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.
David Mooney is a lifelong Seattleite who grew up in the Hillman City neighborhood. He attended Franklin High School and is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in behavioral health at Seattle Central College. David is passionate about the homeless and persons suffering with substance use disorders. He is a licensed chemical dependency professional and has sat on the Board of Trustee’s at Plymouth Housing. He also volunteered at Recovery Café, a community of respite and healing. These and other life experiences have given him a unique perspective on the current housing crisis and the drivers of homelessness. David currently lives in the Capitol Hill neighborhood and enjoys playing guitar and riding his bike.
What inspired you to serve on the Seattle Renters’ Commission?
I am inspired to serve on the Seattle Renters Commission because I believe it will be part of the solution to housing for all. I have personally suffered displacement due to an inability to react in time to sudden acute rising rents. I have also been denied access to housing, regardless of ability to pay, solely because I have application barriers such as previous convictions and/or evictions that are over 20yrs old and for being a member of a marginalized community. I am honored for a chance to be an advocate for change and to help find solutions for these and other barriers to housing in Seattle.
How has your experience as a renter shaped your perspective of Seattle?
I have lived in Seattle all my life. I can remember working full time at minimum wage and still being able to afford a small apartment. This is no longer the case. At our current rent prices, one would have to make at least 35% more than our current minimum wage to adequately afford a one-bedroom apartment. I have seen whole communities change due to this and other barrier issues. This is not the Seattle I grew up in and it doesn’t have to be this way.
What do you hope the Seattle Renters’ Commission will bring to the City?
I hope the Seattle Renters Commission will bring an awareness to the issues that contribute to rising homelessness and displacement of Seattle renters. Also, since this is the first commission of its kind in the nation, I understand that what we do here can be echoed in other communities suffering similar housing issues.
What neighborhood do you live in and what do you love most about it?
I currently live in Capitol Hill. What I love about the Hill is its diversity. It is the center of Seattle, both in a community sense and in its proximity to the business and retail core. My first apartment was on Capitol Hill and I am proud to be living here still.