A Note to Friends and Neighbors
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I wanted you to be among the first to hear this news: I’m running for Seattle City Council this year! District 6, my neighborhood, encompasses Ballard, Phinney Ridge, Crown Hill, Greenwood, Fremont, Blue Ridge, Loyal Heights, Whittier Heights, Olympic Manor, Shilshole, Sunset Hill, West Woodland, Tangletown, and Green Lake. The primary is this August, and the general election is in November.
Of course some of you are thinking ‘Whoa!’ Or, ‘Why?’ Or both. I’ve thought about public service my whole life, and the time is right for me to take this journey. The heartwarming response to this news from some of you has been (usually after a long pause), “It’s perfect –for you AND the city!” Seattle, the city I love and where I’ve lived continuously for the past 50 years, has changed tremendously, and will continue to grow and evolve. We aren’t becoming a global city, we already are one. Seattle has been ‘discovered’ by the world. How we navigate the coming years is crucial to building on our healthy and vibrant foundation as an innovative and compassionate city for future generations, including for my own children, and theirs.
I’ve spent my life living and working in Seattle. From caring for families at the NeighborCare Health 45th Street Community Clinic, to teaching the health care leaders of the future through the UW, to helping expand health care access across Washington under the Affordable Care Act, I’ve worked to improve the lives of thousands of vulnerable adults, children and families in our community. And, I have had the privilege of doing much of that critical work with many of you.
I’m running for City Council because I’ve heard frustration from my neighbors, patients, and friends about the lack of progress on critical issues – from citywide problems like homelessness and traffic to the basic local needs in our parks, playgrounds, schools, and streets. I’m sure many of you agree when you read the news, you think ‘We can-and need to-do better.’
Pick an ‘issue:’ Traffic. Affordability. Housing. Taxes. Growth. The public health crisis we are facing daily on our streets with homelessness. The list goes on. I am running for this office for quite simple reasons: Our city should be governed by individuals with deep, extensive lived experience in Seattle, who have worked with diverse populations from all walks of life, with a proven track record of innovative leadership, and who listen to and accurately represent their neighbors and constituents. I care deeply about Seattle, and am progressive with extensive real world experience at bringing groups together to partner on solutions. I hope to put this experience to work every day for the people of District 6 and all of Seattle.
As a family doctor who has cared mainly for low income patients, I’ve watched the urgent public health crisis on our streets steadily grow with unsheltered individuals. We know that often the confluence of economic hardship, family or individual stressors or trauma, and mental health and addiction issues need to be addressed in a sustainable, comprehensive way to better tackle the issue of homelessness in Seattle. Along with my experience working with social service organizations, I’ll bring a needed set of skills to city leadership to better address these issues.
As a graduate of Seattle Public Schools, I know firsthand how important quality public education is for students and families. And as a parent of two children enrolled in our public schools, I believe our city must remain a strong partner for public education so all kids have the opportunity to succeed, including expanding Seattle’s nationally recognized early education/Pre-K program.
I plan to participate in the city’s democracy voucher program. Our campaign will be funded by grassroots donations and I won’t be taking corporate donations. There will be more information on this and how you can help coming soon. And, in case anyone is wondering, Joelle is my #1 supporter in this adventure, and the boys are genuinely thrilled to take this ride with me-the Fathis are all in!
We need less divisiveness, and more collaboration to help pragmatically solve our city’s challenges and problems. It’s time for a fresh start with the Seattle City Council, with new perspectives and energy. A city is a dynamic, living thing, and a canvas upon which we paint our values. We know what our Seattle values are–compassion and caring for those less fortunate, innovation, respecting and protecting the environment, living healthy lifestyles, embracing diversity, leadership–let’s work together to do great things for Seattle. I thank you all for the support and energy you’ve given me throughout my life and career, and for hopefully, your continued support in this election.