• Mayor-elect Durkan picks transition co-chairs

    By: Essex Porter


    When Mayor-elect Jenny Durkan presented the co-chairs of her transition team, it was clear what her top priorities are.

    “Our goal in the upcoming weeks is to find ways to address affordability in our city. She looks at affordability from all angles since it is not a simple solution -- it requires many solutions,” said co-chair Ron Sims.

    Sims is the former deputy secretary of Housing and Urban Development. He also brings expertise in local government as a three-term King County executive.

    The other co-chairs are Paul Lambros, director of Plymouth Housing Group, and Shefali Ranganathan of the Transportation Choices Coalition. 

    We asked the mayor-elect about campaign criticism that she'd be too closely tied to the political establishment.

    “I think these appointments show that we have people that have deep roots in this community,” Durkan said. 

    She says Seattle will be represented by 45 transition team members, from labor, businesses, nonprofit organizations and neighborhoods. 

    Ranganathan said, “For too long, communities of color have been left out of the decision-making process. Our goal is to make this transition team inclusive and community-driven.”

    Despite moves on the City Council to block homeless sweeps, Mayor-elect Durkan still wants to move people out of the unsanctioned camps.

    “In order to move forward and move people off the streets out of tents and RVs, our first focus has to be on creating more short-term shelter and long-term housing," she said. 

    The transition team will have its first meeting next Thursday.


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