As part of our endorsement process at The Urbanist, we ask candidates to complete a standard questionnaire to better understand and evaluate their positions on housing, land use, transportation, and other important issues. We then share this information with our readers to help inform their own voting decisions.
This year we are considering 19 candidates running for Seattle City Council positions 8 and 9, Seattle Mayor, and Port of Seattle Commission positions 1 and 4. We are publishing the questionnaires in full this week and next week, concluding with our official primary election endorsements in mid-July.
The following questionnaire was submitted by Mac McGregor, running for Seattle City Council Position 8.
Do you consider yourself an urbanist? Why/Why not?
I consider myself an urbanist because I believe and advocate for the fact that cities have a unique opportunity to address the problems our society faces in a personal and effective way.
Do you support the King County Center and Family Justice Center as designed?
Yes, I do support the new design. I am against incarceration of youth unless it is a last resort and a repeated violent offender. I do understand that the current building is in very bad shape and that more is done there than incarceration. I don’t want our children and families sent to a building where the water is not even safe. I like that the new building has many therapeutic aspects to it.
What do you envision as a solution for the current North Precinct building?
I understand that the current precinct is run down and out dated and we also need a building that is build to higher environmental standards although I believe we can do this at a lower cost than has been proposed. I envision look at more cost effective ways to build a new more environmentally friendly precinct.
Are there reforms that you would make to the street vacation process to ensure that adequate public benefits are provided to city residents from vacated rights-of-way?
It seems to me that the process is clear and difficult now. One thing I would be interested in doing is making the Street Vacation approval have a yearly review to make sure that it is still providing public benefits.
What changes do you think are needed for the city’s current policy on unauthorized homeless camp removal?
I don’t agree with the way the current homeless camp sweeps are being conducted. I think it is inhumane and unfair. I believe there are ways that we can manage, trash, human waist and fire concerns by providing camps where they homeless can be with trash bins, port o potty’s , and running water.
In our current homelessness state of emergency, what actions can we take right away to address this issue?
I believe we need more shelter beds immediately and that we can use current resources to have them like opening up some of our community centers as shelters. I would also like to implement public bathroom, shower and clothes washing stations. This city has NO public bathrooms which affects many including our homeless. I also support safe injection sites to help with the current drug problems that are apart of this. I believe those safe injections are better for everyone and will save the city money.
What would be your strategy with the remaining Mandatory Housing Affordability rezones? Would you push for higher/lower affordability or density levels?
I want higher affordability in all levels of housing. We also need to make sure that we have enough middle income housing. We as a city also need to look at what regulations are slowing down home building. When regulations slow building or production that effects the costs of housing in all areas. I think there needs to be a comprehensive analysis study done of MHA in order to see which regulations are helping and which are hurting us.
Would you support efforts to raise additional revenue in Seattle directed towards speeding up construction of ST3 projects? If so, what revenue source would you target?
I would support additional revenue to speed this process up. I think this project has cost a great deal more than expected and taken a great deal more time and we need to finish this. One possible way to add a small fee to car registration fees to help cover this for a few years.
What are your preferred strategies for increasing multi-modal transportation (e.g., walking, biking, public transit) in Seattle?
I am very excited about the Challenge Seattle report and recommendations and totally support these recommendations as well as the collaborations with local business leaders.
Seattle’s Vision Zero plan aims to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030. What policies do you support to work towards this goal?
I totally support this program. I believe making sure there are clear crosswalks with enough time for parents which children and our aging citizens can make is safely across. Looking at places that need traffic lights and crosswalks that don’t currently have them. Safe side walks in all of Seattle and looking at how to make our arterials more safe as well. We need to look at where we need to lower speed zone and add more biking lanes.
Do you support permitting triplexes, rowhomes, townhomes and cottages, in single-family zoned areas across the city?
Do you support adding a local income tax in Seattle?
Do you support adding a head tax in Seattle?
Do you support adding a congestion fee in Seattle?
Do you support the creation of a Seattle municipal bank?
Do you support the creation of a municipal broadband service in Seattle?
Do you support inclusion of the Community Package associated with Washington State Convention Center Addition’s street and alleyway vacation public benefits?
Photo courtesy of Mac McGregor’s campaign.