During a press conference this morning, Seattle City Council Member Tammy Morales announced her campaign to represent District 2 for another term. The district covers the South End, Chinatown-International District, and Pioneer Square.
In her speech, Morales ticked off the crises facing the city—an uneven recovery from the pandemic, not enough places for people to live, a mental health crisis with no real infrastructure in place to deal with it, a record number of traffic fatalities—and acknowledged "public cynicism" about local government as an "understandable" reaction to hard times. Nevertheless, the community organizing that all the hardship spurred made her feel "hopeful" for the future.
She also acknowledged the "tough" nature of the job, wherein she and other members face countless threats of violence, and said she didn't "begrudge" her colleagues for deciding to move on. For her, though, the constant antagonism wasn't enough of "a reason to give in." So far, Council Members Lisa Herbold, Kshama Sawant, Alex Pedersen, and reportedly Debora Juarez plan to hang up the keys. Questions marks still circle around Council Members Teresa Mosqueda and Dan Strauss.
The legislative wins she stood on included securing $2 million for sidewalks in SDOT's Pedestrian Master Plan, adding money for community resilience hubs to help people survive extreme weather events, closing the City's just-cause eviction loophole, leading on some pandemic-era tenant protections, getting money for street sinks, and funding our local abortion fund.
This year, she plans to continue work on a race and social justice ordinance, standing up the social housing developer if voters pass the initiative (which YOU SHOULD), and creating a "safer streets" ordinance to cut down on drivers killing people who are just walking across the street to go to the store.
I refuse to wait for the next Levy or the next study or the next step in the Seattle Process.— Councilmember Tammy J. Morales (@CMTammyMorales) January 30, 2023
My office is working on safe streets policy this year because we need to see immediate changes made for pedestrian safety, especially in South Seattle. pic.twitter.com/4YsDnRSKO7
She also said she remains committed to making Seattle a "15-minute city," that is, a place where residents live, work, shop, and send their kids to school all within a 15-minute walk, bike, or public transit trip.
Depending on what Mosqueda ends up doing with her life, if reelected Morales would be the left-most incumbent left on council. However, after the conservative backlash in 2021, winning back her seat will be a challenge. Though she beat big-business-backed Seattle Police Department "crime prevention coordinator" Mark Solomon by 21.5 points in 2019, she'll likely have stiffer competition from the right this year; one scouted by the mayor, one not—at least to our knowledge.