A week ago we saw the primary election results. I am humble and grateful for the support I received and the amazing, passionate neighborhood advocates I met through this process, whether they supported me or not. We don’t always agree on everything but we are not short on people who truly love our city and the neighborhoods of District 3.
While I wasn’t successful in the election, we were successful in changing the conversation in District 3 and around the city. For the first time in years, equal pay for all genders was represented on direct mail, in speeches and brought up in forums. The District 3 candidates and other candidates around the city spoke about gender in a way that was ignored before. We did that together.
And the bottom line is this: while I wasn’t elected, I am not done fighting.
I am not done fighting for the city of Seattle to be the best and most equitable city in the country. To push to build mass transit, better housing and municipal broadband and close the gap that unfair institutions have caused.
I am not done fighting for gender equity in pay and all other aspects of life. I will continue to push for paid parental leave, small business assistance, culturally relevant healthcare and access to childcare.
I hope you are ready to keep fighting too.
See you out there,
Every Friday PubliCola at Seattle Met publishes a Candidates' Likes & Dislikes post, featuring city council candidates from a given district and their takes on recent local news (from the past week) in their own words. The idea is to highlight two local news items that are germane to city hall & city politics and have the candidate dub each as a LIKE or DISLIKE and write 250-400 words on each item. Publicola asked District 3 candidates to write posts this week, but then moved us to next week! I had already written much of mine, so I thought I would share it with you anyway! My Likes & Dislikes for this week are below, check out Publicola next Friday the 31st to see my next round.
I DISLIKE that another round of tickets for public pot use disproportionately written to black Seattlites (27% of the tickets were written to black residents but only 8% of the city population is black) but LIKE that Police Chief O’Toole’s response was to question whether or not the $27 tickets were both a) fair and b)worth the effort. Because PRIORITIES, right Chief O’Toole? Let us perhaps focus on the 27% increase in forcible rape that happened last year instead of the $27 tickets issued in the last six months most of which remain unpaid? Okay, I think I’ve stumbled on to some weird number 27 pattern here that’s trying to tell us something… Let’s just say I think Chief O’Toole’s response to set priorities for the SPD was worth applause.
I LIKE the announcement from the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict this week that Pike/Pine corridor will officially be piloting pedestrian only zones all four weekends in August.Read more
Guest Editorial: 5 Things to Know about Running for Office in Your 20s
By Morgan Beach & Abel Pacheco
Forty-seven individuals from throughout our city have stepped up to try and lead our community by running in our first districted City Council elections ever. Of these forty-seven, there are several millennials stepping up like never before. We are two of these millennials running for Seattle City Council. Please allow us to introduce ourselves: Morgan Beach, challenger in District 3, and Abel Pacheco, challenger in District 4, signing on here to provide some commentary on these races from the perspective of first time candidates and young people in these races.
Paid my rent. Paid my insurance bills. Paid my student loans. Paid my utility bill.
Made a doctor’s appointment.
Sent job application suggestions to friends, who then applied online. (I’m currently applying for another job with the title City Councilmember, my application is current in your mailbox.)
Bought food. Booked travel to visit my mom.
This is a list of average things just I did online in the last week. It doesn’t even include things like work, kids being required to use the internet for homework, finding urgent care when you're sick, conversing with your family in other states or countries. I am lucky enough to have access to high speed internet in my home, but it costs me and I made the decision that because of the things I do all online above, I cannot afford not to have internet in my home.
But here’s the reality: many of our neighbors literally can’t afford access to the internet. An estimated 20% of city residents do not have internet in their home according to a 2014 report by the city. Access to the internet, which is more critical than ever, is controlled by a handful of companies and consumers rarely have any choice over their provider. By delaying a move to municipal broadband as a publicly owned utility, we are holding back thousands of our city residents in the digital age and creating a deep and lasting divide. Let me be clear:
There can be no equitable advancement for our city without universal access to the internet.
We can build it, and live up to our reputation as a global city focused on social justice and technology. It’s time to upgrade.
I spent Monday, June 29th at Oxbow Park with the Our City Coalition at their Homelessness Candidate Speak-Out talking about my ideas to end homelessness, and man, it was hot but it was so refreshing to have a real conversation about homelessness, not just rhetoric. I've include my own comments from last night below so you can see what I have planned to tackle homelessness, we only had 3 minutes which is clearly not enough time to figure out how to end homelessness but here's what I had to say.
"In my day job I work for the Red Cross. Before I came here tonight I was working to make sure the people who have lost or been evacuated from their homes in Chelan County because of the growing wildfire have somewhere to stay and something to eat if only for tonight. I've seen this time and time again at the Red Cross, when something extraordinary happens--wildfires, hurricanes, earthquakes, landslides--people open their hearts, pocket books and homes to their neighbors.
And it seems that was has happened here in Seattle is that the estimated 10,000 people experiencing homelessness is no longer extraordinary. It's just ordinary. And we no longer feel compelled to fix it. Nothing tells me the system is broken more clearly than that.
I've only got three minutes and the county coalition has had 10 years, so I don't think I can fix homelessness tonight, but here are a few of my ideas:
- Don't keep people who are homeless and living in tent cities in industrial areas where we won't allow any other homes to be built. You are our neighbors and we ought to start treating you like it by bringing you into our neighborhoods.
- Emergency housing. Build it, now. No bars, housing. It is embarrassing that Salt Lake City of all places is leading us in progressive housing first policy. We can do better!
- Build an LGBTQ Youth Shelter for those 40% of LGBTQ youth who identify that they have been homeless as least once. Build more family sized shelter and transitional housing so families can stay together.
- Build a better system to manage shelter placement so that it is real time and you can find beds anywhere in the city.
- Expand renter protections so people aren't forced into homelessness including limiting the use of criminal background checks to exclude people from housing applications, expanding rights for eviction and relocation assistance, and creating a single tenant screening system so you don't have to pay applications fees continuously to get rejected from housing over and over.
I don't know if all of these will be possible, but I promise to work with you on all of them!"
We are excited to announce that this week the National Women’s Political Caucus of Washington offered Morgan their early endorsement in the Seattle City Council District 3 race for her commitment and leadership on women's issues in the city and region.
"I recently met a woman who served on the Seattle Women’s Commission 30 years ago. She told me their top priority even then was equal pay. It's been too long. I’m ready for the city to treat this as the severe problem that it is, as the income inequality problem that it is and as the human rights issue that it is," Morgan says, "I'm excited to have the backing of the National Women's Political Caucus and their local leadership as I keep pressing the city for change on equal pay."
The Institute for Women’s Policy Research recently stated that nationally, fixing the wage gap between men and women could cut the poverty rate in half for families with working women.
Tomorrow is national Equal Pay Day, which symbolizes how much longer women would have to work beyond the end of the last year to make the same amount as their male counterparts. Whether we have lived this experience or not, let's acknowledge the women around us, our neighbors and friends, especially women of color, who live this reality every day.
Seattle is ranked worse than other major cities in the nation, the worst of the 50 largest in fact, contrary to our progressive roots and shared vision for equality. According to the National Partnership for Women & Families, if the wage gap were eliminated, a working woman in the Seattle metro area would have enough money for approximately:
- 118 more weeks of food (2.3 years' worth);
- Eight more months of mortgage and utilities payments;
- 16 more months of rent; or
- 4,360 additional gallons of gas.
Whether you're supporting me in my fight to close the wage gap from here in Seattle or somewhere around the globe, take today to honor all women in the workforce and take action towards closing the gap.
Tweet, Facebook, post on whatever social media you use or simply say to someone tomorrow: "We need to #CloseTheGap because..."
If you are in Seattle, come join me at the Equal Pay Day Social at Sole Repair Shop in Capitol Hill at 5:30pm.
All in for #EqualPay,
Support the fight for equal pay by donating $3 tomorrow, about the gap between men's and women's pay near minimum wage in Seattle.
“I have a long-term vision of Seattle as the venture capital, incubator and entrepreneurial epicenter for female owned businesses, particularly tech businesses including providing more STEM opportunities for young girls. We should be making an amazing, bold statement about our values and commitment to social justice as we cement Seattle as a central hub for the technology sector. The gender pay gap is simply unacceptable, I want us to start living up to our reputation as a progressive city” added Beach.