Daniela Lipscomb-Eng

Q1. What are you hearing from voters as the most important issue facing Seattle?  In your view of that issue, what is working and what would you do differently?

Homelessness is the most important issue.   The City of Seattle hired Rebecca Poppe in 2016 to advise us on how to fix our homeless crisis. What we need to do is start implementing those policies quickly and efficiently. We need one governing body that oversees all of the services we are using for homelessness. This includes a shareable database with private facilities (DESC, Marys Place). I will ensure that we can streamline services and condense them the services available meaning that if an individual shows up at this new office and they need help they have access to minor healthcare, social services, health services, help with finding an open shelter, rapid rehousing and help with signing up for healthcare. One location where someone can show up and not be bounced around from office to office.

Q2. Please provide your perspective on how the current city council conducts its business with the public.  How would you conduct yourself as a council member?

What we need is a council who is willing to listen to people of all political parties and work together to compromise. We also do not have enough political outreach with the council. We need to have more council members at community council meetings, and chamber meetings and bring back the neighborhood groups who can be a voice for each neighborhood and advise the council on what their district/area is feeling. I will ensure to have that outreach and engagement. I will work together with all parties to ensure compromise.

Q3. In your view is the current City Council mostly on the right track in addressing Seattle’s problems.? If yes, what do you like about the current Council’s approach? If no, what would you do differently?

No. The city hired Barbara Poppe to do recommendations on how to fix our homeless crisis in 2016. Since that time, our homeless population has doubled. Bergen County has ended chronic homelessness by doing something very similar to what Poppe has advised us. We need to ensure we have one over arching body that is in charge of all groups and services for the homeless. Until we start to implement change we will not see change.

Q4. Please comment on the city’s approach to unsanctioned encampments.  Would you change anything about the current policy?

Our unsanctioned encampments are health hazards and unsafe. I would allow police officers to run warrant checks and ensure we prioritize housing/clean shelters to families and children.   

Q5. A recent study found a that a group of offenders with dozens of arrests, who regularly cycle through the courts and back onto the streets account for a significant amount of the property and violent crime in downtown and the neighborhood business districts. How should city government respond to these findings?

They need to arrest the prolific offenders and ensure that they are provided the treatment they need and not re-released back onto the streets without being charged. The city needs to prosecute them. I spoke to a local firefighter who said 3 out of 4 of his crew have been assaulted recently. They received a letter from the prosecuting attorney that they are no longer prosecuting for assaults on emergency responders. We can't allow this to continue.   

Q6. Seattle is one of the fastest growing cities with small businesses as the backbone of our local economy. However, as the city grows the cost of doing business has also increased. As a council member what is something you would do to help businesses survive and prosper in Seattle?

As a small business owner, I see everyday the struggles of increased costs. The B&O tax increases, and while some businesses are able to pass that on to their customers, not all are (architects with fixed % bids are just one example of that). I don't believe in punishing businesses who come to Seattle and bring 100s of jobs(example Head Tax). I would like the city to give incentives and contracts to local small, minority and/or women's owned businesses to ensure their success.   

Q7. As the city has grown so has the cost of housing making Seattle unaffordable for many people in the workforce. What strategies do you support to increase the supply of affordable housing in Seattle?

I support having affordable income housing be mandatory on all new developments. However, I understand that we need communication with the different neighborhoods to see what will work. For example, when speaking to Downtown developers, they explained that building with steel is more expensive and thus it would hurt them to put in the same amount of low income units in Downtown than in Magnolia or Queen Anne. Let's ensure that in all new developments we can add affordable and mixed income housing to ensure we are not further segregating our neighborhoods.   

Q8. Being on the City Council is a challenging job. Please describe your specific experience or skills that qualifies you to serve as the representative of your district.

As a small business owner and CFO, I understand that there are no 40 hour work weeks. I manage 7 full time employees and 1,500-2,000 sub contractors during our high season. I understand what it takes to work hard, be efficient with my time and look for real results. I am also a mom of 4 young boys, and want to ensure that this city becomes a better and safe place for them. I am a lifelong Seattle resident (30 years) and have the determination to work with everyone, no matter that their political party is.