Jesse Israel and Nick Licata are facing off in their final scrimmage for Seattle City Council Position 6. Incumbent Licata is vying for a fourth term after hefty wins (70 %+) in his last two reelections. Israel is taking her first stab at public office, and she's been moving fast since announcing her candidacy last February. She voted for Licata in the past, but says he's an obstructionist and the council needs fresh ideas.
She accuses Licata of stalling on replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct, building Sound Transit and hindering the Mercer Street corridor fix. In turn, he is critical of her plan to hire 200 new police officers by next year, calling it impossible, and says her intent to legally limit panhandling is simplistic and unenforceable.
Licata is an advocate for the arts, and a staunch supporter of the disadvantaged and poor: He believes "in cooperation rather than divisiveness ... in the strength to have the courage to address grievances that others ignore." He has a strong public safety record, pushing for more police officers and pedestrian safety, and strengthening civilian oversight of the police department. He spearheaded an effort to reexamine the new jail proposal, seeking to divert nonviolent offenders into treatment and rehab.
Israel asserts, "My reputation and accomplishments show that economic and environmental goals go hand in hand -- not one or the other." As Marketing and Enterprise Manager for King County Parks, she implemented a public-private partnership to save 25,000 acres of parkland, and worked for the county's new state-of-the-art community learning center at Lakewood Park. She was co-chair of the Women's Political Caucus for several years and serves on the board of City Year.
Israel cites housing and transportation as the biggest issues facing Seattle, saying the city needs to preserve the urban character of its neighborhoods, create more mixed-use development, pass low-income housing and increase mass transit.
Licata states that Seattle's biggest issue is how it uses public tax money, which is not distributed to communities in need, such as low-income residents, artists and non-native English speakers.
In many respects, Licata's and Israel's stances overlap: They support the housing levy and a sturdy safety net for the poor, cite transportation as a critical concern, are on board with the deep-bore tunnel and seek to boost in-city density.
Both candidates share a desire for accountability in public office. Israel calls herself a "dyed-in-the-wool entrepreneur," and would like to see a more businesslike approach to government. Licata says that government spending should be subject to a cost-benefit analysis so tax payers know their money is wisely spent.
Israel's endorsements include the Seattle Police Officers Guild, local firefighters union, Cascade Bicycle Club, Washington Conservation Voters and the political branch of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce.
Licata is endorsed by unions representing carpenters, service employees and teamsters, the King County Democratic party, the Sierra Club, The Stranger and a majority of Seattle's state legislators.