With a background in the natural sciences and business sense built on experience, as well as an acute awareness of the needs of local students, Seattle District 4 candidate Heidi Stuber hopes to advocate for Seattle homelessness issues, movement in housing affordability, climate change action, and emphasis on educational equity.
District 4 encompasses Northeast Seattle, including Eastlake, Wallingford, and the University District. The position is currently held Abel Pacheco.
Stuber grew up in Yakima and spent her youth dreaming of becoming the next Jane Goodall. After graduating from Colorado College with a bachelor’s degree in biology, Stuber moved to Costa Rica to study spider monkeys. Later, at age 23, Stuber earned her MBA at Seattle University. For Stuber, these experiences were influential for her future goals.
In terms of her vision for Seattle, Stuber seeks to be action-oriented and present a strong voice while she works in government.
One of Stuber’s actionable priorities relevant to the U-District is homelessness. Creating a city organization with a focus on transitioning people into housing will be her top priority in office.
“With twice as many homeless individuals as shelter beds, we need to take a hard look at our budget and redirect funds to quickly create immediate shelter options,” Stuber said in an email. “[We need to] expand enhanced 24/7 shelters so that we have more and better shelter options. We can do better than leaving people with no better place to live than a tent in the park.”
After living in Wallingford and Ravenna for the past seven years, Stuber feels connected to District 4’s schools, parks, local businesses, and neighborhoods. Stuber is also currently the strategic director of Sea to Sky Rentals, a local small business that is owned and operated by women.
With rising costs of living in Seattle, Stuber wants to address affordability through housing density and expanding resources like low-cost ORCA cards for families and individuals. This is an issue that is important to students and the UW as well — housing has been designated as a top priority.
“For ORCA cards, the ORCA LIFT card is a program for reduced-cost ORCA cards, but it only applies to those making less than double the federal poverty level,” Stuber said. “There is also an opportunity to encourage more businesses to participate in the Commute Seattle program which provides rebates to small businesses who offer ORCA for Business transit reduced-cost passes to their employees.”
A single mother of a son with autism, over the past eight years, Stuber’s work has focused on advocating for her son’s right to an equal education.
“Faced with underfunded school programs, I became an expert in behavioral best practices and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) law and sued the school district two times to ensure my son’s right to a free and appropriate public education,” Stuber said in an interview with VRM Intel Magazine’s Amy Hinote.
Stuber also wants to look at the link between traffic and carbon emissions, with an eye on helping to protect the environment in Seattle. Aware of the environment’s connection to educational equity, she will be focused on finding ways for the city government to support students and teachers by providing better, more comprehensive services in schools, and plans to demand fully-funded education from the state Legislature.
If you are interested in learning more about Stuber’s campaign you can find her website here.
Reach reporter Riley Grace Borden at email@example.com. Twitter: @grayswansite
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Editor's Note: An earlier version stated that the District 4 seat was held by Rob Johnson. It is held by Abel Pacheco: the article has been updated reflect that.