Seattle Mayoral Primary - August 1st, 2017
Upgrade Seattle evaluates candidates solely on their ability to deliver municipal broadband to Seattle. We met personally with each candidate to determine their level of support.
This election, there are five incredibly well-qualified candidates who are dedicated to building out a public internet utility. Here are our picks for mayor:
Bob Hasegawa - Senator Hasegawa has spent his entire life dedicated towards expanding the idea of what constitutes a public utility. As a lifelong advocate of a publicly-owned bank, he has shown time and again the visionary potential of harnessing large parts of the economy in ways that benefit the public.
Hasegawa sees municipal broadband as an extension of this belief. As a vital utility in the 21st century, the internet needs to be run by and for the public. Rather than returning profits to shareholders, a public utility will lower rates for residents.
Cary Moon - Cary Moon brings her background as an urban planner to her vision for the city. As someone with a history of applying creative solutions to urban challenges, Moon was an early believer in building out a public broadband utility to support small businesses and local residents.
Most small shops are unable to sell even a cup of coffee without a secure internet connection, and business owners, like everyone else, are fed up with the current providers.
Moon's experience leading the People's Waterfront Coalition would serve her well on the 7th floor of City Hall, and would be essential in launching a new citywide public utility.
Jessyn Farrell - Jessyn Farrell brings tons of energy and enthusiasm into the Seattle Mayor's race. After 5 years in the Washington State Legislature, she is eager to dedicate her passion to local government. Farrell is a strong proponent of municipal broadband, both as a means to help Seattleites battling with affordability and as a social justice issue affecting marginalized members of our community.
As the former Executive Director of the Transportation Choices Coalition, Farrell has long been dedicated to helping people commute through the city. A municipal broadband utility would add to this legacy by allowing more workers to telecommute.
Mike McGinn - Mike McGinn has long been a vocal champion for treating the internet as a public utility. He was one of the first mayoral candidates to support municipal broadband, having put it in his platform when he ran for mayor in 2009. Had the city not been in the depths of the greatest recession of our generation, you might be reading this review over your public broadband connection instead.
Seattle is flush in 2017, and McGinn is hoping to return to City Hall to finish what he started 8 years ago. Having been personally targeted by Comcast and Centurylink in 2013, McGinn knows what's at stake and is ready to fight for Seattle's broadband future.
Nikkita Oliver - Nikkita Oliver has led a truly transformational campaign dedicated to breaking down institutional barriers and empowering members of our community who have felt neglected by those in the halls of power.
It is through this lens that Oliver truly sees the necessity of municipal broadband, by her own account she was unable to afford a home internet connection before entering law school in 2012. She is a recognized leader with a highly mobilized grassroots movement, both huge assets in what will likely be a long battle against opposition from Comcast and Centurylink.