Secretary Celia Matson took the following notes.
Candidates Night 9/7/17 Minutes
Port: Peter Steinbrueck, Jon Grant, Stephanie Bowman, Ryan Culkins
School Board: Eden Mack, Omar Vasquez, Zachary Dewolf, Herb Camet
City Council: Pat Murakami, Jon Grant
Mayor: Jenny Durkin, Cary Moon
City Attorney: Scott Lindsey
Moderator – Ethan Bradford – President HLCC
Timekeeper – Randy Harkness – Vice President HLCC
President Ethan Bradford called the meeting to order at 7:31 PM, welcomed everyone, and introduced the candidates. It was a large group so time for each was limited. Only one question for each, and a general question for all candidates present at the end.
The Mayoral candidates led off the evening with a three minute statement, following by a two minute rebuttal period for each. Jenny Durkan is a former US Attorney. She sees the biggest issues as homelessness and housing affordability. She supports Initiative 940 concerning law enforcement. She has worked for years on LGBTQ issues. She was questioned about the effective use of funds spent to solve the homelessness crisis.
Cary Moon – She stated that problem solving is her strength. She would put together a professional management team to address the many needs of the city, including inequality, the achievement gap and systemic racism. She stated housing is a basic right and has a four point plan to address it. She will review the use of the Housing Trust Fund and increase mental health services.
Scott Lindsay is running for City Attorney trying to unseat the incumbent, Pete Holmes who is running for a 3rd term. Lindsay is currently working for the Mayor as Public Safety Advisor. He wants to work on and disrupt the “streets to Jail” cycle. He said Holmes is not talking about addiction. He was questioned about the need for more detox beds.
3 seats are up. Betty Patu is running for a third term and has five kids all in the Seattle Public Schools. Her interests are equality, excellence and opportunity in the schools. She was involved with the STEM program at Cleveland HS. Herb Camet has 43 years as an educator and emphasized this considerable experience as his strength. He has taught in 11 countries. He says the schools are not a corporate business or government bureaucracy. Eden Mack has three kids, one with special needs. She was PTSA Chair and president of “Washington’s Paramount Duty” an organization that works on fully funding the schools. Zachary Wolf worked in the Peace Corps and emphasized his minority (Native American) status, which distinguishes him from the other candidates. Omar Vasquez works for Davis Wright Tremaine and has taught AP Calculus for “Teach for America” and has a strong interest in Charter schools.
Stephanie Bowman stated we need another regional airport. She has worked on aviation biofuels.
Ryan Culkins was born and raised in Edmonds and worked for “Witness for Peace”.
Jon Grant is a former Tenants Union leader running against Theresa Mosqueda. In addition to growth related concerns, he is especially interested in police reform. Pat Murakami is running for Position 9. Her priorities are economic disparity and she wants developers to pay more for secondary development costs.
The general Q&A ended with a spirited discussion among all the candidates (that had not already left) of how to better support our youth. Internships, Career Bridges, and apprenticeship programs were all mentioned among other ideas. It was heartening to hear ideas from all candidates present– school board, port and city council on this subject.