Mike McQuaid says next election is a "Complete reset"
When Mike Mcquaid paid a brief visit to West Seattle on Thursday as part of his Seattle City Council campaign kick off. Westside Seattle asked him a few questions to take his temperature regarding where we are and what he might bring to the city. He's a veteran community organizer having been centrally involved in both the South Lake Union trolley project and the makeover of the former Key Arena (now Climate Pledge). He's running for Position 8, one of the two at large seats on the council. It is currently held by Teresa Mosqueda.
Why are you running?
I was influenced by my Grandfather and other members of my family who played really, important roles in the development of the city and I'm in a spot in my career where I've amassed a really strong community leadership background.
It's very clear that it's experience that could make a big difference in our city, bringing people together.
The experience that I am bringing to the table is different as a fourth generation Seattleite.
I have this community organizing experience.
It's not necessarily sitting in in the role of a Council member and as a Council member, the types of things that I'm able to do in how I'm able to engage in a community leadership role. It's going to change.
It's a different job description from a lot of respects, and what I'm hoping to do is to bring some of that thinking to the table in the job.
Do You think you can beat Mosqueda?
Incumbents are tough and she's a terrific person.
And she has a loyal following and you know that's Seattle and we do that in Seattle, and I think this is about looking at the Council as a whole and how we take these steps out of the trough that we are in due to COVID.
And then what are the right pieces to assemble to start building confidence back in our community?
Getting folks behind us, being able to look to the past in terms of where we've been as a city, and in generationally where we've been and apply that to everything new that's in Seattle.
The people that are moving here for the first time and had fallen in love with the city and people who are making their living here now who maybe weren't here two years ago.
And how do we bring that together in a way that now starts to step out of this and really regain the Seattle that that we knew before COVID. And that's a very different thing than where we were.
It's a very tall order. We absolutely need to be stronger, and nobody knows how.
Do you know how?
I’m absolutely, learning. There's no playbook for this, it's instinct. It's gut, it's judgement.
I think it was kind of interesting. I read a blessing at my press conference this morning.
It was given to me by one of the board members of one of the Snoqualmie tribe and this is something that's been on my mind for some time in terms of how to appropriately respect those that were here long before we were ever here.
And as I was reading this and understanding it. It really hit home that that in a way is a foundation.
We're starting to take steps forward here.
Going back to the beginning, you mean?
This is a reset. This is an absolute reset. It's a reset at every level. It's a reset it how we look at policy.
It's a reset of how we look at our institutions. And it's a reset of how we think about congruence in the city, and congruence is something that we in I think in a prosperous time we lose sight of.
So we get very focused and siloed into our very progressive ways.
We’re Seattle. We want to lead.
And the reset in many ways allows us to get back to the basics and we think about our infrastructure for example. And you know, we are a mature, aging city. And in my lifetime, not once have I ever thought of Seattle that way.
Seattle was a young city in the sense of in the sense of its infrastructure, in the sense of how long it's been functioning and productive.
And yet, we're now starting to come into that spot where the things that we have known as being established and solid we're starting to see that they need to be replaced and we need to pay attention to that. And we need to think a little bit differently about what happens if we do have a failure at some point along the line that's just part of infrastructure aging.
Like the Ballard Bridge, for example?
The Ballard Bridge is a terrific example. The Magnolia Bridge is a terrific example, and certainly the West Seattle High Rise Bridge, and in every other bridge in town. We have the best and the brightest engineers out there that are looking after that.
It's the fact that the infrastructure is aging and so we have to think differently than we did 10 years ago or 20 years ago.