An advocate for racial justice throughout his career in law and on the City Council, Harrell would be only the second Black Mayor of Seattle at a time when our city and society must commit to reforming police culture and dismantling structural racism and inequality.
SEATTLE – Bruce Harrell, former City Council President and candidate for Seattle Mayor, today released endorsements from nearly two dozen Black community leaders from throughout Seattle and the region. Harrell, a Seattle native who grew up in a mixed-race Central area family, would be only Seattle’s second Black mayor if elected this November. These endorsements follow release of strong support from the AAPI community, announced in the wake of a spike in anti-Asian violence.
On the City Council, Harrell was for many years a singular voice for police reform and removing historically racist barriers in employment and opportunity in Seattle. Harrell sponsored the “Ban the Box” ordinance, so past criminal records could not be part of job screening and applications, wrote the city’s first anti-bias police regulations, and championed school access and success for BIPOC youth.
In his campaign for Mayor, Harrell has outlined the most specific set of policies for police reform of any candidate, informed by his lived experience, work as an attorney, and time on the Council. He has also released plans for equity-driven pandemic small business recovery, housing and homelessness response, climate action, and gun violence reduction, in addition to other proposals that address systemic and underlying racial bias and barriers to opportunity.
“At this time in our changing and divided City, we need Bruce Harrell to help us heal, and lead the way forward,” said Norm Rice, Seattle’s first Black Mayor. “Just as I worked to center our city policies around kids and the future, Bruce is uniquely positioned to build unity around shared values and help every child – and family – get the opportunity and future they deserve. We need his proven experience, deep commitment to healthy families, and steadfast voice for racial justice in the office of Seattle Mayor.”
“Bruce Harrell is the mayor we need at this moment in our history, as we confront structural racism and push reforms that help build an equitable and just future for all,” said longtime civil rights leader Gerald Hankerson. “We trust Bruce to address the urgent need for police reform and accountability, expand housing and restorative programs for low income, homeless and vulnerable populations, and speak out against hate and discrimination in all forms.”
“Bruce has an unmatched record of support for Black and community of color owned businesses, and making sure we open the doors for contracting opportunities, training and mentorship, and support in tough times,” said business leader Ollie Garrett. “As Seattle’s Mayor, Bruce will be a champion for shared priorities of equity, opportunity and prosperity across Seattle.”
“Black owned small businesses were among the hardest hit in the pandemic, and Seattle is at risk of losing the next generation of Black entrepreneurs due to high startup costs and lack of capital and opportunity,” said longtime business owner Lewis Rudd. “I have known Bruce personally for more than three decades and believe that he will be a mayor we can count on to unite our city and build a stronger, more inclusive city where all can thrive.”
“I am so grateful for the strong, diverse support from within the Black community, and throughout our city,” said Harrell. “We are truly building a campaign that lifts every voice, and leaves no one behind. I am excited for the momentum we are building, and our platform of inclusive, forward-looking policies that will help create a Seattle where everyone is welcome, and every person can thrive.”
Select Early Endorsements Include:
US Representative Marilyn Strickland
Former Seattle Mayor Norm Rice
Former State Senator George Fleming
Former State Representative Dawn Mason
Former County Councilmember Larry Gossett
Seattle School Board Member Brandon Hersey
Renton City Council Member Ed Prince
Bishop Reggie Witherspoon
Reverend Harriet Walden
Reverend Leslie Braxton
Sara Franklin-Phillips, WA State Commission on African American Affairs*
Paula Sardinas, WA State Commission on African American Affairs*
Dr. Constance Rice, UW Regent*
Gerald Hankerson, NAACP*
Carolyn Riley-Payne, NAACP*
Janie White, K-12 Education Leader
Darrell Powell, CFO, United Way of King County*
Ron Ward, first Black President, WA State Bar Association*
Joy Hollingsworth, Cannabis Industry Leader
Harry Bailey, former Seattle Police Chief*
Alec Stephens, former 37th LD Democrats Chair*
Dean Emeritus William Bradford, UW Business School*
Lewis Rudd, Business Owner
Ollie Garrett, Business Leader
Chris Bennett, Sr.
Dr. Brent Jones
*for identification purposes only