Seattle mayoral candidates Cary Moon and Jenny Durkan are squaring off in one of the final debates of the campaign tonight, and technology issues have been a recurring theme as they grapple with the future of a city that has become one of the nation’s biggest tech hubs.
Tech was top of mind for Moon, an urban planner, when moderator Ross Reynolds of KUOW asked the candidates to talk about constituencies they had learned the most about during the campaign after knowing relatively little about them at the outset. Here’s what she said.
I’ve been fascinated by the tech culture in our city, because so many folks moved here at the same time over the past five years, and I think there’s been an exclusion and a distance between the tech workers and other folks who’ve been here longer. So I’ve really spent a lot of time reaching out to tech workers and really understanding how much they want to be integrated in the city, what would it take for them to feel more welcome, like they belong here. Because I feel like we need to be building this city for the future.
And yes we want to be inclusive and affordable and diverse, and creative and committed to shared prosperity for everybody, and that means we have to come together across age and class and race and gender and talk about solutions. So I really am focused on how do we help the tech workers feel more welcome in our city.
In the old days, in the small town I grew up in, there was really a literal thing called the welcome wagon, where you went to newcomers in town and introduced them to the town, and showed them around, and introduced them to the coffee shops and the churches and the businesses, and I feel like we do something like that with tech workers, because they’re part of our city, too, and they want to stay here, and they want to be part of our civic culture, and I would love to work more on that as mayor and kind of build more unity.
We’ll have more coverage of comments by Durkan and Moon shortly. GeekWire is co-hosting the debate with KING 5, KUOW, and Seattle City Club.
Watch the video below.