District 6 Councilmember Dan Strauss has announced that he plans to run for re-election this year.
Strauss was elected to Seattle City Council in 2019 after running against opponent Heidi Wills. His first six months were dominated by the pandemic response, a time during which he says “everything broke. We had to rebuild everything.”
Strauss, born and raised in Ballard, tells My Ballard he’s running for re-election because he’s been “working hard to build success in our community and for it to be the lasting change I want it to, there is more work to be done.”
If re-elected to a second term, Strauss plans to continue to focus his energy on public safety, homelessness, affordable housing, economic vitality, and restoring Ballard Commons Park to become a hub for the community. Strauss highlights that success would look like “scaling things that are working,” including a more comprehensive approach to homelessness and public safety.
In regards to public safety, Strauss said he plans to “continue fully funding the police to address criminal activity because police time should be focused on crime.” He’s also focused on expanding existing first responder groups, including Community Service Officers, the Mobile Crisis Team, and Park Rangers.
In his first term, Strauss helped develop a multi-pronged response program—the Unified Care Team—to address the Ballard Commons encampment. The Unified Care Team’s approach included a census of those living in the park, a needs assessment for each individual, and time to match people with shelter and housing.
Strauss said if re-elected, he plans to assist with expanding the Unified Care Teams by “integrating them into the fabric of our neighborhoods.” He also plans to continue expanding non-congregate shelters such as tiny homes to support those in need until permanent housing becomes available.
Affordable housing continues to be another of Strauss’s focuses: He says he’s planning to increase the speed, consistency, and predictability of issuing permits for housing.
Strauss also highlighted the Ballard Avenue Cafe Street and Brewery District as areas that need attention for economic vitality in Ballard—he says he hopes to finalize the cafe street improvements and policies within SDOT if re-elected.
Strauss told My Ballard that improving Ballard Commons is “much more than addressing homelessness. It’s about implementing the plan to create a space for every age and ability within the park.” The park, which reopens the weekend of March 11 and 12, will host community events throughout the year through Thanksgiving, Strauss said.
So far, Strauss has two registered opponents: Jace Donnelly and Pete Hanning have announced campaigns for Strauss’s seat.