Work the vote — Seattle District 5

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 5 (North 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:

Sandy Brown

Debora Juarez


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:

Sandy Brown

  Click image for full CASE questionnaire.

Click image for full CASE questionnaire.

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 have not received endorsements, direct contributions or independent expenditures from either of these groups. My opponent however has been endorsed by CASE.
 
2) Why you think these business lobby groups made the endorsements and spent their resources as they did?
 
I believe I was not chosen for a CASE endorsement because when asked by its endorsement committee which current city council member I most respected, I answered “Nick Licata,” one of Seattle’s most stalwart progressives. Furthermore, my longstanding work on homelessness and my strong support from the labor community (including endorsements from 24 labor unions) positioned me as pro-labor and pro-human services candidate, two sectors opposed by CASE.
 
The Chamber has long been involved in trying to guide Seattle government in an economically-conservative direction, standing against important legislation for working families. While the Chamber has indeed taken progressive stances on social issues such as marriage equality, it remains committed to the kind of economic conservatism that continues to promote widespread income inequity.
 
As the child of two blue-collar workers, a Mexican-American mother and a Boeing Machinist father, I have always had a strong connection with the working class. I carried this legacy into my professional career and while I value economic development, I have shown a consistent commitment to working with and helping the every-day workers that make our country and city great. Enforcing a $15 minimum wage and fair workweeks and creating affordable housing are top priorities in keeping Seattle livable for all. I’m disappointed that our business community, as represented by CASE, seems opposed to these goals.
 
Additionally, I have made the commitment to limiting the influence of wealthy individual donors and large organizations that seek to influence elections through independent expenditures. I have already endorsed I-222 and will be voting for it in November.
 
Unlike my opponent, I support I-735 and its call for a constitutional amendment to undo the influence of Citizens United v. FEC. Our District 5 race had the largest total amount of independent expenditures of any race in the 2015 Seattle City Council primary. We deserve a fair hearing of our issues without big expenditures from outside organizations attempting to influence votes and buy elections.

Debora Juarez

  Click image for full CASE questionnaire.

Click image for full CASE questionnaire.

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

Neither my opponent nor I received an endorsement or contribution from these groups in our primary election. However, I have received notice from CASE and the Hospitality PAC that they intend to endorse my campaign in the general election. Neither group has donated or done an IE in our race so far. 

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

These groups didn't endorse in the primary because there was no candidate in our race who aligned with their agenda. Even though I made it clear in my interview that I support the $15 minimum wage, paid sick and family leave, and predictable scheduling, I think they eventually chose to support my campaign because they too find value in building more transportation infrastructure, increasing the supply of affordable housing, and increasing the number and diversity of businesses in District 5.


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:

Sandy Brown

Sadly, all that is available for me is a room in a Wallingford house, since my goal is to keep my housing cost at 1/3 my total salary. This leaves me $500 for a bedroom in a large house (shared kitchen and bathroom). Thank heavens I have no children or significant other.

My commute by bus: 2 transfers, 43 minutes: 

2 transfer (s)

From:  WEST GREEN LAKE DR N & STONE AVE N

Walk to the first stop:  Walk a short distance NW on Stone Ave N. Turn left on Keen Way N. Walk approx. 1 block SW on Keen Way N. Turn right on Aurora Ave N. Walk approx. 1 block N on Aurora Ave N. 

RAPIDRIDE E LINE TO AURORA VILLAGE TC (Metro)

Leaving at  9:19a
At Stop:      Aurora Ave N & N 76th St (NB)

Arriving at9:24a
At Stop:       Aurora Ave N & N Northgate Way (NB)

Transfer to  40 DOWNTOWN SEATTLE (Metro)

Leaving at  9:36a
At Stop:      N 105th St & Aurora Ave N (WB)

Arriving at9:57a
At Stop:       Nw Leary Way & 15th Ave Nw (EB)

Transfer to  RAPIDRIDE D LINE TO BALLARD (Metro)

Leaving at  10:04a
At Stop:      15th Ave Nw & Nw Leary Way (NB)

OnRAPIDRIDE D LINE TO BALLARD (Metro)

Arriving at  10:06a
At Stop:       15th Ave Nw & Nw 60th St (NB)

To: 5918 15TH AVE NW

 Time & Walking Distance: 
47 min,    0.30 miles

Adult cash fare: $2.50

Debora Juarez

No answer received yet.


4) Time Bandits

Increasing numbers of workers get almost no notice at all of their schedules. Especially in food service, retail, and other low-wage industries, workers might not know when they’re working until a day or two before the workweek begins. Their hours can be changed with almost zero notice. Some are required to call-in every morning to see if they’re working that day. And the number of hours they’re scheduled for can vary wildly from week to week. So here's our final question for the candidates:

What policies do you believe should be advanced to ensure workers have access to fair workweeks? And since it’s related, we’d also like to hear a bit about what you think is the the right budget for and right approach to enforcing labor standards in our city.

Here's what the candidates sent in:

Sandy Brown

As a council member I will be a champion for workers rights. I am proud of Seattle's success in passing paid sick leave and a $15 minimum wage, but I believe our families deserve more. Families need predictable schedules, and employers can and should pay careful attention to the impact of their employment practices on employees’ families. I support policies that would require employers give schedules two weeks in advance and believe workers should be compensated if their schedule is altered or hours cut last minute, which is currently a common practice especially for people in the restaurant industry.
 
Thanks to the efforts of Seattle labor unions and others, Seattle has led the nation in progressive legislation to protect workers, now we must ensure that the legislation is being properly implemented. I would advocate for a dedicated funding stream for the Office of Labor Standards. It was not just enough to pass Seattle’s minimum wage, sick leave, and wage theft laws, for workers to be protected they must be continuously enforced. 

Debora Juarez

No answer received yet.


ON RUNFORTHEMONEY.ORG…

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

ABOUT DISTRICT 5

Seattle Council District 5 covers North 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. There is no incumbent in this race — neither of these candidates currently serves on the City Council. 

Note: People who live in District 5 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