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Chat with Hugo Garcia, Burien City Council Candidate

Hacks & Wonks

Release Date: 09/23/2021

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More Episodes

Today on the show Hugo Garcia, City Council candidate for the city of Burien, joins Crystal to discuss the planning for growth and justice in a rapidly changing city, how to create more housing and ensure residents are able to afford to live in a city, and the vital importance of parks and public spaces.

Fun fact from today’s episode: Burien has more than 350 acres of parks.

As always, a full text transcript of the show is available below and at officialhacksandwonks.com.

Find the host, Crystal Fincher on Twitter at @finchfrii and find today’s guest, Hugo Garcia, at @hugo4burien. More info is available at officialhacksandwonks.com.

 

Resources

“Latino candidates triumph after Burien’s nasty campaign” by Lilly Fowler from Crosscut: https://crosscut.com/2017/11/burien-election-city-council-pedro-olguin-jimmy-matta-racism 

“Inequality by design: How redlining continues to shape our economy” by Amy Scott from Marketplace: https://www.marketplace.org/2020/04/16/inequality-by-design-how-redlining-continues-to-shape-our-economy/ 

“How Planning and Zoning Contribute to Inequitable Development, Neighborhood Health, and Environmental Justice” by Wilson et.al in Environmental Justice: http://www.ced.berkeley.edu/downloads/pubs/faculty/hutson_2008_environ-health.pdf 

“In Washington state, housing is the question and the answer” by Shaun Scott for Crosscut: https://crosscut.com/opinion/2020/11/washington-state-housing-question-and-answer 

“What is sweat equity?” from Habitat for Humanity: https://www.habitat.org/stories/what-is-sweat-equity 

“Can Beacon Hill win the fight for quieter skies and a healthier neighborhood?” by Manola Secaira from Crosscut: https://crosscut.com/2019/06/can-beacon-hill-win-fight-quieter-skies-and-healthier-neighborhood 

“Parks and Health” from the Centers for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/healthyplaces/parks_trails/#health 

“Near Roadway Air Pollution and Health: Frequently Asked Questions” from the Environmental Protection Agency: https://www.epa.gov/sites/default/files/2015-11/documents/420f14044_0.pdf 

 

Transcript

[00:00:00] Crystal Fincher: Welcome to Hacks & Wonks. I'm your host, Crystal Fincher. On this show we talk to political hacks and policy wonks to gather insight into local politics and policy through the lens of those doing the work and provide behind-the-scenes perspectives on politics in our state. Full transcripts and resources referenced in the show are always available at OfficialHacksAndWonks.com and in our episode notes.

Today, I'm thrilled to be joined by Hugo Garcia and a candidate for City Council in the City of Burien. Hey, how's it going?

[00:01:01] Hugo Garcia: Hey, what's up, Crystal - super excited to be here. Thank you so much for having me. Thank you. It's going well - yes.

[00:01:08] Crystal Fincher: Absolutely. I've been following your campaign - it looks like it's been going well. I'm thrilled to have you on the show because so many times we talk about Seattle politics, Seattle candidates - there's so much going on outside of the City of Seattle - with a lot of times some different stakes. In Seattle, the conversation is about progressives versus centrists pretty often. And although there are some stark differences and important issues, they don't have the same kind of opposition that you find in a lot of our suburbs - where there are Republicans, there are conservatives, there are people who, for example, are actively campaigning on removing the separation between church and state.

[00:01:56] Hugo Garcia: Right?

[00:01:57] Crystal Fincher: Like your opponent - so I really wanted to talk with you about who you are, about your race, about the stakes, and what's really at stake in these elections - and help people understand just what's going on and how they can help. So I guess starting out, what caused you to run, what got you in this race, and why do you feel you're the best to take on these issues?

[00:02:24] Hugo Garcia: Very much like a lot of folks - prior to the last president, I wasn't really involved - yeah, I'll be honest. And I saw the repercussions of that locally - and so much so that I started to see hate crimes. I'm an immigrant from Mexico - I came here when I was eight years old, I was brought here because of a small business that my dad and his cousins ran in Seattle - but he could afford to raise a family of three on the salary of a waiter and my mom's salary of a part-time lunch lady by having us live in what used to be unincorporated King County, because the City of Burien is really a young city - it's only been around since the mid 90s when it incorporated as a city.

And I just started to see attacks on our people of color, immigrants - specifically our Latinx immigrants - so much so that I saw an event that happened here and it really just turned me around - I did a full 180 and said, "You know what? My privilege as someone that's been here and has been raised here now, I got to make sure I put it to work." So I did a full 180 and had been diving in the last four and a half years into getting civically involved, because I did not want that to spread. I did not want the hate to spread, I did not want the city to become less welcoming and less affordable to working families and people of color, immigrants, refugees. So I've been doing a lot of work on that and I'm excited - I'm super excited because I'm all about Burien.

I've been living here before it became Burien, when it was unincorporated King County, and there's a lot of change. A lot of time has gone by in those 25-30 years and I know all about it. And I think having that perspective, that lived experience from a working family - now I do economic development work for King County. I saw how challenging things were for our family in accessing capital and getting business finances - that's what my background I ended up going into - I started working in banks. That's how I worked at a Latino-focus bank back in 2006, 2007 in Kent. Started working at a local branch before that here in Burien at one of the big banks - set up some of the business accounts for some businesses that are still here today. And I have just made it my mission to support really small business owners locally that go from that really challenging transition of a side hustle, to a micro business, to a small business, and then growing into just a bigger small business. But if you're not at the table, you're on the menu - and that's why I decided to get myself into this race.

[00:05:12] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, absolutely. And you bring up such a good point in seeing how Burien has grown and changed. As someone over here in Kent, not too far away - you're South King County brethren - seeing many similar things. Moving to Kent before - we were kind of - before a lot of people of color moved to Kent, before Kent became more diverse in every way - economically diverse, ethnically diverse, lots of different types of businesses. The complete economy of the city has changed. And there being realistically a backlash to that by some of the people who wanted to keep outsiders outside and aren't comfortable with growth and aren't comfortable with change. And those being the people who were most entrenched in government, in the community, on boards and commissions - and everything geared towards serving people who had traditionally been here, and not serving, and sometimes just being outwardly hostile to people who were new or coming in. And it seems like Burien is experiencing those same kinds of growing changes.

[00:06:24] Hugo Garcia: Exactly. We have in the last four years, we've seen a lot of that change and we responded. I got involved four and a half years ago - when for the first time ever, we were able to change the leadership of the council. In essence, we flipped it from what had been a traditionally conservative council, to a more progressive leaning council for the first time. We were able to get two Latinx men, a LGBTQ woman representing. And that change also - it was the first time I ever got involved, I ever knocked on doors. I didn't know how to knock on doors before that, but I knew I wanted to because I had to, I had to do what I could. So I was out knocking all the time, I was promoting, I was helping those folks get elected.

Afterwards though, I saw that staying engaged after that hard a cycle is really, really challenging. And even before that, even before you are elected - for the folks that we were able to get into the council - everybody's like, "Ah, okay - well, now they're there." But I found that they needed some more support, so I started to get involved and I stayed involved. So I decided to learn more about the commissions and found my way into the Planning Commission - because as someone that worked in finance and lending, I did some mortgages - I know that redlining and access to capital, it's all about zoning and land use. So I wanted to understand that a little bit better, so that's why I joined the Planning Commission four years ago and started to really work in making recommendations up to those councilmembers that we helped elect - on multifamily housing, on expanding our ADU policy, making sure we update our tree canopy policy and how to protect that. So really getting into understanding what goes on behind the policy, into being a councilmember.

Because I knew if I ever wanted to run for City Council, I would have to be that much more qualified - because I saw how challenging it was that the two Latinx men that ran in their primary in 2017, were behind substantially in the primary - a lot, like over 10 points and it's a small town. They were able to make it up, but it was really fascinating - not fascinating, but I guess it just kept pointing out to me that - the other candidates all were white women did very, very well. They didn't have as much of a struggle to get elected, per se. So that's why I've been doing that work to address that. And I've been learning a lot. The city, it's somewhat midsize city for South King County, we're 55-ish, 55,000 residents. Of those, about 30,000 are registered voters. And of those you'll get maybe 10-13,000 that will actually vote on this odd year, non-presidential election. So very few will actually vote and that's what's happened in the past. You've seen a presentation from a very conservative base and they have made up all the decisions, and we're starting to make that change, and I'm excited to be a part of that and have a say to be able to share my lived experience.

[00:10:02] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, I love it. I love that you got on the Planning Commission, I'm a former land use and planning board member here in Kent, and my goodness, it is just eye-opening to see how instrumental everything that we interact with is influenced by planning and zoning. It's the backbone of how cities are designed and how they function, and really sets the stage for how they can and cannot function, and how communities can and cannot function. So I love that you just went straight into the heart of it - and just saw a need and got involved. And people - when they see something to be able to do something and even coming from Hey, I might not have had this background before but let me go ahead and get it - let me get involved, let me see what I can do, which is what you've done.

One of the things I love is that - you have been working. You have been, from a political consultant, it warms my heart to see you out working - campaigning daily, doing the things that a lot of people - when they see campaigns, they see people at parades and they see people at forums and giving speeches. And yeah, that happens, but just the daily grind of knocking on doors, making phone calls, dialing for dollars, all of that, sometimes gets monotonous and sometimes isn't the most fun thing. But it's absolutely necessary to win a campaign, especially when you're coming in not as an incumbent. Not as - there's a lack of representation from people who look like you, and you are not coming from people who have historically held that power. So to see the work that you've put in has been enlightening.

There are also just a lot of issues where there's been some progress made, but certainly a backlash. And so you talked about zoning, Burien is dealing with the issue of homelessness, as most other communities are dealing with this. Housing prices are so much higher than they used to be, we're still in the middle of a pandemic that has hit the poorest the hardest, and it's hit the people who were already closest to the edge the hardest. And so just making sure that we have policies, that we provide shelter and housing, is absolutely necessary. And this is something that is controversial, surprise, surprise -

[00:12:41] Hugo Garcia: Yes.

[00:12:41] Crystal Fincher: - in Burien with - we hear that "Seattle is Dying" commentary and people in Seattle don't buy it. They repeatedly just kind of toss that out of hand, and candidates making that kind of argument lose pretty handily regularly in those elections. But that has a foothold in a lot of the suburbs - and the fear of not criminalizing homelessness leading to bad outcomes, when the truth is actually the opposite. What have you been dealing with in Burien?

[00:13:12] Hugo Garcia: No, it's quite as intense in Burien as it is in Seattle, to be honest. I learned a lot there through a Planning Commission project that came up three or four years ago, when a well-known nonprofit that serves the homeless community, Mary's Place, had a project here in town and it was on Ambaum. So Ambaum is a corridor that runs north to south on the west side of the city. It connects from basically West Seattle through White Center and then it takes you up into our old Burien and our downtown core. It has traditionally been mostly renters along that path, so it's a large renter and middle to lower income segment of the city. And it's adjacent to the waterfront - so right behind, on the west side, you'll have Shorewood on the Sound, you'll have Seahurst, you'll have Gregory Heights, and Three Tree Point. So you're starting to see the growth of the city - and that growth also involves not having enough housing, which results in homelessness, in that impact. So I signed - the project ended up being right on Ambaum Boulevard and it surely was very controversial, even though this was a nonprofit that has a history of serving families, they were well funded, they've done great work. But there was a lot of NIMBYism at all the Planning Commission meetings, all the City Council meetings. And that kind of opened my eyes into, yeah, it's just as intense if not more sometimes here.

And lately we started to do work on the Planning Commission and we did that. We supported expanding multifamily zoning, ADU. We also brought and enacted a affordable housing demonstration project that had been in the pipeline for the city staff since 2012, but they hadn't been able to get it lifted. And we prioritized having this pilot to bring in more affordable housing to the city, which we did. We opened up - it took us months to prepare it, and we launched it - the City Council voted on it, and it went out. It's a three year project and we now have two projects in place. One is controversial and one is not, even though they're both serving the same focus of bringing more affordable housing to the city.

The first one is a Habitat for Humanity 43-unit sweat equity program where your folks are able to actually build their own home - they get assistance with the financing, so that they have down payment and actually are able to have home ownership, which brings in that wealth and helps shorten that gap between the haves, have nots and also people that historically have not had access to housing, so great program. The other one is a supportive housing project. It is a 95-unit project. It's close to the downtown core and it is serving - it's by the organization called DESC, the Downtown Emergency Service Center. And it just was very controversial - it was somewhat close to that old Burien shopping center and close to the downtown core. And folks got really, really scared in essence. They were scared and they came out in droves against it, even though it's a very well funded 95 units - it's going to include services, health and behavioral health services in the first floor. It's going to also impact the most impacted homeless individuals - those that have physical and mental disabilities. And-

[00:17:09] Crystal Fincher: So the exact kind of thing that addresses the issue in its entirety, and also deals with the root causes to get people off of the street and give them a chance to really have that be permanent. This is what people claim to be wanting, except when it's going to be next door to them.

[00:17:30] Hugo Garcia: Exactly, that's exactly it. And at the end of the day, we need more housing. Homes is what's going to help our homelessness situation. And I know the work on policy, on the zoning, on housing - on how challenging it is to do affordable housing. There's no affordable housing developers, it's nonprofits. So you have to get help from - funding from the state, from the Feds, from the county. And we want to make sure that we lead on that. I mean, we just saw that this supportive housing development - it did go through after a lot of community outreach, multiple meetings, language assistance - it passed. We are going to get 30% of those units to be somewhat local to the Burien folks that are experiencing homelessness, 25 units will be for veterans.

But this type of supportive housing is coming to the state. The state just passed a bill saying that the cities cannot ban these supportive housing developments - and you just can't. We're actually ahead of the curve because of that. Our city is now - we did a demonstration project, we did the analysis, and we know that we don't want to keep sending or putting these developments out in the fringes of the city. Because what historically has happened is these developments that assist tend to be in unhealthy environments, meaning industrial zones, under airport, air flight paths in very low income communities. So we need to change that. We need to make it so that there's no other-ism. And the services that people get for affordable housing are close to our core - where they're close to bus lines, close to stores, close to our parks, and we know that. So that's a change that we're having a difficult time with in most of South King County. But we have to make that work and we're doing that in Burien, we're already ahead of the curve and I'm excited to be able to have learned so much while doing that work.

[00:19:40] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, and that's an area where your opponent is certainly in a different place than you are. This race offers a very stark choice. There are huge differences between where you and your opponent are. And if people want to see these types of solutions and policies that really do target addressing the whole issue and the root cause, and respect and work with people's humanity in a way that creates these win-win situations for all - that you're really the only candidate who is working towards this in your race.

[00:20:24] Hugo Garcia: And the only one that's brought up solutions, right? Like I speak about making sure that we expand our funding to our LEAD program to make sure that our LEAD gets introduced to DESC - so LEAD is the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program similar somewhat to the one in Seattle. But ours is specific to the downtown core for right now, and we've had success with it. Our chief has let us know that, I mean - we're a smaller town, smaller program.

We've had about 20 relocations of folks that were in downtown living on the streets to temporary housing. And we need more of that. But that won't solve everything, right? We need more housing. So we have a goal of 144 units a year that we should reach - to make sure that by 2040, we catch up to the number of housing units that we need. And we're on pace for that with these two projects alone, and we're doing that work. My opponent just screams about not in our backyard, not close to our businesses, and they should just go elsewhere, they should just go to San Diego. If they want to live homeless, they should be in San Diego. He doesn't bring any actual solutions and that's the frustrating part for me - that I've been doing the work, I understand the policy, I know the problem, I've worked with and seen the interconnection between our other cities, the county - and know that you can't just wish people away, man - like he wants to do. You can't do that, you have to work within what you have, the resources that you have, and have a plan which is, at the core of it, just build more housing.

[00:22:11] Crystal Fincher: Yeah, which your opponent expressly opposes. And in the middle of a - I'm just going back and reviewing a speech of his where he talks about bringing God back into government and God's government to Burien and aligning government with Jesus, and a lot like that. Which is, clearly a different place, and not that someone being religious or spiritual is bad - but the policies that that translates to, in his opinion, seem a bit inconsistent and ineffective.

[00:22:58] Hugo Garcia: Yeah. To say the least.

[00:22:59] Crystal Fincher: Yeah.

[00:23:00] Hugo Garcia: I'm not an expert in religion, but I know that Jesus would probably want to support the poor and the homeless.

[00:23:11] Crystal Fincher: I mean, that's actually unambiguous - he's pretty expressly supportive, according to the books and the teachings that they ascribe to him in his own words. I do want to talk about public safety and where Burien is. And Burien is such a fascinating city to me - because you do have a progressive council now making moves in some areas, and also a push back to that progressive council by a lot of the conservatives and people previously in the establishment in the city. And so these conversations are really enlightening. But Burien has been willing to try new things and move in different directions. What is happening in terms of public safety, and what more do you want to see happening?

[00:24:05] Hugo Garcia: Yeah. I think we are ahead of the curve when it comes to that, for South King County. We too have a relationship with King County Sheriff - that's who services our police force. And as all of the county, the Sheriff's Office is right now going through a bit of a transition that has impacted not just us but everybody. So we're very lucky that we have probably one of the best, if not the best, chief for a small city here in South King County. He has made work with the staffing that we have, and has done incredible work - compared to the amount of money that we have to put into our resources, the number of officers, they have done strong work.

However, I don't think we're ever going to be able to get to a point where public safety will address everything with police. So recently, we launched a three-pronged attack - the city went ahead and had a team of three folks that included both behavioral person specialist, an EMT specialist, and a dedicated downtown business core public safety officer, to basically be the focus of public safety for mental health, homelessness around the core. The rest of the city then has the support of the traditional police force - for burglary, for addressing car thefts, catalytic converters, safety - and I think that's one good way to start to head to. I would want that team to be expanded, I would want our LEAD program to expand to nighttime. Because a lot of times folks experience crises at night - mental health crises - and that results into what people perceive as property damages and crime. So I think we need to do more of servicing folks at night. And we've started to interconnect our LEAD program with those services of behavioral health, as well as - I want to bring some of my experience from helping some of the businesses with economic development, the job I've done for the county. We launched a program where we actually hired folks through Uplift, the nonprofit that used to be called the Millionair's Club. And we started hiring folks that were experiencing homelessness to actually do business district communities' improvement work - so litter abatement, graffiti removement, dumping ground clear up. And that program has done really, really strong work in Skyway and White Center, specifically, over the last two years. It's going to get expanded to other unincorporated areas, and I want that to come to Burien. I want to be able to also provide jobs and those jobs are at working family and I believe those are $18 an hour jobs - because if you provide folks with opportunity, the health and the place to live, you're going to find that that's the way that we're going to be able to make a dent into the crisis that we're seeing, and that will impact public safety.

But that's just in the downtown core. I think it's really important that we invest and normalize in being in beautiful public spaces - that means our parks - we have to normalize that. And historically, we've spent so much on our policing that our parks are not as robust as they could be. The City of Burien is beautiful - it has 25 parks, 350 acres of parks - but you only hear about maybe one or two, one by the waterfront or one close to the downtown core. We also have a large - used to be a community center type facility called the Annex that unfortunately, had to be torn down because of health concerns. But it is in the core - it has green space, it's in the core of the city, and it could very much be our own version of a Marymoor Park here in Burien. But that's what I want. I want to make sure that the smaller parks - and not just the ones downtown, but the ones in residential neighborhoods - have lighting, have splash pads, have places where the food trucks can come in and people can gather. Because that is public safety - being able to go to those parks and enjoy that. And that's really at the core of what I want to do - not just focus on policing and serving our homelessness, because that's not tied to public safety as its main driver. It's about people being able to normalize being in our public spaces.

[00:29:00] Crystal Fincher: Yeah.

[00:29:01] Hugo Garcia: And if we invest in them, that's how we'll address it.

[00:29:05] Crystal Fincher: Absolutely. And another thing that has been proven to make people safer - really activating public spaces for the community achieves that.

I wanted to ask you, and we have a little bit of time left, but in terms of - you brought up earlier in the conversation about how bad it is to relegate the homeless to industrial areas where there's more pollution, less access to services and transit - they're less connected with the rest of the community, which is crucially important. For the community overall, and just dealing with the issues of pollution and climate change - certainly in Burien, being underneath the flight path for SeaTac and all of the research that has come out about how negatively that impacts people's health. Proximity to freeways, major roadways, and pollution - causing lung disease, heart disease, asthma, a variety of problems that directly impact life expectancy. And our responsibility even in suburban cities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as we deal with all of these impacts of climate change. What is Burien doing, and what do you think should be happening more within Burien to address that?

[00:30:31] Hugo Garcia: Yeah, so it kind of circles back a little bit to that divide, right? The divide is a political divide, just like in the Cascades - the Eastern Washington versus the Western Washington and the mountain range. In this case, at the city level, it's the Ambaum corridor - and the east and northeast being the core, and the parts of the city that got added in the annex from White Center in the last 15 years - in relationship to the areas that are adjacent to the water. And those areas historically just have been the ones that vote, the ones that make up policy, the ones that decide where these developments go. And even now, on the Planning Commission, like I mentioned the Habitat for Humanity project - it's a great project - 43 units, it's going to be multifamily sizes, it's going to have some green space in it. But it's literally adjacent to 509 - like right next to 509. And it's progress that at least it's affordable housing, it's ownership. But we really tried to challenge Habitat for Humanity to make sure they could do as much as possible to make it safe, to protect that green space in there, to not make this a norm. And we know we made comments to the council to say, Hey, we have to normalize being able to provide these type of projects close to our downtown core.

And doing that, like this project, makes progress towards that. And I think the way that you can make that progress even go further is to make sure that you normalize and bring our local government to other neighborhoods. We have to be a community governed city. But historically, the north, central, east part of the city has just never gotten outreached to enough. So I would plan on having quarterly town halls in all the different neighborhoods - at least quarterly, if not more. I would move our city council sessions at least to - every quarter, to other neighborhoods, so people realize, Hey, we care. Like I went to east of Boulevard Park to like the very northeast - I was out yesterday. And they're like, Yeah, no one from the city has ever come out here. We have easements that get used as dumping sites. And that's what has to change - but that only changes if you come to people, because people in those areas historically are going to have to work harder, have to travel further to go to work, and don't have the time - everybody's just working on surviving. So we have to make sure we go and connect with folks out that way, because that's how they can see, Okay, you know what? If this guy went from doing this by going to the Planning Commission, and there's a way - there's a way to start making that change. So I think that's impactful and we need to make sure we do that, otherwise the same people are going to be making the rules and that's only going to prolong progress.

[00:33:55] Crystal Fincher: Absolutely. So if people want to get involved with your campaign, how can they find out more about you and how can they get involved?

[00:34:06] Hugo Garcia: Please hit me up on Twitter - it's probably - I'm on there all the time. Hit me up on Twitter @hugo4burien. You can also reach out to our website of course, that's www.hugo4burien.com, and you can email me at [email protected] Facebook - we have a page, but Twitter's where I'm at - I see you on there a lot too.

[00:34:32] Crystal Fincher: Yeah.

[00:34:34] Hugo Garcia: But yeah, just hit me up because it is a tough race. My opponent is very well funded. Historically, his part of the neighborhood of the city votes a lot more. And our race is very, very - how should I put it? We don't get paid. I mean, we get a stipend. The city councilmembers get a stipend, 500 bucks I think a month. People are not doing this for the money, right? I'm now choosing to do this because it's - one, I have the privilege to have a flexible job where I'm able to do it. But historically, man, you have to have time and you have to have money. And the people that live in the outside of the downtown core, generally don't have both of those things. It's changing a little bit with the demographics, but if we don't get the word out and people don't start to connect, it's just not going to happen. So please hit me up, I really would love to connect, show you - when you canvass with me, you're going to know about all the food spots, all right? Because afterwards we're going to go get some tacos birria, we're going to get some chilaquiles. Burien has got amazing, amazing food scene - we're a small business city, we don't have big employers, so I'm all about connecting through food. So come out, support, and let me share with you why I love Burien.

I love it, I want to make sure that other people have the same opportunity as my family and us did - where we're able to raise a working family, keep it affordable somehow, and develop here so that kids want to stay here and grow up here - and even have the option to do so. Our family's doing that because we're thankful for that opportunity. So hit me up. Let's go, let's get Burien represented, we need to do this. So hit me up.

[00:36:36] Crystal Fincher: Absolutely. And this is the type of race where - one, you had a very strong showing in the primary, so this race is winnable. It's going to take people pulling together and community support. And a lot of times, I'll have people ask, and we've talked about on the show like, Hey, outside of Seattle, what are the races to pay attention to, what's going on? And have talked about Burien myself, but definitely wanted to talk with you directly because this is one of those races that if we pay attention and if we get engaged, then we'll get somebody on the council who aligns with our values. But if we don't, and if we tune out, then that's where the establishment uses people's apathy and just people not engaging, to continue to perpetuate the same things. And there's a foothold of a progressive movement in Burien that really can be codified and can go so much further if this election goes right, so -

[00:37:39] Hugo Garcia: Yeah, for sure. And I just want to make sure - it's a foothold and that's just it. And right now, even though I had a good strong primary, it wasn't enough.

[00:37:51] Crystal Fincher: Right.

[00:37:52] Hugo Garcia: My opponent had more votes. And I mean, when you talk about - we want people of color to run for office and represented, I've been putting in that work to make sure that I have a chance to represent and help our community. But we need people to show up and right now, with the hard four years that we went through, the tough election that we had, COVID - we're in a pandemic, not post-pandemic, we're in a pandemic. Heat waves, reopening, closing, our businesses are closed, people are just tuning out. And when that happens, you're going to get people that want to discuss theocracy into their policy. So we need to show up. I know people are tired, I know I'm tired, but this is the difference between having a city - that it stays welcoming, that supports their small businesses and keeps families together versus not. So come out, hit me up, I'm ready to do that work. I'm already doing the work and I will continue to do that work.

[00:39:07] Crystal Fincher: Well thank you so much - appreciate having you Hugo, and we will make sure to put all of those links in the show notes if people want to get in contact with you and just stay engaged.

[00:39:18] Hugo Garcia: Yeah, thank you, Crystal. Appreciate it. Take care.

[00:39:25] Crystal Fincher: Thank you for listening to Hacks & Wonks. Our chief audio engineer at KVRU is Maurice Jones, Jr. The producer of Hacks & Wonks is Lisl Stadler. You can find me on Twitter @finchfrii, spelled F-I-N-C-H F-R-I-I, and now you can follow Hacks & Wonks on iTunes, Spotify or wherever else you get your podcasts. Just type in "Hacks & Wonks" into the search bar - be sure to subscribe to get our Friday almost-live shows and our midweek show delivered to your podcast feed. You can also get a full text transcript of this episode and links to the resources referenced during the show at OfficialHacksAndWonks.com and in the podcast episode notes.

Thanks for tuning in, talk to you next time.