Sydney Gillman Wissel (Courtesy of campaign)

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 selected candidates running for US Congress, Washington State Legislature, and King County Prosecuting Attorney. We are publishing the questionnaires in full, concluding with our official general election endorsements in mid-October.

The following questionnaire was submitted by Sydney Gillman Wissel running as a Libertarian for Legislative District 36A, which covers the Queen Anne, Magnolia, and Ballard neighborhoods of Seattle. Wissel’s opponent, incumbent Noel Frame (D-Seattle) did not submit a questionnaire.


Rapid Fire

Do you consider yourself an urbanist?


Do you support an income tax?


Short Answer

How do we keep Sound Transit 3 (ST3) timelines on track given that the Trump administration is slow-walking or eliminating grants for transit projects and construction costs are skyrocketing?

We don’t. We go back and do an honest cost-benefit analysis.

What is your position on the Sound Transit car-tab tax? Would you support a plan that cuts Sound Transit’s budget?

Yes. Car tab costs are irrationally onerous.

How will you leverage state resources to increase affordable housing?

I would work to eliminate needlessly limiting zoning laws and regulations to increase supply so the market would provide or the state would get more housing for the cost.

Washington is ranked as having the most regressive tax code in the nation. Rich households pay a much lower effective tax rate than poor households. What, if anything, do you propose to do about that?

Lower taxes on everyone.

How should our state address climate change and would you back a carbon tax bill similar to what Governor Inslee has proposed? 

No, people need to be freed to make their own choices. No loopholes for polluting business, no taxation of necessary fuel for people just trying to get through the day.

Would you vote to permit local transit agencies and police departments to implement camera enforcement of transit lanes in order to keep buses moving through traffic bottlenecks? Why or why not?

No, it is unconstitutional.

How can we protect and preserve the open spaces in Washington State?

Privatize them. Property-owners have a VESTED, direct interest in their land and will maintain it much better than a public organization. Would you rather use a public bathroom or a private one?

What is your favorite mode of transportation and why?

I enjoy taking the bus or the train because it gives me the freedom to read or craft while traveling. Given that it takes two to three times as long to use these methods and my time is extremely valuable I cannot afford to give up my car.

The next time the state legislature crafts a major transportation funding package, what do you want to see in it?

I want to see the Magnolia Bridge replaced and major arterials widened.

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The Urbanist was founded in 2014 to examine and influence urban policies. We believe cities provide unique opportunities for addressing many of the most challenging social, environmental, and economic problems. We serve as a resource for promoting urbanism, increasing political participation, and improving the places we live. The Elections Committee consists of community volunteers and staff members of The Urbanist and is a standing body representing the political values of our organization.