Reversing the rising tide of gun violence will be a top priority for the next Seattle mayor. We started by asking the leading candidates what they would say if they were the mayor of Seattle today.
“I’m just going to start by acknowledging, you know, and offering my deepest condolences to the people who have lost loved ones,” said previous state Representative Jesene Farrell.
When tragedy strikes, it is the mayor who expresses the city’s sympathy.
“My heart burns. I feel so much for families,” said previous CEO of Seattle Club President Colin Eckohawk.
Former City Council Mayor Bruce Harrell said, “I will certainly speak with the families involved first. To make sure they know we will do everything humanly conceivable to forbid this from happening again.”
Current City Council President Lorena Gonzalez said she would “ask for peace and healing at this truly tragic moment.”
We spoke with mayoral candidates who are leading in the Northwest Progressive Institute poll. The first two candidates chosen by voters will run next Tuesday in the general elections.
I want to be active in the work of public safety. I don’t, the data isn’t, and it doesn’t show that more police on the streets are making our streets safer,” said Ecohawk.
“Murder rates in Seattle have risen consistently over the former decade even as police budgets and personnel have grown in the alike vein,” Gonzalez added.
“More cops is one solution, but not just police officers as we traditionally think. Effective police officers, better police officers. What we want to see is police officers who get out of cars to build community trust,” Harrell said.
Farrell said, “It’s not just a interrogate of, you know, do we need more police? In some cases we do, but it sure is. We need a comprehensive approach.”
This approach focuses on crime prevention.
“We need investments in community violence cessation programs that we are going to get to, in order, uh, to forbid these incidents from happening in the first place,” Gonzalez said.
We know that when economic pressures mount, gun violence rises. And so we need to make sure that everyone in our community has what they need to be competent to feel steady and secure,” Farrell said.
“We are calling for a unused Department of Public Safety,” said Ecohawk. “That includes a crime prevention office investing in those kinds of upstream programs that, um, uh, they’re going to make a difference.”
AndHarrell wants the state to allow the city of Seattle to pass its own gun restrictions — something currently prohibited by state law.
“If someone is drunk, the place should be competent to take that person’s gun as it is forbidden to drive. So we can forbid the use of firearms in parks, begin spaces and begin spaces where people reconfigure.”
Harrell also wants to experiment with technology that can instantly identify the sound of a gunshot and send officers to that location instantly.