Meet Bob Kettle: Candidate for Seattle City Council District 7

Bob Kettle.

Bob Kettle.
Provided to the QAM News

Good governance underlines everything.

As I look at the current public safety issues across Seattle — the attacks on high school students, the recent violence committed on our public buses before that, and the tragic daily overdoses, fatal and nonfatal — I know that we deserve better, as a city and as constituents.

The current City Council and the District 7 incumbent have failed to meet the standard of good governance in public safety policy. Whether it was our incumbent’s public pledge to defund the police, his sponsorship of the 2020 resolution to “phase reduction to police funding,” or his June 6th vote against the City’s adoption of the State public drug use and possession bill into our city’s municipal code, the result is a permissive environment that actively undermines our public safety, that has effectively created a 20-foot public safety hole we must now climb out of.

I have been advocating for a return to good governance since I started running my campaign. Good governance means meeting with, and importantly, listening to all concerned parties and stakeholders along with understanding the problem as it’s experienced in our communities. As a founding member (and current neighborhood Block Watch captain) of the Queen Anne Block-Watch Network, I know that community buy-in and support is key.

We must look at a wide range of approaches too. For example, community amenities, like community centers and public libraries, can provide diversion programs that keep kids busy and out of trouble. Or as seen in the recent Seattle Times editorial, having things for people to do, or “social infrastructure,” is a great additional tool to have in breaking the cycle of addiction. To be clear with respect to addiction, it’s not the only tool–we need to work with the State and King County to ensure funding and capacity for behavioral health and addiction recovery services–but it is still a tool that we should use.

We’re facing real challenges in public safety and public health, but these challenges aren’t insurmountable. All we need is principled leadership more committed to delivering on-the-ground results than to political platitudes and understanding that in order to succeed in public safety we must also succeed in public health. By working together to vote in a reset of the City Council, then a reset of the relationship between the City Council and the SPD, and investing in community-level solutions, we can meet this challenge and rise to the occasion.

Why am I running? Yes, I’m running because of my concerns over the City Council’s failure to address public safety, public health, and homelessness but also because our city has become less affordable, less green, and less connected to our neighborhoods. In contrast, I will bring leadership with a North Star that understands it needs to bring accountability and transparency and also good governance. So, I now humbly ask for your vote. Thank you.