We are the crane capital of the country, and that means we are still growing at an astonishing—and sometimes unnerving—rate. With exceptional growth come exceptional people, and we celebrate them here. These luminaries help elevate the city to new heights, seeking solutions to challenges that accompany transformations in housing, homelessness, city government, the environment, business, the arts and more. Our Most Influential People of 2019 differ in their backgrounds and areas of expertise, but they all share a positive vision for Seattle and our region and work tirelessly toward that goal.
Tenants’ Rights: Nicole Macri
Though she’s in just her second term of office, state Representative Nicole Macri, who is also deputy director for strategy at Seattle’s Downtown Emergency Service Center, has already made a huge impact on housing policy. Thus far, she has sponsored two pieces of landmark legislation that will fund affordable new housing and help people keep the housing they have.
The first new law provides more funding for local housing projects by making a portion of the state sales tax available to cities to spend on affordable housing. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan has already announced plans to use this revenue to finance $50 million in new housing for people who are homeless.
The second law provides sweeping new protections for tenants who are at risk of eviction, giving them more time to pay overdue rent before their landlord can take them to court. The law also makes it easier for tenants to avoid eviction even after their case has gone to court.
Up next: a statewide just-cause eviction law ensuring that landlords can’t kick tenants out for no reason; limits on year-over-year rent increases; and funding to preserve existing state-funded affordable units.
By Erica C. Barnett, from the Print Edition, November 2019