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Michael Harris for Seattle Mayor

Michael Harris for Seattle Mayor

ABC NEWS JOURNALIST, CONSERVATIONIST & FORMER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF PACIFIC WHALE WATCH ASSOCIATION

Credentials

Eleven-time Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker (45 Emmy nominations) and 30-year broadcast network journalist, the last 15 years as Producer, Photojournalist and Wildlife Specialist for ABC News. Stories covered for ABC include Oso mudslide, I-5 Bridge collapse, Washington wildfires, OK tornadoes, and over 13 mass shootings, including Lakewood massacre in 2009 and Seattle Pacific University shooting. While doing ABC and other journalism work, served five years consulting (half-time 2011-2016) as Executive Director of Pacific Whale Watch Association, the ONLY administrator and spokesperson for a transboundary eco-tourism industry representing 37 businesses in WA and BC. Under Michael's tenure, PWWA went from negative growth in 2011 to $144 million annually in economic impact to the region, growing at between 8.3% and 10% a year — making it now close to $200 million/year. Operating guidelines citations among fleet dropped from 18 in 2010 and 12 in 2011 to zero in 2015 and 2016, and no regulative action taken on the industry by NOAA Fisheries or Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Widely considered now a world paradigm for sustainable wildlife viewing.

 

World-Renowned Conservationist

The global media intelligence firm Meltwater Group, which has 55 offices on six continents, estimates that between October 2015 and November 2016 Michael had a total reach in traditional media (TV, radio, newspapers) of over 2.4 billion, appearing by name in every country they monitor. Together with his historic victories on behalf of Puget Sound's Southern Resident killer whales — incl. a victory against the G.W. Bush Administration in U.S. District Court to win ESA protection for the orcas — his lead role in the historic rescue of Springer the orphaned orca in 2002-3, and his last three years producing and narrating "The Whale Report," one-minute spots airing during drive time each Thursday morning on KOMO and other Sinclair Group outlets as well as his frequent appearances in regional media on breaking whale stories, Michael is unquestionably the best-known whale expert in the Pacific Northwest. And per Meltwater, specifically as regards Puget Sound's endangered orcas, Michael may be their best known and most effective advocate in the world.

 

LOOKING BACK AT OUR CAMPAIGN…

Harris for Seattle Mayor

"Mayoral Monster" by Danny Hellman. Cartoon cover of The Stranger, featuring Michael Harris (top right) as one of a nine-headed monster lurking over Seattle voters.

SELECTED MEDIA

"MAYOR'S RACE 2017 / Candidate Profile: Michael Harris / The dark horse mayoral candidate said he's a 'radical' centrist"

Kendall Candioglos, Seattle Met Magazine
July 29th, 2017

After 34 years in Seattle, TV producer Michael Harris wants to bring "radical centrism" to the city. What exactly does that mean? "We've left a lot of people out," Harris said. "I am a moderate in this race. I'm a vegetarian at the BBQ." Harris, now 52, said Seattle has gone "too far to the left," opposes any new taxes, and,,, supports Seattle's sanctuary city policy and wants the city's environmental efforts to go much further.

"Michael Harris, 'Radical Centrist' Candidate for Seattle Mayor"

John Carlson, 570 KVI
July 27, 2017

An anti-tax realist running for Seattle mayor, Michael Harris, joins KVI's John Carlson to talk about his campaign, in which he aims to be a pro-business progressive.

"The Jason and Burns Show / Mayoral Candidate Michael Harris"

KIRO Newsradio
June 15, 2017 (19:03 in)

GUESTS: Mayoral candidate Michael Harris and his father, Chris Harris, the first British-born person to play in the NBA, discuss with Zac Burns and guest host Colleen O'Brien building an arena in SoDo and bringing back the Sonics. He says Ed Murray chose the worst arena plan, and he talks about his traffic solutions. He also says, if elected, he'll quash the income tax.

"Thiel: Seattle Mayor's Race Has SoDo Arena Fan"

Art Thiel, SportsPress
July 3rd, 2017

One of the 21 people seeking to become Seattle's mayor is a basketball fan. Michael Harris comes from a hoops family, and doesn't like what he sees between Mayor Murray and KeyArena's developer.

"One-on-One: Michael Harris, Seattle Mayoral Candidate"

Herb Weisbaum, KOMO Newsradio
June 29th 2017

Most of the 21 candidates for Seattle's next mayor talk about how progressive they are. One candidate, Michael Harris, says he is progressive, but fiscally moderate. Harris says he really wants to hear what conservatives in the city have to say. Harris is a TV news photojournalist and an environmental activist, known to many as "The Whale Guy." On the KOMO Midday News today (weekdays 1-3pm) we went one-on-one with Michael Harris.

"21 candidates crowd Seattle mayor's race"

Essex Porter, KIRO 7 Eyewitness News
May 19th, 2017

Michael Harris paid a filing fee of $1,951.86 to become the 17th candidate to file for Seattle mayor. A whale conservationist and TV producer, Harris is fighting to be one of the two candidates who will get past the August primary.

"The Jason and Burns Show / Rantz ranks current crop of Seattle's mayoral hopefuls"

Jason Rantz, KIRO Newsradio
May 12th, 2017

He's charismatic and can be a clear communicator. He's been effective at telling us why some of Murray or McGinn's policies haven't worked. He seems like a moderate Democrat… He should be an attractive candidate to the same folks who like Durkan or Hasegawa. If he can get his name out there, he poses a legitimate threat.

"The Jason and Burns Show / Seattle-based TV producer Michael Harris joins mayoral race"

BY KIRO Newsradio Staff
May 8th, 2017

Seattle-based TV producer Michael Harris is stepping into the mayoral race. Michael Harris, who has regularly contributed to several television networks, declared his candidacy for Seattle mayor on KIRO Radio's Jason and Burns Show Monday evening… Harris also says he, unlike several of his opponents, is opposed to new taxes.

POST-PRIMARY DOWNLOAD

Michael Harris, Candidate for Mayor 2017 "Pro-Business Progressive" Democrat, one of only seven registered Dems in this race.

Endorsed by GM Nameplate, the largest manufacturer in Seattle.

Endorsed by Clipper Navigations (Victoria Clipper), the oldest and largest private company on the Seattle waterfront.

Endorsed by Adm. Len Hering, formerly the top Commander of U.S. Navy Region Northwest.

Endorsed by Victory Studios, the oldest and largest (and last remaining) post production facility in the Pacific Northwest. Endorsed by numerous eco-tourism companies in WA and BC.

Endorsed by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart (for his whale conservation work).

The only other endorsement sought was from Teamsters #174 — according to a brother, Mr. Harris "came in second" to Bob Hasegawa, their former President.

No endorsements sought from former or current elected officials, particularly from City Councilmembers (Michael has been very critical of City Council).

Michael Harris

 

Harris for Seattle Mayor

 

Harris for Seattle Mayor

 

Harris for Seattle Mayor

 

Harris for Seattle Mayor

 

Harris for Seattle Mayor

 

Harris for Seattle Mayor

 

Harris for Seattle Mayor

 

Harris for Seattle Mayor

 

Harris for Seattle Mayor

 

Harris for Seattle Mayor

 

Harris for Seattle Mayor

 

Harris for Seattle Mayor

 

Harris for Seattle Mayor

 

Harris for Seattle Mayor

 

Harris for Seattle Mayor

 

Harris for Seattle Mayor

 

Harris for Seattle Mayor

 

PRIMARY RESULTS

Advancing in the August 1st, 2017 primary were Jenny Durkan and Cary Moon

Harris for Seattle Mayor

Why didn't we win?   We came up short in this crowded and crazy race, but in retrospect it's clear that on every position this campaign took, every message we put out, every media appearance we scratched out, we hit the nail on the head. Our platform — our brand, if you will — was more in line with the voters of Seattle than any other candidate in this race. Had we been able to secure even half of the funding that we anticipated, had we been given just a few more tools to get the word out, to compete on a level playing field, there's no question we would've easily secured the #2 position in the primary and gone head-to-head against Jenny Durkan in the general. We fought a good fight — we just ran outa gas. Our fundraising fell through. In politics, no bucks, no Buck Rogers… Even in a race where donations are restricted to $500 per individual and $1,000 per family, we had to compete with Big Money — corporate donations funneled through compliance loopholes, and personal loans to campaigns from very wealthy candidates. Primary winner Jenny Durkan (who recently sold her house for $4.7 million) somehow quickly cobbled together a $600,000 war chest, more than all other candidates combined, while Cary Moon loaned over $90,000 to her campaign. When he was recruited to run, Michael was assured that the campaign would begin with an estimated $100,000 or more from pledged donors, which at that time would've put him #2 in money behind the incumbent. But it wasn't to be. A congruence of the unforeseen — and some things we should've seen — put the initial fundraising effort on its heels. Zero in the bank is a horrible way to launch a campaign. The team was also unable to install the campaign-specific Anedot online donation program for several critical weeks after the filing date, preventing people from being able to donate over the website. It crippled the campaign. Further, FaceBook shut down the campaign website for two weeks after the filing date for security reasons — apparently too many administrators were attempting to access the site and FB determined it a risk. By the time our online issues were resolved and the campaign was finally able to accept donations, the prevailing media mantra was that a bum rush of 21 candidates had now filed for the race and we looking for loot, a buzzkill for potential and even pledged donors. No one wanted to commit until after the primary thinned the herd. Moreover, outgoing Mayor Ed Murray muddied the waters by flirting with a potential write-in campaign — and then when he dropped out, again, he publicly endorsed Ms. Durkan.

In the end, all's fair in politics and politics is money. Michael kept hitting the right notes, but we just didn't have the budget to hit the airwaves with it. Ms. Durkan spent about $22 per vote in the primary. We spent about two bucks a vote. We did the best with what we had.

Why no attention from Democratic establishment?  Michael was basically the black sheep of the Seattle Democratic family. He was the first and most vocal “no new taxes” candidate among the Dems, which included not joining the Echo Chamber in cheerleading for Proposition 1 (aka the “Arts Tax”), which would've raised our regressive sales tax (Prop 1 lost soundly). He dared to announce his candidacy on a conservative radio show, and even did a segment on 570 KVI with conservative icon John Carlson.  Michael’s “radical center” platform also included reform of the B&O tax and other small business help, like negotiating a pro-rated minimum wage.  He was vocal also against soda tax and “Wealth Tax,” both largely supported by the Democratic leadership.  In fact, despite living in Ballard and the 36th District and being just one of seven registered Democrats in the race, AND being invited by Chairman Jeff Manson to be interviewed by the 36th back in May, the District ignored at least a half-dozen requests on the part of the campaign to meet and discuss his candidacy.  Michael harbored no allusions about winning the endorsement of his 36th District Democrats, but his moderate positions on issues like taxation and his conspicuous support of the Seattle Police Department may very well have prompted Mr. Manson and his board to focus on more familiar faces and opinions, actively preventing District voters in the District from learning more about Michael.  Interestingly, Mr. Manson told members at its endorsement meeting in May that he personally recommended that the District not endorse any candidate for Mayor at that time because “we have seven good Democrats in this race and we need time to to learn more about some of them before endorsing.”  However, despite repeated attempts to schedule time with Mr. Manson, the campaign received no response whatsoever.  Michael would go on to be the only registered Democrat in the race for Mayor not to be interviewed in any way by the 36th District, again his home district. 

Why not more attention from Seattle media?  Faced with an impossibly large number of people running for Mayor, Seattle’s local media decided to hastily craft a hierarchy of “leading candidates” based disproportionately on metrics that hadn’t emerged yet.  They weighed their weeding out on primarily three criteria — the KING/KUOW poll done in early June (the only poll done in the race), money raised in the first weeks, and the number of “likes” on Facebook pages. Due to the campaign’s fundraising fail and Facebook page shutdown for the first critical weeks, Michael was lagging far behind on donations and Facebook page activity at the worst possible time. The media tagged him a “dark horse,” even before he was able to hit stride.  He was pegged by major papers like the Seattle Times, the Stranger, and the Weekly and by local television news outlets as not a “major" candidate in the race. Many voters literally had no idea that Michael was running for Mayor, even though he had more name recognition going into the race than most candidates and was garnering impressive endorsements. He wasn’t the only good candidate being overlooked by Seattle’s media. In fact, that KING/KUOW poll indicated voters clearly were in the dark about their options early last summer.  It showed that 38% of the 500 respondents were “undecided” with 4% answering “other.”  Even KING reported that the race was “wide open.”  And yet no other poll was done in the race.  From that early and flawed poll, a “top six” was soon arbitrarily picked by most outlets for coverage — which of course only made fundraising that much more difficult for everyone.  

Harris for Seattle Mayor

A little interference run from the right?   As if the campaign didn’t have enough problems, we soon got our “free media” taken away.  The Baltimore-based attorney for the controversial conservative media conglomerate, Sinclair Group, which owns KOMO (and the wonderful people who brought us the swift boat ads back during Bush v. Kerry) stepped in and ran interference.  Sinclair was alerted by someone that Michael was producing and voicing his popular weekly "Whale Reports" on its radio stations.  Citing FCC concerns, it abruptly pulled him off air for the duration of the campaign. We believe it was overreach, probably triggered by recent controversies about Sinclair potentially violating FCC rules by pushing "must-run" political messages on its stations — compounded by over-caution in light of its highly scrutinized bid to take over the Tribune Stations. It appears to have further instructed KOMO TV and newsradio not to call Michael during breaking whale stories, even though he's the best-known and highest-profile expert in the region.  KING and other stations followed suit.  And Michael also voluntarily stepped down from taking assignments from ABC News during the campaign, which further took him out of the media loop. All in all, "the Whale Guy" never got to be the Whale Guy during this campaign, and we're told by other candidates that this came as a relief. Many reasonably feared that Michael's media acumen and connections would make him a real threat in this race, as KIRO Newsradio anchor Zac Burns called him in May. In fact, despite being progressive on nearly every issue, Michael's become a favorite among many moderates and even Republicans, the latter representing 28% of the voters in Seattle.

HOWEVER…We lost because of money, not because of message. The following media stories and Seattle Times Editorial Staff opinion pieces clearly show that our platform and positions were more in line with the voters of this City than any other candidate. The "radical center" isn't so radical at all. WE STILL WILL RIGHT THIS SHIP!

Stay Involved. Stay connected to this campaign. Keep committed to the cause.

Thank you for your support.

A Campaign On Message...

Selected links to media in support of our platform and messaging

"End of Amazon's Seattle Monogamy Should Be Lesson to Civic Leaders"

Seattle Times Editorial Board, September 8, 2017

Seattle's current political leaders must recognize that poor planning and anti-business posturing come with a heavy price. Their politicking creates uncertainty for job creators and was a factor in Amazon's decision to look elsewhere to expand… It won't be lost on historians that two months after City Hall cheered itself for "taxing the rich," Amazon chose to seek a "stable and business-friendly environment" for its next act: A $5 billion investment and 50,000 new jobs.

"Amazon Plans to Build Second, 'Equal' Headquarters Outside Seattle"

Seattle Times, September 7, 2017

The company listed other criteria on its wish list, including an urban or suburban core in a metropolitan area with more than 1 million people, a highly educated workforce and a "stable and business-friendly environment." Some business leaders in Seattle took that line as a jab at the city council's progressive politics, which has floated marginally higher taxes on wealthy individuals or companies. Maud Daudon, president of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, said Amazon's expansion elsewhere was a "wake-up call."

"Charleena Lyles Had Long Turned to Seattle Police for Help Before Fatal Confrontation"

Seattle Times, August 27, 2017

"Her murder shows failing systems—displaced communities affected by unaffordable housing, a lack of mental health services and domestic violence prevention," People's Party candidate Nikkita Oliver said in a statement on the day after the shooting of Charleena Lyles. "To be clear: This accountability request is not about politics or the upcoming mayoral election…"

Ms. Oliver used the word "murder" four times in her eight-paragraph public statement released on the day after the shooting of Charleena Lyles, and would refer to the incident several times thereafter as a "murder" and Seattle Police Department as "killer cops." The Black Lives Matter activist would ultimately win the enthusiastic endorsement of two sitting Seattle City Councilmembers, including Kshama Sawant, politburo for the People's Party. Ms. Oliver's "accountability request" was very much about politics and the Mayoral election.

"Kshama Sawant: Shouting 'Murder' Without Facts is No Way to Govern"

Seattle Times Editorial Board, August 24, 2017

"Kshama Sawant Sued for Defamation by Two Seattle Officers Who Fatally Shot Che Taylor"

Seattle Times, August 22, 2017

"Two More Suits Filed to Block Seattle's New Income Tax"

Seattle Times, August 9, 2017

"Seattle Council May Revive Debate on Homeless Living in Vehicles"

Seattle Times, August 9, 2017

"Seattle Councilman Mike O'Brien Clarifies Controversial Car-Camping Ordinance"

Seattle Times, August 9, 2017

"An Act of Compassion That Could Make Seattle's Homeless Situation Worse"

Seattle Times, August 9, 2017

"Seattle Set to Prevent Landlords From Considering Applicants' Criminal Records"

Seattle Times, August 8, 2017

"Moon Wins Second Spot on November Ballot for Seattle Mayor"

Seattle Times, August 8, 2017

"For Victims of Sex Abuse, Allegations Around Seattle Mayor Ed Murray are Triggering"

Seattle Times, August 8, 2017

"Bellevue Bans Safe-Injection Sites for Heroin Users"

Seattle Times, August 8, 2017

"Proposition 1, King County's Culture and Science Sales Tax, Has Been Rejected"

Seattle Times, August 7, 2017

"'Everything Reshuffles': It's an Entirely New Landscape in Seattle Mayoral Race"

Seattle Times, August 6, 2017

The 59-year-old Durkan is clearly hoping experience matters. In interviews after the primary, she emphasized her record as a U.S. attorney from 2009 to 2014, when she was instrumental in bringing about a court-monitored reform of the Seattle Police Department. As the first openly gay U.S. attorney, she also pointed to her advocacy for LGBTQ issues, including same-sex marriage.

"I have a decades-long record of getting results in this city on issues people care about," she said. "Policy without reality is just a dream."

The implication is that her opponents can't say the same — although Moon, 54, insisted Friday she has as much experience. She cited leadership roles while working as a planner, a three-year stint in her early 30s running her family's Michigan manufacturing business and her best-known effort: heading up the fight for a waterfront park rather than an Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement.

"Job No. 1 for Seattle's Next Mayor: Be Ready to Stand Up to City Council"

Special to the Seattle Times, August 4, 2017

"Voter Rejection of Proposition 1 Sends Message About Tax Measures"

Seattle Times, August 3, 2017

"Hoping for a Leftist Revolution in Tuesday's Vote? Not So Fast"

Seattle Times, August 3, 2017

""NBA Commissioner Adam Silver: Expansion 'Inevitable'; Seattle on a 'Short List'"

Seattle Times, July 25, 2017

"The Citizens of Seattle are not Going to Pay Blackmail for Constitutional Policing"

Seattle Times, July 18, 2017

"Fox Business Show Slams Seattle as 'Socialist Hellhole'"

Seattle Times, July 13, 2017

"Illinois Appeals Court Upholds Order Blocking State Soda Tax"

Associated Press, July 11, 2017

"Podcast: Is Seattle's Proposed Income Tax a Good Idea, or Even Legal?"

Seattle Times, June 30 (updated August 17, 2017)

"Outraged Crowd Mourns Shooting Death of Charleena Lyles, Rages Against Police Brutality at Community Forum"

Seattle Times, June 27, 2017

The Seattle King County NAACP this past week called for the City Council and Mayor Ed Murray to host a public hearing with Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole, but the chief declined to attend Tuesday's forum.

"If Chief O'Toole is not available to answer questions tomorrow, it will reiterate to the community that a business-as-usual investigation will not result in justice for Charleena," Councilmember Kshama Sawant wrote Monday in a letter to Councilmember M. Lorena González, who hosted the forum. González, who chairs the council's public-safety committee, said the forum wasn't meant to be "a public deposition of Chief O'Toole," but an opportunity for the community to engage elected officials about police accountability, mental health and other pressing issues.

In a letter Monday, O'Toole responded to what she described as Sawant's "disappointing level of ignorance of SPD policies and clear disdain for the investigatory process and review that SPD is court-mandated to follow."

"Facts matter and pre-judgment of this incident by any of us would be completely irresponsible," O'Toole wrote.

"Federal Monitor Finds Seattle Police are Conducting Proper Stops and Frisks"

Seattle Times, June 19, 2017

"Seattle's Soda Tax Falls Flat"

Seattle Times, June 12, 2017

 

Right the Ship - Platform

No New Taxes/Reform of Seattle’s B&O Tax - Hands-On Approach to Curbing Our Homeless Epidemic - Real Action on Climate Change - Unique Ideas on Resolving District-to-District Funding Inequity in Our Schools - Innovative Ideas to Create More Affordable Housing - Fighting to Keep Seattle a Sanctuary City - Bringing the Sonics Back to Seattle! - Reinvigorating Seattle’s Efforts to Bring Film and Television Production to Our City - Pragmatic Action to Raise the Minimum Wage - All-of-the-Above Approach to Fixing Seattle’s Transportation Problems and Ending the “War on Cars” - Bi-Partisanship and Re-Claiming the "Radical Center”


No New Taxes

The answer to every problem is not a new tax. I oppose an income tax. I oppose the regressive, job-killing soda tax just passed by the City Council, and pledge to put the cap back on that bottle as Mayor. I oppose any new taxes. City Hall is already bloated and inefficient. Today Seattle has the highest sales tax burden of any city in the United States, with a healthy stream of revenue. In this robust economy we can address the challenges facing our city by being smarter, more engaged and more efficient. We need to do better with what we have.

Reform of Seattle’s B&O Tax

The Seattle Business License tax — sometimes called the Gross Receipts tax or Business and Occupation (B&O) tax — needs to be reformed. Seattle's B&O tax currently is applied to the gross revenue that businesses earn, rather than the net income, and it's creating undue burdens on our business community. We need to right the ship on our B&O tax and continue to do everything we can to help keep Seattle on its current, historic boom, and keep the city an attractive place for our current corporate residents, draw new businesses and jobs here, and most importantly, to create a better environment for small enterprises and innovation to awaken and thrive. Taxing net income instead of gross receipts is an easy, important step we can do now to give businesses large and small a following sea, and to keep Seattle on a steady course of growth.

Homeless Epidemic

Seattle's homeless crisis is now an epidemic. Mayor Ed Murray declared a State of Emergency on the homeless issue a year-and-a-half ago and despite millions of dollars spent – more than any other city in the U.S. – nothing substantive has been accomplished. It's both a public safety and a humanitarian crisis that we cannot look past or ignore. It's a shameful state for a booming city like ours. I will reform our governmental programs and approach to the homeless issue and eliminate programs that are redundant or ineffective. Looking past people is not an option anymore. It's not who we are and what we stand for in Seattle. Homelessness impacts every citizen of this city. It's been addressed with perhaps good intentions, but mostly just lip service, press conferences and inhumane half-measures that just shift the problem from one location to another around the city. We do not need to pay for a homelessness "czar." We already have a czar on the payroll to address homelessness — our current Mayor. As your next Mayor I will personally engage, listen and partner with local non-governmental organizations working on the front lines of this issue, our corporate citizens and law enforcement to work towards an effective, sustainable solution to the homeless epidemic in Seattle. I pledge to personally meet every week with our police officers, non-government organizations, advocates of all kinds working directly on the issue — and we won't confine it to a conference room. We'll go to the streets and into the camps, and we'll see and hear what needs to be done. Just as I did recently when I volunteered to participate in Union Gospel Mission's Search and Rescue program, which goes out every Tuesday evening from 7pm to 2am into homeless encampments throughout Seattle – and there are many – talking to people, learning about them, helping them with food and blankets and other necessities, "putting a face" on the souls too many of us in this prosperous city look past. Not me when I'm Mayor. I will roll my sleeves up on day one and get to the hard, challenging work towards curbing the homelessness epidemic.

Safe Injection Sites
Safe Injection Sites, also known as Safe Consumption Sites or Community Health Engagement Locations (CHELs), are wrought with controversy – good people on both sides disagree about their efficacy, medical and legal ethics, and impacts to neighborhoods. Safe injection sites have been tried in San Francisco and Ithaca, NY. Boston Healthcare for the Homeless runs a site, but illicit drug use is not allowed on the premises, instead treating users afterward. Approximately 90 other cities worldwide operate safe injection sites, with Switzerland doing it for some 30 years. The longest-running and best-known of these in North America is Insite in Vancouver, BC, which has been open since 2003. All told, the data is mixed – safe injection sites save lives, undoubtedly. Insite reports zero deaths in their facility since it opened. In 2015 and 2016 medical professionals there performed 768 overdose interventions and seven percent of those who used the facility entered detox in that time frame, half of which finished the program. The Washington Post reports that in the two years after Insite opened, "overdose deaths in the surrounding community dropped by 35%." The data demonstrates that these sites, when accompanied with appropriate services, reduce overdoses and fatalities and, if services are appropriately coordinated, provide access to treatment for those that are suffering from addiction. HOWEVER, across the board, only about 2% who enter these sites ever get clean. And the property crime rates rise in these neighborhoods – while already high in most cases – because users still need to get the drugs. Based on a harm reduction model, as opposed to an abstinence enforcement model, safe injection mitigate the problem by preventing death by overdose and the spread of disease through dirty needles, while attempting to funnel addicts toward detox and treatment, if they decide to get clean. The bottom line is -- the jury is still out. In February, Mayor Ed Murray and King County Executive Dow Constantine directed the Seattle/King County Public Health department to set up two pilot safe injection sites – and I believe this was premature. As the next Mayor, I will revisit the directive, digging deeper into the issue and the latest data and empirical observations of Insite in Vancouver and other cities who've experimented with safe injection sites. We simply need to know more, and that takes more than one brief and timid visit to Vancouver like our soon-to-be-ex-Mayor made to learn how to do this right. Safe injection sites may in fact be a very good idea – but as with everything in Seattle, we can always do better.

Tiny Houses-Container Ship Houses
I support tiny transitional houses on approved city sites and in areas outside the city with access to public transportation. There need to be priority for these facilities for veterans and there must be time limits and coordination at these locations with services to help people navigate to access services and transition towards permanent housing.

Dignity for a Day-Day Labor Program
We will implement a day worker program for the homeless. They will be offered work cleaning up garbage, or maybe even being trained to fix potholes, in the city and working in our city in exchange for a daily wage, a shower and a meal. After the city is cleaned, we can match day workers with local businesses in need of projects that can be completed with day labor. Similar programs in Albuquerque, NM and Denver, CO cost under $400,000.00 per year.

Eliminate Wet Houses
I support closing all wet houses and diverting public funds going to these programs to programs like the Dignity for a Day-Day Labor program.

Affordable Housing

Seattle should be a place where people can live, work and play. That means that people who work in Seattle must be able to live in Seattle. We have to work collectively, with developers as part of the conversation, to provide more affordable housing options in the City of Seattle.

Human Trafficking

As a port city on the Pacific rim, Seattle and the Puget Sound region has one of the largest sex trafficking problems in the United States. I will make it a priority to ensure that the Seattle Police Department has the resources it needs to combat the human trafficking happening in our city. This is an issue with not enough awareness and understanding. I will increase the profile of this issue and I will take a leadership role in advancing awareness and education on this issue so that all residents and citizens of Seattle are more aware of the signs of human trafficking so that we can all fight this horrific practice together.

Bi-Partisanship and Re-Claiming the Radical Center

Donald Trump is an embarrassment to the United States of America. We must all, collectively, denounce that style of leadership in the most strong and severe terms. We must all work and strive to talk to one another and work together on a bi-partisan basis, left and right, conservative and liberal. My administration will strive to reclaim the "radical center," where the best ideas prevail and solutions are found.

Sanctuary City

I'm proud that Seattle is a Sanctuary City, a place that recognizes that immigrants are part of us. Immigrants make us better, make us stronger, make us the vibrant, innovative city that we are. And we've actually been a Sanctuary City longer than most people know — and I'm proud to be a part of that, as well. In the mid-1980s I worked as a volunteer with the University Baptist Church in the 1980s helping refugees and immigrants fleeing war-torn regions of Central America to seek refuge in Seattle, many facing possible death if they were deported back to their home countries — not unlike Syrian refugees today. Under my Administration Seattle will always welcome refugees, and we'll remain strong in the Resistance and use all legal means available to protect immigrant communities and the individuals in those communities that are being persecuted by the United States Immigration and Custom Enforcement Agency.

Climate Change

Our great City of Seattle has a hard-earned reputation since its founding for being a trend-setting, innovative, progressive place. We need to do more to be a paradigm and a leader on the issue of climate change, the issue of this time in history. Under my leadership, the City of Seattle will join with other cities in America and around the world and pledge to power the city entirely with clean energy sources by 2035. If Atlanta can do it, so can Seattle. We can start by converting the city fleet to all electric vehicles.

Education

I support providing equitable resources to all schools in Seattle. The gap in the resources available for children from different neighborhoods is simply unacceptable. Every child deserves the opportunity to live up to his or her potential and should not be limited or disadvantaged because of the resources of the school the child attends due to circumstance. As Mayor, I will work tirelessly getting our children the State-Mandated Funds they are due until funding equity is achieved for all schools city-wide.

Sonics/Arena

My father, Chris Harris, was the first English-born player in the National Basketball Association (NBA). In my family we call him "the trivia question." I love the NBA! I was born with a basketball in my hand. The Sonics were stolen from us and we lost a piece of our economy and cultural identity. I WILL BRING THE SONICS BACK TO SEATTLE, on our terms. I've long supported any option that doesn't ask for direct public money, and that advances the economic development of our city and truly gives us a fighting chance to return our venerable franchise here.

We began with three competing options — two plans to renovate KeyArena and one to build a new arena in SoDo — and as with basketball itself, competition proved to be a good thing. The process was yielding new information every day, positive and negative, and new mitigations and opportunities that to me were exciting. Seattle found itself in the 4th quarter of this important debate and in my opinion and that of so many others in this town, the SoDo option had the lead and the ball — largely because it played the game right. Over time it adequately addressed concerns about potential impacts to our longshoremen, and offered to mitigate any potential negative impacts to KeyArena, an important civic asset. Good people got behind the SoDo project, and it was clearly the preferred option for both the NBA and NHL. The only ask the SoDo group made was for reasonable tax breaks from the city, and reform of our B&O tax that I already support. There couldn't be a better spot for an arena. The best place for Seattle to grow isn't an already-congested Lower Queen Anne but to the south, to SoDo, where undoubtedly the building of a world-class facility like this would be a boon to our economic development — and perhaps even yield additional housing, both for our middle- and low-income residents, maybe even our homeless. The mass transit and traffic infrastructure is there. All things were in place. And then… Mayor Ed Murray took the ball and ran home. In a clear rush to create a "legacy" before depositions on his sexual abuse lawsuit may force him to resign, he expedited and corrupted the process, negotiated in extremely bad faith with all parties, and then pushed through perhaps the worst plan on the table, the Oak View Group (OVG) proposal to renovate KeyArena – which involves significant public funding, constricts an important neighborhood in Seattle, offers no real economic development to the city or an opportunity to address other pressing issues like housing availability, and most importantly, offers no real chance of bringing the NBA back to Seattle.

On the day of his decision to send the OVG KeyArena proposal to City Council for a vote, Murray went on live radio to explain himself, sharing a litany of shocking things – first, when asked if being a lame duck Mayor has changed the way he governs now, Murray said yes, "it means I can be more open and honest now." He corrected himself immediately saying that "well, I've always been open and honest." He hasn't been, by many accounts, among other things being accused in a statement from the Seattle Group that he withheld "critical financial portions of Oak View Group's proposal from the public… raising serious questions about the integrity of the decision-making process and the ability of the public to make a fair and equitable comparison." I agree.

When asked about the concerns of the Lower Queen Anne neighborhood and others about traffic congestion, Murray dismissed them outright, saying that Lower Queen Anne is now, according to him, a walking neighborhood and people will simply go to games by foot. All Sonics fans live within walking distance of KeyArena, by that logic. Then in an extraordinary moment of self-importance, he said that he was resolved not to let anyone try to disempower him to make executive decisions he's entitled to while he's still in City Hall, comparing himself to Barack Obama and how our forrmer President wasn't allowed to get a hearing on a Supreme Court nominee. Murray went on to make a particularly inexplicable comment, saying that as a gay man that he came into office "with a lot of stereotypes" and that he felt that by making this decision now that he believed would be the fastest track to bringing back the NBA and getting an NHL franchise, that this would "dispel some of those stereotypes." In other words, the debate about sports arenas in Seattle somehow was about his sexual orientation. It's not. We are post-orientation in Seattle, and that is best conveyed by one bumper sticker symbol -- =, the equal sign. All of our residents are equal, gay or straight, and no particular group should be more equal than others, and certainly no critical economic development decision should ever be addressed in the context of who we are or who we love. Lastly, in perhaps the most telling comment Murray made on that live radio show, he recounted a brief, impressionable discussion he had with the current NBA Commissioner Adam Silver who told him to forget it, "we're not coming to Seattle." And our elected leader of this great city accepted that call. He went with a KeyArena proposal with a business plan that claims it doesn't need pro sports to pay for itself – but in fact it very much does. In just one chat with the Commissioner of a professional sport our Mayor admittedly doesn't care about, Murray quit. He gave up on getting our Sonics back. As the next Mayor and a person deeply connected to the NBA and a huge fan of the sport, and as someone who understands what we lost when another flawed Mayor dribbled the ball off his knee and allowed 40+ years of NBA history to be stolen away to Oklahoma City, I WILL NEVER QUIT ON GETTING OUR SONICS BACK TO SEATTLE. And I won't quit on the SoDo Arena. This game isn't over.

Minimum Wage

Income inequality is a major issue in our city and in our society. Income inequality contributes to our homeless crisis and is creating a vacuum in the middle that risks turning Seattle into a commune for the wealthy. While I do not support new taxes, I do support the concept of increasing the minimum wage over time to ensure that those who work earn a livable wage. I am concerned that city leadership did not engage with local business enough to establish the minimum wage. I would be open to a discussion, in particular, with the restaurant and hospitality industry to talk about perhaps pro rating the minimum wage with gratuities so that businesses are not unnecessarily burdened and wage earners are not perversely harmed from a well-intentioned policy.

Law & Order and Policing

We have to acknowledge that we simply are not yet a post-racial society. Institutional racism exists. I support alternatives to incarceration. I support body cameras for all officers to increase trust, accountability and transparency of police interactions. We have to be committed to community policing to create more positive, consistent engagement between law enforcement and all communities in our city. We must also continue and enhance community oversight of policing as part of an overall approach that maintains dialogue and communication between the Police Department, City Hall and all of the communities and residents of our city.

Transportation

I support an all-of-the-above strategy with respect to transportation. We must increase and expand public transportation access with a specific priority to expand access to public transportation to areas in and around our city that have the affordable housing where people in the middle and on the lower spectrum of the economic ladder are being pushed to live. Pedestrian, bicycle and non-motorized transit should be encouraged as part of our overall efforts to be a leader in the fight against climate weirding and climate chaos. However, we have to be realistic. Americans and Seattleites use their cars and we must acknowledge that fact in our transportation planning. We must fix potholes and do so in a timely manner. Our geography is constrained and our transportation infrastructure is already over-burdened. Bicycle lanes are great, but so are electric cars. We must repair, maintain and rebuild infrastructure (AKA Ballard Bridge, Magnolia Bridge) We currently have a sound financial footing to make long-term plans and investments in transportation infrastructure.

Southern Resident Orcas Task Force

"The Whale Guy" can't have a platform that doesn't include enlisting City Hall's full support for the recovery of the Pacific Northwest's totem species, our endangered Southern Resident killer whales. As Mayor of Seattle, I will assemble and empower a task force of the region's top marine scientists and advocates to identify and address the most promising and productive ways we as a City can help the orcas, including providing support to new and ongoing salmon habitat restoration projects – no fish, no blackfish – and protection against potential vessel impacts. Through efficiencies and other cost-saving efforts we will find significant funds that will match gifts from our corporate residents, perhaps even the Port of Seattle, and we will right this ship. Seattle is the only major city in the lower 48 U.S. States that has resident killer whales. The orcas are to many our spirit animal, part of our soul as a community. But they also represent a big chunk of our regional economy – whale watching alone generates close to a quarter-million dollars a year in economic impact here. It's time we returned the favor. Save the whales, save ourselves.

Economic Development

The City of Seattle is booming — It seems we have more tower cranes than trees. That doesn't mean we can't promote and encourage the development and enhancement of industries in Seattle. The city should provide technical support, counseling and coaching to assist and support local small businesses. Buy Local campaigns are wonderful and healthy for our economy. We have emerging businesses to help grow, and old businesses we need to grow again. Through my three decades of experience in the television and film industry, I've sadly seen my hometown take a back seat to other cities in luring shows and movies. We are getting our clocks cleaned by Vancouver and Portland — even New Orleans. Our own Amazon has some of the best studios in the world and are starting to create tremendous, Oscar-winning original content. Google is planning a major expansion in South Lake Union with oodles of world-class production facilities. We have some of the best industry talent here, and of course, the most beautiful city on the planet to shoot.

There's no reason why we can't become a major player again. All it takes is, as we say in the business, action.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harris for Seattle Mayor

 

 

 

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