Our County Council must be a leader and active partner in meeting behavioral health needs across our community, creating more housing, expanding access to reliable transit, tackling the climate crisis, re-imagining our public safety system and criminal legal system, and delivering services to create equity and opportunities for all.

Housing is a basic need and everyone in King County should have a place to live. But housing has become unaffordable for too many. King County can and should do more to ensure our neighbors experiencing homelessness are housed. As a member of the King County Women’s Advisory Board, I have advocated before the King County Council for increased investments in affordable and permanent supportive housing.

As a King County Councilmember, I will make tackling the affordable housing and homeless crisis a top priority. While King County has helped to lead regional efforts to create affordable housing and advance approaches to address homelessness, the County must work regionally to acquire more land and scale up solutions to create more housing, and address the root causes of homelessness. I will work with the community and those with lived experience to deliver on the following:

  • Acquire, construct, preserve and subsidize affordable housing so that everyone has a place to live and no household is cost burdened. King County should work with cities and regional partners to secure a dedicated funding source to help create affordable housing to meet the goals of the Regional Affordable Housing Task Force.
  • Expand missing middle housing and transit-oriented development to allow for the creation of more affordable housing connected to services, amenities and transit. I strongly support Councilmember Girmay Zahilay’s missing middle housing resolution work to lower barriers to construction of more multi-family housing.
  • Increase access to affordable housing, behavioral and physical health care for those experiencing homelessness through shelter, permanent supportive housing, and other permanent housing options. In partnership with the King County Regional Homelessness Authority and those with lived experience, scale up peer navigation models to help our unhoused neighbors connect to housing, increase access to 0-30% AMI housing and expand JustCARE, Health Through Housing, and other programs that work. 
  • Preserve affordable homes for tenants and fight against displacement, building on the King County Equitable Development Initiative, increasing renter protections and adopting a Fair Chance Housing ordinance to expand housing stability. 

The pandemic laid bare the existing inequities in King County and the need for increased investment in the infrastructure of healthy communities: early learning and child care, public and behavioral health, workforce development and worker protections, and arts and culture. As an advocate and member of the King County Women’s Advisory Board, I have fought for increased and equitable investments in child care, behavioral health and services for survivors of gender-based violence.

Since the pandemic, King County has utilized County and federal funding to increase investments in housing, behavioral and public health, services to support survivors of gender-based violence, and local businesses, but even these investments are not adequate to meet the need. If elected, I would work to:

  • Urgently address the behavioral and public health crisis by working with community to pass the King County behavioral health levy to build crisis care centers, increase treatment beds, and expand the workforce of behavioral health providers countywide.
  • Increase access to union and family wage jobs for workers to meet the growing demands for a trained workforce across our County through investments in apprenticeships, training, small business, and infrastructure;
  • Improve access to career and technical schools, apprenticeship programs, and pathways to family wage careers for all by prioritizing and building a pipeline of frontline workers in trades, child care, behavioral health, and Metro Transit.
  • Help to end Gender-Based Violence through youth led education, effective prevention strategies, mobile advocacy, and behavioral health & housing investments to meet the complex needs of survivors.
  • Build on Best Starts for Kids and investments in youth, including before and after the bell development programs to address educational inequities, end the school to prison pipeline, and to ensure that all children and families in King County can reach their full potential and have the support to thrive.
  • Continue to invest in child care subsidies and the workforce of child care providers through retention and wage boosts.
  • Partner to increase equitable service delivery and actively dismantle racism as a public health crisis to better ensure the health of BIPOC communities, LGBTQIA communities, youth, the elderly, veterans, people with disabilities, and other vulnerable populations so all in our community can thrive.
  • Ensure that the arts, culture and science thrive and are accessible to all in King County through investment in artists and organizations such as 4Culture that support the arts.

Before, during, and after the pandemic I have been a transit rider and advocate. I started taking Metro as a teenager to get from Queen Anne to high school in the Central District and now commute with my son to his daycare and my job in downtown Seattle. To me—like so many King County residents—the bus has always meant mobility and freedom—to get to school, to work, to local businesses, and to the great destinations our county has to offer. In addition to being a rider, I am a longtime transit advocate. While serving as President of the UW Graduate and Professional Student Senate at UW Law, concerned that the UW’s U-Pass was threatened because of declining revenue, I worked with fellow student leaders to advocate for a universal U-pass to save the program. Most recently, I helped to mobilize community members and Democrats to urge their policymakers to support local and state public transit investments.

Presenting the GPSS/ASUW proposal universal U-Pass proposal to the Board of Regents.

The King County Council has a critical role in delivering frequent, reliable, and equitable transit to the region. While King County has led in delivering public transit options, our current system does not ensure that all our neighbors have access to fast, reliable, affordable public transit and the impact of the pandemic has left the County with work to do to help Metro Transit recover. In King County and in the 4th Council District, lack of transportation and transportation costs disproportionately impacts communities of color, disabled people, youth, and those with fixed incomes. As your King Council Councilmember, I will work to create a world-class public transit system where everyone in King County has access to reliable, affordable, fast, and safe transit options. We must elevate community voices and particularly those disproportionately impacted by bus deserts and lack of access to transit options to further mobility access and justice. Together we can deliver on the following priorities: 

  • Improve Metro bus access, frequency, reliability and safety. Restore and increase service hours, frequency, and routes in King County and speed up the transition to zero-emission buses. Build a coalition to pass a countywide measure to adopt a new local option transit revenue to fully implement a system like Metro Connects and deliver faster, frequent, and accessible bus service that connects every community member to the regional transit system and offers incentives to build the workforce of bus operators. The measure should connect every neighbor in the 4th Council District to frequent all day service including, but not limited to frequent two-way service in bus deserts like Sunset Hill.  Work with partners in the labor community to direct funding to more and better incentives to hire and retain operators, mechanics, and the other staff who make Metro possible.
  • Deliver light rail to Ballard and equitable transit-oriented development. As our region is growing rapidly, work to ensure that light rail to Ballard is delivered on time, connects to pedestrian centers, bus routes, and fully utilizes opportunities for transit-oriented development in a way that creates additional housing and connects our communities.
  • Fully implement an income-based fare structure to ensure free transit for those who are cost burdened. King County recently implemented a zero-fare policy for youth so that now all youth can ride transit for free. King County should build on this program by fully adopting an income-based fare system that includes a free transit pass program for all our neighbors that cannot afford to ride.
  • Create a program to require and incentivize more employers to fully subsidize transit passes modeled after the Transit Riders Union’s ORCAS FOR ALL campaign.
  • Restorative enforcement policies. King County has taken big steps to move away from punitive and towards restorative fare enforcement, but we must continue to work with Sound Transit and other agencies to move towards just and equitable fare enforcement.

Climate change is an existential crisis that is affecting all of our communities and disproportionately affecting Black, Indigenous and communities of color, immigrant, and low-income communities. King County must be a regional leader in urgently tackling climate change and advancing climate justice. 

As an environmental attorney and activist for climate action and justice, I have advocated for statewide and local measures to reduce carbon emissions and rapidly transition off fossil fuels. I am running to be an environmental leader on the King County Council and partner with communities across King County because we need more urgent action to address our climate crisis. As your Councilmember, I will partner with disproportionately impacted communities to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help to create sustainable and resilient communities.

The County has taken significant steps by adopting and moving towards implementation of the King County 2020 Strategic Climate Action Plan with a focus on climate equity and community. But the Council must more actively engage frontline communities and develop policies to advance climate action and justice through clean transportation and transit-oriented development, equitable green jobs, green buildings, and investments to electrify and transition off fossil fuels. The County should further environmental protection through the restoration and conservation of open space, recycling and solid waste infrastructure, and necessary upgrades to our wastewater treatment system to maintain clean water and prevent spills.

If elected, I hope to deliver on the following priorities:

  • Advance climate action and justice by partnering with disproportionately impacted communities and local governments to increase public transit options and electrify buses and vehicles, expand climate equity capital improvements, energy efficient buildings, and missing middle housing and urban development. Build a coalition to pass a climate bond ordinance to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector and the built environment. 
  • Establish equitable pathways to green apprenticeships and jobs to advance sustainability and ensure an equitable and just transition to a clean energy economy.
  • Upgrade King County’s wastewater treatment systems to ensure we are protecting our clean water and prevent pollution.
  • Invest in King County’s solid waste infrastructure, create new recycling markets and increase the purchasing of recycling content to achieve zero waste of resources by 2030.
  • Steward sustainable use of natural resources by working with the King Conservation District and empowering local communities.

King County must do more to ensure that all community members are safe and connected in their communities. This requires re-imagining our public safety and criminal legal systems through rooting out racial disparities and increasing investments in upstream community-based solutions, diversion, reentry and gun violence prevention programs that that have been shown to reduce recidivism and lower crime. When youth and community members are in crisis, King County should lead with appropriate interventions and diversion into behavioral health and substance abuse treatment, housing, and community-based programs. Adult detention should be limited and include appropriate services and supports to break the cycle of recidivism and barriers for formally criminally legally involved individuals. 

  • Continue progress toward the achievable goal of zero youth incarceration and end the prison pipeline through continued and expanded investments in early interventions, restorative justice, youth diversion, and gun violence prevention programs. 
  • Enhance public and community safety by reducing crime, and recidivism through investment in crime prevention strategies and continued expansion of behavioral health and substance abuse treatment services, diversion programs, and alternatives to incarceration. Invest in first responders and crisis response teams and pass the behavioral health levy to create five new regional crisis care centers and additional treatment beds. 
  • Prevent and reduce gun violence by partnering with the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and state government to pass gun violence prevention policies and invest in community-based programs to interrupt the cycle of gun violence.
  • Re-imagine the King County Correctional Center and create a King County reentry pilot program to help criminally legally involved individuals access vital services to reduce recidivism and address racial disparities. The King County Correctional Center is failing too many criminally legally involved individuals, particularly those with chronic behavioral health and substance abuse conditions, and needs to be resized and re-imagined. King County should ensure alternatives to the King County Correctional System are available for vulnerable populations with chronic mental health and substance abuse conditions. King County should pilot a voluntary reentry program to reduce recidivism by ensuring that those who exit the King County Correctional Center are connected with health, housing, skill development and mentorship.