The newly redrawn 34th Legislative District includes a wide variety of demographics and geography, from Vashon Island to Burien, West Seattle, Georgetown and Pioneer Square.
Throughout these communities, few concerns are as universally shared as the cost and availability of housing. In the election to succeed retiring state Rep. Eileen Cody for Position 1, one candidate has the experience and vision to lower housing costs and most efficiently invest public funds.
Emily Alvarado is the best choice for the district. Voters wanting responsive, thoughtful representation should elect her to Olympia.
Currently a vice president of Enterprise Community Partners, a national housing nonprofit, Alvarado served as director for the Seattle Office of Housing from 2019 to 2021. The office combined city and other funds to make loans to developers to preserve and develop affordable rental housing. She also guided the $290 million voter-approved Seattle Housing Levy.
Alvarado advocates for permanent supportive housing — housing that includes on-site human services — which is proven to help people transition from chronic homelessness.
In addition to making other housing and homelessness investments, legislators this year committed $500 million to build more affordable housing. Alvarado’s background and skills enable her to make sure public dollars do the most good.
The editorial board agrees that more and different types of housing need to be quickly brought to market to lower prices, but differs from Alvarado in her support of blanket statewide zoning changes that would preempt local land use codes in residential neighborhoods.
Republican Jolie Lansdowne, a real estate broker and vice chair of the 34th District Republicans, stresses public safety.
The other Democrat in the race, Leah Griffin, is a librarian at University Prep, a Seattle private school. She is a qualified candidate with an inspiring history of overcoming personal trauma to create policy changes on sexual assault responses. Griffin and Alvarado agree on most state issues, from public safety to education and government spending.
Alvarado’s focus on good governance and her track record of delivering results make her the best choice. Voters would be well served by Alvarado’s progressive values and leadership experience.