Issues
That Affect Us All

Together we can make District 5 the best place to live, work, learn, and play.

I have worked very closely with immigrant and refugee families in Lake City and across District 5. I have worked with a team of community organizers to empower underserved communities across cultures. ​I created and managed several youth leadership, civic participation, and career and education programs to empower the next generation of leaders in District 5. And I worked with community partners to create the Lake City Mural project to transform the neighborhood, empower youth, support local businesses, improve public safety, and build community.

1. Affordable Housing and Homelessness

Homelessness and housing affordability are very closely linked. Affordable housing stabilizes families for future economic development and continuity, to grow in the community. It is important to help to finance units available for people experiencing homelessness and to transition into permanent housing. We should provide more rental support and provide counseling and direction to access housing. We should provide more housing options, rezoning to allow more access to independent living, including mother-in-law units and temporary living on individual lots owned within the City by residents willing to allow temporary space. 

We should continue support of voter approved bonding initiatives and City of Seattle support of tax credit investments both private and public with other public lender’s such as the Housing Trust Fund and the Washington Housing Finance Commission.

In order to produce more affordable housing, market rate developers need to work closer with the nonprofit affordable housing developers, in joint ventures to increase affordable housing units. Increased funding with state and federal resources is needed and thus the City needs to work to advocate for more funding to be able to increase the availability of funding for new and redeveloped properties to secure, safe and increased unit availability.

Access to services and information for availability of affordable housing within the community is essential. If more project managers and onsite managers had adequate information for direction for people with needs they would have better access to help more people move from homelessness to stable housing. Special attention should be on areas of high numbers of homelessness and people of color, providing further support for housing. We need more multi-use properties that provide affordable housing units, retail, and community continuity. We should support nonprofits to purchase and transition older existing housing stock in order to maintain neighborhood continuity and cohesion with City funding in order to keep tenants in the units and allow nonprofit property owners to maintain current rents.

2. Equity(bringing more resources to our three undeserved urban villages; Lake City, Bitter Lake, and Aurora-Licton urban villages.)

District 5 neighborhoods like Lake City, Broadview-Bitter Lake, and Aurora-Licton Springs have felt neglected and left out of City neighborhood planning and programs for too long. The demographics of Seattle have changed, many parts of North Seattle/District 5 have become some of the most diverse and underserved neighborhoods in all of Seattle. As many neighborhoods in Seattle have gentrified District 5 neighborhoods like Lake City, Broadview-Bitter Lake, and Aurora Licton Springs have become more beautifully diverse; however, the resources and support for our neighborhoods has been disappointing and frustrating.  

Neighborhood groups like Lake City Neighborhood Alliance, Broadview-Bitter Lake, Licton Springs Community Council, and Aurora Licton Village have been doing great work helping their neighborhoods by bringing attention issues that are important to their neighborhoods, but they need more support from the City; for example, helping to provide meeting space and providing training assistance and support to be more effective at reaching their most underserved neighbors. As a board member of Lake City Neighborhood Alliance, board member of Meadowbrook Community Care, Co-Chair of the North District Council, and steering committee member for Build Lake City Together; I have brought together a diverse group of people to address and solve the biggest challenges in our neighborhood. District 5 needs a grassroots and collaborative Seattle City Council member that brings together a diverse group of people, listening to their concerns and ideas to find our solutions together.

A recent success we’ve had is encouraging the youth serving nonprofit organization, Coyote Central, to expand to North Seattle/District 5’s neighborhood of Lake City. A diverse team of ‘Lake Citizens’ encouraged and worked with the leadership team of Coyote Central to expand their creative classes to District 5 because of the lack of youth programs we have to support our youth in District 5.

Coyote Central has a pay-what-you-can model for teaching kids, 10-15yrs, creative skills like cooking, painting, acting, computer skills, and more. These are exactly the kind of youth programs we need more of in District 5 to support our youth and to help them live healthy and successful lives. For too long District 5 has been without many out of these types of quality programs for our diverse and underserved families who will really benefit from them. The expansion of Coyote Central to District 5 will be called Coyote North. Coyote North is going to be a game changer for the kids and families who live, work, learn, and play in District 5. Stay tuned for all the amazing art, music, and food the kids are going to create at Coyote North.

3. Protecting our Environment (solarize District 5 project, restore and protect Thornton Creek Watershed).

In order for us to fight climate change we need to generate more of our power from the sun.  District 5 Business leaders like Hellbent Brewery Compay and Sphere Solar Energy are leading this effort by installing a solar system on Hellbent Brewery Company’s roof. It’s the largest solar energy system for a brewery in Washington State.  It’s a great example of what local businesses and residents of Seattle can do to fight climate change.

I believe we should encourage more businesses, apartments, and business across District 5 and the City to install solar and other green technologies so that we can move towards meeting our climate change goals. I propose we create the “Solarize District 5” project which will provide incentives for solar energy projects on businesses, apartments, and homes all across District 5 and will train youth and adults at North Seattle College and in partnership with local unions to create living wage careers.

The Thornton Creek Watershed is the heart and soul of District 5. Thornton Creek Watershed connects all of us and improves the quality of our lives, it’s important we work together to protect and restore the watershed. District 5 community groups and nonprofits like Thornton Creek Alliance have been leading the way by “encouraging individuals, groups, schools, businesses, and government to work together in addressing the environmental restoration of the creek system preserving and restoring an ecological balance throughout the Thornton Creek watershed”. I believe we all have to work together to preserve and restore an ecological balance throughout our Thornton Creek watershed. There are many opportunities to restore the watershed and make it available for families to enjoy. I’ve been working with several community groups in District 5 to create new open spaces all across District 5.

I’ve also had the honor of creating the Little Brook Youth Corps, with community partners like Seattle Parks Foundation and Lake City Neighborhood Alliance. The Little Brook Youth Corps program empowers youth to take an active role in restoring Little Brook, a degraded creek that runs into the Thornton Creek Watershed, while gaining job skills and improving the community. I believe we need to work together to create more youth programs like the Little Brook Youth Corps because programs like this deliver multiple environmental, economic and social benefits for District 5; especially for young people, low-income immigrant families, and other traditionally marginalized populations.

These types of youth programs increase community awareness of the Thornton Creek watershed and the need and opportunity for environmental restoration and neighborhood beautification. Beautified and restored open spaces along neglected and polluted places in District 5 will create a stronger sense of place in neighborhoods where residents have historically lacked community cohesion and will improve water quality and habitat.

4. Transportation (expand light rail and improve access and reliability of public transportation)

North Seattle/District 5 was promised sidewalks when we were annexed by Seattle in 1954; however, we still lack safe and walkable neighborhoods. Many of our streets lack sidewalks and are unsafe for families and their kids. Residents of District 5 have been pleading for safety improvements for decades while our most vulnerable residents risk getting hit by a cars everyday. I will focus on building safe routes to schools and more sidewalks on our most used arterial streets and highways; for example, Aurora Ave, Lake City Way, and Greenwood Ave.

District 5 will have three new light rail stations in the next 10 years. District 5 community groups like, the Pinehurst Community Council, have been leading the way by successfully advocating for the 130th and I-5 light rail station. Without the hard work and hundreds of hours of volunteer work by the Pinehurst Community Council and other community groups, we would not have this important light rail stop to serve our District 5 communities. However, in order for people to reach the new light rail stations in our district, we need to improve the east-west bus connections to connect people to the light rail stations.

5. Youth Leaders (more leadership, civic participation, and career training programs).

Youth in District 5 need more access to programs, support, and resources. Three years ago I worked with a diverse team of community groups and leaders to create the Lake City ‘Young Leaders’ program (LCYL). I created the LCYL program because I saw there is a lack of youth programs in District 5 to empower youth to take an active role in their community; especially for low-income immigrant families, and other traditionally marginalized populations. The LCYL program is a community-based leadership and career training program that empowers historically marginalized youth with strong 21st century soft skills and connects youth to future education and career opportunities. The program supports youth to develop multiple skills through community service/project-based learning while offering youth multiple opportunities for leadership.

The LCYL program is intended to empower youth to be leaders in their own neighborhood and to build long-term leadership capacity for underserved communities in the City.  Service learning projects and experiences are focused on addressing community needs and empowering youth with the tools and knowledge to improve their community. Youth learn from and network with leaders of community-based organizations, educational institutions, and businesses. Youth are given support from adult mentors as they learn to plan, design, and implement a variety of community events in their neighborhood. I believe we should support and create similar youth programs all across District 5 to support our youth. Let’s create a District 5 ‘Young Leaders’ program.

I’ve also had the honor of creating the Little Brook Youth Corps program, with community partners like Seattle Parks Foundation and Lake City Neighborhood Alliance. The Little Brook Youth Corps empowers youth to take an active role in restoring Little Brook, a degraded creek that runs into the Thornton Creek Watershed, while gaining job skills and improving the community. I believe we need to work together to create more youth programs like the Little Brook Youth Corps all across District 5, because programs like this deliver multiple environmental, economic and social benefits for District 5; especially for young people, low-income immigrant families, and other traditionally marginalized populations.

Environmentally based youth programs like the Little Brook Youth Corps program will increase community awareness of District 5’s Thornton Creek watershed and the need and opportunity for environmental restoration and neighborhood beautification. Beautified and restored open spaces along neglected and polluted places in District 5 will create a stronger sense of place in neighborhoods where residents have historically lacked community cohesion and will improve water quality and habitat.

A recent success we’ve had is encouraging the youth serving nonprofit organization, Coyote Central, to expand to North Seattle/District 5’s neighborhood of Lake City. I and a diverse team of ‘Lake Citizens’ encouraged and worked with the leadership team of Coyote Central to expand their classes to District 5 because of the lack of youth programs we have to support our youth in District 5.

Coyote Central has a pay-what-you-can model for teaching kids, 10-15yrs, creative skills like cooking, painting, acting, computer skills, and more. These are exactly the kind of youth programs we need more of in District 5 to support our youth and to help them live healthy and successful lives. For too long District 5 has been without many of these types of youth programs to support our diverse and underserved families who will really benefit from quality family programs. The expansion of Coyote Central to District 5 will be called Coyote North. Coyote North is going to be a game changer for the kids and families who live, work, learn, and play here. Stay tuned for all the amazing art, music, and food the kids are going to create at Coyote North!