Two new candidates have announced campaigns for the two seats of Seattle City Council up for election this year.
Brianna Thomas, Chief of Staff to Seattle City Council President M. Lorena González, is running for Council Open Position 9 in the hope of winning the seat that González vacates for mayoral election.
And Mike McQuaid, a South Lake Union community leader, is running against Councilor Teresa Mosqueda for position 8 on the council.
Both seats represent the entire city.
39-year-old Thomas has been with González since 2015 and previously worked on campaigns. She led the 2014 campaign that brought SeaTac a minimum wage of $ 15 and the 2015 campaign that brought publicly funded democracy coupons to Seattle. She previously ran for city council in 2015 and finished fourth in a crowded elementary school.
Homelessness and criminal justice reform will be the top issues to be addressed as a member of the city council, she said. She said the city needs to generate more revenue from advanced sources to fight homelessness. Regarding the criminal justice system, she said she was proud of the work the council had done recently, including transferring some duties from the police department to other city authorities. This led to a cut in the police budget of around 20%.
Going forward, the council’s goal should not be to cut the police budget by a certain percentage, but rather “a community security plan that actually makes communities feel safe”.
When asked about a subject she disagrees with González, she said rentable scooters are “a bit dangerous for our topography”.
McQuaid, 57, is President of McQuaidUSA, a strategic communications and public affairs company. He was a member of the South Lake Union Community Council for much of the past decade, including serving as President.
McQuaid said it was vital for the city to invest in addiction and mental health resources to tackle homelessness and “that we no longer ignore or apologize for the criminal behavior that emerges from this crisis.”
He said we should “deliberately, urgently and perhaps gradually” work towards police reform.
“Systemic racism and inequality exist falsely and egregiously,” he said. “But none of this justifies ignoring or minimizing our city’s primary duty to ensure our health and safety every day.”
He is so far the only challenger to Mosqueda to announce their re-election campaign last month.
In addition to Thomas, five candidates applied for the González seat: Sara Nelson, Alex Tsimerman, Rebecca Williamson, David Ishii and Claire Grant, co-owner of Fremont Brewing.