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Seattle Council candidate would not have voted to cut police budget 20%

The Seattle City Council chambers. (Seattle City Council, Flickr)

A longtime activist in the Seattle area, Mike McQuaid has now announced he is running for the Seattle City Council, going up against Teresa Mosqueda in the at-large position.

McQuaid is a fourth generation Seattleite, and has served as a member, president, and transportation chair of the South Lake Union Community Council. He joined the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH to discuss hazard pay, police reform, and his candidacy.

As Jason asked, when McQuaid made this announcement, he toured the community and went to two of the QFC locations that are now going to be shuttered as a result of the hazard pay. Did the Seattle council make a mistake in imposing the pay?

“The legislation was well-intended, looking out for those that are putting their lives on the line every day,” he said. “… But we are addressing an industry that is operating a very razor thin margins and understanding the industry through a business lens, a labor lens, is extraordinarily important.”

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“The net effect of the legislation upset a very delicate balance that exists within the industry’s role in the community. They’re providing groceries, providing services, providing just a needed base of acceptance and consistency in our community,” he added. “And this triggered a closure of two stores, which potentially could cause loss of jobs.”

With regards to police reform, McQuaid says he would not have voted to cut the police budget by 20% had he been a councilmember, but he believes real changes need to be made.

“I think I would not have voted to cut the budget 20%. … I think without a question, any institution in our system has to be looked at periodically and incrementally as to can we refresh it? Can we make it current? Can we do a better job?” he said.

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“On the other side of the equation, we have an institution that has been in place for hundreds of years throughout the world, that we all agree upon, keeps us safe, and it’s not appropriate to start blowing those institutions up immediately because of the acts of a very few — by the numbers — that are egregious and terribly wrong,” McQuaid said. “We have an opportunity to correct those. We need to pay attention to it.”

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3 – 6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here

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