Endorsing Melissa Hall for Seattle City Council

Testing… is this blog on? Oh yes!

There are a lot of candidates in the city council district 6 primary in August. Some are decent, one or two are awful, and one is outstanding. But she doesn’t get a lot of press, and I really want her to get more attention.

If you live in district 6, you should vote for and support Melissa Hall.

She is a pro-housing land use nerd. We need more housing in Seattle. We need more affordable housing, and she supports funding that. Melissa supported allowing ADUs (i.e., mother-in-law basement apartments) without rules like requiring your actual mother-in-law to live there. Seattle’s zoning currently prevents building new triplexes or townhomes on over 65% of Seattle land. This means new building tends to be either McMansions or largish apartments. Melissa supports allowing more “missing middle” housing in Seattle. Seattle has grown about 22% in the last decade but we haven’t added 22% more housing stock. Her resume includes time as a land use attorney for the State of Florida. She will know how to get the details right.

We need transportation infrastructure that is not car-centric, and we need it fast because we have about 2 decades before climate change is irreversible. 62% of Seattle’s carbon emissions come from transportation, and the total amount from transportation is increasing. Mayor Durkan has canceled and delayed a number of transit and bike-related improvements, and Melissa supports taking control, requiring transit and bicycle improvements without mayoral interference. She’s advocating using automated traffic enforcement fines on places like 3rd Avenue (which is a transit-only corridor) to pay for transit improvements.

One of the big reasons I support Melissa is her compassion. When she announced her candidacy, I asked her what changes she’d like to see in the city’s approach for people living on the streets. Obviously, we’d like to house everyone but even in the best case scenario that will take time. In the meantime, she told me:

“I want to be sure our policy doesn’t come from a place of dehumanization and it is made with people in this situation. I think that looks like more safe places to camp and park and getting rid of sweeps.”

Melissa understands that chasing unsheltered people from place to place with draconian sweeps is inhumane and won’t work.

Melissa moved to Seattle with her wife about four years ago because they viewed Seattle as a safer place for a couple like them to raise a family. She’s soft-spoken, so she’s not made for sound-bite, “if it bleeds it leads” local TV, but she’s amazingly smart, thoughtful, and listens to the people who aren’t heard.

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