Leading US bookseller running for mayor of Seattle

Kwame Spearman, CEO of leading US independent bookstore Tattered Cover, is running for mayor of his home city of Seattle, Washington.  In order to concentrate on his campaign he is taking leave of absence from his position running the company.

He told staff and customers:  “As some of you may have heard, earlier this year, I began my journey to become Denver’s Mayor. As a Denver native and the CEO of our organization, I’ve become deeply concerned that businesses like Tattered Cover and employees who work for businesses like Tattered Cover will soon be unable to live in our neighbourhoods. Our local economy is the lifeblood of our city’s culture and authenticity. And if elected Mayor of Denver, I hope to preserve it.

“Accordingly, though, I need to spend all of my efforts and capacity to win this race. I also want to ensure that Tattered Cover has present leadership that can continue to grow our business into the community organization that our cities and state need. Subsequently, I am taking a leave of absence to focus on the race.”

Margie Keenan, Tattered Cover’s CFO, will assume Spearman’s day-to-day responsibilities and is working with the board of directors and other members of the executive team to ensure a smooth transition.  

Spearman added: “Not only are we emerging from a pandemic, but we’re trying to stave off a recession, and right now what the city needs in this critical stage is a clear vision and policy and most importantly plans that can actually result in action.  For me, this is not about a race that is entirely focused on winning. This is a race that’s about my home.”

If elected he said he would be a “neighbourhood mayor,” and would focus “on efforts to bring each community what it needs, from community-specific policing to development initiatives that increase housing density where it is desired”.  He also says he supports low-interest loans for small businesses to help them raise wages.

His note to staff concluded: “I want to thank you all for the support and love that you have shown since I joined Tattered Cover.  Your warmth and dedication to our business is what keeps Tattered Cover thriving. This note is surely not a goodbye. But I did want to keep our community up to date with my plans. Looking forward to continuing the dialogue.”