NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Monday, January 16th, 2023

Joy Hollingsworth launches campaign for Seattle City Council in 3rd District

With the 2022 midterms now in the his­to­ry books, can­di­dates are start­ing to declare for offices that will be con­test­ed in this year’s local elec­tion cycle, like Seat­tle’s sev­en dis­trict-based city coun­cil seats.

Today, food secu­ri­ty activist Joy Hollingsworth became one of the first to offi­cial­ly launch a cam­paign at an event in Madi­son Val­ley. Hollingsworth, thir­ty-eight, is run­ning for the seat cur­rent­ly held by Kshama Sawant, who defeat­ed Richard Con­lin ten years ago for an at-large seat on the coun­cil and has since been reelect­ed sev­er­al times. (Sawant also nar­row­ly sur­vived a recall attempt.)

Sawant has not said if she’s run­ning for reelec­tion again.

Three of her col­leagues — Deb­o­ra Juarez, Lisa Her­bold, and Alex Ped­er­sen — have already said they will depart the Coun­cil at the end of this year.

Regard­less of what Sawant decides, Hollingsworth is in to win.

Speak­ing to a large crowd of ener­getic sup­port­ers at the MLK FAME Com­mu­ni­ty Cen­ter, Hollingsworth explained that she’s a prac­ti­cal, prag­mat­ic pro­gres­sive who believes in the pow­er of pub­lic pol­i­cy to improve lives.

She began her remarks by giv­ing thanks to the vol­un­teers and com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers who help set up the event.

She then recount­ed her grand­moth­er march­ing with Mar­tin Luther King near­ly six decades ago, stress­ing the impor­tant lega­cy that that MLK left behind.

“MLK led a move­ment across the coun­try that con­nect­ed com­mu­ni­ties, uni­fied voic­es, and real­ly pushed progress,” she noted.

She added that she believes it is her time to start her own jour­ney of help­ing local fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties by run­ning for Seat­tle City Council.

The room burst with laugh­ter after Hollingsworth men­tioned that she didn’t think any­one would clap after her announcement.

“This is the Seat­tle I love,” she said, after acknowl­edg­ing many of the friends present in the room for her announcement.

Hav­ing grown up in the neigh­bor­hood, Hollingsworth knows the 3rd Dis­trict well. She recalled par­tak­ing in school sports and play­ing bas­ket­ball at the “old Garfield”.

Present­ly, Hollingsworth works on “food acces­si­bil­i­ty at the non­prof­it North­west Har­vest,” accord­ing to her cam­paign announce­ment. She “con­tin­ues to be engaged in the oper­a­tions of her fam­i­ly farm – one of the few Black-owned busi­ness­es in Washington’s legal cannabis mar­ket. She has also worked in youth sports and as Assis­tant Women’s Bas­ket­ball Coach at Seat­tle University.” 

In her remarks, she men­tioned that her fam­i­ly has nev­er shied away from work­ing to increase diver­si­ty and widen inclu­sion in the com­mu­ni­ty. Hollingsworth’s Aunt Jack­ie, a retired exec­u­tive, spent her career diver­si­fy­ing the tal­ent at Boe­ing. Jack­ie “shat­tered the ceil­ings and brought diver­si­ty to Boeing”.

“I am guid­ed by my old school val­ues of trust, work­ing hard, com­mit­ment to the process, tan­gi­ble goals, team­work, ded­i­ca­tion but with a new school voice,” Hollingsworth told the crowd, radi­at­ing opti­mism as she spoke.

Hollingsworth then dived into her pol­i­cy per­spec­tive on social ser­vice. She stat­ed that her pri­or­i­ties as a coun­cilmem­ber will be guid­ed by her own per­son­al his­to­ry, help­ing small­er com­mu­ni­ties, help­ing small busi­ness, advo­cat­ing for youth and using the plat­form for the com­mu­ni­ty rein­vest­ment programs.

Prac­ti­cal­i­ty and lived expe­ri­ence is what Hollingsworth strives to bring to the office. “I want to pro­mote pro­gres­sive and prac­ti­cal strate­gies to address root caus­es of seem­ing­ly intractable issues includ­ing all voic­es and per­spec­tives,” she said. “Mea­sur­ing progress and cul­ti­vat­ing trust and trans rela­tion­al relationships.”

Seat­tle must find ways to increase attain­able, afford­able hous­ing and home­own­er­ship oppor­tu­ni­ties as well as improv­ing access to healthy food while empow­er­ing small busi­ness­es to thrive, she said. She also men­tioned engag­ing and men­tor­ing youth along with pro­tect­ing the LGBTQ+ community.

Bring­ing the com­mu­ni­ty to City Hall sounds like it will be a core theme of Hollingsworth’s cam­paign. By declar­ing ear­ly, she’s ensur­ing that her cam­paign is posi­tioned to make the most of oppor­tu­ni­ties to build a sol­id foun­da­tion with donors, vol­un­teers, and vot­ers, giv­ing a bet­ter chance of suc­ceed­ing where oth­er Sawant chal­lengers have failed — assum­ing Sawant runs again.

Fil­ing Week for this year’s local offices will be in about four months. In between now and then, it’s like­ly we’ll see addi­tion­al can­di­dates enter the con­test for Seat­tle City Coun­cil in the new­ly redrawn 3rd District.

If you’re inter­est­ed in learn­ing more about Hollingsworth’s cam­paign, you’ll find her web­site here, replete with more pho­tos from the kick­off.

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