Two, livability in Seattle (which I think is becoming an issue as our growth shoots up like a firecracker.)
I want progressives on the City Council so my choices are:
District 1 (SW) - Lisa Herbold is a very strong candidate who is whip-smart and hard-working. (I also like that Ms Herbold, having worked for Councilman Nick Licata for years, would know City Hall very well.)
District 2 (SE) - Tammy Morales. There are many things to like/admire about Councilman Harrell but I find his work underwhelming. That, coupled with some odd happenings at the 37th District endorsement meeting, make me believe it's time for change.
District 3 (Central) - Kshama Sawant. Say what you will but she keeps people honest and she cares deeply about the average working person in this city. We need that kind of counterbalance on the Council.
District 4 (Lake Union to Sand Pt) - this is my region and I'm voting for Michael Maddux. It's a good choice in this race and Rob Johnson is a nice guy but again, I want someone who will represent all of Seattle. I think Maddux is the right person with the right skill set right now. (I note that Maddux has a child in SPS and Johnson will soon.)
District 5 (North) - I have mixed feelings here because Sandy Brown looks very good but some of his contributor base makes me nervous. Anyone?
District 6 (Green Lake to Golden Gardens) - also a tough call. I like Mike O'Brien but I sometimes don't get his votes. I think he's bright but Catherine Weatbrook is a real policy wonk. She knows her stuff and when I sat down to talk to her about public education in Seattle, I was pretty surprised at how much she knew. I think Weatbrook is the best choice.
District 7 (Downtown to Discovery Park) - I'm underwhelmed (a lot) by Sally Bagshaw and she seems fairly aligned with Tim Burgess (not good). I don't know Deborah Zech Artis. Anyone?
City Council Position 8-At Large - There is no choice here if you truly care about Seattle Public Schools. Councilman Tim Burgess is an ed reformer at heart and a very "my way or the highway" kind of councilman. (As well, the Mayor calls him "the Godfather of Preschool" and given how the City's DEEL has been working the pre-k program in Seattle Schools, that's probably right.)
We are fortunate that a truly great candidate in Jon Grant is running (and running hard) against Burgess. Grant has pointed out the untruth that there will be 2,000 NEW pre-k seats when it appears the majority will just be flips of existing pre-k seats to the City's plan. Burgess also has a firm hand in running the Families and Education levy (and the doling out of dollars).
Jon knows this city and apparently, is such a threat to Burgess that a special PAC was created just to defeat him. From Horsesass:
When two independent expenditure campaigns were announced last week, one explicitly pro Seattle City Council president Tim Burgess (“United for Tim”) and one explicitly against Burgess’s challenger, former Tenant’s Union leader Jon Grant (“Seattle Needs Ethical Leaders”), I wasn’t the only one to read this as a sign that Seattle’s business establishment was very nervous about Burgess’s reelection prospects. Seattle Needs Ethical Leaders was on the record promising to spend about $200,000, while the insider buzz had United for Tim budgeting at least the same. That’s an awful lot of money to spend on an incumbent who is already outspending his challenger by six to one.You may have heard this story but here's a link. From the Weekly:
Monday night, The Seattle Times reported that city council candidate Jon Grant alleges that a representative of the Triad development company offered him a quid pro quo: if Grant helped them settle a lawsuit that’s been blocking the Civic Square project, the representative, Brett Allen, would ensure that $200,000 of anti-Grant campaign money would go away. The most damning piece of evidence in the tawdry tale was a text message Allen sent to former mayor and Grant supporter Mike McGinn urging McGinn to facilitate the deal with Grant:
Vote Grant - Burgess is has associates/friends acting in desperate ways to keep him on the Council.Just in case I wasn’t clear yesterday: any deal would be contingent on the 200k IE going away. Please tell [Grant] that we’re sincere in our desire to get this resolved before any major damage done. We need him to show leadership. As an alternative, Grant could simply instruct his attorney . . . to accept our offer on the table (or make a counter offer). Deadline is Monday @ noon—after which certain bad things can’t be undone. Thanks again for your efforts to try to help us both! And Go Hawks!”
City Council Position 9 - At Large - Both interesting, solid candidates but my vote is for Bill Bradburd. He knows this city, has fought for better housing for residents and has the kind of energy that you feel when he walks in the room. Ms. Gonzalez is bright and likely capable but very aligned with the Mayor. When I tried to talk to her at an LD event, she barely acknowledged me. I found that odd that someone running a city-wide race wouldn't want to talk to someone who knows the district.
Bill Bradburd is the better choice for the time and place we sit in as a city.