The council candidates who the Seattle tech industry supports
Seattle’s tech sector is speaking out ahead of August’s primary election with endorsements for candidates most fitting for the industry.
“What we need now are city council members who will genuinely engage in a productive dialogue with the technology sector, the most powerful job creation engine in a century to build a thriving and inclusive city,” the Washington Technology Industry Association stated in its recently-released council candidate endorsements.
The WTIA is a trade association for the Seattle area’s tech industry, representing more than 1,000 businesses. Employees of its member companies interviewed 18 candidates for Seattle City Council and developed recommendations for the upcoming primary election. It is the first time the association has made any such endorsements.
According to the WTIA:
We looked for candidates who: demonstrated a willingness to learn about issues that matter to the tech industry and our employees and their families, expressed an interest in working with all constituents to solve the City’s problems and capitalize on its opportunities, will be accountable to their districts, and have a path to succeeding in the primary election.
The WTIA is endorsing:
- District 1: Phil Tavel
- District 2: Mark Solomon
- District 3: Egan Orion
- District 4: Alex Pedersen
- District 5: Councilmember Debora Juarez
- District 6: Heidi Wills and Jay Fathi (dual endorsement)
- District 7: Michael George
Seven of the nine council positions are up for a vote this year. Of the current council members running, only Councilmember Debora Juarez received a nod from the WTIA.
The association opted to back Phil Tavel, for example, who is running against incumbent Lisa Herbold in District 1. Egan Orion was also endorsed over the incumbent in his District 3 — Kshama Sawant. Sawant has been an outspoken critic of the local tech industry, often targeting taxes at Amazon and calling out Jeff Bezos.
The endorsements are nearly identical to those of CASE — Civic Alliance for Sound Economy. The political action committee is largely sponsored by the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and has received big donates from Amazon. It released its picks in June. The only difference is a dual endorsement for District 7 (Michael George and Jim Pugel).