Ask the Candidates

Ask the Candidates

We asked incumbent Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and former state Sen. Ed Murray where they stand on issues related to three topics: street safety, affordable housing, and transportation.

Street Safety

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Hire more police officers?

McGinn: Yes. Proposed budget includes funds for 15 positions.

Murray: Yes. Let's hire 25 officers each year over four years.

Expand the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program to all of downtown?

McGinn: Yes. Proposed budget includes funds for program.

Murray: Yes, but may not be right approach for other parts of town.

Thoughts on mental health funding?

McGinn: We’re 50th in the nation in the number of mental health beds, and we can see effects on the streets.

Murray: We added funds for mental health this year, and Obamacare will help.

Affordable Housing

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How to boost affordable housing?

McGinn: Incentivize developers to build more affordable housing with flexible zoning, increased height limit. Prioritize affordable housing near transit.

Murray: Incentivize developers to build more affordable housing with flexible zoning, increased height limit. Analyze rate per neighborhood to maximize new affordable units. Offer mortgage assistance to citizens to help them buy homes.

Thoughts on aPodments and Microhousing?

McGinn: ”A really valuable option” for some; permitting process should give neighbors more notice and chance for involvement.

Murray: “I think they’re great” if zoning rules are defined “so that developers don’t take advantage.”

How to preserve single-family neighborhoods and allow for growth?

McGinn: “These two sentiments are both valid and they’re often in conflict with each other.” Solution: more neighborhood planning, ask for public input on what they want for their community.

Murray: Be strategic about location of growth, development. City has capacity to grow in urban core and business districts, but “I don’t think it has to be at the cost of ending single family homes.”


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How do you get around?

McGinn: Bike commuter, driven around during the day, minivan-driving soccer dad by weekend.

Murray: Walk and bus in Capitol Hill, drive to Olympia, and “occasionally, just for recreational purposes, I ride a bike.”

How to accommodate all modes of transportation needs?

McGinn: An integrated plan that cross-references data to determine priorities. “The challenge isn’t having a plan; it’s having the dollars to invest.”

Murray: An integrated approach that looks at corridors instead of at individual streets to find solutions.

What future transportation needs should be addressed?

McGinn: Invest in public transit to meet mobility needs of workers.

Murray: Go back to Olympia and get additional authority for Sound Transit 3.