SEATTLE – Councilmember Alex Pedersen (District 4 – Northeast Seattle) issued the following statement in response to the announcement by Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best that she plans to retire on September 2:
“I am deeply saddened by the resignation of our Police Chief Carmen Best. Chief Best has served Seattle faithfully and honorably for decades and happens to be the first Black woman to serve as our City’s police chief. While a majority of City Council voted on August 5 to cut Carmen Best’s salary, it’s important to note that Councilmembers Juarez, Lewis, and I did NOT vote to cut her salary.
“I did not support suddenly cutting the salary of the first Black police chief in Seattle’s history and the diverse, experienced team that she picked. While I believe we should take a hard look at reducing excessive city government pay during budget deficits, I believe our entire City Council should be more thoughtful and methodical so we avoid unintended consequences.
“There are few leaders better equipped than Carmen Best to help lead the hard negotiations needed to fix the police contract — today’s expensive and unreasonable police contract is among the biggest impediments to revamping and boosting public safety in all communities. I will continue to work collaboratively with our Mayor and other colleagues to seek and implement solutions for Seattle, even though the road today is much more difficult. People deserve to see less sniping and more solutions.”
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About Councilmember Alex Pedersen: Before his election in Nov 2019 to represent the 100,000 residents of Seattle’s District 4, Alex Pedersen worked on community development, affordable housing, and fiscal accountability issues for 25 years in both the public and private sectors. After earning a Master of Government Administration, he served the Clinton Administration at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). His career includes 15 years managing financial analysts to fund the preservation, renovation, or construction of over 30,000 units of affordable housing across the country. He served as Legislative Aide to former Council President Tim Burgess and crafted the original resolution that became the nationally acclaimed Seattle Preschool Program enacted by voters in 2014. Alex and his wife have been raising their two children in Northeast Seattle for over a decade.