I Believe in Seattle
In Brief - I am a land use geek who wants a more dense and urban pattern of development and who believes in a housing first approach to people living without homes.
My wife and I decided to move from rural Virginia where we had been living to Seattle. There were a lot of reasons to move but the biggest was that we wanted to have a kid. The technology to make that possible and the social climate to let that kid have a normal life didn’t leave us a lot of options. We also wanted strong state level anti-discrimination laws, a tech environment that had opportunities for my wife, and a place with a strong sense of self.
Like many people we didn’t just move here for economic reasons. Like most tech families we had choices about where we wanted to live. People move here because there is something about Seattle that they believe in and that is part of what makes this a special place.
I live in a quad that used to be a single family home. My spouse and I walk our kid to an excellent daycare and then walk to work. Some days we stop for coffee or breakfast on the way in or groceries on the way home. Sometimes we take the bus to somewhere fun after work or on the weekend. It isn’t a fancy lifestyle, but it is a product of our economic privilege. I want this to be available to as many people who want it as possible, it is good for people and an environmentally responsible way to live. When I talk about urbanism, this is the kind of life I am thinking about.
I don’t think this kind of life - where the things that make life fun and beautiful are within easy reach - is possible without more housing like mine, without work to make neighborhoods walkable and accessible to transit and without comprehensive planning to make it all affordable to people who make more modest amounts of money.
We need to look at housing insecurity in all its forms. Affordability is part of this but it is not the only reason people feel like they might have to move when they don’t want to. This worry drains energy and time; it prevents people from investing time energy and love in the place they live. And that hurts everyone.
All of this does mean it is a time of change for Seattle, but this city has a history of changing with new challenges, industries and opportunities.
Living Cities are Growing Cities.
I have spent most of my career working in and with state and local governments on land use and planning issues. Recently I have been developing a business model for law firms to help them support people with everyday legal needs.
Founder and Attorney
Smol Law PLLC
This is my firm and it is dedicated to providing average people with the kind of everyday legal assistance we usually associate with small town attorneys.
State of Virginia
I went to small towns in western Virginia and explained why they had to enforce building restrictions and regulations in flood prone areas.
State of Florida
When things went wrong I made maps to help make it clear where things were, my time included activation for Deepwater Horizon and H1N1.
Attorney for Land Use
State of Florida
I reviewed traffic studies and other similar planning documents. I also helped acquire properties for a state open space program.
State of Florida
I reviewed proposed comprehensive plan changes.
I used geography and demographics to evaluate potential grocery store sites.
Washington University in St. Louis
B.S. Environmental Studies (Geography)
Florida State University
So what is it with this potluck party …
So Washington State asked me for my “political party preference” when I was filing to run.
I realized that every time I had been at a party where the work of progressive politics or community building was being done, it was a potluck.
I also think the potluck is a good model for local politics, everyone brings something if they can, we put it all on the table, and people take what is right for them.
While I deeply respect the work that mainstream and less mainstream political parties do in statewide and national races, I am not sure that affiliation makes sense for someone who is pledging first to represent a small group of local people in mostly local decisions.
I make no effort to claim this party, anyone can have a potluck if people are willing to get together and share.
Democracy Vouchers. Qualifying is not a simple matter, I need 150 donations and of at least $10 from people in Seattle and 75 of those in my district. I also need matching signatures. I am not taking other donations yet because, frankly people’s money is precious and if I can’t qualify I am likely not a viable candidate. If you are at all in a position to help me this is the link to do that.
Just fill out the top section and send the scanned document to email@example.com or mail the form to Hall4Six at 1752 NW Market Street number 1601 Seattle, WA 98107