Brendan on the Issues
Development / Transportation
In 1851, the Denny Party landed at Alki Beach and spent the winter in an unfinished cabin. That spring, they made their way into what is now Pioneer Square. 168 years later, we are still dealing with the unique development and transportation challenges associated with living on a peninsula. These two quality-of-life issues are closely related, and relevant policy must be developed transparently and with ample opportunity for public feedback.
Our transportation infrastructure is already overstretched, and light rail is not scheduled to begin servicing District 1 until 2030. I am not in favor of upzoning, especially in a manner that does not add more affordable housing options, until our public transportation system can accommodate more riders.
I am in favor of requiring developers to create adequate off-street parking for all residential buildings. People who use public transportation to commute to work still tend to own a vehicle, and therefore must have a place to park. City Council has tended to overlook the fact that public transportation does not obviate vehicle ownership. I am aware that many people in District 1 enjoy the outdoors and like to spend their free time skiing, hiking, rock-climbing and taking advantage of the myriad other activities unique to the Pacific Northwest.
City Council has failed to adequately address the homelessness crisis. It is undignified, unsanitary, and unsafe for people to reside in the tents, vehicles, and other makeshift shelters that are currently scattered across Seattle, including District 1. Many of these living situations are illegal, and for good reason. The solution is not RV lots, tent cities, or tiny villages. Instead, we need to provide basic emergency shelter with concentrated services aimed at elevating people into a more stable lifestyle. These would be warm, dry places with healthy meals, laundry facilities, ample security, and access to critical services such as mental health care, substance abuse treatment, and job placement. The goal would be to find permanent housing for people within a regional network. Once that is in place, we need to direct people who do not have homes to that option and not allow our sidewalks and parks to be used as campgrounds.
Accountability in City Spending
Seattle is among the most expensive cities in the country. Families and businesses are struggling to maintain a home here. City Council has ignored the pleas of its constituents and sought to add more taxes and fees into a community that is nearly at the breaking point. I am a strong advocate for making the city a more family-friendly and business-friendly place by practicing fiscal responsibility. Rather than seek more revenue, City Council must make wiser decisions about how to spend the resources it has. I propose a top-down review of City financials, to include purchasing, contracting, and budgeting. The purpose of this would be to identify and remedy inefficiencies for the sake of ensuring appropriate stewardship of the taxpayers’ money. There is enough money in City coffers, it just needs to be spent effectively.
The people of District 1 deserve responsive representation in City Council. The best way for government to work for people is to listen to them. I will be a regular attendee at community meetings and will maintain convenient office hours at both City Hall and within District 1 so that my constituents can communicate with me. As a member of City Council, I will be a true and committed advocate for West Seattle and South Park!
City Council is very much in need of an experienced law enforcement professional. Seattle is in a public safety crisis, and the fine men and women of the Seattle Police Department do not feel supported by City government. Officers are leaving the Department faster than their replacements can be hired, and the City Council was reluctant to approve the collective bargaining agreement that has been worked out between the Seattle Police Officer’s Guild and the City’s labor relations team. SPD is grossly short-staffed, and this problem will only be exacerbated by the recent passage of legislation that makes it easier to prosecute officers for split-second decisions made under tense, uncertain, and rapidly-evolving circumstances. I am running so that our police officers can have someone on City Council who supports them and will fight for their ability to serve the people of Seattle.
I oppose safe-injection sites. People who are addicted to narcotics need treatment, not a government-sponsored venue to conduct their harmful, illegal behavior.
I have called West Seattle home with my family for over 10 years. My wife and I are proud to have three beautiful, young children that we raise here. As a father, husband and former Seattle Police Officer, my family is a central motivator for choosing to run for Seattle City Council. I want my kids to grow up in a safe and thriving city.
My family and I enjoy being involved in the West Seattle community. I have spent years in public safety arena with The Department of Public Safety and at the Seattle Police Department; as well as teaching in Seattle Public School and at University. I have volunteered as a trustee of the Fulcrum Foundation, as President of the Holy Rosary School Commission, and as a basketball coach at our local YMCA.
For over a decade, I served in the Seattle Police Department, spending nearly six years in the Policy Unit during the consent decree. During my time there, I was a patrol officer, sergeant, and lieutenant. I worked in Seattle’s North Precinct all the way to Seattle’s West Precinct as well as the Policy Unit. I was actively involved in the development of policies related to the City of Seattle’s federal consent decree, and promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2015. When the City was found to be in initial compliance with the consent decree in January 2018, I returned to Patrol. I was later promoted to lieutenant and have always considered it an honor to serve the community. I see City Council as another way to serve my community and make the city a better place for my family!
I hope you’ll join me in working toward that change.