The Mayor and Seattle City Council recently announced the initial appointees selected to serve on the new Seattle Renters’ Commission. Created by Ordinance 125280 in March 2017, the 15-member commission will advise the City on priorities, policies, and strategies related to all issues concerning renters across the City of Seattle. It will also monitor and provide feedback on the enforcement and effectiveness of legislation related to renters and renter protections. All the appointments are subject to City Council confirmation.
Daniela Lopez grew up in central California’s agriculturally-rich, socially and racially diverse San Joaquin Valley. She studied Literature and Mass Communication & Journalism at California State University, Fresno, where she served as section editor and writer for the university’s newspaper. She managed small businesses in the beauty and health industry while in college and, a few years after graduation, made the transition into the legal field after obtaining her Paralegal Certification at the University of Washington. She moved to Seattle more than five years ago and has lived in Ballard, Magnolia, Pioneer Square, and now Fremont. She looks forward to serving her neighborhood and the Seattle community.
What inspired you to serve on the Seattle Renters’ Commission?
In my five years in Seattle, I’ve become aware of the importance access to affordable housing has upon people’s lives. Professional advancement, community involvement, cultural development, and social engagement are all impacted by the accessibility to affordable housing in Seattle. I believe people from diverse social and economic backgrounds should have an equitable opportunity to prosper within our city limits and enable progress in Seattle.
How has your experience as a renter shaped your perspective of Seattle?
Like many others, I came to Seattle for the professional and cultural opportunities the city offers. Although Seattle is enriched by and dependent on people involved in the trades and service work, the access to safe and affordable housing is increasingly less viable for low and middle-income earners. My own experience with the cost to secure an apartment in Seattle has shown me the importance of readily-available resources and options for those left in the margins of an expensive rental market.
What do you hope the Seattle Renters’ Commission will bring to the City?
I hope open dialogue between city government and the people directly affected by local regulations, policy, and a changing rental market can provide the space for creative and well-developed problem-solving resolutions that will help the community of Seattle at large.
What neighborhood do you live in and what do you love most about it?
I live in Fremont and I love it! I love relaxing at Gas Works Park, sipping coffee at Stone Way Cafe, or grabbing a beer at Brouwer’s. The central location and proximity to other neighborhoods, restaurants, night life, and parks and trails makes Fremont the perfect Seattle neighborhood.