UpZones #33: Cary Moon

Upisode 33: Longtime advocate and former mayoral finalist Cary Moon swings by the bookstore and raps with Ian about growing up in the Midwest, land planning in Seattle, and the value of our city’s connection to the water. She explains the distinction between the successful public park (a city project) and the viaduct (a controversial state project) and discusses what she learned — and what confirmed that she already knew — during her 2017 run.

About the Cary Moon

Born in Michigan (not Indiana, despite what Wikipedia may say) and raised around the Midwest, Cary Moon came to Seattle as an engineer, and then founded the urban design and landscape architecture firm Landscape Agents.  She only stepped into public life in 2006, after one of the firm’s major projects was a neighborhood plan for Pioneer Square commissioned by the city government; Moon co-founded the People’s Waterfront Coalition (PWC) with activist Grant Cogswell in 2004, in response to plans to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct, an elevated freeway on the Seattle waterfront, with a new freeway.

PWC proposed a surface option, demolishing the viaduct in favor of a boulevard, parks, and transit priority instead of the proposed elevated structure or freeway tunnel. The viaduct replacement plan was rejected in a public referendum in March 2007, earning Moon a Stranger Genius Award. The group was ultimately unsuccessful in preventing construction of the replacement freeway tunnel, but the city adopted the surface option along with a waterfront park.

Moon built her 2017 mayoral campaign primarily around affordable housing and inclusion in the face of extreme displacement caused by the gentrification of metro Seattle.  She finished second in both the spring primary and the fall general election, losing a close election to former prosecutor Jenny Durkan.  


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