skip to main content
Elections
seattle mayoral race 2021 mayor
Enlarge Icon
Credit: KUOW / Teo Popescu design

How would Seattle's mayoral candidates handle pandemic recovery?

Seattleites are voting for a new mayor this year. We're asking all the 2021 primary candidates how they would address a range of issues facing the city.

This week, we ask about recovering from the pandemic.

QUESTION: The Covid-19 pandemic has affected nearly everything: Our economy/personal incomes, our work, our physical and mental health care, our relationships, and our kids. What’s the one thing you’d do differently to tackle Seattle’s Covid recovery?*

*This question was asked before Washington state opened up on June 30.

Clinton Bliss

"Integrity, Compassion, Wise Action. Independent Democrat."

caption: Clinton Bliss is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary election.
Enlarge Icon
Clinton Bliss is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary election.
Credit: Courtesy of the Bliss Campaign

"Re-open our city as soon as possible. We need to make a timeline and publish it so that people know that we will be opening up and that they need to take steps now to protect themselves. Make our city safe and accessible for residents, businesses and tourists by ending tent and RV living in our public spaces. As mayor, I will do all I can to cease the trend of enabling anti-social behavior and using addiction, mental illness or homelessness as a legal defense against any crime."

Colleen Echohawk

"Enrolled member of the Pawnee Nation, Candidate For Seattle Mayor."

(Receiving democracy vouchers)

caption: Colleen Echohawk is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary.
Enlarge Icon
Colleen Echohawk is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary.
Credit: Courtesy of the Colleen Echohawk Campaign

"Covid-19 illuminated the health equity issues in our city. Education, race, job, income and housing security all have as great an impact on our health as lifestyle choices and healthcare. An Echohawk administration will focus on the social determinants of health equity. Children who live in the south end have higher rates of asthma than their peers who live north of the ship canal. That is unacceptable. We will follow the data and address the issues of health inequity across Seattle."

Jessyn Farrell

"A former legislator, nonprofit leader, and working mom who knows how to make progress on tough issues."

(Receiving democracy vouchers)

caption: Jessyn Farrell is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary election.
Enlarge Icon
Jessyn Farrell is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary election.
Credit: Courtesy of the Jessyn Farrell Campaign

"With the near universal experience of isolation during the pandemic, we have the opportunity to remake policy based on the importance of human connection. We can fight against all the ways isolation infuses our cultural narratives and policy choices and replace them with systems and policies that allow for cooperation, collaboration and connection, such as massive investments in childcare and opening up 100s of miles of our city streets to walking, biking, playing, shopping, and dining."

Lorena González

"President of the Seattle City Council and candidate for Mayor of Seattle."

(Receiving democracy vouchers)

caption: Lorena González is a Seattle City Council Member running for mayor in the 2021 primary election.
Enlarge Icon
Lorena González is a Seattle City Council Member running for mayor in the 2021 primary election.
Credit: Courtesy of the Lorena González Campaign

"Covid-19 has exposed and deepened the wealth gap and income inequalities that many of us felt for years leading up to this most recent economic crisis. Simply going back to the way things were before Covid will not solve this problem. That's why I will fight for a new normal that prioritizes progressive revenue, elevates labor standards, creates pathways to college and careers through expansion of programs, like Seattle Promise, and takes care of our working parents through household supports."

Bruce Harrell

"I’m running for mayor to reset city hall, unite Seattle around our progressive values, and move our city forward."

(Receiving democracy vouchers)

caption: Bruce Harrell is a former Seattle City Council Member and candidate for mayor in the 2021 primary election.
Enlarge Icon
Bruce Harrell is a former Seattle City Council Member and candidate for mayor in the 2021 primary election.
Credit: Courtesy of the Bruce Harrell Campaign

"It’s critical our community help lead and prioritize recovery. That’s why I’ll expand participatory budgeting, giving each of the seven council districts $10 million for projects specifically in those neighborhoods. This will require council members to actually work alongside their communities, investing in localized priorities: small business recovery, homelessness solutions, parks and open space, pedestrian and public safety strategies, and other projects that create jobs and better our city."

Rodney Holt (write-in candidate)

"I have the social aptitude to navigate through these perilous times and unite the people of Seattle."

(Receiving democracy vouchers)

caption: Rodney Holt is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary election.
Enlarge Icon
Rodney Holt is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary election.
Credit: Courtesy of the Rodney Holt Campaign

"Include mental health therapy option in everybody's health insurance plans."

Andrew Grant Houston

“'Ace' is a queer architect of color, small business owner, activist, millennial, renter, and transit rider."

(Receiving democracy vouchers)

caption: Andrew Grant Houston is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary election.
Enlarge Icon
Andrew Grant Houston is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary election.
Credit: Justin Khanna

"Keep public land in public hands. We know that investing in the programs that keep people safe, moving, and housed—rather than disinvesting in them—in times of economic downturn reduces the time it takes to bounce back. So the city will hold land to reduce the cost of housing and other development projects in order to allow the community to direct their funds towards services and other holistic investments that support Seattle’s health and wellbeing."

Arthur Langlie

"I bring a new set of skills to this position as a builder of teams and solutions."

caption: Arthur Langlie is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary.
Enlarge Icon
Arthur Langlie is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary.
Credit: Courtesy of the Arthur Langlie Campaign

"Vibrant and healthy parks and greenways are crucial for our health – and our economy. I want to see our parks restored as world-famous gathering places. Showing the pride our city has had for both a beautiful downtown and parks is not only important to our cities Covid recovery, but it will keep us all healthier. Children unable to play sports and enjoy parks is unacceptable. Sadly, we are seeing this take place currently such as in Ballard’s Gilman Park and Capitol Hill’s Miller Park."

Lance Randall

"I am a problem solver who will prioritize delivering results for our residents."

(Receiving democracy vouchers)

caption: Lance Randall is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary election.
Enlarge Icon
Lance Randall is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary election.
Credit: Courtesy of the Lance Randall Campaign

"I want to ensure that all Seattleites come out of our Covid recovery feeling mentally supported. I will Increase capacity of our behavioral health services and substance use treatment providers by identifying ways to provide necessary infrastructure. This can enhance the number of behavioral health and treatment use providers, and wherever possible, we will support the use of telehealth to support preferences since the Covid-19 pandemic."

Don Rivers

(Receiving democracy vouchers)

caption: Don Rivers is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary.
Enlarge Icon
Don Rivers is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary.
Credit: Courtesy of Don Rivers Campaign

"We must first understand we are all in this together. There is no need to feel that your doing something wrong or not enough of to take of your family and still trying to provide. I will continue to work with our Federal agencies to bring funding to our city. To help Seattle during Covid recovery. I will also be doing a forensic audit of all departments to see how funding could be better allocated."

Bobby Tucker

caption: Bobby Tucker is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary.
Enlarge Icon
Bobby Tucker is a candidate for Seattle mayor in the 2021 primary.
Credit: Courtesy of Bobby Tucker

"I will be a leader that leads by example. Letting the communities we've come to far to turn around, let's not rush and be wide open because this Covid is not 100% contained yet, so let's continue to be cautious."

NOTE: Each Seattle mayoral candidate was asked to describe themselves and answer the same questions. Follow the coverage leading up to the August primary at KUOW.org/elections. Stay tuned to KUOW's Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages for an opportunity to offer your own answers to these questions.

Colleen Echohawk is a former KUOW board member.

Candidates invited to participate in this survey but who did not respond by deadline: Henry Clay Dennison, James Donaldson, Stan Lippmann, Casey Sixkiller, Omari Tahir-Garrett.