City of Seattle, City Attorney Candidates
Education: B.A. Sociology, Baylor University; J.D., Willamette University College of Law
Occupation: attorney, arbitraor, teacher, mom
I’m running for Seattle City Attorney because our city must reconcile that it is failing to meet the needs of the most vulnerable as well as the basic functions of protecting public health and safety.
When I moved to Seattle in 1996 for a job in the Sonics’ front office, our city had found a way to meet those needs. Before my first child was born, in 2008, walking to the courthouse downtown was safe. By the time I had my second child in 2011, our streets were becoming dangerous. Now, employees and jurors are told not to use the main entrance because it’s so unsafe. The same can be said for many of our neighborhoods.
My kids began to ask questions about why people were living alongside Seattle’s roadways in unconscionable conditions, less humane than in a UN refugee camp where I worked with people fleeing civil war. Even our children know what’s happening in our city isn’t right.
The City Attorney is a critical link to public safety, downtown and in our neighborhoods, deciding when to prosecute many types of criminal activity. I will provide balanced leadership that makes us smart on crime: proactive not reactive. I will be a collaborative leader bringing compassion, seeking progress and establishing working relationships within our city and region to restore public safety. By fixing this critical link of public health and safety, we begin to see improvement in the livability of our city. With your vote, we can create a safer, more compassionate city for all of us.
Endorsements: Ed McKenna, Judge, Seattle Municipal Court (Retired); Chris Bayley, King County prosecutor (former); Louise Miller, WA Arts Commission (former), Seattle Opera Board; Tom Hansen, author (in recovery); more endorsements at neighborsforann.com
Education: J.D. Seattle University School of Law, University of Washington Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology
Occupation: Owner at NTK Law. Public Defender. Bartender and Server
I am running for City Attorney because Seattle must stop doing what we know doesn’t work.
The Seattle City Attorney’s office only deals with low-level offenses. As a public defender, I’ve defended people who were prosecuted for stealing a sandwich or wandering into the street while in crisis. We must stop spending the majority of our city budget on policing, prosecuting, and jailing specifically the poor, the disabled, and BIPOC. These prosecutions do not solve the underlying problems, and don’t make us safer. Seattle is facing a crisis due to a severe lack of affordable housing and available treatment and health care options. Prosecuting people trying to survive these crisis conditions only creates further desperation and instability, and it must stop immediately.
State violence has been rising steadily over the years, as police budgets grow and police themselves are not held responsible for the consequences of their actions. Lawsuits against police that actually make it into court are settled with taxpayer dollars. Neither the individual cops, nor the department suffer any consequences. This is especially evident displacing vulnerable community members through sweeps. Police are bold and brazen in their abuses of power because they know they can’t be touched.
We have the opportunity to make real change in Seattle. Seattle would benefit by treating the poor and unsheltered with compassion instead of spending lavish sums of money punishing and destabilizing them. We have a climate and housing crisis because we let corporations off the hook and cling to antiquated zoning laws the preclude affordable housing and density. Changing these things will actually make our city safer, more equitable, and more environmentally sustainable. We’ve built a system that is not working, and it is time to dismantle it from the inside. Your vote for me will help make that a reality.
Education: BA, Yale University; JD, University of Virginia
Occupation: City Attorney; former chair, Office of Police Accountability Review Board
As Seattle recovers from the pandemic and continues addressing critical issues of policing, criminal legal reform, and turnover in City Hall, I’m proud to provide consistent, principled, and progressive leadership for our city--at a time when we need it most. Seattle elects an independent City Attorney to provide important checks and balances with the Mayor and Council, as well as advocate for the people of our city. Our office prosecutes misdemeanor crimes and supports victims impacted by domestic violence, gun violence, and other harms. We lead on police reform, and hold powerful corporations accountable. Now is not the time for an untested voice in this critical office.
Improving Public Safety: We are dedicated to enforcement of the most serious crimes, and partner with proven diversion programs to help people afflicted with addiction and behavioral health issues get treatment and support instead of cycling through jail. We’re removing firearms from our streets and fighting for stronger gun laws at every level.
Demanding Police Reform: I’ve personally led our decade-long partnership with the Department of Justice to reduce excessive force at the Seattle Police Department--earning the praise of the Federal monitor supervising this effort. We have new laws in place to make lasting and overdue change, but we still have more to achieve.
A Level Playing Field: Having tackled equity priorities like vacating marijuana charges, fighting Trump’s racist immigration policies, and defeating Tim Eyman’s attacks on transit, we are now defending our right to tax wealthy corporations, hold polluters accountable, and keep people housed post-pandemic.
Endorsements: Attorney General Bob Ferguson, Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay, Reform leader Lisa Daugaard, State Senators Rebecca Saldaña, David Frockt, Jamie Pedersen, State Reps Nicole Macri, Kirsten Harris-Talley, Javier Valdez; Alliance for Gun Responsibility Victory Fund, MLK Labor Council, local Democratic groups, and more!