on the economy
Bellevue's economy is thriving. Between tech companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, and T-Mobile, Bellevue is gaining an influx of cashflow in the form of both tax dollars from such major organizations, and money being spent on local businesses. However, along with the recent development has come both the closing of many small businesses, as well as the implementation of automated and self-serve counters in chain stores. With this in mind, it is important that the city of Bellevue supports small businesses, as well as those who depend on jobs that are at-risk of being made redundant in the service of the expansion of major corporations, while continuing to support the growth of our economy.
Johan's arts and parks proposals will help create jobs and opportunities for those of all levels of education and opportunity, as well as draw people towards major centers of business, such as Downtown and Crossroads.
It is also very important to Johan that Bellevue's low-income and middle class residents can afford to live in the city as rents and property values increase. It is an incredibly poignant fact that some people in Bellevue have effectively voted and worked themselves out of the city by helping to make their community a better place to live, and then find themselves needing to move out of the city as they can't afford to live in Bellevue anymore. Johan supports adding a progressive, minor, income tax, while lowering property taxes. This would help allow Bellevue home-owners keep their homes through whatever changes in property value there may be, and especially protect low-income and middle class residents.
In addition, Johan supports exploring rent control options within Bellevue. Rent control, as it stands, is illegal in Washington State. As a City Councilor, Johan would work to speak in Olympia in support of changing the laws, and be the first on Bellevue City Council to support a rent control upon legalization. Rent control would be an incredible step towards mending de facto and de jure exclusionary housing practices, keeping Bellevue a diverse place to live, and making sure that Bellevue isn't overrun by landlords and management companies looking to make a quick buck at the expense of Bellevue residents. Keeping Bellevue the beautiful, safe, place to raise a family that it has been for decades requires a commitment from City Councilors to ensure that everyone in Bellevue has, and can keep, access to quality housing, arts, parks, and schools. Johan stands behind this commitment 100%.