2017 General Election Candidates Survey – Position 8

The 2017 General Election is November 7th. Historic Seattle is conducting a candidates survey of those running for Mayor of Seattle and Seattle City Council Positions 8 and 9. Responses to each question were limited to 200 words or less. We are posting responses as we receive them and will continue to do so through early November. Here are the responses for Position 8.

Position 8 – At-Large

Jon Grant and Teresa Mosqueda


Jon Grant

The following responses were submitted by Jon on October 25, 2017:

What’s your favorite historic place in Seattle and why do you think it’s important?

Chinatown/International District. Our office is located in the CID and we’re lucky to be in a historic neighborhood with a rich cultural history. Unfortunately, the affordable and historic character of the CID is in tension with upzone plans for the neighborhood. As our city grows, it is crucial to maintain the stock of historically affordable housing.

How can Seattle accommodate the growing numbers of residents and increase in density while keeping neighborhood character?

Throughout my career and this campaign, I have championed density without displacement. Seattle is facing an influx of 100,000 people in the coming decades and we must identify housing solutions that create new housing while preserving and expanding our affordable housing stock. This is especially important in historically redlined neighborhoods like the CID and the Central District. Many residents have complained that for decades they were redlined in and now, given the pressures of the market, they are being redlined out. We must invest in equitable development, like the Africatown/Forterra partnership in the Central District, that ensures that residents are not displaced.

Do you believe historic buildings and places help create a more sustainable, affordable, and livable city? If so, how?

Yes. Much of our existing affordable housing stock exists in older buildings that have naturally occurring below-market rents. We must protect this housing stock from demolition in favor of
new, luxury housing which results in a net loss of affordable housing. Additionally, as I mentioned above, historic places provide a rich cultural history and sense of place to many communities in Seattle. We should protect those neighborhoods by investing in equitable development projects.

How would you strengthen the City’s historic preservation program to ensure continued protection of designated Seattle Landmarks and historic districts?

I think a good model to look to is the Seattle Chinatown/International District Preservation and Development Authority (SCIDpda). SCIDpda is actually the landlord for our office building and
manages a number of other projects all over the CID. They are also a strong voice in the community and at City Hall for guiding growth in a historic district.

How do we use existing and new tools to better engage communities to ensure equitable cultural heritage preservation?

From day one, I have run a community-driven campaign. All of our policies are directly informed by the people most impacted, whether engaging homeless neighbors in drafting a homelessness and affordable housing policy or working with undocumented immigrants to draft a bold municipal immigration platform. I would bring this same lens to inclusion and community engagement to cultural heritage preservation in our community.

Teresa Mosqueda