Ethan’s Platform

 Supporting Public Education

Our schools are the current battleground in the domestic war-on-terror. As a recent graduate of Seattle Public Schools, I can tell you that Seattle's children and their teachers live in fear every day; fear that this might be the day, fear that those duck and cover drills won't really defend one from the round of an AR15, fear that there is not an object close enough with which one can confront an attacker and fear of not making it out alive. Every. Single. Day. This is the life of a public school student in 2019.

There is no longer fear of not doing well, there is no longer fear of what the teacher or the parents might say if you don't excel, there is no longer fear of forgetting homework that the dog might have eaten in the past, there is no longer fear of not having studied hard enough for the test.

There is only time to FEAR FOR ONE'S LIFE. 

This has to change. Is that how we want Seattle's youth to be raised? Reading, writing and arithmetic have taken a backseat to knowing how to respond to an attack. The syllabus' may all read the same, the school system may tell us that it is business as usual, but the reality being lived in Seattle schools is very different. 

I have lived it firsthand. Panic, anxiety and PTSD are not conducive to learning and higher education.

On the teacher front, it is time we paid all our civil servants, including our teachers, wages that attract the best and brightest and afford them the opportunity to live in the community in which they serve.  

I think we can all agree that Seattle would be better served. 

 Suicide Prevention

Suicide rates among young people have continued to soar in recent years -- so much so that the rate among 15- to 24-year-olds climbed in 2017 to its highest point since 2000, new research has found.

An increase was especially seen among 15- to 19-year-olds and young men, according to a research paper published June 2019 in the medical journal JAMA.

"New information shows that suicide [among] adolescents has reached its highest recorded level, and it shows that there's especially an increase in recent years in adolescent males,"  according to Oren Miron, a research associate at Harvard Medical School.

Combined with the deadly Fentanyl phase of the opioid crisis, the daily fear students in school face about not being the next victims of a domestic terror attack and the increase in bullying should make this problem a very real concern to the people of Seattle.

Our youth are under assault and drastic action is required!

 Affordable Housing, Homelessness, & Zoning

Seattle's homeless crisis is quickly becoming a disaster!

According to a May 2018 Seattle Times piece, the homeless problem in Seattle has increased by 46% since 2017. This number includes, for the first time, more than half of those people living on the streets, in tents or vehicles as opposed to shelters.

We have homelessness creeping up to the edge of our residences, our businesses, our houses of worship,  our parks and our schools. Seattle is on the verge of disaster with homelessness and housing issues and it is time to confront the problem and stop just throwing money at it, nipping at the heels of the issue while the situation continues to escalate and get worse.

With homelessness, comes increased drug use, increased crime, increased victimization of women and children and even animals, increased desperation as people try to survive.

So it is time to address our drug problem, address our mental health crisis and address our cost of living issues so that we may begin to implement real solutions to our unsheltered crisis.

Our city faces an assault on housing on too many fronts as well!

The desirability of Seattle as a place to live and the increasing numbers moving here, the collective brain power in the region and the growing tech sector, along with other factors has given Seattle a score of 204 on the Sperling Best Places To Live Price Index (100 being the National Average), making it one of the most expensive metropolis' in the nation in which to live.

While there are economic benefits to the influx of people and cash, there are also downsides, including a cost of living out of reach for more and more people who want to be in Seattle, a city not prepared for the influx both in building code updates and infrastructure needs, amongst others.

I am a proponent of the following:

Requiring developers to pay necessary impact study fees as to infrastructure, school, hospital and other services needed prior to building and expanding within our city,

Requiring that a certain amount of affordable housing be a required part of our building permit plans, eliminating the ability for developers to pay a fee to not have affordable housing units. 

Requiring that the greatest/majority of upzoing be centered closest to our transportation hubs so as to encourage people to get out of their motor vehicles and use public transportation.

Requiring that for EVERY tree removed for building purposes, that THREE new trees go up in its place in one of several tree sanctuaries which I hope to have Seattle dedicate the land to as part of our Save The Environment push!

 Policing & Discrimination

It is time to change the way we look at law enforcement.

It is time to make the work of law enforcement respectable and glamorous once again.

It is time to pay our civil servants, including our law enforcement officials the highest wages in their field so that Seattle may attract the best, brightest and most capable, train them well and hold them to a level of expectation worthy of the highest paid workers among us.
And in so doing, let's seek to once again bring respect for policing back to our community and end the blue shield code of silence. 

We need to do this not just because the work of law enforcement warrants top pay, but because it is the right thing to do and grants us the ability to have higher expectations and to end the cycle of mistrust between the community and those sworn to protect it, while upping the ante on the risk/reward quotient so that officers have incentive to follow the rules, as the best of the rewards would be here in Seattle.

As for the issue of law enforcement discrimination, let me say this; Seattle, for all its progressiveness, is still woefully inadequate when it comes to treatment of communities of color and the poor. Why is it that so many of our incidents involve these groups? What do we do about issues of race and law enforcement in our city?How do we stop the next Chraleena Lyles case from happening?
And what about our policing practices are so heavy-handed to one community while being effective in another and do we need different strategies for different areas of our city to combat this apparent decades-old discrepancy? 

As Thomas Jefferson once said, "We are at our best when ALL men are created equal"

We have work to do Seattle! The challenges facing us are so great that to divide among lines such as race, religion, sex or creed, will surely spell our doom as we move into the next decades with serious issues to resolve so that Seattle can thrive, beginning with ending discriminatory practices by civil servants towards people of color and the poor.

 Opioid Crisis

We are now in the third phase of the opioid epidemic and it is deadly. The first phase saw our city get hooked on prescription narcotics. The second phase brought with it the rise once again of heroin as we tried to resolve the prescription opioid epidemic. This has now lead to phase three, with Fentanyl as enemy number one to the people of Seattle. 

Fentanyl is 50 times more powerful than heroin and an amount able to fit on the head of a pin is enough to kill! 

Our citizens are under attack and we need to take drastic measures to stop this.

The rise in fentanyl has led to a 70% spike in opioid overdoses since 2018. 

70% in ONE YEAR!

If you are reading this, you probably know someone who has been touched by this epidemic or maybe even you yourself and your family have.

My family has been touched by this problem on more than one occasion. I lost an Aunt to this tragedy during the first phase of the crisis, the prescription phase and I have a cousin who is now battling addiction and trying not to fall off of the wagon for the umpteenth time.

We need a multi-front assault on this problem from law enforcement to healthcare officials to friends and family, this is not a drill, this is an all-points bulletin that Seattle is hurting and the pain is only getting worse.

I want to see more treatment options, more mental healthcare options, the winding down of treating addicts as a  law enforcement problem rather than a healthcare problem and a full-frontal assault against any organization, nation or whoever seeks to continue to invade Seattle with this killer poison.

AND, we need to take ACTION! Seattle is wisely in the process of suing opioid manufacturers to recoup losses in lives, man-hour labor and financial ruin to so many in Seattle. We have lost hundreds of millions of dollars at the hands of these drug producers who KNEW, if not right away, soon after they launched sales of these drugs, the ravaging devastation they would cause to families and finances. In Ohio, enough prescriptions were written for EVERY man, woman and child to take 69 pills per year! What's the number here in Seattle and the Northwest where the problem is as severe? It is time for these companies to settle up, even more so than they had to in the master tobacco settlement of 1998.

Lastly, Seattle, in its drive to battle the opioid crisis should adopt a plan to use cannabis in place of opioids as is being done in other states like New York and Illinois.ANYTHING we can do to alleviate the pain of patients while working to end the pain and suffering of opioid addiction we must do!

Can Cannabis Solve the Opioid Crisis?

Opioid Crisis: The lawsuits that could bankrupt manufacturers and distributors

Further reading for on Opioid Litigation

1998 Federal Tabacco Control Litigation Settlement

 Environmental Protection

Bill Nye, The Science Guy, said it most succinctly recently, albeit not politically correct.

"our planet is on f@#&ing fire," he exclaimed recently and science has given us every reason to believe that this is true.

When it comes to saving our environment, I have one message for you Seattle: it is time to get out of your motor vehicles and use your feet, your bike, your scooter and especially public transportation. And I think this is a place where the city council can really have an impact.

We need to make it painful to own and use a motor vehicle. I'm sorry, but our environment can no longer take the beating from our CO2 emissions. 

I want to increase the cost of everything as it relates to motor vehicle usage so that it becomes a painful luxury for you to get in your vehicle and use it. Our environment can't wait any longer for us to act!

As I've said elsewhere, it is a proven fact that the more trees and greenery, the more green house gases can be combated. So my upzoning plans call for a 3-to-1 tree replacement mandate for every tree removed due to building.expansion, as well as to confine the vast majority of upzoning closest to our major transportation hubs around the city.

A common theme of my campaign is that we want to be able to look back in the 2050's and be proud of what we did in the 2020's!

Saying 'NO' To Corporate Welfare

Political and business leaders need to be working to promote the long-term interests of the people who live in Seattle. Successful companies should pay their fair share in taxes. I will also be working with companies to encourage them to play a greater role in building a strong community and getting them to invest some of their massive profits back into the city.  

 Gender & Racial Pay-Gap

Again, my campaign is about people, not places and things!
Seattle has one of the largest gender and racial pay gaps in our nation!
If you are a woman or a person of color living in Seattle, you are likely to earn between 44% and 71% of what white men earn.   On the low end, median earnings for black or African women is $23,000, nearly half that of white men at $52,000.  Black or African men fare little better, with median earnings of $24,000. *
We have work to do, beginning at the occupational level as much of what drives this problem is education-related, resulting in people of color or women working in jobs that just pay less. So, when we improve our educational system and go back to learning instead of surviving the day trying not be shot, earnings increases can follow.
We need programs that force this issue front and center to employers in our city so that it is addressed. We can no longer hide our heads in the sand with regard to this brutal form of discriminationand again, as Thomas Jefferson said,"We are at our best when ALL men are created equal"

Seattle’s Minimum Wage: A Path to Reduce Race and Gender Inequality – Puget Sound Sage

Animal Abuse

As a lover of animals, I think we need to do more to protect our furry friends.

We need to make sure that our animal shelters are plentiful in both numbers and services provided, that we do a better job of adopting out dogs and cats so that we can cut down on and eliminate once and for all, euthanizing those for whom a home can not be found.

I favor a ban on the selling of puppy mill and kitty mill animals at retail, increased funding for spaying and neutering of animals found on the street and an expansion of foster systems that have worked successfully in partnerships such as is being done at the North Shore Animal League in New York.

And while King County is to be commended on improving its adoption rate by 20% in the latest studies, there is more work to be done to see that just like with our human citizens, our four-legged friends have safe homes and loving families to care for them.

 Cannabis Policy

I am completely for Washington State's 7-year foray into cannabis legalization.

But it pains me that seven years in, some of the benefits of recreational cannabis legalization have not been achieved in our state in general and in The City of Seattle in particular.

The biggest concern of these issues is a lack of mandated testing of cannabis products for contaminants and pesticides. The biggest benefit of legalization was supposed to be the consumer being able to have the knowledge of what is in what they are consuming and how it effects their body and stacks up against other products.

It is supposed to be free and clear of the contaminants and pesticides used by unscrupulous black market growers who care more for the almighty dollar than for what they are stuffing into the bodies of their clients.

And seven years in, we are still without the benefit of this most important data every time a consumer steps foot into a cannabis dispensary.

So, if the state will continue to drag its feet on important issues with health reverberations, then I will propose that The City of Seattle take matters into its own hands and as the largest cannabis market in the state, Seattle should mandate that all products sold in its stores are properly tested for pesticides and other harmful contaminants and that those products that do not meet the standards are removed from shelves/prevented from ever getting onto shelves.
And as it relates to employment screening, Washington State and Seattle, if the state will not act, should follow the lead set by Nevada and ban pre-employment screening for cannabis as a means to job determination. If we want to treat cannabis like alcohol, then let's by all means, do so.
Lastly, Seattle, in its drive to battle the opioid crisis should adopt a plan to use cannabis in place of opioids as is being done in other states like New York and Illinois.