Seattle City Council Voter Guide: District 7

Oct 21, 2019, 1:10 PM | Updated: Nov 1, 2019, 11:50 am

There’s a major upheaval expected on 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, including District 7, spanning Belltown, the International District, Queen Anne, Downtown Seattle, South Lake Union, and Magnolia.

Here are the two candidates on the 2019 ballot for Seattle’s District 7.

Andrew Lewis (31.6 percent of votes in August primary)

Andrew Lewis
Seattle City Council Candidate Andrew Lewis. (Lewis for Seattle)

The basics: Lewis works in the Seattle City Attorney’s office. He was previously appointed by Seattle City Council to serve as Human Rights Commissioner, where he was one of the youngest ever to hold the role. He also was former City Councilmember Nick Licata’s campaign manager during a successful 2009 reelection bid, and currently serves on the board of Graduate Washington.

The issues: Lewis prioritizes housing and homelessness on his legislative agenda, including a plan to build 5,000 affordable housing units in three years, and 195 modular affordable housing units working in tandem with King County. He also advocates for reforming the city’s Navigation Team, to focus on transitioning people from homeless encampments into shelters and stable housing. He supports a larger police patrol force with strong civilian oversight, the establishment of a safe injection site, and expanded light rail and Rapid Ride services. He opposes congestion tolling and rent control.

Major endorsements: The Stranger, King County Democrats, former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, and the Seattle Downtown Residents Alliance. Full list here

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

I will work to implement a performance auditing process similar to King County’s that has saved $127 million over the last three years. This will start by creating a performance auditing plan, and end by incorporating the savings from that plan into the fall 2020 budget.

Lewis campaign website

Jim Pugel (24.7 percent of votes in August primary)

Jim Pugel
Seattle City Council Candidate Jim Pugel. (Jim Pugel for City Council)

The basics: After a lengthy career in the Seattle Police Department as an officer and captain, Pugel was appointed interim police chief by then-Mayor Mike McGinn in 2013, following the retirement of Chief John Diaz. He occupied the role for roughly eight months, before moving on to serve as the Assistant Chief until his retirement from the department in 2014.

The issues: As a means to fix Seattle’s housing crisis, Pugel calls for strategic upzoning, a progressive capital gains tax, and strengthened labor standards. He details “four pillars” of his approach to homelessness: Prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and enforcement. He also touts a platform for constitutional policing, government transparency, and diversity across local government. He supports a larger police force, and opposes safe injection sites and congestion tolling.

Major endorsements: The Seattle Times, Alliance for Gun Responsibility, King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht, Seattle District 7 City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw. Full list here

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

I’ll introduce immediate emergency legislation to tackle our homelessness, addiction, affordability, and public-safety crises. Fully funding Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion which I helped found as Assistant Police Chief, a case manager loan repayment program to expand our mental healthcare network, and work with SPD ensuring full staffing and constitutional policing.

Pugel campaign website

Past MyNorthwest Seattle City Council Voter Guides:

District 1: Lisa Herbold and Phil Tavel
District 4: Alex Pedersen and Shaun Scott
District 6: Dan Strauss and Heidi Wills

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Seattle City Council Voter Guide: District 7