Seattle City Council Position 8 candidate Teresa Mosqueda is circulating an open letter in response to an endorsement by The Seattle Times editorial board, and it already has more than 300 signatures since she posted it Thursday.
The letter—which criticized The Seattle Times board for endorsing Mosqueda's opponent, Jon Grant, on Monday and citing his experience—garnered signatures of women and allies who support Mosqueda's campaign. Mosqueda said she took offense to the board's conclusion that he "brings experience managing costs and service delivery, and a more reasonable and objective perspective" of what the city should do.
"As women, we know what it's like to have our professional experience, accomplishments, and credentials questioned, minimized and too often underrated," the letter said. "We hope you will join us in making sure our experience is honored and our voices heard."
Signatures include dozens of high-profile names—both mayoral candidates Jenny Durkan and Cary Moon, three female city council members (Sally Bagshaw, Debora Juarez, and Lorena Gonzalez), special advisor to the mayor Sera Day, former deputy mayor Hyeok Kim, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, Gender Justice League director Danni Askini, and several state legislators.
"Too often that type of language is what we hear in the work place every day," Mosqueda said. adding that she thought Grant was telling editorial boards what they wanted to hear. "He can’t call himself a housing advocate and nod along with The Seattle Times when they say there’s enough affordable housing."
Grant has also been endorsed by Socialist Alternative, city council members Kshama Sawant and Lisa Herbold, and other editorial boards from The Stranger and Seattle Weekly. The former Tenants Union leader has called for 25 percent mandated affordable housing from new developments; corporate fees, impact fees, speculation tax and employee hours tax; and giving the Community Police Commission the ability to fire a police chief.
The Seattle Times board in the past has favored the more conservative or centrist candidates for elected office, and the surprise endorsement of Grant left some criticizing the board for not endorsing a woman of color. The board wrote that while Grant's not a "perfect candidate," the city needs fresh leadership and someone who would supporting ending social service contracts "with vendors that have underperformed." Mosqueda told PubliCola she thought listing his experience was disingenuous when she was on his hiring board.
"I think what's reflected in The Times's endorsement is that Jon and Teresa are both very accomplished community leaders," said Kate Brunette, Grant's campaign manager. "This race has always been about vision and platform. Jon's been consistent on affordable housing and tenant rights (and an) independent voice who's accountable to the community above all else."
Grant earlier on Friday criticized Mosqueda for getting endorsed by the Rental Housing Association, a landlord advocacy group. Mosqueda in response told PubliCola she never sought its endorsement, never interviewed with the group, and would be the only renter on the council if elected.