Andrew Lewis moved into City Hall less than two months ago, but the new Seattle City Council member has already debated winter evictions, downtown crime and taxing big businesses.
Lewis voted Monday to pass a moratorium on many residential evictions during November, December and January, sponsoring an amendment to create a mitigation fund.
The District 7 council member, elected in November to represent downtown, South Lake Union, Queen Anne and Magnolia, responded to last month’s fatal shooting at Third and Pine Street by proposing that Seattle Police Department community-service officers occupy a storefront near the corner.
And now, Lewis is backing a state House bill that would allow King County to fund affordable housing and homeless services by taxing the payroll of large corporations.
On Episode 122 of The Overcast, The Seattle Times news and politics podcast, Times reporter Daniel Beekman and KNKX reporter Simone Alicea ask Lewis to explain his thinking on those matters and more.
Like Lewis, many union, nonprofit and corporate leaders are supporting House Bill 2907. But some business leaders also are pushing for a clause that would ban Seattle from adopting its own big-business tax.
Lewis says he unequivocally opposes that concept and is counting on the bill’s co-sponsor, Rep. Nicole Macri, D-Seattle, as she takes part in the high-stakes talks now underway in Olympia. Macri’s day job is with Downtown Emergency Service Center, which serves people experiencing homelessness.
“Cities need to have independent taxing revenue,” Lewis said. “One thing that gives me a lot of hope is that the person in the room … on this is Rep. Macri.”
He added, “I have a lot of respect for her judgment and know that she’s going to do what she thinks is right for the population she’s worked to serve for her entire life. There’s is no one else I would rather have in the room negotiating.”
Lewis also weighs in on the red-hot race for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, plugging Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and describing her as “one of the leading consumer advocates in the country and leading legal minds on consumer protection.”
“When we essentially have a president who is a professional consumer confidence trickster,” the council member says about Donald Trump, “I think that Sen. Warren is in a really good position because she’s been busting guys like that for her entire career.”
This episode was recorded at the Seattle studios of KNKX.
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Listen to past episodes of The Overcast here.