Labor and Workers

Teachers, firefighters, police officers, and others who serve our community should be able to afford to live here. It is essential that we build workforce housing that is affordable for local workers. This is critical to Seattle’s quality of life. Communities are healthier when people of all economic levels can afford to live in the community they work in.

I strongly support priority hire for Seattle’s lower income areas. Priority hire ensures equity in our workforce and helps lift everyone up. We must also reaffirm our support for prevailing wages, community workforce and harmony agreements, and community hire. 

 

Collective Bargaining

A strong union leads to fairer paychecks, better benefits, and other essential protections, and I am wholly committed to supporting the labor community. Collective bargaining is a right for every worker that should not be infringed upon. 

I vow to promote Community Workforce Agreements, based on Standard Project Labor Agreements, and will not interfere in the negotiation process between developers and public construction projects unless I am requested by unions to do so.

 

Education

A living wage job shouldn’t require a college degree. Apprenticeships are a great learning tool and a proven path to a good paying job with strong benefits, as well as being key to building Seattle’s workforce of tomorrow. I will work with unions to expand workforce education, job training, and apprenticeships, so we can ensure workers of all backgrounds are well equipped for our growing, changing economy. I will partner with our schools and community colleges to find a way to better integrate apprenticeship opportunities, focusing particularly on communities that have been left behind in the current economic boom or are otherwise economically distressed, which is why I will also be a champion of Priority Hire. 

Investing in early childhood education is not only the right thing to do but it is also cost-efficient in the long term. Children with access to a Pre-K education, are more successful throughout their entire lives. We need to expand Seattle’s early childhood education program to all children regardless of their background.

 

Gig Workers

No one who works in Seattle should make less than the minimum wage. We need to ensure gig workers can earn a living wage. We also need to work with labor, and the state legislature to create policies that give gig workers access to paid time off and affordable health insurance. Gig workers — and all workers in emerging industries — deserve.

 

Office of Labor Standards

We should increase funding for the Office of Labor Standards so we can ensure our city’s groundbreaking labor laws are enforced. We have to follow through on programs like the Paid Sick and Safe Time ordinance and Secure Scheduling for our labor force. This office also plays a critical role in educating workers and businesses about Seattle’s existing worker protections and standards.

 

Commercial Affordability

District 3’s unique and vibrant local economy depends on the survival of our commercial corridors. Small businesses have been hit with increasing costs at every level. Most have operating capital for only one month which means that something as simple as construction or a winter storm can have devastating impacts on their ability to continue operating. We need to create an emergency fund to help Seattle’s most vulnerable small businesses survive setbacks that are completely out of their control. 

The cost of commercial space continues to rise, making it more difficult for small businesses to survive. Displacement of existing businesses due to new construction has had an outsized impact on Seattle’s small business community. The City needs to work with developers to help small businesses remain in their locations once construction is complete. We also need to encourage developers to assist small business owners with the build-out costs of new construction. The City needs to be a strong partner by taking steps to reduce the costs of development to help bring down the cost of rent for small businesses and renters alike.

Economic Development

Seattle’s Office of Economic Development (OED) has faced significant budget cuts for the last two years. With the potential of a recession on the horizon, we need to restore and increase OED’s budget and ensure the right leadership is in place to fulfill the Office’s mission. OED’s programs that support small businesses, entrepreneurs, workers, neighborhoods, and youth provide essential services to Seattle residents that we must support.

One of the biggest supports for successful commercial corridors are Business Improvement Areas (BIAs). Collectively, rate-payers of BIAs are able to address street and sidewalk cleaning, marketing, seasonal activations, and advocacy at City Hall. OED’s partnership with BIAs must be maintained and strengthened, so more neighborhoods can form BIAs to support small businesses. 

 

Expand Opportunity for New Small Business Owners

Because of systemic hurdles, people of color, LGBTQ people, and women often have a harder time starting businesses. We have to do a better job connecting these neighbors to existing programs and to the capital they need to start and maintain a successful business. Having a diverse small business ownership foundation is key to ensuring a vibrant neighborhood, and I will fight for opportunity for all on Council.

 

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