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Seattle, King County candidates tackle homelessness in debates moderated by KNKX

A crowd sits watching three white men at podiums in an auditorium.
Mike Kane
We Are In
The first debate of We Are In and KNKX's debates on homelessness, on Oct. 10, 2023 — Ballard councilmember Dan Strauss versus challenger Pete Hanning, head of the Fremont Chamber of Commerce.

Local elections are less than a month away. Polling shows homelessness is a top issue for voters. This week, with the nonprofit We Are In, KNKX co-sponsored a series of debates on homelessness with candidates running for office in Seattle and King County.

The districts included in the debates were determined based on criteria such as primary vote margins, total fundraising, and what homelessness-related decisions the district is facing. Attendees submitted dozens of questions in advance, and KNKX also gathered questions from people who have been, or are currently, homeless.

The first night of debates on Oct. 10 focused on city races in Seattle with incumbents running for reelection:

  • Councilmember Dan Strauss of District 6, which includes Magnolia, Ballard, and Fremont (starting at 39:00), who is being challenged by Pete Hanning, the head of the Fremont Chamber of Commerce.
  • Councilmember Andrew Lewis of District 7, which stretches from South Lake Union through downtown and to Queen Anne (starting at 1:16:00), who is being challenged by Bob Kettle, a former Navy intelligence officer and former member of the Queen Anne Community Council.
  • Councilmember Tammy Morales of District 2, which covers Yesler Terrace and the Chinatown-International District, down through South Seattle to Rainier View (starting at 2:01:00), is being challenged by Tanya Woo, a community activist and co-founder of the Chinatown-International District Community Watch.

The second night, on Oct. 11, focused on city and county council races where an incumbent did not choose to run for reelection.

  • For King County Council District 4, which stretches from Burien and Tukwila to Vashon Island and all the way up to downtown Seattle (starting at 8:06), the two candidates on the November ballot are Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda and Burien Mayor Sofia Aragon.
  • For Seattle City Council District 4, which includes Ravenna, the University District, and Wallingford (starting at 51:15), tech consultant Ron Davis is facing off against Maritza Rivera, deputy director of Seattle's Office of Arts and Culture.
  • For Seattle City Council District 3, which covers Madrona, the Central District, and Capitol Hill (starting at 1:34:17), cannabis businesswoman Joy Hollingsworth made it to the general election along with Alex Hudson, former director of the Transportation Choices Coalition.

Seattle City Club is hosting debates moderated by local journalists, which include debates for Seattle City Council District 1 (West Seattle and Georgetown) and District 5 (North Seattle).

Key elections dates

  • King County Elections will mail ballots to voters on Oct. 18.
  • The deadline to register to vote or update your registration online or by mail is Oct. 30.
  • Election Day is Nov. 7. Ballots must be postmarked by this day or returned to a ballot drop box by 8 p.m. It is also the deadline to register to vote in-person.
Scott Greenstone is a former KNKX reporter. His reporting focused on under-covered communities, and spotlighting the powerful people making decisions that affect all of us throughout Western Washington.