King County Council, District 9

Ubax Gardheere

Question

Black wealth remains near zero due to centuries of systemic anti-Black racism and is on a trajectory to only worsen. In Seattle, white wealth is nearly 20x more than Black wealth. What specific actions will you take to close the Black-white wealth gap?

  1. How much of the Black-white wealth gap will you close while in office? 

  2. Who are you working with in the Black community to close it? 

  3. How will you support investing federal funding directly and specifically into the Black community in the next two years?

Answer

The policies I will push for will be centered in equitable development, meaning public and private investments, programs, and policies in neighborhoods must take into account past history and current conditions to meet the needs of marginalized populations and to reduce disparities so that quality of life outcomes such as access to quality education, living wage employment, healthy environment, affordable housing and transportation, are equitably distributed for the people currently living and working here, as well as for new people moving in. As a Black, Somali woman who came here as a refugee, I know that a cornerstone for building and accumulating wealth comes from home ownership.

My platform is centered around a Just Transition framework. I will focus on building BIPOC communities’ power and resilience by passing policies that promote community stewardship of land and housing, directly addressing the housing-related symptoms of the pandemic crisis; and detering developers and outside investors from taking advantage of vulnerabilities in our communities that increase gentrification. I would work with my colleagues for the creation of state and local moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures as economic recovery will take years to do so, push for the creation of Non-Solicitation/Cease and Desist Zones, as well as Opportunity to Purchase Act for renters and communities.

Closing the Black-white wealth gap will take a collective effort and time, with reparations being an important part to that as well. Realistically, I would like to close it by 50% in my first term. And it’s going to take a lot of work, but it can be done as we partner with community. Again, this will be from supporting Hyper-local and community-driven solutions like community enterprises that build true community power and shared wealth, such as cooperative and employee ownership with supporting Hyper-local and community-driven solutions like community enterprises that build true community power and shared wealth, such as cooperative and employee ownership.

I am closely involved with the Somali community, both in South Seattle and close to my home in unincorporated Renton. During different periods of my life, I was involved with organizations like the East African Community Services, Social Justice Fund Northwest, Communities of Opportunity, A Regional Coalition for Housing, and I was co-founder of Culturally Appropriate and Responsive Education (CARE) Center in Renton.

To ensure that the Black community is receiving the support and investment from federal funding, I will ensure that these stakeholders are at the table.

Next Candidate

Bruce Harrell

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