We’re a coalition of workers, small business owners, advocates, nonprofits, and community organizations who support Seattle Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda’s plan to Jumpstart Seattle by providing direct relief to families and small business owners, putting money back into our communities, spurring growth, and creating an inclusive recovery that everyone can participate in.
Cutting budgets and spending during an economic crisis will only double-down on the pain workers, families, and small businesses are feeling, worsen the recession, and prolong our recovery. Instead, the best way to recover from a crisis is to increase investments in critical services and infrastructure to inject money back into the local economy. Because when people have more money in their pockets they spend it in local businesses, businesses make more and hire more people.
Our city faces a choice: stand by while our neighbors lose their homes, jobs, businesses, and futures, or work together to meet the scale of the crisis with new, progressive revenue from those who have been largely untouched by this crisis.
We call on the Seattle City Council to reaffirm its July 20 unanimous vote to spend $86 million this year on COVID relief, including rental assistance and safe shelter space, expanded grocery vouchers, support for immigrant and refugee communities, and direct assistance to small businesses and childcare providers. We ask you to override Mayor Durkan’s veto and renew the city’s commitment to the JumpStart plan, which was developed in close consultation with hundreds of Seattle businesses, community-based organizations, non-profit service providers, and residents.
Our communities need relief now. Federal and state aid continues to be vital, but inadequate. Seattle is already in a crisis. The longer the city waits to act, the more small businesses go under, families accrue rental debt and risk eviction, children suffer from food insecurity, immigrant families have nowhere to turn, and our homeless neighbors risk illness or death from COVID-19. To let this happen is irresponsible and will harm Seattle’s economic recovery.
The rainy day is now. The emergency is now. “Wait and see how bad it gets” is a dangerous and wrong approach, and will only lead to more small businesses closing and more workers and families struggling with housing and food security. The council must act urgently to put Seattle’s COVID relief plan back on the right track.