Politics
Next Monday, the Seattle City Council will vote on which applicant should serve the remainder of Rob Johnson’s term. He resigned from his seat representing Northeast Seattle earlier this year.
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Next Monday, the Seattle City Council will vote on which applicant should serve the remainder of Rob Johnson’s term. He resigned from his seat representing Northeast Seattle earlier this year.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Jason Pagano

Housing is most urgent question for Seattle council candidates looking to fill vacant seat

Seattle City Council members heard from 11 candidates seeking to fill the council’s vacant seat on Wednesday. The theme of the night was housing.

“Same question!” was the refrain from Councilmember Lorena González as 11 applicants for the council vacancy approached the microphone.

She asked each applicant where they would seek funds for more affordable housing.

Next Monday, the council will vote on which applicant should serve the remainder of Rob Johnson’s term. He resigned from his seat representing Northeast Seattle earlier this year.

Renter and business developer Sherae Lascelles, who has helped with campaigns for the Sex Workers Outreach Project of Seattle, said she’d be willing to revive city’s failed “head tax” on businesses.

"I look forward to it actually going through the next time we try," she said, in response to questions from Councilmember Kshama Sawant.

Planning commissioner David Goldberg said a well-communicated tax proposal might succeed.

“And have a good outreach plan and build political support before we do it," he added adding that businesses that oppose it might be willing to lobby for other more progressive tax proposals at the state legislature.

But civil engineer Kathryn Gardow said the head tax was too hard on grocers and it was important for council members to listen to public input.