    • Fight every single attempt President Trump makes to attack our values and our funding for those in need. We will not compromise.

    • Work with the City Attorney’s office to increase outreach and access to diversionary programs.

    • Increase awareness and access points for ORCA LIFT and youth bus pass program.

    • Create and maintain open channels of communication with communities in need; whether that’s web forms available in multiple languages, more town hall forums, or other accessible methods of communication, I want to center your concerns and hear your ideas.

    • Deepen our support for Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion, a successful program started in partnership with a broad coalition during my administration that ends the cycle of incarceration for low-level drug offenders and connects them with treatment, housing and employment services.

    • Restore cuts and expand funding for the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative, a successful youth service led by the City that gets at the root causes of crime - employment, education, and others - instead of resorting to incarceration once it’s too late.

      Expand programs to return felons as full members of our community.  We have had systems of mass arrest and incarceration, tearing apart our communities.  Now we need systems of mass re-entry.  As Mayor, I launched Career Bridge, an innovative approach to assisting individuals looking to put their lives back together.  If elected I am committed to expanding it, and finding new ways to partner with communities to redress the racial inequities of our criminal justice system.