LOCAL NEWS

Beto Yarce announces challenge to Sawant’s Seattle City Council seat

Nov 28, 2018, 5:52 PM | Updated: Nov 29, 2018, 12:29 pm
Beto Yarce...
Beto Yarce originally announced his candidacy at El Cuento Preschool last November. (Graham Johnson, KIRO 7)
(Graham Johnson, KIRO 7)

With seven out of nine Seattle City Council seats up for reelection in 2019, Councilmember Kshama Sawant already has a challenger.

RELATED: Seattle City Council poised for major shakeup in 2019

Sawant’s challenger is Beto Yarce, who publicly announced his campaign Thursday at El Cuento Preschool. A press release from his campaign provided a brief rundown of his life and qualifications.

Yarce moved from Mexico to Seattle in 2003, starting his own business shortly thereafter. After selling that business, Yarce joined the team at Ventures, a non-profit that provides capital, coaching, and assistance to low-income entrepreneurs. Since 2014, Yarce has served as Executive Director of Ventures.

Ventures is a nonprofit that focuses on providing funding for entrepreneurs, “with a focus on women, people of color, immigrants, and individuals with low income.” Yarce was also one of the recipients of Mayor Jenny Durkan’s “Pride Awards” in June 2018.

Yarce’s decision to announce his campaign at El Cuento Preschool had intent behind it — El Cuento is the first business Yarce helped through Ventures’ Latino program, founded back in 2009, and employing 20 total people.

“I came to the country—and city—with little more than dreams and aspirations. I lived on Capitol Hill in an era when it was affordable and welcoming for a young gay man bussing tables at a neighborhood restaurant,” said Yarce during his announcement.

“My lived experience informs how I will serve the people of this community—with humility and an appreciation for the diverse needs and voices of our communities, not a rigid ideology. We need more listening and less lecturing for our city councilmember if we are to address real issues in our city,” he added.

During his announcement, Yarce addressed a number of questions from reporters, covering a variety of topics. On his opposition, Councilmember Sawant, he noted that “she needs to focus on the needs of her district.”

Speaking on some bigger issues, he intimated that he wants to find humane ways to get the city’s homeless out of encampments and into shelters. Specifically, Yarce wants the city to be more aggressive about working with nonprofit developers to build more affordable housing, and said the whole picture of homelessness needs to be addressed, with more resources for mental health and drug addiction.

One of the more prominent criticisms of Councilmember Sawant has been her contentious relationship with big business. For Yarce, he argues that City Council “need[s] to understand better what it takes to run a business,” while outlining a willingness to bring Amazon to the table to discuss ways in which the tech giant can work together with the city government, rather than against it.

Beto is a member of the Greater Seattle Business Association’s board of directors, Seattle Mayor’s Small Business Advisory Council, the City of Seattle’s 2020 Census Task Force, and Mexicans Abroad for the Secretary of Foreign Affairs.

At the end of the press conference, Burien Mayor Jimmy Matta spoke, providing his own endorsement of Yarce for Seattle’s District 3 council seat.

“It’s not an easy road, and I’m going to be right there with you [Beto], knocking on doors and talking to neighbors,” said Mayor Matta. “I’m very happy that you’ve stepped up, and that you’re ready to take this on.”

A tough time for Seattle City Council

Councilmember Sawant has been a divisive figure in Seattle politics since she took office in 2014, pushing for the controversial head tax earlier in 2018, operating as the lone vote against the Seattle Police contract, and speaking out against Paul Allen hours after his passing in October.

Meanwhile, it’s been a tough term for the Seattle City Council, overall. The city’s homeless problem has persisted in the wake of tens of millions of dollars in investments, the new union contract with the Seattle Police Department hit a standstill before its eventual passing, and the controversial head tax saga earlier in 2018 saw confidence in the city council hit a low among voters.

The Stranger reported on a secret poll conducted following the repeal of the head tax, that found favorability ratings for the council sitting around 40 percent, while job performance sat somewhere in the 20s or 30s.

The Seattle City Council now will see seven of its nine seats up for reelection in 2019, with current Councilmembers Rob Johnson and Sally Bagshaw already expressing their intent not to run.

RELATED: “Loose cannon” lawyer may run for city council

Local News

(KIRO 7)...
KIRO 7 News Staff

35 Marysville teachers receive layoff notices after voters reject levy extensions

Thirty-five teachers in the Marysville School District received layoff notices last week, after voters rejected levy measures that would have funded 14-18% of the district’s overall budget.
23 hours ago
...
Gwen Baumgardner

Car thefts are on the rise in the region

In Seattle, there have been 2,075 vehicle thefts already this year. Seattle police reported that approximately 86% of stolen cars are recovered.
2 days ago
Kirkland, WA (Getty Images)...
Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin Show

Tax hikes to join booming property values in East King County

Property values in select cities in East King County have skyrocketed, leading King County Assessor John Wilson to warn homeowners about noticeable increases in property taxes.
2 days ago
Pike Place...
MyNorthwest Staff

Enraged Pike Place motorist pleads not guilty to assault with a motor vehicle charges

A man arrested for an assault stemming from a Pike Place incident pleads not guilty in King County Superior Court.
3 days ago
tukwila...
KIRO Newsradio Newsdesk

Prolific Seattle-area smash-and-grab ATM thieves formerly arrested for murder

60 robberies involving trucks driving into local stores to steal ATMs and cash registers may be solved with the arrest of two men at a Tukwila motel Friday morning.
3 days ago
schools...
Dalton Day

Rival to First Student exposes Seattle Schools’ fumbled bidding war

First Student's competition has accused Seattle Public Schools of “arbitrarily and improperly” awarding a district contract to First Student.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
...

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
Beto Yarce announces challenge to Sawant’s Seattle City Council seat