Two new candidates have announced campaigns for the two citywide Seattle City Council seats up for election this year.
Brianna Thomas, the chief of staff to Seattle City Council President M. Lorena González, is running for the open Council Position 9, hoping to win the seat that González is vacating to run for mayor.
And Mike McQuaid, a South Lake Union community leader, is running for Council Position 8, against Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda.
Both seats represent the entire city.
Thomas, 39, has worked for González since 2015, and prior to that worked on campaigns. She managed the 2014 campaign that brought a $15 minimum wage to SeaTac and the 2015 campaign that brought publicly funded Democracy Vouchers to Seattle. She previously ran for City Council in 2015, coming in fourth in a crowded primary.
Homelessness and criminal justice reform will be the most important issues to tackle as a City Council member, she said. She said the city needs to raise more revenue, from progressive sources, to tackle homelessness. On criminal justice, she said she’s proud of the work the Council has done recently, including transferring some duties from the Police Department to other city agencies. That resulted in a cut of about 20% to the police budget.
Going forward, she said, the Council’s goal should not be a specific percentage cut to the police budget, but “a community safety plan that actually results in communities feeling safe.”
Asked for an issue on which she disagrees with González, she said rentable scooters, which are “a little bit dangerous for our topography.”
McQuaid, 57, is president of McQuaidUSA, a strategic communication and public affairs business. He has served on the South Lake Union Community Council, including as president, for much of the last decade.
McQuaid said it’s crucial for the city to invest in addiction and mental health resources to address homelessness and “that we no longer ignore or excuse the criminal behavior that results from this crisis.”
He said we should work toward police reform “deliberately, urgently and perhaps incrementally.”
“Systemic racism and inequity wrongly and egregiously exists,” he said. “But none of this justifies ignoring or minimizing our city’s paramount duty to ensure our health and safety day in and day out.”
He is, so far, the only challenger to Mosqueda, who announced her reelection campaign last month.
Other than Thomas, five candidates have filed to run for the seat González is vacating: Fremont Brewing co-owner Sara Nelson, Alex Tsimerman, Rebecca Williamson, David Ishii and Claire Grant.