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City Council Candidate Questionaire Responses

Candidate:

Alex Pedersen

Do you believe that programs like P-Patch, which add to the quality of life and environment of Seattle and should be encouraged by the City to nourish?

Yes

If elected how you will support the P-Patch community gardening program?

I have listened to residents on EVERY block of District 4 – that’s 133 precincts in 20 neighborhoods. So I have seen EVERY P-Patch in District 4 and I agree they are treasured and lovely assets to our communities. (I was raised by avid gardeners and I especially love the adorable “Dirt Ball” mascot at Picardo in D-4.) Here are specific ways I would support P-Patches: Budget: I will support P-Patches in the budget process. One of the most important duties of a City Councilmember is to evaluate and approve the $6 billion all funds budget. As a former city council analyst, I have evaluated our city budget multiple times and, therefore, have the professional experience in identifying and allocating funding to priorities. Protect: P-Patches are in danger of being developed which means we would lose the open space, the healthy foods, and the community connections. As someone with private sector experience preserving affordable housing, I know how to dig into the numbers and deal with the real estate industry to make sure we protect and maximize public benefits like P-Patches.

Would you support a study of the public and private needs of the P-Patch Program including addressing the future displacement of P-Patches due to development? 

Would you support allocating resources to implement recommendations?

Yes

Yes

What would you do to resolve the immediate threat to Ballard P-Patch?

I have a solid professional relationship with both candidates from District 6 (where the Ballard P-Patch is located) and would work closely with whomever D-6 voters choose. I can lend my private sector and budgeting experience to fend off the threats to the P-Patches.

Do you support requiring the Park District to pass administration of P-Patch Rejuvenation Funds to the Department of Neighborhoods and the P-Patch Program? 

Yes

Do you support continuing to house the P-Patch community gardening program in the Department of Neighborhoods, which values community building and requires community participation in decisions that affect the P-Patch?

Yes

District 3. Do you agree that resources and city-owned land near the Republican and Immaculate P-Patches should be made available to save those P-Patches when they are displaced by development? 

Yes

District 4.  Do you agree that resources and city-owned land near Shiga’s garden P-Patch in the University District should be made available to save that P-Patch when it is displaced by development?

Yes

District 6.  Do you agree that the city should financially support Ballard P-Patch gardeners in their quest to raise 1.8 million dollars by year end 2020 to save the Ballard P-Patch from development into four luxury homes? 

District 7.  Do you agree that city-owned land near the UpGarden, currently on top of Mercer Garage, should be made available to save the UpGarden when it is displaced by either redevelopment or parking needs at Mercer Garage?

 Comments: 

Allocating resources to implement recommendations: While doorbelling every block, the District 4 residents I have met on the campaign trail want a Councilmember who listens and who gets results. While they are predominately generous, they also want someone who is fiscally responsible so that we don’t displace people or businesses with higher taxes or rents. Therefore, depending on the costs proposed, I would want to find savings in the city budget to re-allocate or leverage other creative means to preserve the P-Patches and other open spaces. Rejuventation funds: I hear you that working with DON might be more effective. I would need to study this proposal and its implications more thoroughly and I thank you for raising its profile with me and look forward to discussing it more with you. I am open to all options so that we can protect and save the P-Patches, including Shiga’s Garden. As you may recall, I was an early and vocal supporter of “saving” The Ave (University Way NE) from the new upzone to support what I was hearing from residents and small local businesses, the majority of which are owned by women and people of color. Upzones make sense near reliable and frequent transit such as the light rail station, but details matter: the Ave is historic and there is substantial development occurring and planned in the rest of the U District to increase transit-oriented density. I am hopeful that saving The Ave from the upzone will decrease development pressures on parcels that have old, more affordable buildings and open space such as the P-Patch