Ron Davis is running for Seattle City Council, District 4 as an outspoken progressive for affordable housing, community safety, and more. Davis has served in the Roosevelt Neighborhood Association and has been a board member at Futurewise, which advocates for sustainability and livable communities. In our interview with Davis, he emphasized that he's running to be the opposite of retiring incumbent council member Alex Pedersen, who stood in the way of many progressive policies, including efforts to build more housing that's affordable to middle-income Seattlites.
If elected, Davis would focus on housing supply, subsidizing housing so that everyone has more affordable access, and increasing stability for renters. Many policies are on the table for Davis to achieve this, including prohibiting rent price gouging, funding social housing, expanding midrise housing, ensuring the "right to return" for people displaced by developers, and offering square footage and height bonuses. Davis is also rigorously pro-science when it comes to treating homelessness as a housing problem. He points out that many challenging and displacing life events like domestic abuse, addiction, and job loss are less catastrophic when people can afford rent and stay off the streets. Aside from the many housing policies above, Davis wants to see 3,500 permanent supportive housing units built.
In the primary election, Davis was one of the few candidates, not just in the district but citywide, to acknowledge that even Seattle's own police don't think they can hire 400 more officers during a nationwide shortage. Rather than lowering standards on hires and pouring more money into bonuses, he wants to see aggressive expansion into alternatives to policing for people in crisis. Other top priorities for Davis are worker's rights, including subsidized childcare, closing minimum wage loopholes, and more.
Davis' opponent, Maritza Rivera, works in Mayor Bruce Harrell's office as Deputy Director of the Department of Arts & Culture. Her number one campaign priority is public safety, specifically in the form of getting 5-minute response times to 911 calls, taking "home and car break-ins seriously," and aggressively targeting drug users. The lack of details on how she would achieve this or any of the city's many other needs does not instill confidence. Rivera doesn't support rent control and wants the city to continue its expensive and inhumane sweeps of encampments. She has no firm stance on increasing revenue for all the 400 additional officers she wants to hire, despite a projected city budget shortfall in the years to come.
Rivera was also highlighted in a Stranger article around the contents of a letter that the majority of the staff at the Seattle Arts and Culture Department (ARTS) signed, citing "defensive, hostile, and condescending interactions with Rivera." She has taken a large number of donations from corporations and conservatives, including those who often donate to Trump and other Republican campaigns.
Vote for Ron Davis for progressive change on the Seattle City Council from District 4.