Tenants across Seattle may not know Xochitl Maykovich’s name (or how to pronounce it; for the record, it’s “So-chi”), but chances are they’ve benefited from one of the policies she has lobbied for as political organizer for the Washington Community Action Network (Washington CAN!). From a new city law that bans discrimination against people who pay their rent with federal housing vouchers, to legislation that caps the amount Seattle landlords can charge new tenants for security deposits and fees (and gives tenants extra time to pay them off), to another local bill cracking down on “slumlords” who refuse to make needed repairs, the Seattle proposals Maykovich has championed over the past two years have made it easier for renters to stay in a city that seems to become less affordable by the day.
Organizing isn’t glamorous work, but it can have a tremendous impact—just ask any Seattle City Council member if they knew or cared about move-in fees, or if they thought of using the housing code as a tool to crack down on bad landlords, before Maykovich and CAN! rallied the troops and brought the issues to their attention. Thanks in huge part to Maykovich’s dogged efforts, renters have more than just a voice at city hall—they have a say.
Read about the rest of 2017's Most Influential Seattleites here.