Preservation and Elections 2021

Historic Seattle has conducted candidate surveys for local elections since 1999. The survey addresses local historic preservation issues, challenges, and opportunities. Our intent is to gauge candidates’ knowledge of and sensitivity to preservation issues.

That said, please note that Historic Seattle does not endorse candidates for public office.

Preservation of the built environment is a key quality of life issue. It is a primary component of sustainable development and serves as a valuable planning tool that helps build strong, livable communities. Many voters, especially Historic Seattle members, seek to understand the positions of political leaders who will be responsible for protecting our historic places and thoughtfully balancing the preservation of Seattle’s unique character with other public goals.

2021 Seattle Mayoral and City Council Candidates’ Survey

Historic Seattle is conducting a survey of those running for Seattle Mayor and City Council At-Large Positions 8 and 9. Each response is limited to 200 words or less.

We will publish individual responses as we receive them on this page. The candidates were asked the following seven questions:

  1. What’s your favorite historic place in Seattle and why do you think it’s important?
  2. As the City of Seattle prepares to update its Comprehensive Plan, what role does historic preservation play in planning and land use beyond designating landmarks and historic districts?
  3. There is a significant relationship between historic buildings and affordable housing (including naturally occurring affordable housing) that has existed in Seattle for more than a century. They are the fundamental building blocks of most of the city’s neighborhoods. What programs or incentives would you create to promote the preservation of affordable housing in conjunction with rehabilitating historic buildings?
  4. BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) communities need greater investment in preservation of the places and spaces that are significant to them, and this can be directly tied to growing generational wealth. How would you work to identify potential strategies and implement them?
  5. A comprehensive, city-wide survey and inventory of Seattle neighborhoods does not exist (though some neighborhoods have been surveyed and inventoried in the past few decades). Many large municipalities in the United States have funded city-wide surveys and inventories to identify and document historic and cultural resources, and Seattle needs one that is primarily focused on BIPOC communities whose stories have been historically marginalized or just not told. Do you agree that this needs to happen now and how would you support this effort?
  6. The cultural spaces which many people feel define Seattle are increasingly at risk of redevelopment. The global pandemic has made many of these places even more vulnerable. Do you feel that it is important to preserve these places, and how can we accomplish this?
  7. There are hundreds of unreinforced masonry (URM) buildings in the Seattle. Seismically retrofitting these historic buildings is a green investment, but more importantly an investment in community and public safety—saving housing, offices, restaurant, retail, health care, cultural venues, and places of worship. Do you see this need, and how do you plan to support it?