I am excited at the prospect of having Jon Grant as a City Councilmember and I am proud to endorse him. Formerly the Executive Director of the Washington Tenants Union, Jon is now running for the open seat on City Council, position 8 on a platform of empowering community voices and addressing our affordability housing crisis. I encourage all of you to support his campaign and vote for him in the general election when you receive your ballot in October.
As a neighborhood activist and blogger, I am someone who is always pushing for transparency in our local government. I am disappointed by many of our current elected officials and the HALA propaganda show that has been coming out of City Hall. We need a livable Seattle and equitable housing policies, not upzones that benefit large developers like Vulcan at the expense of everyone else. As so much money is entering our region, it is important that those with the green do not exploit our Emerald City.
Jon Grant is a man of the people. He understands that too many of the current City Councilmembers are in the pockets of big developers and special interest groups. I respect and trust Jon because he is not accepting donations from developers, corporations or CEOs. In contrast his opponent, Teresa Mosqueda, has accepted a maxed out donation from Maria Barrientos, a developer who helped negotiate the “Grand Bargain” and whose development in Queen Anne is displacing the beloved Teatro Zinzanni.
Jon understands that the current HALA “Grand Bargain” is a bad deal for the neighborhoods. He was the only member of the Mayor Murray’s HALA committee who abstained from the final vote because he knew that neighborhoods and the community were getting a bad deal. Jon does not support one-size fits all upzones and feels that neighborhoods should have a say in how they grow. He has advocated for higher affordability mandates in every upzone before the Council thus far and has worked in coalition with neighborhoods like the Chinatown/International District in fighting gentrification and displacement.
Jon is advocating for 25% of all new development to be affordable to working people, which is comparable to other cities with similar programs (currently the city is only requiring developers to set aside 2-9% of units as affordable or pay a fee). His opponent does not support increasing affordability mandates.
His opponent fully supports HALA’s upzoning and has been endorsed by City Council Land Use chair Rob Johnson, who is leading the push to rezone the neighborhoods while requiring very little in return from the wealthy, downtown developers. In contrast, Jon Grant has been endorsed by Councilmember Lisa Herbold, who is currently the strongest advocate on the Council for neighborhood-friendly policies. Jon Grant would make a strong ally with Lisa Herbold to push back against Rob Johnson’s pro-developer policies.
Jon will fight for those least fortunate, people who are at risk of being displaced from our current development boom and those who have already been displaced and are living on our streets. His first volunteer job as a teen was for Real Change and he has been advocating for the homeless and to prevent homelessness ever since. Jon, together with Seattle’s People’s Party and Councilmember Kshama Sawant, has announced a plan to build 5,000 homes for the homeless in five years. This would effectively provide shelter for all of those communities currently living on our streets.
Jon Grant is a true, grassroots neighborhood organizer who has a strong history of fighting for the underrepresented and standing up to wealthy developers and special interests. This is not a time to sit passively by, get involved in Jon Grant’s campaign and take back our city from the monied interests who are currently pulling the strings. And above all else, vote for Jon Grant when you get your ballot in October!