Vision for Tukwila
The crime in our area is totally unacceptable and our law enforcement needs to do a better job serving everyone in our community. I will move our police towards community policing and focus on halting and reversing the trend of police militarization. I also believe that we need officers who look like the people they serve. We want children of all colors and backgrounds to feel like the police are here for them; to protect them and serve them. I serve on the Community Oriented Policing Citizen's Advisory Board now and hope to bring my suggestions and ideas to the council. I also want to be clear, we must enforce our laws. People and property must be protected and our use of force must be fair and justified. We can find a balance between public safety and positive relationships between the police and the public.
On Inclusion and Opportunity
The displacement of immigrant families due to the new justice center building is a concern. While, unlike SeaTac, Tukwila did come to an agreement with several of the effected businesses, as a citizen, I feel like more could have been done to explain the process and reduce any potential harm from such displacement. As a council member, I would ensure that the city as a whole works with citizens, businesses, and community leaders when such grand projects are proposed. More than that, I am running to be a voice of any citizen that might find themselves displaced. Everyone that calles Tukwila home is a part of Tukwila and we all must be treated as such.
Just last summer, King County’s annual report showed an increase in the unsheltered population. You might have read that the 2019 version of the report showed the first decrease in the homeless population since 2012, but digging into the numbers, we can see there is a different story. There was a 32% increase in the number of people living in tents, under tarps or in “camps.” This number would drastically increase if the new tiny homes were still being classified as encampments. By renaming the tiny homes as emergency shelters, the study is able to state that those individuals are now, “sheltered.” Beyond the numbers, the effect of people living without proper sanitation and without appropriate medical care could lead to a larger health and environmental problem. Just this past April, the Tukwila Police Department reported a transient camp on our protected wetlands. We have to be better at helping people find suitable, safe, sanitary homes! As your next city council member, I will work with developers, King County, and state agencies to build the supply of homes that Tukwila requires. I will also work to make sure that we have jobs that provide the income for people to buy into the current market, and I will make sure that we provide social services for those in need. We can also take advantage of new state laws that make it harder to evict people. We all will save money and resources by preventing people from becoming homeless as compared to acting after they are already on the streets. We cannot afford to shuffle the problem around anymore.
On Good Governance
We are invested in our city through our taxes and the fees the city collects. That means we must be responsible in how we spend those dollars. Tukwila has the largest business district in the Pacific Northwest and yet residents bear the responsibly of paying for major cost overruns. That’s just poor planning. The Justice center was going to cost $30 million, now it's going to cost $80 million! In my household growing up, someone would be held accountable for such an error. I want to be the council-member that sticks to the budget we share with the public. If for any reason, we cannot, I will make sure the council involves the public in the process of budgeting so that you don’t get surprised if there is a change. Change happens, but with proper planning and transparency, we can navigate the complexity of development as a team.