On September 17th, we heard from Pamela Banks, aspirant for District 3 of the City Council. She gave a moving history of family struggles in her Portland childhood and her family’s dedication to community service.
A graduate of the UW, she is President and CEO of the Seattle Urban League. In that capacity she has done fund raising, food drives for the poor, and much more. She rescued the Urban League from financial ruin in 2009-2010. It now flourishes with a staff of 14. She has served for 30 years, under 5 mayors, and has been a community organizer for southeast Seattle. Her focus is on the community; she shuns federal involvement.
- To connect citizens to local city goals and to deliver more local services, especially for those of low income and the homeless.
- Light Rail liaison with the community, considering the impact of the Light Rail on businesses and property owners during construction.
- In general, support for small businesses.
- An education and employment program, which obviates much crime.
- Problem solving as regards transportation and safety.
- The housing crisis must be addressed with a view toward preservation of the single family home.
- Gun violence is increasing. More education and jobs are needed to reverse it.
- A career bridge for women. Funds are in place for this.
- Housing affordability. Must build 20-50 thousand apartments.
- Homelessness pervades not only Seattle but all the surrounding communities. The problem is huge. There is much work to be done.
- Transportation, i.e., getting people to work, must be improved.
- Early reading for children. If kids cannot read at a third grade level when reaching that grade, dropouts and other bad consequences occur.
- Many construction and transportation jobs are unfilled. Federal grants are in place for teaching these skills. Teachers must also be trained.
- To get people out of cars, mass transportation must be improved. The matter of dwelling construction without provision for parking remains an unsolved enigma.
Observation: A tough job awaits anyone who attains office. Sparring with colleagues must be added to the abovementioned labors.