I wouldn’t bet $100 that she has no chance. Because if you know anything about Seattle, you know there’s a good possibility that the proggies will elect her.
From Seattle Times: Nikkita Oliver, an attorney, community organizer and spoken-word artist who’s been active in Seattle’s Black Lives Matter movement and in the Rainier Beach neighborhood, will run for mayor against Ed Murray.
Oliver is seeking office under the banner of the Peoples Party of Seattle, “a community-centered grass roots political party led by and accountable to the people most requiring access and equity,” says a website for Oliver and the party.
South Seattle Emerald and Crosscut first reported her candidacy. She is Murray’s highest-profile challenger so far. In an interview Wednesday, the 31-year-old said Donald Trump’s inauguration as president and conversations with community members inspired her to run.
Oliver said she was “feeling stuck, not having a voice in the process and not knowing how we change things at the federal level” before she decided to become a candidate. “We have to get involved locally, because that will begin to shift the narrative and the policy,” she said.
The Indianapolis native, who moved to Seattle for college, said her campaign will focus on housing, education and ending the school-to-prison pipeline.
She said officials should reassess the “area median income” benchmark they use to define affordable housing. The Seattle area’s median income is much higher than what the average working person actually makes.
“Many of us in the Peoples Party have been forced from our homes by unmanageable rent increases. But we are not alone. In fact, displacement has become the story of so many Seattleites. Construction cranes, blocked roads, and rerouted buses are the status quo. Developer-driven rezones and growth are swallowing our city whole!” Oliver’s campaign website says.
“The residents who made the Emerald City the innovative and cultural gem it is today are being pushed out and replaced with murals, cultural relics, and colorful crosswalks. Seattle is quickly becoming a museum of our contributions, a place we can visit but we cannot live.”
The party is running Oliver “to break down barriers and open doors for collective leadership that is willing, able, and experienced in divesting from practices, corporations, and institutions that don’t reflect the values and interests of our city,” the website says.
“Whether on stages and in classrooms as a teaching artist, or in the courts and streets as a lawyer and legal observer, her track record, experience, and selfless dedication as a truly progressive servant of the people speaks for itself.”
Oliver works as a teaching artist and mentor in Seattle Public Schools and through Creative Justice, a nonprofit that uses art to work with court-involved youth. She holds law and education degrees from the University of Washington, was the 2015 grand champion of the Seattle Poetry Slam, and received the 2015 artist human-rights leader award from the Seattle Office of Civil Rights. She’s been a leader in efforts to stop the city from building a $160 million North Precinct police station and King County from building a new youth jail.
Oliver said her work in schools and with court-involved youth would help her craft better policy as mayor. She said Murray talks about aiding young black men in Seattle but hasn’t been engaging enough with community activists.
Murray has raised $272,376 and has been endorsed by a number of labor unions. Another candidate, safe-streets activist Andres Salomon, has raised $2,886.
Oliver told the Emerald, “We’re going to lack financially. But what we lack in funding we’ll make up in actual, real community relationships. If you see pictures of me with young people, it wasn’t a photo op. It’s not because I went down to Rainier Beach High School to have a fake conversation with young people and take a picture and say it happened. It’s because I actually spend time at Rainier Beach.”
She added, “If you ask those young people about who I am they’ll say I’ve seen Nikkita in the community. You’ll see pictures of me with young people, but they were taken in community, not just some transactional stuff that politicians do.”