Jenny Durkan is best known for her role as a former federal prosecutor under President Barack Obama’s administration, but she has also served as a criminal defense attorney and privately represented the reputationally challenged international soccer organization FIFA. Durkan has more endorsements than you can shake a stick at, including current political darlings Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Gov. Jay Inslee, but the large corporate donors to a political action committee and pricey out-of-town fundraisers have raised eyebrows. Durkan has been targeted by the further-left as the establishment candidate and “Murray 2.0,” but she pushes back against comparisons. Although she and Murray came up advocating for LGBTQ issues, their personalities and management styles are not comparable, Durkan says. We’ll find out in November if that association hurts or helps her.
Total donations: $865,227 (as of Oct. 23)
On Ed Murray’s resignation: Durkan waited until a fifth man came forward alleging sexual abuse against former Mayor Ed Murray to ask the mayor to resign. Real Change asked, what made the fifth allegation different from the others?
“Because it was abundantly clear that it was going to engulf him. There was no — no — event at which that was not going to be the first question, the third question, the tenth question. That every city employee was going to be thinking about that. We have some really important things underway. And it’s critical that you know there were things for example that I think were undermined by it.”
On sweeps: Durkan acknowledged that current practices can have a negative impact on people experiencing homelessness.
JD: “So we need, if we are not doing a good job, we need to do a better job.”
RC: “A better job with the cleanups, at outreach, at retaining people?”
JD: “All of the above. Wherever the chain is broken, you know the attempt now is to have the navigation go in ... and meet with everyone, give them an indication, see where they are, offer them a place. If they don’t move by a certain period of time and if there is, you know, if in the cleanup people are losing things, we need to figure out what it is and how we prevent it.”
On housing: “The first thing we have to do is build more housing, and we have to bring more housing online as quickly as possible. I think one of the significant differences between Cary Moon and I is I believe while imperfect the HALA process is one of the only ways we are going to be able to build affordable housing in the short term.”
On the youth jail: “Let’s find out some more creative ways to find alternatives to detention, even for those kids who are accused or suspected of committing more serious crimes. We’ve got to get more creative about what we can do with them.
“And if you look at the current detention facility, you had the same facility split, and on one side is [Family Intervention & Restorative Services (FIRS)], which is a really good program for restorative justice, and the other side is that the detention. Well we need a building that is like 99 percent FIRS-like and only a small part detention.”
Sonics in five words: (Well, sort of)
“Lenny Wilkens Slick Watts GETTHEMBACK.”
RC: “Is progressive a meaningless term in Seattle?”
JD: “I think as long as people remember the root is ‘progress,’ we’re OK.”
Favorite bar and drink: “Well for old time sakes it would be the Wild Rose. But I always have a Fauxjito wherever I go because I don’t drink.”
Cary Moon bills herself as a policy wonk with a deep understanding of the workings of the city departments over which she would preside. Moon’s background is in urban planning, a lens that she applies to topics most impacting Seattle, such as affordable housing production and infrastructure needs. She made a name for herself when she came out strongly against the Highway 99 tunnel project, pushing instead for a waterfront park in place of the viaduct. Moon has appeared to the left of her opponent throughout the race, particularly on issues of homelessness — she opposes sweeps — and aggressive methods of tackling the housing affordability crisis. Moon took an optical gamble early by choosing to self-fund more than half of her campaign, but has since fallen far behind her opponent in fundraising.
Total donations: $323,273 (as of Oct. 23)
On Ed Murray’s case and resignation: Moon called on Mayor Ed Murray to resign in May 2017 after he announced that he would not seek re-election.
On sweeps: “So, around sweeps specifically, end the sweeps. They are inhumane, unjust, inefficient and cruel and throw people’s lives into chaos, further chaos than they’re already in, especially for women who finally feel like maybe I found a place I can stay and feel safe and get pushed out of that back into who knows what. So we absolutely have to invest in low-barrier shelters, tiny-house villages, sanctioned encampments, whatever we need to do to create space for folks to come inside in a safe place that has access to services and sanitation that everybody deserves.”
On housing: “I proposed that we need to get a lot more funding in the pipeline for production of nonprofit, permanently affordable housing or public housing because the cities that don’t have this crisis of volatile housing markets that are great cities all have one thing in common: a large enough percentage of their total housing stock in public or nonprofit ownership. But as (A) it gives that many more people a place to live and (B) it keeps the market a lot less volatile because you can’t raise your rents to $3,000 if there’s thousands of apartments available at $1,000. It just doesn’t work.”
On the youth jail: “Now that it’s in motion, I will do everything I can with the county to make sure we have adequate funding for all the alternatives to incarceration for youth: all the peace circles, restorative justice, the mentor-based programs in schools, the wrap-around services in schools. Everything we can do from the city level, working with the county and the municipal court, to make sure we are investing in alternatives and keeping the number of kids that have to go to jail to the very bare minimum of the folks who are super-violent and having psychotic breakdowns who need to be incarcerated. Keep it just to those and everybody else make sure we have space and resources to do some of the whatever diversion program makes sense.”
Sonics in five words: “Robust public benefit.”
Favorite bar and drink: “I like Zig Zag. Yeah, good cocktails. And honestly, like every time I go I get something different ‘cause they’re so creative. So, I am ready to learn from the experts. But definitely rum- or tequila-based are my favorites.”
Election 2017: City Council Position No. 8
Election 2017: City Attorney
Editor's Corner: Covering the 2017 election
Wait, there's more. Check out articles in the full October 25 issue.