Seattle Councilmember Andrew Lewis has announced that he will defend his seat in the November ballot. Notably, Lewis is the first among the incumbents to announce that he plans to run for another term.
As a self-declared “labor democrat” Lewis takes pride in being an influential voice in “bridge building during his first term.
He was elected as a representative of District 7 in 2019. District 7 covers the areas of Queen Ann, Pioneer Square, and Magnolia. Lewis is also recognized as the youngest council member. He was elected at 29 years of age after serving as an assistant city attorney.
Lewis stated that once he’s reelected, he’ll focus on working closely with all stakeholders in the city including Downtown Seattle Association and 360 Seattle to confront key issues facing the city such as the lack of affordable housing and decline in public safety.
Speaking on Sunday, Lewis stated that it is time when Seattle needs people who are practically ready and willing to work with every coalition. “Seattle is a great city with amazing potential despite having looming problems,” he said.
The Issue of Crime and Police
Councilmember Lewis readily agrees that the most pressing issue for Seattle is crime. To combat crime, Lewis said he plans to find sustainable solutions, especially in high-crime areas such as a section of Third Avenue that has been shortlisted as a crime hot spot. Lately, there has been an increased police presence in the area, fortunately.
Keep in mind that Lewis was among the council members calling for a defunding of the Seattle Police Department by half after the summer protests but he later abandoned his support for defunding the SPD claiming that 50% was too much and possibly a mistake.
Lewis now maintains that his focus is to provide Seattle with a fully funded and staffed police and jail for anyone who threatens public safety. He also promises to seek for alternative responses for better public and behavioral health for the rest of the law-abiding citizenry.
According to Lewis, Seattle is lagging behind in seeking for other alternatives to policing. “Other cities have already taken steps to implement other alternatives to policing in a bid to lower crime,” he said. Lewis further stated that sending people to jail when they don’t need to be incarcerated is not only unsustainable but inhumane too.
Lewis has previously collaborated with Mayor Bruce Harrell as president of the Parks District Board to almost double the budget of the district and bring in more services. For instance, the board hired over two dozen park rangers and created a ranger program that serves as a non-police security service in the city’s parks.
In the upcoming November election, seven out of 9 council seats are up for grabs as the terms of the incumbents will end on December 30. There are also two citywide seats to be contested in 2025. Other incumbent council members who have hinted at seeking reelection include District 1’s Lisa Herbold, Alex Pederson of District 4, and Deborah Juarez, District 5.