During a Tuesday night debate, Jenny Durkan and Cary Moon said the city should open more homeless shelters. They agreed that Washington’s tax system is too easy on the wealthy and too hard on the poor. But they sought to emphasize that, if elected, the way they would approach problems would be different.
In a debate less than a month before the Nov. 7 election, Jenny Durkan and Cary Moon struggled Tuesday night to draw sharp contrasts between their Seattle mayoral campaigns.
Sidewalks, homelessness and taxes were talking points during the debate hosted by KOMO-TV and AARP Seattle, which advocates for people over 50 years old.
But several voters who watched the debate live at the Central Area Senior Center remained undecided afterward, saying the candidates struck them as similar.
2017 Seattle mayoral race
- Jenny Durkan defeats Cary Moon to become Seattle’s first woman mayor since the 1920s
- Seattle's next mayor, Jenny Durkan, names full transition team, deputy mayors
- Seattle’s millionaire mayoral candidates say they know what it’s like to struggle
- Beyond tent-camp ‘sweeps,’ big questions await next Seattle mayor
- Seattle mayoral candidates both say the future holds fewer cars. Here’s how they would ease the crunch
- Cary Moon: Urbanist, waterfront activist touts vision for city, faces questions about résumé, accomplishments
- Jenny Durkan: Former U.S. attorney brings experience, high-powered allies, but also draws scrutiny
- Seattle’s first — and only — female mayor was elected in 1926
To help pedestrians stay safe, Durkan, a former U.S. attorney, said the city should better hold property owners and builders responsible for sidewalk maintenance.
Some walking advocates say Seattle should allow pedestrians to cross more streets without having to press “beg buttons,” noted Moon, an urbanist activist.
Both candidates said the city should open more homeless shelters. They agreed that Washington’s tax system is too easy on the wealthy and too hard on the poor.
Durkan sought to stand out by accusing Moon of relying too much on a “mother, may I?” strategy, with revenue plans that would require approval from the state Legislature.
Rather than just ask Olympia, Moon said she would push for action with public pressure.
In closing, Durkan said her experience sets her apart, adding, “There’s a difference between talk and action.” Before she was a prosecutor, she advised two governors.
“They both kind of believe the same thing, so I don’t know who to vote for,” Gloria Sandoz, 93, said when the hour-long debate was done.
Some people are being pushed out of Seattle, as it becomes more expensive. The longtime Columbia City resident said she regularly receives letters in the mail asking her to sell her home.
Sandoz said she was glad to hear both Durkan and Moon say the city should make it easier for homeowners to build mother-in-law apartments and rent them out for extra income.