Pot entrepreneur with engineering background running in District 3

Bowers wants Seattle policies focused on averting climate change, encouraging more affordable housing construction

Pot entrepreneur with engineering background running in District 3

Pot entrepreneur with engineering background running in District 3

Logan Bowers was born in District 3 and is a lifelong Seattle resident, minus the time he spent studying electrical engineering at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Indiana.

While the former Amazon software development manager now owns and operates Hashtag Cannabis retail stores in Fremont and Redmond with his wife, Jerina Pillert, he says it’s his technical experience that make him the right candidate to replace incumbent Kshama Sawant on the Seattle City Council.

“What I see is Seattle right now is going through an unprecedented round of growth and change,” Bowers tells MPT, “and I want to see us come out of the other end as a world-class city.”

Prior to working at Amazon, Bowers also spent time as a software development engineer for Zillow and Microsoft.

He and his wife opened their first Hashtag Cannabis store in Fremont on April 20, 2015. Between the two stores, they have 27 employees.

An issue Bowers is passionate about is climate change.

The District 3 candidate said half of the city’s budget is spent on utilities, but the council lacks a member with an engineering background. He said there’s a lot the city can do to avert climate change by cooperating with regional utilities.

Climate concerns also factor into Bowers’ desire to see Seattle become a “car-optional city.”

“Option B is Sodo is under water because of global warming,” he said. “Those are our only two choices realistically.”

Bowers supports more multimodal options, including shareable electric scooters not currently permitted in Seattle, which he said are a good alternative to ride-hailing services that exacerbate the city’s traffic congestion problem, and are also the cheapest option for trips up to three miles.

While Mayor Jenny Durkan has proposed congestion pricing to reduce single-occupancy vehicle use as Seattle braces for several years of maximum constraint, Bowers said there needs to be a solid plan for how to use that revenue to improve mobility. He said he is concerned congestion pricing could be regressive.

Seattle’s short-lived and never implemented head tax is such an example of “putting the cart before the horse,” the District 3 candidate said.

Sixty percent of the revenue from the head tax would have gone toward generating more affordable housing, but Bowers said the city should use zoning and regulation to compel developers to create that housing — the city can never afford to create the supply that’s needed.

The District 3 candidate said the city’s energy is better spent creating more shelters and homeless services, prioritizing funding allocations to those nonprofits proven to be most effective at moving people into permanent housing.

Bowers said the city’s zoning regulations are what promote developing luxury housing due to construction costs. Allowing for more wood-frame construction and promoting duplexes, triplexes and townhomes would increase the supply of more affordable housing, he said. But 75 percent of the city is currently zoned for single-family residences.

“I think MHA is a wonderful start,” Bowers said. “There are a lot of knobs you can tweak on MHA.”

Sawant has served two terms on the Seattle City Council, but has yet to announce a re-election campaign.

Bowers said District 3 needs a council representative focused on issues relevant to their constituents, such as fixing potholes, ensuring roads are reconfigured smartly and ushering in thoughtful increases in density.

“I don’t think we have that voice right now,” he said. “I don’t think our representative pays really close attention to the issues here in our district.”

When it came time to put a racial equity toolkit for the city’s urban village strategy into the budget for next year, Sawant didn’t show up for the vote, Bowers said.

Shots-fired incidents have increased over the past several months, Bowers said, and the city is suffering from a lack of police officers. The District 3 candidate said he wants more police and to bring back community service policing. Increasing the police force means paying officers a salary that allows them to live in Seattle, he said.

He doesn’t believe Sawant’s negative attitude toward police has been helpful.

Bowers doesn’t see his pot business as an issue for his campaign, having seen people of all ages and backgrounds come through his shops. Operating within the strict regulations imposed by the state takes precision, he said. It also makes it nearly impossible to get a home loan.

Keep up with Bowers’ campaign at votelogan.org.