First of all, mail in your ballot by next Tuesday, November 3rd! Here are some helpful links:
- FUSE Washington's Progressive Voters Guide.
- The Stranger's profanity-laced endorsements.
- Seattlish's gif-laced "Guide to Your Ballot".
- Seattle Weekly's thumbnail sketches of each race.
- Publicola's version of an urbanist straight ticket.
- The Seattle Times' Election Guide project, with snapshots of each Council race.
- School board picks from education blogger Melissa Westbrook and celebrity meteorologist Cliff Mass (Mass's comes with an analysis of the unseasonably warm October we've had so far, too).
You know my picks for the Board: Pinkham, Geary, Burke and Harris.
For City Council - Jon Grant and Bill Bradburd, at large. Lisa Herbold, District 1; District 2 (not sure); Kshama Sawant, District 3; Michael Maddux, District 4; (District 5 is still a mystery to me); District 6, two good choices but I pick Catherine Weatbrook; District 7, don't like Sally Bagshaw, don't know Deborah Zech Artis.
Here are some picks for ballot measures:
Prop 1 - No. I know - we have transportation issues. But everything did not get done with the last measure on this topic AND this measure clearly states:
“The spending breakdown is illustrative only and shall not be mandatory.”
So the spending on projects listed is not mandatory nor is there any ranking of projects? And the City wants a check for $930M? No from me.
I'm voting Yes to King County's Smart Starts for Kids (reluctantly). I believe this is a measure with the right intent. Am I sure that it does compete or overlap with services already out there? No, but I do like what is covered in the plan and if some services in Seattle now expand to King County, that's a good thing.
Yes to I-122 - Yes to Honest Elections. I vote yes if only because of what we see from Seattle School Board races - a lack of enough good candidates. This could help.
Sol's Civic Minute also had this link to a short documentary on housing costs in the Bay Area. (I had already seen it.) It is stunning and may be a harbinger of what is coming here even as we have our own housing costs problems. (Sol is Sol Villarreal who used to be an aide to Mayor Mike McGinn.)
Skip the scary movies this week and watch this terrifying 25-minute documentary about the waking nightmare that is San Francisco's housing market.
I include this video because of my belief that the constant barrage of levies is really making opening your property tax bill an adventure in sticker shock. We love our libraries, parks, schools, heck, the whole city, but that doesn't mean we can pay for everything all at once.
I have become highly attuned to thinking about my low-income neighbors or seniors on a fixed income. It is very easy to say "it's only $75 a year more" or say that it's some number of pennies on a $450K house. But it could be a life-changing amount for some families. We may be voting many neighbors out of their houses even as we attempt to better our city and the lives of its residents.
Between the Move Seattle levy and the Smart Starts for Kids levy, that's over $1B. And come Feb. 2016, the district will have its hand out for over $1B.
It's hard to know what to do. But I know I can't vote for all of it so I'm trying to make the best choices I can.