Seattle City Council Voter Guide: District 1

Oct 11, 2019, 2:06 PM | Updated: Oct 12, 2019, 7:48 am

There’s a major upheaval expected on the Seattle City Council in 2019. Seven out of nine council seats are up for grabs, leaving the door wide open for some new faces. To get you familiar these faces — new and old — we’re breaking down candidates in each council race, beginning with District 1.

Lisa Herbold (incumbent, 50.6 percent of votes in August primary)

Lisa Herbold
Seattle City Councilmember Lisa Herbold. (District 1 for Herbold)

The basics: Herbold was first elected to Seattle City Council in 2015, and was subsequently sworn into office in January 2016. She previously served as Councilmember Nick Licata’s aide, after coordinating his 1997 campaign.

The issues: Herbold is making homelessness a major plank for her 2019 legislative agenda, advocating for an immediate increase in funding for crucial services. She also prioritizes gender pay equity, restoring local authority to regulate rent and the eviction process, and access to healthy food in District 1. She touts a $29 million bond for affordable housing, public policy for paid sick leave, and a bill to prevent income discrimination against renters among her legislative accomplishments on the dais. She has expressed opposition to congestion tolling and the 1st Avenue streetcar.

Major endorsements: Rep. Pramila Jayapal, MLK Labor Council, King County Democrats, Seattle Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez. Full list here

If elected, what will be your priorities for your first 100 days in office for the next council term?

Working with residents on day-to-day concerns – adding hours at a teen center, installing a school crosswalk – builds trust I can use to tackle our biggest issues. I’ll fight for bigger investments in programs that data shows help people leave homelessness behind: permanent supportive housing, enhanced shelter, and LEAD.

Herbold campaign website

Phil Tavel (32.3 percent of votes in August primary)

Phil Tavel
Seattle District 1 council candidate Phil Tavel. (Tavel for Seattle)

The basics: Tavel has worked as a public defender and trial lawyer for the last 15 years, as well as serving as a Pro Tem Judge in King County District Court. He was also a high school physics teacher, and co-founded a video game and entertainment company.

The issues: Tavel prioritizes the city’s homeless crisis for his council campaign, but advocates for further analysis into how the city funds services to address the issue. In an interview with KTTH’s Jason Rantz, he described Seattle as “a horrible enabling parent” regarding homelessness. In addition, he supports an increase in community policing, higher fees for builders in violation of Mandatory Housing Affordability’s upzoning requirements, and expanded bus routes in District 1. He opposes congestion tolling and safe injection sites.

Major endorsements: King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht, The Seattle Times, Seattle Restaurant Alliance, Seattle King County Realtors. Full list here

If elected, what will be your priorities for your first 100 days in office for the next council term?

In my first 100 days in office I will; establish an in-district office, fight for a city-wide audit, and work on improving transitional programs for people experiencing homelessness. I am dedicated to empowering my home District, improving the effectiveness of government, and optimizing programs and services for those in need.

Tavel campaign website

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Seattle City Council Voter Guide: District 1