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Issues


WHAT'S NEW:

July 16: Alon Bassok's Ask Me Anything session on Reddit

July 15: Alon Bassok's Press Release related to the HALA recommendations

June 30: Alon Bassok releases proposal for a complete bicycle network.

June 8: Alon Bassok releases proposal for city-funded housing voucher program.

June 1: Alon Bassok releases proposal for 30,000 permanently-affordable housing units.

May 27: Alon Bassok and John Roderick release their plan for neighborhood municipal rail.


Bassok family

Our community is a city of opportunity, one that draws people with the promise of good jobs and abundant beauty. However, we must take action now to ensure our city remains livable for the working families. As a resident of West Seattle, a transportation and urban planner, and former manager of several small businesses, I will be your voice on the city council to ensure that our growing prosperity does not leave current residents behind.

Seattle is a city of neighborhoods, each with a unique character and rich traditions. We know, and must accept, that our community is growing. And while this growth brings opportunity, we must make the most of this opportunity while ensuring that we protect the character of each of these neighborhoods, so they remain great places for all people and businesses to thrive.


HOUSING

Housing prices are driving many workers, artists, and students away from the city. This is not acceptable. As a city councilmember, I propose that all new developments in urban centers must include 20% affordable units--truly affordable units. These need to support the people who need housing the most: people earning our city’s new $15 minimum wage--people earning $31,200 per year, which is roughly a third of Seattle’s median family income. At the same time, this must be done in a way that fairly compensates responsible developers in their efforts to provide much needed housing for our city.

Growth in our urban centers keeps development pressure away from the single-family areas in our city. And, growth in centers allows people to live closer to jobs, and closer to the buses and trains that have good service and can get them to their jobs. With more housing in the centers, fewer people will be forced to drive, freeing up roadway for those that do drive.

TRANSPORTATION

Seattle is growing in every way, except in new land. This demands that our transportation system become more efficient. To improve transit, the city must work with the county and Sound Transit to eliminate bottlenecks and chokepoints through a combination of design, technology, and dedication of street space. In key corridors, especially for the RapidRide and services that connect villages and centers, we should find ways to add bus-only lanes. We need to invest in neighborhood municipal rail.

As a city we should be bold in exploring new ways of reducing delays, reducing conflicts, and improving safety for all. However, Seattle has unique challenges, and anyone promising all easy answers is selling snake oil. We must be willing to take chances—sometimes a low-cost, low-risk experiment is better than long debates, costly studies, and committing to something wrong. Some proven solutions exist that Seattle can and should adopt.


We need to get back to what we used to do right. Twenty years ago, Seattle embarked on an immense neighborhood planning process. We should return to it. As a city, we should go back to asking all of our neighbors what their dreams are for their neighborhoods and how the city’s policies can reflect and support those dreams.

My hopes for our city are big. Everyone should be able to live and move around our city. Getting started, my solutions are simple and can be implemented quickly—require affordable housing in urban centers and villages, dedicate right of way for buses, develop neighborhood municipal rail, and return to stronger neighborhood planning. All that is needed is the will to make it possible.