Seattle Renters’ Commission issues statement in support of Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA)

Members of the Seattle Renters’ Commission appeared before the Seattle City Council’s Select Committee on Citywide Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) yesterday to voice their support of MHA.

They have also issued a statement urging the Seattle City Council to pass Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) legislation.

“This is the first step in a long road to making Seattle affordable for all renters, and as such, we support City Council starting this journey with MHA.”

Read the full statement from the Seattle Renters’ Commission.


The Seattle Renters’ Commission provides information, advice, and counsel to the Mayor, Seattle City Council, and departments concerning issues and policies affecting renters. Learn more at seattle.gov/neighborhoods/seattle-renters-commission

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Get Engaged on our Boards & Commissions

Are you age 18-29 and interested in participating in city government?

Consider joining one of our boards and commissions:

  • The Community Involvement Commission works to ensure that City departments are creating and implementing equitable engagement strategies that lead to more relevant and impactful public participation.
  • The Seattle Renters’ Commission provides information, advice, and counsel to the Mayor, Seattle City Council, and departments concerning issues and policies affecting renters.
  • The Landmarks Preservation Board assists the city with identification of potential landmarks, makes decisions on landmark designations, and makes recommendations to the City Council on landmark controls.
  • The Pioneer Square Preservation Board works to preserve, protect and enhance the historic and architectural character of Pioneer Square.

You can apply to join through the YMCA’s Get Engaged program, which places young adults ages 18-29 on City of Seattle’s public boards and commissions. Get Engaged commissioners serve a one-year term starting September each year.

Applications for the 2018-2019 cohort are now available. The deadline to apply is May 31!

Learn more about the Get Engaged program and apply at: seattleymca.org/accelerator/leadershipdevelopment/getengaged.

 

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City of Seattle seeks two community members to serve on Seattle Renters’ Commission

The Seattle Renters’ Commission (SRC) is seeking two community members to serve on the SRC. Established by ordinance (125280) in March 2017, the SRC advises the City on policies and issues of interest to renters citywide.

The Commission is composed of 15 members – six appointed by City Council, six appointed by the Mayor, and one position is filled by a young adult through the Get Engaged program. The final two commissioners are selected by the SRC, and these are the open positions.

The SRC consists of people living in an array of rental housing types, to include students, low-income renters, LGBTQ renters, people with past felony convictions, people in subsidized housing, and those who have experienced homelessness. The members are also geographically representative of Seattle. SRC meetings are open to the public, and the commissioners serve without compensation.

Those interested in being considered should complete the online application by Thursday, April 12 at 5 p.m. If you cannot submit the application online, contact Maureen Sheehan at (206) 684-0302, and an application will be mailed to you or you can pick one up at Seattle Department of Neighborhoods in Seattle City Hall, 600 Fourth Avenue, 2nd floor, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

To learn more about the Seattle Renter’s Commission, visit our website or call Maureen Sheehan at (206) 684-0302.

The City of Seattle is committed to promoting diversity in the city’s boards and commissions. Women, persons with disabilities, sexual and gender minorities, young persons, senior citizens, persons of color, and immigrants are encouraged to apply. The Seattle Renters’ Commission is one of three commissions managed by Seattle Department of Neighborhoods.

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Meet the Seattle Renters’ Commission: Sherry Collier

The Mayor and Seattle City Council recently announced the initial appointees selected to serve on the new Seattle Renters’ Commission. Created by Ordinance 125280 in March 2017, the 15-member commission will advise the City on priorities, policies, and strategies related to all issues concerning renters across the City of Seattle. It will also monitor and provide feedback on the enforcement and effectiveness of legislation related to renters and renter protections. All the appointments are subject to City Council confirmation.

 

Sherry Collier

Sherry Collier is a practicing family law attorney providing legal advice and compassionate support to clients in civil legal matters related to divorce, paternity, child support, child custody, and domestic violence. As a Seattle native, the managing attorney of a minority- and woman-owned small business based in the city, and a resident of Seattle’s Columbia City neighborhood, Ms. Collier has deep ties to the Seattle area and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Washington before completing a Juris Doctorate at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University.

 

What inspired you to serve on the Seattle Renters’ Commission?

I remain inspired to serve on the Seattle Renter’s Commission (SRC) because I believe that at this very critical, yet exciting point in our city’s growth and development, that it is important for interested stakeholders like renters, landlords, and members of the business community to continue to have meaningful well-intentioned dialogue about the variety of issues that impact renters and other stakeholders. I see the commission as an opportunity to listen, discuss, and provide real-time, relevant, inclusive feedback on issues that impact renters. I also believe that, as time goes on, the SRC could be a vehicle to measure the effectiveness of existing policies.

 

How has your experience as a renter shaped your perspective of Seattle?

Being a renter has shaped my perspective of Seattle in that it has enlarged my view of the city. I live in a very diverse neighborhood in Columbia City with a thriving business community. By seeing that everyday, I have no choice but to agree that business and inclusive community values and fair housing can exist in our city. I made a conscious decision to live in a diverse neighborhood that balances the needs of business, building owners, and inclusion. I don’t think that I would be able to have such a unique living experience if I weren’t renting. I see renting as a plus at this point in my life. As a renter in Columbia City, I get to see, on a daily basis, a little of the old Seattle and a little of the new Seattle and it’s exciting. It makes me optimistic about the possibilities for the city.

 

What do you hope the Seattle Renters’ Commission will bring to the City?

I am hopeful that over time, when both the general public and lawmakers think of the SRC, they will be able to recount specific instances where the input, feedback, or voice of the SRC was well thought out, level-headed, inclusive, fact based, and helpful. The SRC is a new commission and therefore, my hope is that, at its beginning stages, the SRC will be a commission that the large majority of the City can trust and will find value in.

 

What neighborhood do you live in and what do you love most about it?

I live in the Columbia City neighborhood and I absolutely love everything about it. As a business owner, I enjoy being able to walk one block in any direction and being able to patronize other small business owners. I love the fact that my neighborhood knows how to have fun together and is able to host events like the Columbia City BeatWalk, where the area restaurants host different live bands and the neighborhood just kicks back and has a great time together. It’s a warm feeling to bond and get to know other people in that type of environment. I also enjoy my neighborhood because it is very family oriented and all of us work together to ensure the safety of the neighborhood. What I love most about living in the Rainier Valley is the diversity.

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Meet the Seattle Renters’ Commission: Laurie Rocello Torres

The Mayor and Seattle City Council recently announced the initial appointees selected to serve on the new Seattle Renters’ Commission. Created by Ordinance 125280 in March 2017, the 15-member commission will advise the City on priorities, policies, and strategies related to all issues concerning renters across the City of Seattle. It will also monitor and provide feedback on the enforcement and effectiveness of legislation related to renters and renter protections. All the appointments are subject to City Council confirmation.

 

Laurie Rocello Torres

Laurie Rocello Torres’ work with social justice began when they moved to Seattle in 2013 for a yearlong service fellowship with Puget Sound Sage, after graduating with a Bachelors in Organizational Communications from Bradley University. They are passionate about equitable, transit-oriented development and anti-displacement work. They have done work around environmental, economic, gender, racial, and transformative justice in the community. In their free time, Laurie loves to sing, dance, and teach a community self-defense and wellness class for queer and trans people of color called Building Autonomy and Safety for Everybody (BASE).  They also currently serves as the Deputy Secretary General of GABRIELA Seattle, a collective of Pin@ys who do cultural and political education work around labor issues impacting Filipino migrant workers. They are also a member of Got Green’s Young Workers in the Green Movement.

 

What inspired you to serve on the Seattle Renters’ Commission?

The work I have done in community to help organize around racial, economic, and environmental justice really framed the issue of housing as a human right for me. I have been renting in Seattle for 4 years and have seen tremendous changes in the city in a radically short amount of time, changes that often negatively impact workers who are renters. I wanted to offer an intersectional analysis that would help us center policies and solutions on the people most marginalized in Seattle: low-income workers of color, immigrant and refugee communities, folks with disabilities, and LGBTQ youth and seniors – all of whom need affordable housing.

 

How has your experience as a renter shaped your perspective of Seattle?

This is an amazing city that is also a cultural hub built on the backs of workers. And I do not mean solely tech workers, even though that’s what Seattle has become synonymous with. I mean the local restaurants owned and operated by immigrant families. I mean the symphony of multiple languages I hear on the 7 and the 36. Seeing beloved restaurants and groceries close their doors and move because rent is high really resonates as someone who lives in the city I work in. I am passionate about my work, and I am super grateful to be able to walk to work, and stop into local businesses on my way there to support them while grabbing a bite to eat. But with rent increasing, I will likely have to move. And when I leave the city, my expenses will likely triple as I am completely transit dependent. I have been able to live and make it in Seattle because of community and the money saved walking to work. Everyone deserves to live where they work, where they learn, and where they play. If my sense of community and my support network dissipates because I have to move as a transplant here, I can only imagine the damage done to communities who have lived here long before I came along. And to see buildings and homes torn down to make expensive high rises with stores that only cater to the affluent? It becomes clear that Seattle is becoming less of a cultural hub celebrating people who make this city special and unique, and more of a town that values profits over people.

 

What do you hope the Seattle Renters’ Commission will bring to the City?

I hope the Seattle Renters’ Commission functions as a platform for meaningful dialogue and creating solutions by and for communities who are most impacted by housing issues as it pertains to renting in the City.

 

What neighborhood do you live in and what do you love most about it?

I currently live in the Central District. What I love most about it is its history and the legacies of resistance and resilience from Black and Filipino communities that lived here long before developers had their eye on it and before it became a target of gentrification. It was a neighborhood that was previously redlined where only African Americans and Filipinos could live. And they turned it into a vibrant hub that became highly desired. It’s also an incredibly transit accessible neighborhood. From my apartment, I can easily access 5 bus lines to go to the U-District, Downtown, the International District, and Mt. Baker Transit Center, plus the street car. I have been able to experience all of Seattle on foot and transit from my neighborhood.

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