Election Feature: District 4 Candidate, Ron Davis

The Wedgwood Community Council reached out to all Seattle City Council District 4 candidates prior to the primary election and again ahead of the upcoming general election on Tuesday, November 7th.  The WCC offered to post content from each candidate here on our website and in upcoming e-newsletters to help inform our neighbors prior to an upcoming debate on Thursday, October 12th at UW (to be aired by King5), and casting their ballot.  The following (updated) content has been provided by Ron Davis, candidate for District 4. This is not intended to reflect an endorsement by the WCC.  To read the election feature provided by Seattle City Council District 4 candidate, Martiza Rivera, click here.

Dear neighbors,

As many of you know, I’m Ron Davis and I’m running to make it so Seattle is a place people can start a career, raise a family, and age happily at home–safely and without breaking the bank. I’ve got an evidence-based policy platform rooted in realism, and a history of policy leadership, working effectively with others, and delivering practical results. Because of this I have received countless endorsements from pragmatic progressives and pragmatic centrists alike.

It has been such a delight to get to know so many of you–at the doors, parties, or as you gathered to protect Luma the cedar tree this summer! I have been particularly honored by the support from those of you who worked so hard to save Luma. In fact, despite the fact that I’m an “urbanist,” I’ve been endorsed by TreePac, Toby Thaler (in Alex Pedersen’s office), Steve Zemke (Chair, friends of Seattle Urban Forests), Sarajane Siegfriedt, and am proud to see Luma advocates volunteering for my campaign.

My unusual coalition of urbanists and tree canopy advocates stems from the fact that I’ve built a plan that will ensure we build the housing we need while also protecting our tree canopy and investing to expand it further. This is likely part of why the Master Builders Association and their members, and other corporate real estate interests, who weakened the tree legislation and have fought it to make it easier to cut trees down, have put more than $200k into the PAC supporting my opponent. I am proud to say that in the housing and homelessness space and in the environmental/livability arena–every policy oriented leader or organization that has weighed in has endorsed my candidacy for an affordable, walkable, livable Seattle. It’s rare that someone who is clear about their plans (and the policy nerd in me can’t help but give specifics) builds a broad coalition on such divisive topics. I hope this gives a window into how I will govern.

My family lives on the border of Ravenna and Roosevelt. My wife is a family physician here in the area, and my boys go to Byrant and Eckstein. Like you, I’m concerned about the homelessness crisis, our unsafe streets, the fentanyl crisishousing costs that are out of reach for almost everyone, and the massive impending hole in our city budget.

I’m particularly proud of our evidence-based public safety agenda. I have a plan to staff up the police department. Unlike my opponent, my plan doesn’t rely on fantasy hiring numbers that are 20x what SPD says is possible. I have a plan to stand up a real behavioral health crisis emergency response, and expand camera enforcement on our roads, and to appropriately staff 911 call centers. Together, these will get us back to fast police response times. They are rooted in facts, not fear or fantasy numbers. My drug plan mostly mirrors what the Mayor says he wants, although I take enforcement slightly farther than he does in some areas, and I would invest more money in treatment since we cannot serve nearly enough people to address the crisis at the moment. And contrary to misinformation, I do believe in arresting drug dealers, and prosecuting those who aren’t subsistence level addicts themselves. The ones who are street-level addicts do need treatment, since it has been shown that they will otherwise just return to dealing–this is the Mayor’s plan as well. My plan is detailed, reality grounded, and evidence-based with clear deliverables, a synthesis of work with criminologists, public health experts, judges, officers, academics, social workers, and countless other experts. Please read it closely and judge for yourself, and don’t allow yourself to be distracted by performative rhetoric.

And unlike my opponent, who frequently indicates her intent to cut over $200M from the general fund–which funds policing, behavioral health, tiny home villages, pothole filling and the like–I have a plan to pay all this, and it won’t touch your property taxes. This is why I am endorsed by Seattle’s 911 dispatchers guild, 17,000 corrections workers, retired trial judge of the year Theresa Doyle, and Lisa Daugaard, who started Seattle’s Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program and runs some of the nation’s most effective programs for ending public drug consumption (she is working with the Harrell administration to design an effective response after the ordinance). It’s why Dom Davis, who leads our city’s top gun violence interruption organization, endorsed me, and the Bus Driver’s union–because their drivers are worried about workplace safety. It’s why I’m the only candidate to get the stamp of approval from Moms Demand Action or the Alliance for Gun Responsibility too. We need more than performative platitudes and budget cuts; we need real results, and safe streets, now. As the President of Seattle’s 911 Dispatcher’s Guild said,

Ron Davis is the only candidate in this race who understands all the layers of the public safety system and how to improve them. His realism, willingness to actually fund public safety, and his attention to the details on how to deliver, are what we need on city council. His public safety plan is what we need if we are going to get to fast 911 response times and rapid arrival of emergency services.

One challenge–as the race has heated up, some of the rhetoric has gotten out of hand. Rather than address it myself, I’ll point you to a statement by the Democratic Party, which provides voter data to both my campaign and my opponent’s campaign. The party took a rare step and publicly reprimanded Maritza Rivera (also a Democrat) for dishonest campaigning:

The King County Democrats are saddened to see Rivera excuse away MAGA money support while claiming she represents Democratic values, and it is unacceptable that Rivera has increasingly been engaged in a mix of gaslighting and outright fabrications about her Democratic Party opponent. Defending support from MAGA donors is one thing; adopting their deceptive gaslighting is quite another. This is disrespectful to voters and has no place in the Democratic Party.

My concern about this is the way this misinformation has caused some people to believe false things, particularly regarding my policies related to drugs and crime. These have found their way into a lot of well-meaning places. And since a few of you have asked me about the claims made in the “Neighborhoods for Smart Streets Newsletter” – please see my response to the inaccuracies here. I’m sure in that case they were unintentional, but it is worth clarifying the specifics for the record.

In all cases, please look at my actual policies, and if you hear anything that sounds like a nutty view from me –please take a look at my fact check page on my website!

Alas, I know campaign rhetoric can be hot. But we need to restore civility to this city, and that starts with ending the slash and burn approach to politics and building real relationships with one another, having engaged, clear, honest discussions about policy, and negotiating with one another in good faith. I’ve got a long history of doing this and producing great results by doing so. I hope to do the same for our community on the council.

Finally, with all the noise that comes from an election, I do recommend that you look for yourself!  The easiest way to do this is to watch our forums. I’ve asked my team to put these up (editing out other candidates from other districts, but including everything me and my opponent said). I strongly suggest you see for yourself who is ready to lead!

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