I was at city hall to give comment against repealing the EHT. One minute isn’t very long so I left out a bit. This is my full comment, roughly written this morning since we only had 24 hours notice.
My name is Rachael Ludwick. I’m a tech worker, mother, and have lived in North Beacon Hill since 2010. I’m also an organizer with Seattle Tech 4 Housing. Tech workers are typically well paid and we are part of why housing is so expensive and why so many have been driven into homelessness. We should be part of finding homes for everyone. The EHT is a modest downpayment on solving our housing affordability crisis and until the city identifies another progressive funding source to build deeply affordable housing for those experiencing homelessness, we support this very modest big business tax.
The EHT was never the full solution, but it is more than nothing. Repealing it with so little notice and without a replacement in place means some people will be homeless longer and some will die. I ask the city council and those who pushed for this repeal to put MORE energy and money — and your reputations — into sustainable long-term solutions. I ask the leaders in the tech industry and wider business community to push progressive revenue and housing policy reform at the state and local level so that we can build the tens of thousands of affordable homes our region desperately needs. It is not enough to come out to say “no” to the EHT if you won’t fight with equal energy for real sustainable solutions.
We need to make Seattle a welcoming place for everyone. Last week, I dropped my four year old off at preschool one morning, then on the way to work I saw a little girl about that age and her father in SODO. They were almost certainly homeless. What does it say about us that we have children living on the streets? Until there are better revenue sources in place, it is immoral for us to repeal the EHT and delay housing. It won’t be enough but it is a start. Thank you council members for your hard work in passing the EHT. Please keep it until you have better options.