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Hacks & Wonks


Apr 25, 2023

On this midweek show, Crystal chats with Teresa Mosqueda about her campaign for King County Council District 8 - why she decided to run, the experience and lessons she’ll bring to the County from serving on Seattle City Council, and her thoughts on addressing progressive revenue options, public service wage equity and morale, housing and homelessness, public safety, transit rider experience, climate change, and budget transparency.

As always, a full text transcript of the show is available below and at officialhacksandwonks.com.

Follow us on Twitter at @HacksWonks. Find the host, Crystal Fincher, on Twitter at @finchfrii and find Teresa Mosqueda at @TeresaCMosqueda.

 

Teresa Mosqueda

As a Progressive Labor Democrat, Teresa Mosqueda is committed to creating healthy and safe communities, investing in working families through job training, childcare and transit access, and developing more affordable housing for all residents. She brings a proven track record of successfully passing progressive policies and building broad and inclusive coalitions. Teresa was named one of Seattle’s Most Influential People 2018 for acting with urgency upon getting elected, received the Ady Barkan Progressive Champion Award from Local Progress in 2019; and earned national attention by leading the passage of JumpStart progressive revenue to invest in housing, economic resilience, green new deal investments, and equitable development. Prior to elected office Teresa worked on community health policies from SeaMar to the Children's Alliance, and championed workers’ rights at the WA State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, where she helped lead state's minimum wage increase, paid sick leave, farmworker protections, workplace safety standards, and launched the Path to Power candidate training with the AFL-CIO.

 

Resources

Campaign Website - Teresa Mosqueda

 

Transcript

[00:00:00] Crystal Fincher: Welcome to Hacks & Wonks. I'm Crystal Fincher, and I'm a political consultant and your host. On this show, we talk with policy wonks and political hacks to gather insight into local politics and policy in Washington state through the lens of those doing the work with behind-the-scenes perspectives on what's happening, why it's happening, and what you can do about it. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast to get the full versions of our Friday almost-live shows and our midweek show delivered to your podcast feed. If you like us, the most helpful thing you can do is leave a review wherever you listen to Hacks & Wonks. Full transcripts and resources referenced in the show are always available at officialhacksandwonks.com and in our episode notes.

I am very excited today to have joining us - current Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, who is a candidate for King County Council District 8, which covers Seattle - including West Seattle, South Park, Georgetown, Chinatown International District, and First Hill - as well as Burien, part of Tukwila, and unincorporated King County - in White Center and Vashon Island. Welcome to the program - welcome back.

[00:01:22] Teresa Mosqueda: Thank you so much for having me back - I appreciate it.

[00:01:25] Crystal Fincher: Absolutely. So I guess the first question is - what made you decide to run for King County Council after being on the Seattle City Council?

[00:01:35] Teresa Mosqueda: I've been really, really honored to be able to serve the full City of Seattle - 775,000 residents at this point - to be able to pass progressive policies like progressive revenue through JumpStart, Green New Deal and affordable housing that it was funding, to be able to quadruple the investments in affordable housing, to expand worker protections. But the truth is, we know that much of the population that I was elected by - the folks that I really center in my public policy - also work and have family outside of the City of Seattle. And in many ways, I want to build on what I've been able to accomplish in Seattle - investments in affordable housing, investments in new career pathways, good union jobs, to expand on the childcare and working family supports that I've centered in my work on City Council. But in order to reach the broader population of working families who are just outside of Seattle's borders but may work in Seattle and come in and out of the City - I want to create greater equity and stability across our region - the County is the place to do it. And in terms of stability, the County is the only place that has purview over public health, has the purse strings for behavioral health investments. And so if I want to complement efforts to try to house folks and create long-term housing stability, especially for our most vulnerable community members, the County is the place to do that - through investments in behavioral health, by sitting on the Public Health Board, by being directly involved in the budget that has purview over public health and behavioral health investments. I see it as an extension of my work at the City to create housed and healthy communities. And it actually goes full circle back to my roots where I started my career in community health. It is exciting opportunity, and I see it as a growth and expansion of the work that we've done in Seattle.

[00:03:24] Crystal Fincher: Absolutely. You talk about progressive revenue - the JumpStart Tax, which is a really, really important source of revenue that has been so helpful for businesses in the City, for residents, so many people in need - and has been a benefit to the City, especially in this time of a budget downturn in that the JumpStart Tax helped to bail out a budget shortfall there. So this revenue seemed to come just in time. You had to fight for it. You led the fight for it. What lessons do you take out of that fight to the County, and what progressive revenue options are there at the county level that you would be willing to pursue?

[00:04:05] Teresa Mosqueda: I think one major lesson is how I've approached building these big progressive policies that have not only earned the majority of votes, but the vast majority - if not unanimous vote sometimes - that have withstood the test of time, have not been overturned, and have not been overturned by legislative councilmatic action nor by the courts. I will take with me to King County the ability to build these broad coalitions. And think about JumpStart - who was there when we launched it? It was ironworkers and hardhats, along with business entrepreneurs from both small and large business, with community and housing advocates standing collectively together to say - We will not only stand by this progressive revenue, we will stand by it knowing that it's five times the amount of the previous policy and it's twice as long. That's a huge effort that took place to try to get people on the same page, and we had to - with growing income inequality, growing needs, an increase in our population. There was no other option. This had to succeed, and so I will take that same approach to King County Council.

So much is on the needs list right now in the "wake" of the global pandemic. We have the ongoing shadow pandemic. We have increased needs for mental health and community health investments. We have increased needs for food security and housing stability. There is not an alternative. We must invest more and we must do it in a way that withstands the test of time, like I've done on Seattle City Council. So for me, it's the how I bring people together that I will bring to King County Council. And I think it's also the what - not being afraid to push the envelope on what's possible. Many people said it was impossible to pass the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights - and we got sued, and we won. People said it was impossible to legislate having hotel workers get access to guaranteed healthcare at the gold level, protections from retaliation, maximum workload. We not only passed that in legislation, but we withstood that in the court. And the same is true of JumpStart. We withstood multiple litigation attempts to try to take away JumpStart, and it's withstood the test of time. And I'm excited to see what else we can do in a city that sees so much growth but incredible inequity across our region - to bring people together to address these pressing needs.

[00:06:24] Crystal Fincher: Absolutely. You talked about housing and homelessness, and one thing called out by experts as a barrier to our homelessness response is that frontline worker wages don't cover their cost of living. Do you believe our local service providers, a lot of whom are nonprofits, have a responsibility to pay living wages for the area? And how can we make that more likely with how we bid and contract for services at the county level?

[00:06:54] Teresa Mosqueda: Yeah, two things I would say. One is - absolutely, we need to make sure that folks who are working on the frontline as human service providers - think folks who are the counselors to youth, or people who have mental health or substance abuse needs that we need to help address so that they can get stably housed, think about services to our vets and seniors. These are workers on the frontline who rely on relationships and have skills, expertise in the human service category. They need to have investments in these deeply needed services. And in order for us to create greater stability, we need to be paying them living wages. I say "we" - because this is not about the nonprofits needing to pay them more. It is about we, the public entities, needing to increase our contracts to these organizations who then employ people to be on the frontline. For better or worse, we have a human services system that has largely relied on contracting out critical services that are arguably public services. They are supported by public dollars, and we, public officials, have a responsibility to pay those organizations enough so that they can invest in the wages for frontline workers.

That is what I have tried to do at Seattle City Council. The first year that I came in at Seattle City Council, the Human Services Coalition came to me and said - We have not had a cost of living increase in 10 years. To not have a COLA in 10 years for most workers in our region and across the country is unheard of, but it's especially unheard of for the very folks on the frontline trying to address the most pressing crisis in our country right now - and that is housing instability and homeless services. So we worked in 2019, and we passed the Human Services cost of living adjustment - that is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what needs to be addressed. The historic and chronic underfunding of these positions still needs to be addressed. We are not going to be able to close this gap of 40, 50, 60% turnover in our critical organizational partners, organizations, if we don't address the wage stability issue. So I think actually going to the County and bringing that experience of having worked directly with the human service providers and hearing their stories about why it was so critical not only to have a cost of living adjustment, but to get at this chronic underfunding is going to be really coming at a pivotal moment. Seattle does have a cost of living adjustment. I want to bring that cost of living adjustment to King County and collectively with Seattle, I want to work to address the underpayment for human service providers as well.

[00:09:26] Crystal Fincher: There's been a lot of action when it comes to addressing housing and homelessness from the King County Regional Homelessness Authority to new legislation, and potentially even more legislation coming out through the end of this legislative session. We're currently recording this in mid-April, so it may come out a little bit further when there's a definitive answer for everything that happens. But amid a lot of this work that is currently being implemented or has just been authorized, there's a lot in process but still seemingly a lot more that needs to be done. What would your top priorities be to make a noticeable and meaningful difference in both homelessness and housing affordability if you're elected to this position?

[00:10:11] Teresa Mosqueda: Resources for housing is critically needed across King County. Resources will help local jurisdictions be able to implement the new requirements that are going to be coming forth from our State Legislature, which - I want to thank our State legislative members - every year they go to Olympia and every year we ask them to be bold - be bold on housing solutions, recognizing that housing is the solution to being houseless. Housing helps people who have multiple compounding factors get healthy, get stable, and be productive members of our community. Housing is the solution to this biggest crisis that we see, not only in Seattle and King County, up and down the West Coast, but across our entire country. We have not built enough housing to house our current population plus the population who will continue to come to our region. So one of the things that I think I can take to the County is the desire to make sure that local jurisdictions, whether it's Burien or Tukwila, or unincorporated areas like in Vashon and Maury Island or in White Center - that they have resources as well to help build the type of housing that's being requested from the State Legislature - to do so in accordance with their Comprehensive Plan so that people can implement it in the time frame that works for those local jurisdictions, but to help them take away the barrier of not having enough resources. Seattle is unique in that we have pushed forward different resources. We have different types of tax revenues - thanks to JumpStart, for example - but in areas that don't have those type of resources, I hope the County can continue to be a good partner, in addition to the state, to build the type of diverse housing that we're now going to be required to build and hopefully we can do even more.

The State Legislature is actually creating a new floor. We should be building upon that, and where we can go higher and denser - that is good for the local environment, it is good for the local economy, it's good for the health of workers and small businesses. And it's what I've heard from Vashon Island to Tukwila - people have said, "We don't have enough workforce housing." Small business owners have said, "I don't have enough workers in this area because they can't afford to live here." So I want to hopefully break down misperceptions about what type of housing we're talking about. We're talking about housing for seniors and vets, kiddos, youth, workers. We're talking about supporting the creation of that housing with additional revenue - that's one of the things I'd like to bring to the County. And to also recognize that when we have diverse economies that are prosperous, it's because workers can live next to their place of employment. Workers can walk to their childcare. We don't have time to spend two hours in the car commuting back and forth - that's not good for our health, our family's health, and it sure isn't good for the health of our planet. So it's a win-win-win, and I think that's something that I can really bring in as a County Councilmember - the knowledge that these local jurisdictions want to do more, but sometimes are limited with their resources. And wherever I can, I want to help step up and provide that support.

[00:13:08] Crystal Fincher: Absolutely. Public safety has also been an area where the County continues to make a lot of news, has a lot of responsibility - they operate a jail, and that has itself made a lot of news. Over the past couple years throughout the pandemic, some of the employees of the jails - the guards - other people, the Public Defenders Association have called out overcrowding conditions, unsafe conditions in the jail. There's been times where the jail has not had clean water, several illness outbreaks, people not being treated correctly. It seems to be a really bad situation. Recently, the King County Council just voted to extend a contract to rent additional beds from a SCORE facility in Des Moines. This, during a backdrop of events where the King County Executive has made a promise to close the King County Jail, but it seems like we're getting further away from that, or at least not getting closer to that. Would you have voted to extend the SCORE contract? And should we close the jail? What is your vision for the short term?

[00:14:17] Teresa Mosqueda: I think that the move to close down a jail that's both outdated and unsafe is not only good for the inmates, it's good for the folks who are working there. I think this is another example of where there's a false perception of sides. People who work within the jail, as well as those who are incarcerated, have expressed their not only horror when seeing mold and deterioration of the building, but it is extremely unsafe as well - as you mentioned - due to overcrowding. There's a few things that I think we can do. Number one, we should address upstream - who was being sent to these facilities in the first place. In a presentation that the Seattle City Council received from the City Attorney's Office, there was a large number of people who were initially booked and jailed, and ultimately were released because there was no grounds to put forward charges. And I think we need to stop the habit or the practice of putting folks in that situation to begin with. Even if they are not incarcerated for long periods of time, the fact that people are being jailed - especially youth - creates consequences down the road, mental health consequences, consequences for your housing, for your livelihood, your employment. And the negative impact of just being booked in the first place - both for the physical health of somebody, but also the trajectory of their life - is quantifiable. It is known, and we should stop that practice early.

I agree with the effort to move folks into a situation that is healthier, but I also want to continue to look at how we can reduce the chance that someone is ever incarcerated in the first place, invest more in restorative justice practices. I'm optimistic by some of the conversations I've heard from folks in the community, specifically in Burien, about the ways in which some of the initial conversations have taken place with the Burien City Police Chief Ted Boe, and some of the commitments that have been made to try to look at restorative justice differently. And I think that holistically we need to look at what leads someone to be in that situation in the first place and back up to see what additional community investments we can be making so that people can have greater access to economic security, community safety, and reduce the chance that someone ever interacts with the carceral system to begin with.

[00:16:40] Crystal Fincher: What do you think, or for people who are considering this voting decision and who are looking around and who are feeling unsafe, and who are not quite sure what the right direction is to move forward, or what can be done but feel like something should be done - what is your message to them? And what can make us all safer?

[00:17:01] Teresa Mosqueda: There's a few things that I think have really come to light, especially during the pandemic. We tell people to stay home to stay healthy. Well, if people don't have a home, they can't stay healthy. If we can think about the increased situation where many of us have probably seen loved ones in our lives - whether it's family members or friends - who have turned to substances to cope, to self-medicate with the stress, the trauma, the isolation that has only increased during the pandemic. I hope there's greater empathy across our community and across our country for why people may be self-medicating to begin with. And I think if we think about these recent examples of where we have seen people become more unstable in their housing situation or turn to substances because of increasing stress and pressure, that hopefully there's greater empathy for why it is so critical that we invest upstream. It is not an either/or - it's creating greater balance with how we invest in community safety, in what we know equals the social determinants of health. When we invest in housing, it helps reduce the chance that someone is going to engage in criminal activities later in life. When we invest in early learning, in job opportunities, in youth interactive programs, when we invest in even gun reduction and youth violence reduction strategies, it helps create healthier individuals and healthier populations, reduce the chance that someone ever interacts with an officer to begin with. These are public safety investments, and they shouldn't be seen as a separate silo from "traditional safety." It actually saves lives, and there's a huge return on investment when we make some of these upstream program policies a priority. I think it actually creates healthier communities, and for those who are looking at it through the economic lens, healthier economies - knowing that that return on investment has been proven time and time again. And it's good for individuals and community health as well.

[00:19:02] Crystal Fincher: Absolutely. Now, there's a shortage of workers across the board - certainly King County is included in this shortage of county workers in several areas, including in many front-line positions that impact public safety - maintenance, care, health - all of those that are crucial to delivering services and help that the residents of the County need. We've seen hiring, retention, and referral bonuses for public safety employees. Do you think we should be considering those for other employees?

[00:19:39] Teresa Mosqueda: Absolutely. This is part of the conversation that I raised while at Seattle City Council. There is, I think, a detrimental impact to workplace morale across public servants when we're not uniformly treating people the same. It's not what I feel, it's not that that's my perception - that's actually coming from workers within the City of Seattle who completed a survey that our Human Resources Department, in addition to Seattle Police Department and other Seattle agencies, completed to ask, "What would you like to see? How would you feel if certain employees got a hiring bonus or retention bonus?" And overwhelmingly, workers in public service said that they thought that this would hurt morale - if existing public servants weren't treated the same. I mentioned that in the Human Services category, there's a 40% to 60% turnover rate for our nonprofit organizations who are helping folks on the frontline. There's a huge turnover rate, as well, within our Human Services Department - we've had to freeze the hiring, and reduce hours, and reduce positions. Public libraries, community centers are front-facing programs for the community during COVID and we are slowly starting to scale those back up, but they're nowhere at capacity right now. And what workers themselves have said within the City of Seattle is - they want to see greater strategies for retention. Investments in childcare keeps coming up. Investments in more affordable housing keeps coming up. And if you want to look specifically at the Seattle Police Department, the officers themselves said that they did not think that hiring bonuses was the way to address retention and morale issues - that played out in their comments in the press, as well as the survey results that we saw.

I think that there's a more equitable approach that we should be taking. I think that we should be looking at how we recruit and train and incentivize people to come to public service overall, whether that means you're coming in to work as a firefighter or a police officer, or whether that means that we want to recruit you to be serving the public in libraries or as a lifeguard - which we don't have enough of - or as a childcare provider, which we don't have enough of. We should be looking across the board at these public service programs and figuring out ways to both address retention and morale, and to do so equitably. And to listen to what workers have said - they want housing, they want childcare, they want regular and routine transit. And they want us to, especially within the City of Seattle, address disparity in wages for folks of color and women compared to their counterparts. Those are some things that I think we should be taking on more seriously.

[00:22:17] Crystal Fincher: Definitely. Now, you talk about people saying they want regular and routine transit. Lots of people want that. Lots of people - more importantly - need that, are relying on that. And there's been lots of talk about the rider experience around safety on transit, but also about the availability and accessibility of service and all-day service - not just some of those commuter-centric commute-time service bumps that we've seen. What would your approach to Metro be as a councilmember?

[00:22:50] Teresa Mosqueda: So I appreciate that you raise safety because it is an issue that comes up for riders as well as the drivers. Members of ATU, who drive buses around King County, have expressed increased concern around their safety. Whether they're driving in the day or night - given COVID has increased interpersonal violence across our country, they are on the receiving end of that as well. So I'm excited to talk with ATU, with members who have been out on the frontline as our bus drivers, as well as riders to talk about how we can improve safety for everyone. That is - again, on the preventative side, trying to figure out ways that structurally and through public policy we can ensure that riders and drivers are safe.

There's also two things that drivers have talked to me about and folks within King County Metro. They say there's a lot of focus on new routes and how do we expand routes - routes, routes, routes - which I also agree with. But they've also brought up that we need to continue to invest in the people, maintenance, and operation to make sure that there's enough people to be working on existing routes and new routes to come. Similar to housing, we don't want to just build units. We want to make sure that for those who need personnel in those units to make sure that folks stay stably housed, we're investing in the workforce to ensure that that housing, that that unit is successful. We need to be looking at investments in the workforce, recruiting folks to come to these good living wage union jobs, and to be thinking about how we improve retention and stability as well. And for as far as maintenance is concerned - thinking more about how we can invest in greener fleets, greener maintenance opportunities, and ensure that those vehicles are running well and routinely. So those are two of the things that have come directly from the frontline drivers themselves.

And then more broadly - workers. You mentioned all-day services. I would also argue all-night services to the degree that we can add additional stops, because many of the childcare providers who are coming in early in the morning, construction workers who are coming in early in the morning, janitors who might be going out late at night, talk about how they have to rely on vehicles because there are not times that the buses are showing up to get them to work and back home in time. So I think that it's multi-prong. But again, I think the common ground here is that the workers in this sector are agreeing with the recipients of the service. And collectively, I'm hoping that we can address safety, workforce needs, and increase routes as well.

[00:25:23] Crystal Fincher: Definitely, and I really appreciate you bringing up the workforce needs. I know a couple people who use transit regularly but ended up getting vehicles because of the unpredictable cancellations due to staff shortages, whether it's maintenance or drivers, just making it unreliable to get to work on time. And already the time taken to commute that way is a lot, so that would improve the experience greatly - definitely appreciate that. Transit is also very, very important to achieving our climate goals. And by most measures, we're behind on our 2030 climate goals - while we're experiencing devastating impacts from climate change, including extreme heat and cold, wildfires, floods. What are your highest-priority plans to get us on track to meet our 2030 climate goals?

[00:26:17] Teresa Mosqueda: One thing might surprise folks in that category - probably not a huge surprise for folks who have heard me talk before - but I think if we can invest in additional housing, dense housing across our region, it will actually reduce CO2 emissions. And it's really common sense, right? We are the third-highest mega-commuter city or region in the nation. We have more people who are commuting back and forth to work than most of the country. And the reason is because they can't afford to find a house near their place of employment. If CO2 emissions from cars - single-occupancy cars - is the number-one contributor to pollution in our region, I believe that is at the top of our list for helping to reduce our carbon footprint across the country and across the globe. We should be increasing density. We should see it not only as a good economic stimulant, what's right to do for workers and working families, but it is one of the best things that we could also do for our climate. I think that there's - again, a misperception or a false divide between folks who are environmentalists and want to see more trees, and their perception that additional housing or density takes that away. It does not. We can both create setbacks for higher buildings and use the airspace to create living opportunities, while we plant additional trees and preserve old growth. I've gone to at least three ribbon-cutting ceremonies for Habitat for Humanity, who created - basically - townhouses connected altogether. We don't have a lot of row houses in Seattle, but row houses, if you will, around trees created in the shape of a U with old-growth trees in the middle - allowing for greater shade, and a play area for kiddos, and a place to sit for elders. It is very much possible to build dense housing options and preserve old growth while planting new trees.

So I think in addition to creating density, we can plant more trees. We can do more to incentivize good living-wage jobs in industries that are cleaner. I heard from our friends in Georgetown Community Center that they had to beg and plead for one of the local industries to incorporate more greener options for a glass manufacturer down there. And we should simultaneously be seeing the opportunity to promote good jobs as a requirement for also promoting good green jobs. And I worked very hard with members of both the environmental community and the labor community in the past to push Just Transition policies - to ensure that as we transition to greener economies or greener manufacturing strategies, that we're preserving good living-wage jobs and, even better, preserving good union living-wage jobs. So I look forward to making sure that we have denser cities, that we have greener cities, and that we have greener industries.

[00:29:13] Crystal Fincher: Now, King County does incremental budgeting, making it more challenging for people to understand how county funds are allocated in a base budget. The budget is known as one of your areas of strength. What do you think can be done to make the budget process easier for the public to understand and influence at the county level?

[00:29:35] Teresa Mosqueda: I've been really proud of what we've been able to accomplish in Seattle. And coming from working the halls of Olympia on behalf of the Washington State Labor Council for eight years and then for three years before that with the Children's Alliance, I was used to this concept of having these biennial budgets that needed to be seen in full, that you could see the red line to know what was the investment from last year versus the upcoming year. Unfortunately, the City of Seattle doesn't have such a budget document. It's basically like single pages - page after page of narrative descriptions of what the dollars will do. That's fine for some budget notes, but what I think we are working towards in the City of Seattle - a preview for folks who love budget talk - is we're going to one day have a true biennial budget and an actual budget document where you will be able to see the red line, either additions or subtractions to specific programs so that everyone knows what is being invested in, how funding is changing, and where priorities are showing up in the budget. I am excited about being able to build on that work that I've done in Seattle, especially as Budget Chair, in some of the most pressing economic times in recent history, starting in 2020. And have been able to not only allocate millions of dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act, but also to create greater transparency in how we budget.

One of the things that I think is maybe misunderstood out there is the way in which we've helped to provide transparency in the entire budget, but specifically the Seattle Police Department. It had not been exposed year-over-year that Seattle Police Department actually had about $40 million that was rolling over year-over-year on top of funding that the chief, that the mayor, that the department had acknowledged they could not use. And in a time where we saw an economic crisis on the horizon, growing needs in our community, and knew that that was $40 million that was not going to be put to use, not going into direct services for the community - and for those who wanted to see additional officers, wasn't even going to be able to use to increase the hiring plan. It's good budgeting to be able to make sure that that funding is transparently accounted for in the General Fund - and where we can deploy it to things like food, housing, childcare, economic security for small businesses that we do so. That's something I'm really proud of - that we were able to show what the full picture was, not only for that department, but for all departments. And to make some important investments in mental health services, behavioral health services, youth violence, gun violence reduction strategies - things that similarly invest in community safety, but we were able to show where those line items move.

I will bring to King County Council the ability to structurally push for greater transparency for members of the public, encourage us as the legislative branch to own the separate but equal branch of government that the council is as the legislative branch, and ensure that the public has an opportunity to dive into the proposal that comes from the executive, just like the proposal that comes from the governor to the State Legislature. You receive that, you dissect it, you talk to community about what it means - and then ultimately the legislative branch reconvenes, reconfigures the budget, and presents it to the executive for a signature. It's good governance, it's good transparency. I think it's understandable from folks across whatever political spectrum - it's important to have budget transparency and accountability, and that's what I've been able to accomplish in the City of Seattle.

[00:33:02] Crystal Fincher: It is, and I think there are a number of people, especially listeners to Hacks & Wonks, who do enjoy budget conversations, who would definitely look forward to more budget transparency at the County level, like you've been working towards at the City level. As we close here and as people are going to be making the decision about who they're going to be voting for for this County Council position, what is your message to voters and people listening about why they should choose you?

[00:33:30] Teresa Mosqueda: I'm very thrilled to be in this race for King County Council. I think I have not only proven that I'm an effective legislator at the council level, but that I know how to center folks who have been left out of policy conversations in the room, but more importantly - follow the lead of those who've experienced the injustices over the years. We have been able to move historic, monumental, national-headline-grabbing policies within the City of Seattle in my now going into six years in Seattle City Council. And it has been done, I believe, in a collaborative way, in a way that has made transformational change, and in a way that I think has always centered - been centered on my progressive commitments to investing in working families, folks of color, and the LGBTQ community, workers to ensure that there's greater opportunity and prosperity. And creating housing and stability - that is something that is good for our entire community. I do this work because it's all about how we create healthy communities. You have to have investments in good living wage jobs and housing stability and opportunity education to have self-determination and control over your own life and your own decisions. And I think through public policy, through investments with public resources, we can create greater opportunity across our county.

I am excited, as well, to be coming to this race as a woman, as a Latina, as a Chicana - poised to be the first Latina ever elected to King County Council. And with a King County population that is made up of half people of color and a quarter immigrant and refugee, it is critical that we have more voices with folks who have the lived experience coming from communities of color serving in these positions. I think that's why I've been able to effectively and efficiently move policy through so quickly - because I have put at the front of the line many of the community members who are often left out of policy discussions. I hope to bring in my commitment to working with folks who are workers, women, folks of color, members of the LGBTQ community to hear more about what we can do at King County Council. I know I have big shoes to step into with Councilmember McDermott and his commitment to public health, working with the LGBTQ community, his tenure in the State Legislature - and I'm also excited to add to that and serve our broader region and our growing needs.

[00:35:59] Crystal Fincher: Thank you so much, Councilmember Mosqueda, for spending this time with us today and having this conversation. Sincerely appreciate it, and we'll certainly be following your campaign eagerly over the next several months. Thank you.

[00:36:13] Teresa Mosqueda: Thank you so much - I appreciate it.

[00:36:15] Crystal Fincher: Thank you for listening to Hacks & Wonks, which is co-produced by Shannon Cheng and Bryce Cannatelli. You can follow Hacks & Wonks on Twitter @HacksWonks. You can catch Hacks & Wonks on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts - just type "Hacks and Wonks" into the search bar. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast to get the full versions of our Friday almost-live shows and our midweek show delivered to your podcast feed. If you like us, leave a review wherever you listen. You can also get a full transcript of this episode and links to the resources referenced in the show at officialhacksandwonks.com and in the episode notes.

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