The Seattle Globalist asks the Seattle Mayoral Candidates: Gary Brose

gary brose
Gary Brose (Courtesy photo.)

The Seattle Globalist asked all the Seattle Mayoral Candidates six questions that are important to the city’s communities of color and immigrant communities. Get all the submitted answers here.

What would be the top three priorities of the Seattle Police Department during your administration?

1) Revamping the SPD hiring process so they can rapidly fill all the positions that are still open. Authorized for more officers, the hiring and training process has taken far longer than anticipated. I’d like to meet with Kathleen O’Toole and see what extra help the city can offer to assist them in hiring enough people. The officers now are working long hours and we are not always able to provide as many on the street as we would like. After analyzing the situation, we may find that starting pay must be higher to attract greater quality and quantity of applicants. If that is the case, then I would begin work on financing that immediately.

2) Better equipment is needed. Body cams are a must and the city will need to respond to that need. Other non-lethal weapons should be explored as well.

3) Continuing to improve police force responses in potentially lethal situations is, and should be, a constant priority. That being said, my feeling is that the police are somewhat unnecessarily restrained due to the federal involvement here. Police have a very difficult and dangerous job and they certainly need City Hall’s backing and support in order to do their job properly. If it is possible, I would hope to see improved response times, higher presence in downtown, more police dealing with the public and less with paperwork, and a decrease in property crimes. I would be proud to work very closely with the fine men and women of the Seattle Police Department to make that all come true.

What should Seattle’s strategy be in addressing housing affordability?

My first step would be to meet with the organizations already in place to hear first-hand what ideas they have for assisting the disadvantaged rapidly and equitably. Then I would make every attempt to reach rapid agreement with the mayors of surrounding communities to pool our resources and minimize overhead as we attempt to work together to create a faster moving system of assisting the homeless find short and long-term shelter. I strongly believe we have to work with the shelters already in place and assist them in providing the services needed. Increasing counselors who can interview individuals and rapidly assign a course of action for each one could help to move everyone through the systems more quickly. Keeping our staffs lean through combining overheads will help us to insure that more money goes directly to solving the homelessness issues rather than to bloated bureaucracies.

Is there a way for Seattle to balance upzoning and retaining affordability for existing residents and businesses, particularly in the University, Central and Chinatown/International districts? Please describe your approach.

There are parts of the HALA agenda that make good sense and others that I disagree with. Essentially, I feel that we need to assist the homeless without radically altering the fabric of existing neighborhoods or violating the rights of current home-owners. I believe requiring a certain number of low-income housing units within newly-constructed buildings in select neighborhoods is a good first step, but that each neighborhood needs to be considered individually, not via a general plan or strategy like HALA. Additionally, I don’t believe that given Seattle’s current growth pace, adding a few low-income units will have any immediate impact on the homeless crisis. Unfortunately, I see the concepts of HALA as a fine long-term approach but certainly not a panacea for the current issues. In light of that, I feel temporary subsidies for full-value housing may be the only course of action that will net rapid results.

Discuss three specific strategies for increasing the participation of immigrant communities/communities of color in the planning of initiatives such as the proposed Navigation Center and large-scale marches that affect neighborhoods?

1) Including all relevant city departments in the process as a way to provide guidance to communities who are attempting new ventures.

2) Helping communities to form committees to initiate new ideas.

3) Assisting with the budgets to announce and promote new community ventures.

How should Seattle address “gentrification?” How do you define that concept?

Gentrification is the process of renovating or improving residences so that they reflect more middle-class values. Frankly, I see this as a natural process that is not planned or controlled by any one individual – it is the part of life that happens over time as individual home owners wish to upgrade or improve their surroundings. Market forces drive these changes and I believe that in a free society, we should allow individual expression, ambition, and the pursuit of happiness and do our best not to get in the way.

What should the city of Seattle’s stance be — if any — on handling juvenile justice and the proposed replacement of the King County Juvenile Detention Center?

The new Juvenile Justice Center is long overdue. The older facility is not a welcoming place and the new one MUST be built to replace it. Naturally, we don’t like the idea of incarcerating juveniles for any length of time, but it is necessary in certain situations and refusing to acknowledge that is not a long-term strategy.

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Gary E. Brose | Casey Carlisle | Tiniell Cato | Jenny Durkan | Jessyn Farrell | Thom Gunn | Greg Hamilton | Michael Harris | Bob Hasegawa | Lewis A. Jones | Dave Kane | Harley Lever | Mary J. Martin | Mike McGinn | Cary Moon | James W. Norton, Jr.Larry Oberto | Nikkita Oliver | Jason Roberts | Alex Tsimerman | Keith J. Whiteman