Living Wages for All
I firmly believe that all workers deserve to make a living wage. If you work forty hours per week you should be able to afford to feed, clothe, and house yourself. As a city with significant resources and a vibrant business sector we should lead the way in living wage jobs for all employees. Unfortunately, many in Bellevue are working in jobs that pay the Washington State minimum wage of just twelve dollars per hour. This is not a living wage, especially in this city. It is time for Bellevue to establish a minimum wage that recognizes the value of an individual’s labor and allows for people that work hard everyday to be able to afford to pay for their basic necessities.
Affordable Housing is Needed in Bellevue
It is critical that we revamp and improve Bellevue’s current affordable housing strategy. While Bellevue developed a plan a couple of years ago it has never been implemented. Sadly, it is outdated and does not adequately meet the needs of those that are struggling to survive in Bellevue. Affordable housing is critical to Bellevue’s success. It becomes hard to recruit strong employees and businesses if individual’s cannot afford to live here. They may choose to locate themselves and work elsewhere. Affordable housing is important for all income levels. Finally, we cannot turn our back on those that have very little in terms of resources. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has made it clear that cities must find a way to provide housing for those that are need. As a result, the City of Bellevue needs to move quicker in addressing housing issues for our neighbors that are unhoused. It’s the right thing to do.
We should also evaluate the possibility of rezoning and providing benefits to those that build and maintain income contingent housing in the City of Bellevue. Further, some variant of rent control is necessary in Bellevue. As a council member I would actively support and push for the improvement and implementation of Bellevue’s affordable housing strategy.
Balancing Growth and Development with Much Needed Investments in Infrastructure
Bellevue is a vibrant city that has changed dramatically in the past couple of decades. It is now a hub for business and is a part of an ever growing and interconnected region. The number of people that live and/or work in Bellevue is astonishing. We must continue to improve our infrastructure so that we can support the people and businesses here. I would propose that we do the following:
- Move toward reducing the cities carbon footprint by replacing city vehicles with electric cars.
- Continue to invest in our parks and greenspaces. They are critical to our quality of life.
- Evaluate and invest in alternative sources of power that do not irretrievably damage the world we live in.
- Evaluate potential zoning changes that would better support the number of people that live and work in Bellevue.
- Provide the various city departments in Bellevue with adequate staffing and funding to adequately accomplish their tasks
Improve Transportation Options so That Everyone Can Get Around Quickly, Safely and Affordably
Transportation is a critical issue for our region. Bellevue needs to work with the county to improve metro services in our outlying areas. Those that are dependent upon public transportation are often underserved. On weekends, bus routes are often decreased dramatically in some areas of Bellevue. For those that are dependent upon the bus to get to and from work or the store this is unacceptable. We need to demand more from metro.
Creating room for alternative forms of transportation is also of great importance. Not only does this help to address our traffic woes, it is important to the protection of our environment. Additionally, we will need to work with the businesses that are located in Bellevue to determine how to best address our traffic and transportation issues. Finally, we need to better utilize technology to control traffic in such a way that we do not generate gridlock throughout the city.