If you're still unsure of who to vote for in the race for citywide council Position 8 or West Seattle's District 1, consider this:
Jon Grant—the tenant advocate who's challenging Tim Burgess for a citywide council seat—got his hands on the Rental Housing Association's September newsletter, and it shows just how freaked out that group is by his candidacy.
"Mr. Grant represents the worst option for Council not named Kshama Sawant," writes the RHA's Sean Martin in a story imaginatively called "Primary Election Results."
The story in the newsletter also frames Lisa Herbold, who's running in District 1, as a bad-for-the-industry tenant champion.
Both Herbold and Grant would deal a powerful blow to landlords' interests inside City Hall by fighting for tenants' rights alongside socialist Kshama Sawant. (Grant and Sawant are all-in on rent control; Herbold's position is a little more nuanced.)
And that's exactly why we endorsed them.
Out-of-control rent increases, unconscionable living conditions, special move-in deals for rich techies—Seattle needs city council members willing to stand up against groups like the RHA that are happy with this kind of status quo. Herbold's and Grant's track records fighting for tenants prove they are the candidates most likely to do that.
As we wrote in our endorsements:
Herbold supports basically every single thing that's good for renters and low-wage workers—caps on move-in fees, protection from discrimination if you pay your rent with public assistance, the right to sue your employer if they're not paying you the right wage, bargaining rights for Uber drivers. Meanwhile, the Rental Housing Association's political arm, which has donated to Braddock, wrote an e-mail to its members urging them to oppose Herbold because she is "known to strongly favor tenants."
Grant is a progressive nerd on all the big issues, including racial justice, police reform, and, perhaps most importantly, housing affordability—he's the former executive director of the Tenants Union of Washington State, which does yeoman's work advocating for vulnerable renters. So are you sick of astronomical rents? Want a roof over your head rather than a tent next to a freeway off-ramp? Want to not be treated like a criminal for living in that tent? You want Grant.
Clearly, the RHA agrees. Their scare-list of reasons to vote against these candidates sounds like a fucking utopia to us:
“Between these two races, wins by Ms. Herbold and Mr. Grant would represent a disaster for the industry. Those two, combined with Kshama Sawant favored in her race against Pamela Banks in District 3, would create a strong tenant-centric bloc on the Council, and would guarantee immediate moves to further strengthen tenant rights by expanding the Just Cause Eviction Ordinance, further increasing notice for rent increases, and restricting rental owners’ ability to screen applicants.”
Um, yes please.
Ms. Braddock’s opponent, Lisa Herbold, has been a long-time staff aide to Councilmember Nick Licata, and has worked as an advocate for tenants while in City Hall. In fact, if you’d like to thank the City for creating the new Rental Registration and Inspections Ordinance the first place to start would be Nick Licata, followed directly by Lisa Herbold.
Why, yes, RHA! We would like to thank Lisa Herbold for that. We'll start by voting for her!