Cast your primary ballot by August 2

By: Alicia Teel Posted: 07/18/2016

Vote YES for affordable housing, NO on an unfunded mandate for an elevated waterfront park

Don't miss your chance to weigh in on the primary election! Ballots are out, and are due back August 2. You can mail in your ballot (don't forget your stamp), go to a ballot drop-off location (no stamp needed, map of locations here)  or vote at an accessible voting center

The Chamber has issued recommendations for two ballot measures that appear on the primary ballot: the Seattle Housing Levy and Initiative 123. The Chamber does not make candidate endorsements. 

Seattle Housing Levy Renewal (City of Seattle Proposition No. 1)
The Seattle Metro Chamber encourages you to vote YES on Seattle’s 2016 Housing Levy. This levy replaces and expands the existing Housing Levy, and is an important part of the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) recommendations to increase housing supply in the city.

The proposal includes several program areas that are essential to ensuring Seattle continues to thrive. 

It will help thousands of our neighbors through:
  • Production and preservation of at least 2,150 apartments that will be affordable to low-income families and individuals for at least 50 years
  • Reinvestment in 350 existing affordable apartments
  • Supplements for tenant-paid rent in 510 apartments for extremely low-income residents
  • Short-term rent assistance and stability services for 4,500 families that are at imminent risk of eviction and homelessness
  • Assistance so that 100 current low-income homeowners can stay in their homes, and 180 first-time-home-buyers with limited incomes can find stable and affordable homes for their families
Elevated Park on Seattle's Waterfront (Initiative 123) 
The Seattle Metro Chamber urges you to vote NO on Seattle Initiative 123. This measure is an unfunded and irresponsible mandate that would have severe consequences for the City of Seattle's budget and for our waterfront. 

I-123 proposes building an elevated park to replace the Viaduct, but does not include cost estimates or a budget. I-123 instead forms an unelected board called the “Downtown Waterfront Preservation and Development Authority” to develop a plan that the City will then be legally obligated to pay for, no matter what the cost. The City would need to make unlimited funds available from any source, including the general fund, putting many city priorities — public safety, affordable housing and other vital city services — at risk.

The park proposed in I-123 also directly conflicts with the existing Waterfront plan, which was developed through an open public process that included input from thousands of Seattleites. Planning and construction for this new revitalized, accessible and vibrant waterfront is already moving forward. I-123 would undo this work directly based on years of public input, collaborative neighborhood meetings, and planning for an environmentally-responsible waterfront park.