Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda (Position 8, Citywide), Chair of Council’s Budget Committee, issued the following statement after this evening’s local and federal election returns:
“While many in Seattle spent the day checking the news, worried about the short- and long-term implications of federal races, and preparing for potential civil unrest, my team and I spent the day working on the City’s budget. These are all connected–our budget and our City’s challenges are a direct result of Presidential failures: failures in additional COVID relief, COVID testing and response, failures to respond to infrastructure challenges and the nationwide homelessness and housing crisis, and more. So we must form local responses to keep our residents healthy, safe, and housed.
“Tonight we have hope that Seattle shows a progressive path forward. Early returns show overwhelming support for our community’s health, infrastructure and residents from local measures approved by voters. Tonight, our city, county and state sent a strong signal that we may have our differences, but we are stepping up locally to invest in our future, promote equity and support our community’s health. While the final tally at the national level may still be ongoing for days or weeks, in Seattle and our region the early election returns show two big winners: investments in our community’s health and our local infrastructure.
“Thanks to the voters, my colleagues and I can chart a course for the Seattle Transportation Benefit District (STBD), allowing us to preserve necessary transit routes in the city as a result of overwhelming support for Prop 1. We will be able to help ensure essential workers and so many others who depend on bus service will continue to access our dependable transit system – key to helping the city and downtown recover from the economic downturn.
“In addition, our region will continue to be able to depend on Harborview Medical Center, which operates at the front line of health response for our broader community, and for near-fatal accidents, natural disasters, as well as the treatment of people in crisis, including our neighbors experiencing homelessness, mental illness or drug addiction. Thanks to voter approval of the Harborview bond measure, we can move ahead with decisions to fund stabilization and modernization of the emergency department and buildings, increase surge capacity, and respond to the health needs of our region during the pandemic and beyond.
“The crisis of COVID-19 has laid bare the stark reality of economic inequality, housing instability and a myriad of other complications and factors that Seattle must address. The COVID-19 pandemic and related economic crisis and unemployment emergency continue to push many people to the brink of disaster. The combination of too-little federal support coupled with spikes in infection rates may be devastating combination in 2021 – and we must be prepared.
“I remain cautiously optimistic about the trends we’ve already seen in the revised revenue forecast and the local election results tonight. Working people everywhere are on the precipice of history. My motivation is to continue to pass policy and budget changes that make it possible for each of us will wake up in a more just, healthy and stronger community – tonight’s local election results help us with that goal.”