Phil Tavel For District 1
Why I’m Running for Seattle City Council, District 1
I have lived in West Seattle for the past two decades and I love it here. From Admiral to Alki and Delridge to South Park, and all neighborhoods in between, this is my home. My son was born here and attends Arbor Heights Elementary School. My parents and grandmother also moved here to be part of my life.
I ran for City Council in 2015 when the City shifted back to Districted Elections for the first time in 100 years. This shift provided an opportunity for Districts to be represented by someone who is actually a part of their community and most importantly, someone who would listen to the needs of the neighborhoods. The issues candidates were talking about in 2015 have worsened in District 1 and throughout Seattle. Our City Council must do a better job of (1) listening to what the people of the City want and need; (2) distributing effective and equitable services to all the people of Seattle, and (3) being accountable to the people of this City.
Since the 2015 election, I became even more involved throughout District 1 and have been volunteering for several organizations including Morgan Community Association, Westside Baby, Westside Neighbors Network, the West Seattle Helpline and the local YMCA’s Children’s & Education Program. Throughout this time, I have continued to listen to what the public wants and needs in District 1, and what continues to resonate is that people are not being heard. There is an absence of meaningful civic engagement from City Council, whose members are elected to engage and work with the people they represent.
This City is at a major crossroads. The public continues to voice concerns about the lack of affordable housing, chronic public safety issues and a shortage of shelter options and services to help those who need assistance the most. City Government has missed opportunities to foster partnerships with businesses and organizations, allowing current problems to escalate.
Seattle must become more effective at marshaling its vast resources for the betterment of all who live, work and visit this city. Seattle is one of the most progressive cities in the nation and should embrace the opportunity to solve public health and safety, affordability, transportation, sustainability and land use issues. Together we can find solutions and strengthen connections between the public and our elected officials.
Elections are a mandate on the job Government is doing, and in November of 2019, we will have an opportunity to say: “This City Council isn’t serving the public’s best interests and we need a change. We need people with new ideas who will listen to what is going on and make a difference in a positive way.”
It’s time for a change. Elect me to be your representative for District 1. I will take your voice to City Council and ensure District 1 plays a legitimate role in helping our District and the City reach its potential.
Over the years, I have cultivated mediation and conflict resolution skills to promote collaboration and successful outcomes between the parties involved. I have the ability to find common ground in highly charged situations and can bring issues to a mutually agreeable resolution. I understand the needs of small and large businesses as well as residents.
I graduated from Vassar College in 1993 with Honors in Physics and a double major in Science Technology and Society. I taught High-School Physics for a year and then worked for the National Science Foundation in Arlington, Virginia in the Division of Undergraduate Education.
I attended law school in New York City where I focused on Intellectual Property Law, Trial practice and was a member of the school’s trial team. During law school I worked for the Manhattan District Attorney’s office as well the Ulster County District Attorney’s office in upstate New York, and clerked for a NY Supreme Court Judge. I also spent a year as a special assistant to the CFO at Bloomberg LLP.
I co-founded a video game and entertainment company here in Seattle and subsequently spent over two years living and working in Australia as the Chief Creative Officer for a video game company. During that time, I opened what was at the time, the largest games and collectibles retail store in Australia. After my return to Seattle, I became the National Curriculum Manager for DeVry University’s new Video Game and Simulation Bachelor’s Degree Program.
In 2005, I began volunteering with one of King County’s four Public Defender agencies and I have primarily spent the past 13 years as a Public Defender. Additionally, I served as a Pro Tem Judge in King County District Court. In 2011, I served as a Court Appointed, Special Advocate for children for CASA of King County.
As your City Councilmember for District 1, I will work with fellow Councilmembers, City Departments, King County and State Government to improve the City’s operations and galvanize efforts to serve the needs of the people to deliver better results to you.