Seattle City Council Voter Guide: District 3

Oct 23, 2019, 1:33 PM

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 3, spanning Capitol Hill, First Hill, Madison Park, Montlake, Pike/Pine, and South Lake Union.

Kshama Sawant (36.6 percent of votes in August primary)

Kshama Sawant
Seattle City Council Councilmember and District 3 candidate Kshama Sawant. (AP)

The basics: Sawant is District 3’s incumbent council member, first voted into office after the 2013 election. Before that, she was a software engineer and an economics instructor. She was the first socialist to win a citywide election in Seattle since 1916.

The issues: In the lead-up to her 2019 campaign, Sawant made rent control one of her primary issues, in a push to propose legislation that would kick in should the state’s own restrictions against rent control get reversed. She has also been an outspoken critic against the presence of companies like Amazon in Seattle, advocating for higher taxes on the rich to fund public schools and high-speed municipal broadband. She supports safe injection sites, and opposes congestion tolling and an expanded police force.

Endorsements: The Stranger, Seattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien, Noam Chomsky, Washington State Sen. Joe Nguyen. Full list here

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

We reached out to Councilmember Sawant’s campaign and have not received a reply.

Sawant campaign website

Egan Orion (21.5 percent of votes in August primary)

Egan Orion
Seattle City Council candidate Egan Orion. (Egan Orion for City Council D3)

The basics: Orion runs PrideFest Seattle Center, and has led both non-profits and a pair of small businesses in District 3. He also works with the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce and Broadway Business Improvement Area.

The issues: Orion supports the construction of more affordable housing through Seattle, including a proposal to “dedicate surplus or underutilized public lands to affordable housing.” He also wants to require that SDOT prioritize its street design to better accommodate public transit, as well as an expansion of both bike lanes and rapid ride bus lanes. He wants to expand low-level crime diversionary programs like LEAD, close loopholes in how guns are purchased, and prevent crime through “environmental design.” He opposes rent control and supports an expanded police force.

Endorsements: The Seattle Times, former Seattle Mayor and Councilmember Tim Burgess, King County Executive Dow Constantine, Washington State Sen. Reuven Carlyle. 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 of office, I’ll establish regular office hours in neighborhoods across D3 and bring an open, accessible voice to our district. I’ll also take steps to bond with the county for 1,500 units of supportive housing with wraparound services for mental health and addiction recovery treatment. It’s time we live our values — shelter as a human right.

Orion campaign website

Past MyNorthwest Seattle City Council Voter Guides:

District 1: Lisa Herbold and Phil Tavel
District 2: Tammy Morales and Mark Solomon
District 4: Alex Pedersen and Shaun Scott
District 6: Dan Strauss and Heidi Wills
District 7: Andrew Lewis and Jim Pugel

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Seattle City Council Voter Guide: District 3