|Casey Carlisle, 2017 candidate for Mayor of Seattle, WA|
DM: LCI welcomes today Casey Carlisle, the Mayor candidate for the city of Seattle, WA during the 2017 campaign! Thanks for giving us your time to answer some of our questions. Mayor of Seattle, arguably the face of Washington state; what motivated you to take on this challenge?
CC: I'm running for mayor because I'm not satisfied with simply complaining about the direction our city is taking. We need a non-partisan, objective approach. Our city government shares much of the blame for making Seattle’s cost of living so high. I want to limit the size and scope of the City and focus more on basic services, not on social engineering.
DM: What do you consider the major issues to address in Seattle and then we can discuss those issues a little more in detail.
CC: Cost of living, homelessness, and neighborhood autonomy.
Casey Carlisle speaks at the Liberty Rocks Seattle event on 4/13/2017 (4 minutes 27 seconds)Article Link: http://www.libertychronicle.net/2017/04/lci-exclusive-liberty-rocks-seattle.html
DM: In regards to the homeless epidemic on Seattle, where do you plan on beginning with the issue? The regulations stopping affordable building solutions? The high taxation? Washington state's horrific mental health treatment history? It's a huge and complex issue and what is your take on tackling the issue?
CC: I agree that homelessness is a complex issue, and because it’s complex, not everyone will be pleased with the steps I or anyone else would like to take. It’s counterintuitive, but the City is currently fueling the rise of homelessness. How can we try to fix a problem that we’re currently aiding and abetting? I’d begin with scrapping plans for more City-sanctioned homeless encampments, and I’d close existing City-sanctioned homeless encampments on my 30th day in office. Lowering taxes will also help, and scrapping affordable housing mandates will help, too. Affordable housing mandates hurt the very same people we’re trying to help. For example, the upzone proposal for the International District mandates that 17% of all new apartment units be priced below market rates. Do you think developers and property managers will just eat the cost? Of course not. They’ll make up for the loss by raising the rents above market rates on the remaining 83%, which widens the wealth gap. “Inclusionary zoning” is just rent control in disguise, designed to make those who implement it feel good about their noble intentions while ignoring the negative, unintended consequences. Once we implement these changes, we’ll be able to focus on those who are in most need – the mentally ill.
DM: Cost of living issues go along directly with the homelessness epidemic, what additional information can you provide on how to make changes such as regressive tax focus, etc.?
CC: I agree that our tax system is regressive, but no mayor in Washington can change it. We’re stuck with it until state legislators change it, so the best we can do is lower the sales and property taxes. In addition, I’d place a moratorium on City hiring, and I’d evaluate the City’s 40 departments to see which we can do without. Also, I’d like every City employee – elected officials included – to take a 15% pay cut. If the City were to focus on just the basics, we wouldn’t need to have such ridiculously high taxes. The more the City tries to do, the more poor and divided we’ll be.
DM: Regarding Neighborhood and community outreach, what areas do you wish to tackle on? What has worked? What needs eliminated? What do you want to see implemented?
CC: Developers shouldn’t be soliciting favors from the City. Upzone all of Seattle, and relinquish planning power to the neighborhoods. With this approach, all of Seattle will have the opportunity for economic development, and developers will have to deal directly with the neighborhood that they wish to develop.
DM: As Mayor, having all of the issues and ideas as we have discussed prepares you for the daunting tasks at hand. However, you will need to work among your peers in the City Council. What is your strategy to work efficiently and productively with them on the issues?
CC: Transparency is key. I want all of Seattle to know about what I wish to accomplish. If they’re aware of these plans, and if I have enough people to support them, the City Council won’t have the luxury of arguing with just me, considering I’ll have the backing of tens of thousands of Seattleites. This is not to say that I’ll be ignoring the City Council; quite the opposite. I look forward to having constructive debates with council-members, and I’d like those debates to be open to the public.
DM: Out of everything we have discussed or may not have mentioned yet, what issue is going to be the absolute hardest to take care of in one term?
CC: I don’t want to seek reelection, so I think it will be very difficult to shrink the size and scope of the City as much as I would like to in four years. Public-sector unions don’t care about the greater good or about having a lower cost of living, so they will surely put up a fight to protect our bureaucrat-bloated government. For example, they want to continue negotiating collective bargaining agreements behind closed doors. That shouldn’t be legal. It’s our money that pays their bloated salaries, so the public should be made aware of those salaries. Unions would rather us be in the dark. Julian Assange said it best: secrecy breeds incompetence.
DM: What ideas do you have on new legislation, if any? If so, how would you see them go through?
CC: I plan to do more vetoing than rule making. In general, I want to reduce the size and scope of the City; however, I do have a couple ideas. I am eager to reform the way property is taxed. Property taxes are one of the most hated forms of taxation, but if we must have them, they might as well be more objective and equitable. I have been increasingly interested in the land value tax. Taxing only the land – instead of what’s on it – will reduce sprawl, lighten the tax load for those who share walls (apartments vs. houses), and remove the subjectivity involved in assessing home value. I am also very interested in changing the way we vote for political candidates. “Top-two” is disastrous for candidates not associated with the two, old parties, so I see “top-two” as stifling democracy in our very independent city. Ranked-choice voting and reforming the way property is taxed seem like a win-win forall, so I don't expect much resistance from the council on these two items.
|2017 Seattle, WA Mayor candidate, Casey Carlisle|
DM: This has been an extremely informative interview and I hope that voters reading will take your positions into high consideration when deciding where they cast their vote in Seattle.
If the community is looking to get involved with helping your campaign or donations, what links or information can you provide here?
CC: Thanks for asking. I need $1165 by the 19th of May in order to be on the ballot in August. I don't blame you for thinking that it's silly to donate. I used to think the same way, but now that I'm running for office for the first time, I'm aware of how important your contribution will be. As the candidate, campaign manager, and campaign treasurer, I severely underestimated how time-intensive this process would be. Add to that the lack of attention from the mainstream media, and I'm left with only one option - buying ad space to get my message out. I really need your donation. Please visit my website to learn more about my platform, and if you like what you see, please donate. Every little bit helps. If you're on the fence about donating, then please feel free to ask me anything. I'm happy to chat, and I need your support. Also, I post most of my updates on Twitter, and you'll also find some updates on Facebook. It's caseyForSeattle for all three websites:
DM: Thanks again for taking the time to speak with us. In closing thoughts, what would you like to leave with readers?
CC: Thank you for your interest. I'm a big believer of "live and let live," and I refuse to believe that that sentiment has fallen out of favor. Please help me spread the word, and thanks again.
This contribution is from Seattle-based independent journalist, David Malekar, Editor in Chief for the Liberty Chronicle Independent; and publishes content to other online publications.