by: Essex Porter Updated:
SEATTLE - Bruce Harrell became a UW Football star, earned a master’s degree, a law degree and served as chief counsel for the old US West telephone company.
The son of Japanese and African-American parents, he grew up in Seattle’s Central District.
“When I walk these streets, I know a lot of these people and I know a lot of their children. No other candidate in the race has that kind of street credibility.”
To make streets safer, Harrell would hire 20 Community Service Offers to act as liaisons between neighborhoods and police officers.
Asked if policing in Seattle is too ‘politically correct’ Harrell responds, “I would say that’s a good expression.” We send mixed signals to our officers,” Harrell says, “They don’t know whether they should arrest a drug dealer or kiss and hug a drug dealer.”
As Mayor, Harrell says he would continue his push to have police officers wear body cameras. He says the video record would protect both citizens and officers from unfair charges.
On transportation, Harrell would develop more efficient methods of dealing with the city’s maintenance backlog, and he wants drivers to pay a vehicle license fee to help finance the work.
Harrell says current Mayor Mike McGinn is not completely out of line to recommend against letting developers buy a city-owned alley to build a Whole Foods supermarket in West Seattle.
Asked if the social engineering in Seattle goes too far, Harrell responds, “I don’t know. You know, I don’t want to make that broad of a statement. There are times when people say ‘stay back, that’s not your role’. I disagree; there are times to balance it.”