Preservation and Elections 2023

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.

2023 Seattle City Council Candidates’ Survey

Historic Seattle is conducting a survey of those running for Seattle City Council Positions 1 through 7.

Scroll down past the questions on this page to view responses from candidates.

We will publish individual responses as we receive them on this page through November 6 (Election Day is November 7). 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. The City of Seattle is in the process of updating 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 and community wealth. How would you work to identify potential strategies and implement them?

5. Many successful preservation projects involve adaptive reuse—rehabilitating and converting older buildings into new uses such as a former warehouse into housing, office, hotel, etc. How can the City help developers choose preservation over demolition? Please share with us how adaptive reuse contributes to reducing climate impacts and increasing resiliency of older buildings.

6. The cultural spaces which many people feel define Seattle are increasingly at risk of redevelopment. The global pandemic 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, particularly since the City of Seattle is actively working on a legislative mandate for property owners to upgrade URM buildings?

Candidates’ Responses Received To Date:

Link takes you to a PDF.

Andrew Lewis (District 7)

Bob Kettle (District 7)