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April 24, 2015

Councilmember Kshama Sawant

David Moseley


Before I respond to the specific questions submitted by Councilmember Sawant, I
would like to state my overall philosophy and values that lead to my responses. I
believe strongly in social equity regardless of race, sexual orientation, religion,
income, or gender; equal justice for all; economic opportunity; and greater
income equity. I want to see a Seattle that reflects these values and is a city with
a diverse population of cultures, incomes, and races. How to take those values
and enact practical programs and policies that reflect those values is the
challenge of government.

1. Do you support rent control? I would focus our energy on programs and
policies that are achievable and can increase affordable housing now. Rent
control is not legal in this state and the state legislature is unlikely to
reverse that position in the near future.
2. Do you support enacting the maximum legal linkage fee on developers,
estimated to be close to the equivalent of discounting 10% of apartments to
affordable rates? Since I am not an attorney I will set aside the question of
the legality of a linkage fee. I am not philosophically opposed to a linkage
fee if one could be structured that will actually aid the supply of market
rate and affordable housing. I do not support the current structure of the
linkage fee. However, I believe there may be a linkage fee structure that
could help achieve our shared goal of increasing affordable and market rate
housing. We are working on this in the HALA and I am hopeful that we will
come forward with some recommendations.
3. What do you think are the most urgent public decisions facing
councilmembers in 2015? In this order: 1) enacting programs and policies
that will significantly increase the supply of affordable and market rate
housing; 2) approving and sending on to the voters a transportation levy;

and 3) crafting a budget that is financially responsible and increases funding

for human services.
4. How should Seattle address the growth in homelessness? We need more
resources made available to house and serve the homeless particularly
those with mental illness and drug dependency. We need to provide more
services that help lead people to self-sufficiency.
5. Do you support increase the penalties and remedies for wage theft? Yes.
Wage theft is illegal and should be penalized harshly.
6. Do you think human services in Seattle are adequately funded? If not, how
would you fund them? I do not think human services are adequately
funded. With my background in municipal finances and as a city manager, I
would work very hard during the budget process to identify more funds for
human services.
7. What is your opinion of Bertha and the tunnel project? I support the tunnel
project and believe the waterfront project is a once in a life time
opportunity to reconnect Seattle to a primary reason it was founded this
wonderful harbor.
8. In the light of gender pay gap, would you have voted for or against the tip
penalty in the $15/hour minimum wage law? I support the $15/hour wage
law and the compromise that was reached by the citizens committee and
approved by the Council and the Mayor.
9. Do you think Black Lives Matter, and do you think it is important for
politicians to say, Black Lives Matter? I certainly think black lives matter.
I believe all lives matter regardless of the color of the skin, gender, religion
or sexual orientation. While it is important for public figures to say that all
lives matter, it is more important that they lead the effort to do the hard
work necessary to transform our society so that will become reality.
10.Do you support the business head tax, capital gains tax, and other forms of
progressive taxation? I believe the tax structure in Washington State is very
regressive and I have supported efforts in the past to make it more
progressive such as the recent income tax initiative. I would continue to
work for and support a more progressive tax system.


Seattle City Councilmembers