Work the vote — Seattle District 2

Work the Vote is Working Washington's Voters Guide for the 2015 Elections. Follow along here and find out how the candidates for Seattle Council District 2 (Southeast Seattle) make their case for workers' votes. 


1) MAKE A BRIEF VIDEO

We asked all 18 candidates for Seattle City Council to make a brief, simple video — using just their voice, their cell phone, and maybe a selfie stick — that answers the question:

HOW WILL WORKERS BE BETTER OFF IF YOU'RE ELECTED?

Here's what the candidates sent in:

BRUCE HARRELL

TAMMY MORALES


2) CHAMBER OF SECRETS?

Big business lobby groups like the Chamber of Commerce and the Washington Restaurant Association are typically the most prominent opponents of higher wages, paid sick days, and other workers rights issues. They also endorse candidates, but their process and agenda are bit of a mystery. We know they have questionnaires and even interviews, but what happens there is rarely made public, and it's not always clear why they end up backing the candidates they do.

SO WE ASKED EACH CANDIDATE TO GO PUBLIC WITH THE CANDIDATE QUESTIONNAIRES THEY COMPLETED FOR THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND THE WASHINGTON RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION (AKA WASHINGTON HOSPITALITY PAC).

We also asked for them to answer two additional questions: 

Here's what the candidates sent in:

Bruce Harrell

  No CASE questionnaire provided.

No CASE questionnaire provided.

For all related questionnaire requests, I ask all organizations to contact the respective organizations about releasing the questionnaires.  I have granted the authority to these organizations to release my questionnaire.  My positions advocating for fair wages, equal treatment and employee empowerment have been consistent and transparent.

1) If you or your opponent has received an endorsement, direct contributions, or an independent expenditure on your behalf from either of these groups.

These organizations are among the 45 organizations that have endorsed me for Seattle City Council District 2.  I have also received endorsements from 26 labor organizations representing 200,000 teachers, nurses, construction workers, food workers, janitors, security guards, transit operators and others represented by UFCW 21, M.L. King County Labor Council, UNITE HERE Local 8, SEIU Healthcare 775NW, and other labor groups.  The labor movement supports me and not my opponent; I am the only one with a background in fighting for labor rights. 

2) Why you think these business lobby groups made the endorsements and spent their resources as they did.

Again, I advise contacting these groups and ask them why they endorsed me for Seattle City Council. 

I believe I have the track-record of working collaboratively with labor, businesses, and social justice organizations, and the ability to just get things done. The growing disparity among underrepresented diverse cultures and a weakening middle-class needs to be at the forefront of our city politics.  I am known as a strong legal advocate for fairness to all; that is why social justice leaders support me.  Ban the box, paid sick and safe time, minimum wage, policy responsibility for Seattle Office for Civil Rights, are all values that they know I hold high. 

As an attorney, I have worked in board rooms, courtrooms, with neighborhood communities across Seattle, and walked our toughest streets.  I have served as counsel to many non-profits, housing and social justice organizations.  This has allowed me to develop strong listening skills and advocacy skills to find the best solutions for all.  The people of Seattle know that with me, what you see is what you get.  They can trust in my abilities to be transparent and forthcoming and I have demonstrated that to the City. 

Tammy Morales

  Click image for full CASE questionnaire

Click image for full CASE questionnaire

I did not submit a WRA questionnaire because I was not seeking their support.

1) If you or your opponent has received an endorsement, direct contributions, or an independent expenditure on your behalf from either of these groups.

I haven’t received endorsements, direct contributions, or any IE from either of these groups because I am an outspoken advocate for progressive taxation and other measures to protect small businesses and low-wage workers. This is stark contrast to my opponent, who has received maxed out donations from both CASE and WRA.

2) Why you think these business lobby groups made the endorsements and spent their resources as they did.

My opponent received these contributions because he has been in office for 8 years and in that time has gotten very close to the powerbrokers and others who spend to influence policy in our city. Mr. Harrell has been a reliable ally for both of these organizations in his time in office, during which time he presided over growing income inequality, an affordability crisis that is pushing people out of the city, and the displacement of small businesses. 

 


3) NO PLACE LIKE HOME?

Affordable housing is a growing crisis in Seattle, so we here's what we asked the candidates:

FIND HOUSING ON CRAIGSLIST OR SOME OTHER SOURCE THAT THEY COULD AFFORD AS A FULL-TIME MINIMUM WAGE WORKER, THEN PLAN OUT THEIR COMMUTE — BY PUBLIC TRANSIT — TO THE BALLARD TACO BELL (THE SITE OF SEATTLE’S FIRST FAST FOOD STRIKE LINE). 

We also asked them to include a link to the listing they picked, how they’d be able to afford it, how much time their commute would take, and anything else they noticed along the the way.

Here's what the candidates sent in:

Bruce Harrell

No answer received yet.

Tammy Morales

Property listing:

  • https://seattle.craigslist.org/see/apa/5256174258.html
  • The listing is from Craigslist and is a room that is available in a 4 bedroom house. It is located in North Beacon Hill, which is within District 2. Rent for the apartment is $650 and around $80 for utilities a month.

How you would be able to afford it:

  • You would need to set aside at least $730 to cover the cost of rent and utilities per month. This leaves you with a little over half of your monthly income for covering other personal expenses, such as food, transportation costs, savings, and bills. However, initial estimated up-front costs for moving into the home include a security deposit (half of monthly rent - $325), first month’s rent and last month’s rent ($1300), and screening fees ($50). This means you would need to have at least $1675 readily available before moving to this location.

Commuting time to work:

  • The commute from the house to the Ballard Taco Bell would take about 1 hour and 2 minute. The house is about a 6 minute walk from the Beacon Hill Link station. You would take the Link rail to University Street Station for about 12 minute and then walk 3 minutes to the Seneca St and 3rd Ave bus stop for the D Line towards Ballard. You would arrive at the Ballard Taco Bell after 18 stops (about 29 minutes).

Some assumptions made include:

  • Looking for a residence or room for a single, young person
  • 1 bedroom/studio style apartments and multiple bedroom houses split between several individuals are more affordable for a person living on $1500 a month
  • A potential issue with this residence is that it is not wheelchair accessible and could limit access for a tenant

ON RUNFORTHEMONEY.ORG…

Check out runforthemoney.org for info about big-dollar independent expenditures in this year's City Council races.

ABOUT DISTRICT 2

Seattle Council District 2 covers Southeast Seattle. City council races are officially non-partisan — nobody is listed on the ballot as a Democrat, a Republican, or a member of any other party. Bruce Harrell is an incumbent member of the City Council. 

Note: People who live in District 2 also get to vote in the races for the two council seats that represent everyone in the city — Position 8 and Position 9, so check out those guides too.

RETURN YOUR BALLOT BY NOVEMBER 3RD

Ballots will be mailed out in mid-October, and must be postmarked by Election Day, Tuesday, November 3, 2015