Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda is first candidate announcing run for King County Council District 8

(Also posted on partner site West Seattle Blog)

(WCN/WSB photo by Patrick Sand)

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

After five years as one of the Seattle City Council‘s two members at large, residents of North Delridge Teresa Moscheda says she feels an “urge” to a different role in local government — that of King County Councilor.

Mosqueda announced this morning that she is running for the District 8 District Councilor seat Joe McDermott leaves us after more than a decade. The newly mapped district stretches from downtown Seattle to Burien and also includes West Seattle, White Center and Vashon and Maury Islands (see map here), among others.

Mosqueda spoke to us in West Seattle shortly before her announcement. She says she will continue her job on the city council — which won’t come up for a vote again until 2025 — while also running for county council. (If she wins the new job, the remaining city council members would have to appoint someone to fill the remainder of their term.) Although the district council represents three times as many people as the city council, it generally has less of the spotlight with much less pressure and scrutiny. Mosqueda wouldn’t mind: “Everyone asks, won’t you be bored? I say no!”

She says what “pulls” her to County Council are two main issues – health and housing. County government has “more influence over public health and behavioral health”. On the latter, she supports the behavioral health levy that County Council sent to voters just back in April. And she sees more areas in the county in need of workers’ housing, particularly Vashon and Burien. She wants to work with state legislators, who have the spotlight on housing this session. The county also operates the large transit system – metro – and “working families need 24/7 transit – we need to rethink that.”

These working families, Mosqueda continues, also need more access to childcare and other support. She expresses admiration for the county’s voter-sanctioned choice Best starts for children Program. She sees opportunities “to build on the work we’ve been doing in Seattle,” and recalls touring the West Seattle Junction four years ago when a small business owner told her more childcare and housing would help her workers.

Beyond West Seattle, she mentions other parts of the city that are part of County Council District 8: “I’ve served in these communities and I know them.” But she says she’s no stranger to the areas outside of Seattle — her family is growing up example in Burien provided medical care and visited this community Seahurst Park. However, her heart lies in the North Delridge neighborhood, where she lives with her husband and 3-year-old daughter – “it’s the kind of walkable, livable neighborhood I want everyone to have.”

Mosqueda also notes that serving District 8 would be about serving a diverse population, with growing numbers of people of color as well as immigrants and refugees. Representation is important, she explains, noting that she was shocked to learn that of the more than 130 people currently serving on Washington state borough councils, only three are black. During and before her work in the city, she says, she fought for those who weren’t (yet) at the table.

Apart from the topics that excite you the most, we ask about others – public safety on the one hand. She first mentions the work the county has done on diversion, touching on work for community safety in addition to law enforcement, although she also mentions respect for the community King County Sheriff’s Office and Chief of Police of Burien ted boe“who has received much praise for his work on Restorative Justice.”

In Fundamentals of Governance, we also ask what she learned as City Council Budget Chair. “It was my goal to really change the culture of how we approach budgeting,” and Mosqueda believes that she and her colleagues achieved this through increased scrutiny, including “deep analysis.” She also mentions looking further into the future and taking a closer look at a six-year forecast, which she says was previously buried in the information Council members would receive and mostly ignored.

Could she try to do something like that jumpstart County level tax? No concrete proposals are planned, but she is interested in legislative measures that give local government more flexibility.

On a District 8 issue that hasn’t been discussed much recently but remains unresolved — the annexation of the North Highline — Mosqueda says she wants to talk to residents about their needs, “hear from people what they see.” want, whether it is self-determination or annexation or …” The bottom line is that she sees task 1 as finding out whether people feel they are being adequately cared for by the community.

She plans to begin talks with potential constituents immediately and has scheduled meetings in Burien as early as tomorrow; She expects to “preload” her City Council duties during the week whenever she can so she can campaign Friday through Sunday. She believes she can win people over by showing up on their doorstep and promising to make a difference on their behalf. “If people are excited about a workhorse, a listener, someone who takes action…” then Mosqueda says she is their candidate.

WHAT’S NEXT: Mosqueda is the first announced candidate in this race. The field will not be final until the official registration week in mid-May. Voting for the August 1 primary begins in July.

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