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Cary Moon launches campaign for Seattle mayor

SEATTLE — Cary Moon, an urban planner and engineer, announced Wednesday that she is running for mayor of Seattle.

According to her campaign website, Moon was the co-founder and director of the People’s Waterfront Coalition which led the effort for a highway-free waterfront and transit-based transportation solution to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

"I feel an immense duty and responsibility to ensure Seattle, our beautiful, vibrant, diverse city, works for everyone," Moon said in a news release announcing her run for office. "I will listen and take honest stock of the challenges facing our city, and I will use my expertise as an urban planner, engineer and civic leader to develop strategies that strike Seattle’s problems at their root cause, not just address the symptoms. Seattle's prosperity should provide shared opportunity and success for everyone, not just the wealthy elite. We can't let the future of our city be sold to the highest bidder. We all belong here, and deserve a voice in shaping our city’s future."

WATCH: Why Cary Moon says she is running for mayor. 

Moon says her priorities are traffic congestion, expensive rents for people and small businesses, surging homelessness, gender and racial inequity, and economic disparity.

“Seattle has become one of the most expensive cities in the country. More than half of Seattle renters pay more than they can reasonably afford for housing. Too many are living on the edge, just one unexpected bill away from not making rent and facing eviction. Working people, people of color, LGBTQ people, young families and seniors are being pushed out of our city. That is not who we are. People who work in Seattle should be able to afford to live in Seattle. If we don’t solve this problem now, in just a few years the majority of Seattle’s workforce -- and our children -- will be forced to live outside the city. We have the tools to start fixing this problem; we just need the collective will and courage to stop favoring the interests of profiteers and start putting people and families first.”

The announcement comes just two days after former Seattle mayor Mike McGinn launched a campaign. McGinn, who was mayor from 2010-2014, said the middle class is being squeezed out as rent and housing prices soar. He said he'd push for a city income tax on the wealthy, knowing it would lead to a court fight. In 1984, the state Legislature approved a law that prohibits a county, city or city-county from levying a tax on net income.

McGinn and Moon are challenging incumbent Ed Murray, who led the push to increase Seattle's minimum wage to $15 an hour, was not expected to face serious competition for re-election. However earlier this month a man sued Murray, saying 30 years ago he sexually abused him when he was a teen. Murray has forcefully denied the allegations.

WATCH: Moon says the allegations against Murray did not have anything to do with her decision to run. 

Moon is launching her campaign with a virtual town hall on Thursday, April 27.