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Majority of public commenters support Tanya Woo for vacant Seattle council seat

(The Center Square) – A majority of public commenters at the latest Seattle City Council meeting signaled their support for Tanya Woo to fill the vacant citywide position.

The Seattle City Council is continuing its process of selecting a candidate for the vacant seat, having winnowed 72 qualified applicants down to eight people.

Teresa Mosqueda resigned her seat on the Seattle City Council, effective Jan. 2, to take a seat on the King County Council, leaving a vacancy on the council.

During the special city council meeting on Monday, The Center Square counted 66 public commenters, who spoke on the eight candidates. Some commenters did not signal support for any of the candidates, while some showed their support for multiple candidates.

Out of the 66 Seattle residents who spoke during the meeting, 20 voiced their support for Woo, a community activist based out of the Seattle International District.

Woo lost to incumbent Seattle City Councilmember Tammy Morales in the 2023 general election by two percentage points. During the council meeting, Woo said the city must address the issues facing the city head-on, including public safety, homelessness, and housing needs.

Woo, said that a gun fight that occurred in the Seattle International District last year taught her the critical need for a fully-staffed police department.

Woo also said that while sweeps of homeless encampments are distressing, they are necessary.

“I align with Mayor [Bruce] Harrell’s plan to offer housing coupled with comprehensive wrap-around services – our commitment to public safety must be balanced with compassion, addressing the root causes of homelessness and addiction,” Woo said at the council meeting.

Public commenters praised Woo for directly confronting the issues facing the Seattle International District including increase in crime, open-air drug use and homelessness.

While Woo received the majority of approvals from residents who spoke on the vacant citywide city council seat, other candidates saw a number of supporters speak up in favor of them.

Seattle Public Schools District 4 School Board Director Vivian Song had 13 public commenters share their support for her. Her supporters mentioned Song’s ability to meet the needs of teachers and educators within Seattle Public Schools.

Song cited gun violence, housing instability, insufficient access to physical and mental health services, food insecurity, and pedestrian safety as the key issues facing the city.

Neha Nariya, Civic Hotel co-founder, had nine supporters at the council meeting. Nariya touted her experience as a small-business owner, which she believes could bring a unique perspective to the city council.

Seattle Police West Precinct Commander Steven Strand had eight residents speak in favor of him at the council meeting; Seattle Human Services Department Community Safety Investments Manager Mari Sugiyama had seven; Seattle Police Department Crime Prevention Coordinator Mark Solomon had four; and Linh Thai, former regional operations manager at the nonprofit organization The Mission Continues, had one speaker support him.

None of the 66 public commenters spoke in support of Juan Cotto, chief lobbyist for the state’s blood industry.

The Seattle City Council is set to vote on a candidate for the citywide seat on Tuesday.

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