The GSBA Blog


Member-Candidate Profile: Andrew Grant Houston

by Andrew Grant Houston
| Jul 08, 2021
 
As a membership organization, we invite all our members running for elected office each year to submit a statement to their fellow members. GSBA is a nonpartisan organization and does not endorse candidates, and this statement should not be construed as an endorsement by GSBA, its Board, or its staff.

Andrew Grant Houston, running for Seattle Mayor

I’m Andrew Grant Houston (he/him), also known as “Ace”. I am a queer, Black and Latino architect, environmental advocate, and housing activist living on Seattle’s Capitol Hill.

I am running for Mayor of Seattle because, after years of advocating for more housing at all income levels, we’ve seen little change while worsening wildfires highlight the urgency of our homelessness, housing, and climate crises. We need action, and we need it now. 

I am an entrepreneur with my own architecture practice, House Cosmopolitan, focused on creating places where people belong. This, along with my membership in the GSBA, are important to me as I have always had to fight to make space for myself in an industry dominated by straight, white men. So now, through my work and my advocacy, I make space for others where none was made for me.

Over the years, we’ve watched Seattle’s historically LGBTQ+ Capitol Hill price out so many in our community. Often, that means that all of the creativity and uniqueness that we bring to the city, through our small businesses and our art, are pushed out. That’s why I will invest additional funds and resources into building more subsidized cultural spaces, including music venues and art galleries—and, of course, housing. When we build more permanently affordable housing, artists and creatives are able to afford to live in our city and contribute more of their time and energy into making Seattle a truly unique place. To be sure our small businesses can not only stay but thrive, I will implement commercial rent control. We know it works. Rent control protects small businesses from rental price gouging by scheduling reasonable and gradual increases, promotes neighborhood stability, and makes sure Seattleites can stay in Seattle.

But we need to make sure that everyday people, customers, are taken care of, too. Prioritizing people and economic vitality are not at odds. I will pay people a living wage, build affordable housing across every area of the city, and make it easier for people to reach what they want and need through transportation improvements, so everybody wins.

At the end of the day, we need transformative change. As a project manager with experience leading multimillion-dollar jobs, I have the knowledge necessary to get things done. My vision of Seattle makes it one of the most vibrant, sustainable cities in the world; a city where no one has to sleep outside, where local businesses and culture thrive, and where orcas start to visit once again. In order to do that, we must center our most marginalized first and, with my experience and background in mind, we will do just that.  No more empty promises.

Seattle, I will act. And I would be honored to have your support in this race for Mayor of Seattle.

Andrew Grant Houston (“Ace”)