With at least half of current Seattle City Council members set to retire this year, many activists are targeting vacancies in the November election.
In District 1, which represents West Seattle and South Park, former Amazon employee and climate activist Maren Costa announced Thursday that she will seek to fill the seat vacated by longtime Progressive Council member and former legislative aide Lisa Herbold.
Costa, 54, hopes to emphasize environmental protection if elected and continue to fight for such policies while she is an Amazon employee.
“If we ignore the elephant in the room, all the other work in this city is going to be for naught,” Costa said in an interview Wednesday, pointing to rising temperatures in the region, the visibility of smoke from wildfires and recent events in South Park. flood.
In 2020, Costa and another co-leader of the activist group Amazon Workers for Climate Justice were fired by the company after announcing an internal campaign requiring employees to brief technical workers on the safety of Amazon warehouses. In 2021, the National Labor Council found that Costa had been illegally fired.
After Amazon, Costa worked at Microsoft, where she advocated for environmentally responsible 401k investing before being fired in the recent 10,000-employee purge.
Last week, social worker and U.S. Army veteran Preston Anderson announced his candidacy in District 1.
Anderson, a Tacoma native who grew up in a single-parent household, said his family’s reliance on public service led him to become a military medic. He currently serves as a Housing Administrator for the Veterans Administration’s Puget Sound Health Care System.
In a statement last week, Anderson said he would focus on providing essentials like housing and mental health services, and creating economic opportunity by boosting wages and growing small businesses.
“While our region lacks affordable housing, there is a need for wage-paying jobs,” Anderson wrote in a prepared statement.
In District 3, transportation advocate Alex Hudson announced this week that she is running as a “policy omnivore” with a “passion for transportation.”
Council member Kshama Sawant, the council’s most senior member and only socialist, has held the District 3 council seat for 10 years but announced last week that she would not seek re-election to launch a national labor movement.
In an interview Wednesday, Hudson, a First Hill resident who has led the Transit Options Coalition for five years, said she will be running as a progressive to “raise a sense of urgency” to address long-standing issues facing the city.
Chief among them, she said, is Seattle’s lack of affordable housing, which she believes could be addressed through zoning changes to increase density citywide.
“We have to address these housing affordability issues at the speed and scale of the crisis,” Hudson said, noting that she is a renter who “gave up hope” of owning her home forever.
Although Hudson describes herself as a progressive who “cars deeply about those who are the toughest and face the biggest problems,” she said she would support policies that benefit businesses and individuals.
Before the Hudson announcement, business owner and community advocate Joy Hollingsworth led a campaign in the region, which includes Capitol Hill, the Midlands and much of Madison Park, as well as Little Saigon .
In a speech on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Hollingsworth said she wanted to support communities while addressing issues of hunger, affordable housing, public safety and health and access to healthy, sustainable food.
Hollingsworth, grandson of the late Seattle education and civil rights advocate Dorothy Hollingsworth, said the city council would benefit from her black and LGBTQ views.
“I’m committed to public service,” Hollingsworth said. “My family comes from a family of civil servants, so right now, I’m trying to achieve my goals.”
So far, 14 candidates have submitted campaign papers to the city across seven districts.