Pre-pandemic, two-thirds of new jobs created in Washington were in Seattle. But not enough of our community shared in that prosperity. In one of the most prosperous cities in America before the pandemic, why were so many — renters and homeowners, young families and seniors, and vulnerable communities — struggling to live with dignity in our city?
To answer that question, look no further than the impending collapse of the West Seattle bridge. After years of neglecting to fix it, the bridge has become emblematic of the city’s approach to most every problem: filling cracks with no real foresight or oversight to solve the underlying problem.
We can do better. As we all come together again in the wake of this pandemic, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a more just and equitable city where we all share in Seattle’s wealth and opportunity — but only if we have the bold leadership needed to truly tackle the root causes of the inequities plaguing our city.
As mayor, Jessyn will enact the progressive policies we know will grow our economy, create broad prosperity, and give Seattle an unbeatable competitive advantage in attracting family-wage jobs post-pandemic — not resort to the austerity that prolonged the Great Recession for so many of us.
Jessyn will work to put more money in people’s pockets and create portable benefits like retirement savings, affordable health care, and paid family & medical leave for gig workers, artists, domestic workers, and small business owners. And she’ll do so while re-imagining the relationship the mayor builds with her constituents by developing those policies in true partnership with community advocates.
She will accomplish all of this because she isn’t new to the problems we’ve battled as a city, both during and before this pandemic.
Public Education Should Be A Birthright
Click here to read Jessyn’s plan to give Seattle a #FreshStart for Families!
Click here to read Jessyn’s plan to give Seattle a #FreshStart on Climate!
Click here to read Jessyn’s plan to give Seattle a #FreshStart on Gun Violence Prevention!
Click here to read Jessyn’s plan to give Seattle a #FreshStart on Homelessness!
Click here to read Jessyn’s plan to give Seattle a #FreshStart on Public Safety!
Click here to read Jessyn’s plan to give Seattle a #FreshStart on Transportation!
Jessyn in the Media:
Seattle’s Mayoral Candidates Talk About Post-Pandemic Arts Recovery at Arts Forum [South Seattle Emerald, 7/24/21]
Former state legislator Jessyn Farrell has a perspective on creating a greener economy that includes investing in arts funding. “As we transition to a green economy, we need to think of art as part of that economy. The creation of art is inherently low-carbon,” she explained. “We need to be looking at funding arts spaces and arts programs as part of that.”
Arts also have the ability to act as a container for community healing. Farrell is excited about exploring combining arts programming with youth education as a way to reduce gun violence. She has experience with scaling up policy through her previous work on transit and economic recovery projects. When it comes to making the city affordable for artists, Farrell is in favor of big investments in affordable social housing, portable benefits packages, and using portions of carbon fees to help fund a living wage for artists.
Jessyn Farrell on The Morning Update Show with Omari Salisbury [Converge Media, 5/5/21]
Harrell, Farrell, or Houston: Which Mayoral Candidate Is Better on Climate? [The Stranger, 4/30/21]
However, for climate advocates, part of the appeal of Farrell’s plan is how thorough it is. Farrell’s 10-page platform dwarfs Harrell’s 299-word platform, and it feels more like a comprehensive Green New Deal than a few climate change policies.
Wallach pointed out that Farrell said how she would implement her policies to put Seattle on track to reach zero net emissions by 2030. “This level of detail is what we need from all candidates”
After defending Ed Murray, can Bruce Harrell be a mayor to survivors? [International Examiner, 4/30/21]
Farrell laid out strategies for how she would combat rape culture as mayor: supporting consent education, funding public health access, ensuring trauma informed investigations for assaults, improving women’s economic agency, and addressing sexist workplace culture – which she has spoken out on before.
What Seattle’s mayoral candidates had to say about the Chauvin verdict and police reform [Capitol Hill Seattle Blog, 4/21/21]
Jessyn Farrell, a former state lawmaker, noted “this is such a hard time for so many people” with the twin public health and economic crises stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. She said there has been a “failure of leadership for the last several years.”
“For all of the white allies in this meeting tonight, I really want us to be very clear that this is not a moment of complacency in light of the verdict, and that as the next mayor, I will dedicate myself with urgency to the issue of creating a public safety system in the city of Seattle where every single one of us, particularly our Black and Brown neighbors, feel safe as they go about their day-to-day business.”
Safe Routes and Social Housing Headline Jessyn Farrell’s Mayoral Platform [The Urbanist, 4/15/21]
Farrell pointed to racist housing policy as a justification for investment in social housing. She talked about federally subsidized 30-year fixed mortgage creating stability for homeowners, and noted the lack of a program to guarantee housing stability or offer a similar level of investment for tenants. Since the federally-backed mortgages weren’t initially offered to Black, Indigenous and people of color, that program left them behind, as did segregated public housing projects, sometimes used as slum clearance mechanisms.
Farrell stressed a desire to promote community land trusts and affordable accessory dwelling units (ADUs). It’s not yet clear just how that would work, but she suggested the Mayor could play a role as a convener and send a clear signal to the financial community to invest in ADUs. The housing plan she’s promising later this month should have more details.
Proposal to address homelessness in Seattle city charter met with intrigue, skepticism [Seattle Times, 4/13/21]
Former state Rep. Jessyn Farrell said she supports the measure and doesn’t think it would allow rampant removals.
Seattle’s Mayoral Candidates Weigh in on Proposed Charter Amendment on Homelessness [The Stranger, 4/8/21]
Former state Rep. Jessyn Farrell said sweeps have “not been a policy that has worked well.” She praised some of the amendment’s policy goals, such as investing in behavioral and mental health and interim housing, but blamed “failed leadership” on amendment’s existence in the first place. “There are folks in this race who have been in city government who haven’t made scaled progress on this issue,” she said.
Farrell added that she’d be well-equipped to deal with a debate around how to fund the amendment since she had similar debates in the Legislature around the McCleary decision on school funding. “We need to make sure we’re not cutting other services such as libraries and potholes,” Farrell said. She had to fight to keep social services from being cut during the McCleary debates, she said, and she would do the same as mayor if voters approved the homelessness charter amendment.
Farrell said she sees the amendment as “a mandate” for her big housing plan. She’s been calling for an “ST3 for housing,” a reference to Sound Transit 3, the $54 billion ballot measure to extend light rail, which was funded through regional sales, car tab, and property taxes.
Farrell has yet to release the details of her “big and scaled and regional… approach to solving the housing ability crisis.”
As far as the Compassion Seattle amendment is concerned, “this policy is really only going to be as good as the next mayor,” Farrell said.
Seattle voters will weigh in on ‘defund the police’ with 2021 elections [Crosscut, 4/7/21]
Jessyn Farrell, who’s running for mayor, said Seattle needs to be “redefining what public safety means,” but also said there are certain functions — such as response to domestic violence and gun seizures — that the police ought to keep doing.
Mayoral Candidate Jessyn Farrell Wants Post-COVID Seattle To Be Better For All [South Seattle Emerald, 3/26/21]
“A lot of the wealth disparity comes from that disparity in white homeownership versus Black homeownership in particular. The other thing we need to acknowledge is there have been times where the government has taken a really robust role in using housing as a pathway to family economic stability. We need to rectify the injustices of the past and use that same bold approach around creating new financing mechanisms so that people can get into ownership if they want to.”
“I think this is really going to be a race around vision and this idea that we really need a fresh start, combined with the experience to get the job done. I think any candidate that is able to say, ‘We need a fresh start. The folks who have been in city leadership — there have been crises that have gotten worse under their watch.’ I think that’s really important, but I think that piece around delivery and experience and the ability to put together a governing coalition to help us work with common purpose towards the things that we care about really matters.”