Highland Park Action Committee: Candidates; traffic; T-shirt …

March 25, 2010 at 6:06 am | In 34th District State House 2, Highland Park, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

checkbox.jpgStarting Feb. 2 and continuing through last Monday, five people have entered the race for 34th District State House Position 2. Call it the domino seat: It’s opening because Rep. Sharon Nelson is running for the State Senate seat that Sen. Joe McDermott is vacating to run for County Council (appointed Councilmember Jan Drago repeated recently that she will not run). All 5 State House #2 hopefuls showed up for the first major candidates’ forum of the campaign last night, organized by the Highland Park Action Committee. That wasn’t the only item on HPAC’s monthly meeting agenda, but it was the biggest one – after the jump, video clips of each candidate plus other meeting toplines :

Ground rules for the forum: 8 minutes per candidate, which HPAC chair Dan Mullins said could be used as all speech time, or speech time plus Q/A.

We have short video excerpts from each candidate (and we’re linking each one’s name to her/his website). First, Mike Heavey (D), who works for Councilmember Drago:

Second, Geoffrey “Mac” McElroy (I), who owns the Triangle Tavern:

Third, Sabra Schneider (D), who works in King County government:

Fourth, Marcee Stone (D), best known for leading Washington Public Campaigns:

Fifth, Joe Fitzgibbon (D), who’s been working for Rep. Nelson:

Among the recurring issues: Tax reform. The State Legislature looked this year at asking voters to consider the idea of an income tax for “high earners,” and all candidates at the forum except for McElroy thought that was worth investigating.

One topic on which all agreed: It’s up to White Center (and vicinity) to decide which city – Seattle or Burien – should annex the area. That topic came up elsewhere on the agenda; last month, supporters of Seattle annexation spoke to HPAC members, and last night, supporters of Burien annexation took a turn, including Barbara Dobkin:

(Photo by Dina Johnson)
Also speaking, Liz Giba, whose points included the contention that White Center (etc.) would have a louder voice as part of Burien, since, if annexed by Burien, the added areas would comprise a larger share of that city’s population, than it would if it became part of Seattle. (However, since the booking of this appearance and the one last month, the annexation question has moved back to something of a back burner, since the Seattle Mayor’s office announced it’s no longer pursuing a vote this year, and Burien‘s City Council withdrew consideration of a resolution that could have helped accelerate its potential pursuit.)

Meantime, traffic concerns in Highland Park came up too:

(Photo by Dina Johnson)
That’s Terry Holm, who says he’s pushing for a 4-way stop at 9th SW/SW Henderson (map) because of concerns about cars routinely speeding through that stretch. HPAC chair Mullins says SDOT engineers are coming out to look at potential traffic calming by the Highland Park Improvement Club building on SW Holden (map).

One more note – The Highland Park T-shirts have arrived:

(Photo by Dina Johnson)
Highland Park Improvement Club (that’s president Rhonda Smith in the photo) is selling them for $20 – they come in black, too. HPIC contact info is here.

The Highland Park Action Committee meets the fourth Wednesday of each month, 7 pm at the HPIC building; they’re online at highlandpk.net.

5 Comments

  1. I want to thank ALL of the candidates who participated in last night’s HPAC candidate presentations. This will be a very good race and it will be interesting to watch each candidate as they progress through the election cycle.

    Geoffrey “Mac” McElroy was particlarly refreshing. He was the one candidate who stood out as having his “finger on the pulse” of the voters of the 34th. It’s great to have an independent, fresh voice in this race!

    Comment by Brian — 7:59 am March 25, 2010 #

  2. People, let’s focus on realistic and concrete action items in furtherance of HPAC’s mission. This, of course, does not include a discourse on the alleged merits of income redistribution in the name of social justice, specifically, whether the Legislature should consider a state income tax. Meritless or not, such a debate is gratuitous, and yes, distracts, from immediate concerns within the scope of HPAC’s very limited sphere of influence. Namely, the focus is best directed at safety, outreach, block-by-block action and community enhancement.

    Comment by Dave — 8:53 am March 25, 2010 #

  3. Dave,
    I can see your point, but though it may seem outside HPAC’s proper focus to you, we’ve seen in the past couple years that our District’s Representative has a major influence on local issues that directly affect our community.

    Since taking a leadership role in jail-related issues, HPAC has expanded the traffic-circle, sidewalk-improvement, and blockwatch focus it had a few years ago. Then, participation and interest dwindled to a handful of regulars.

    Attendance was pathetic, sometimes 5 or 6 at the monthly meetings. No one wanted to serve as Chair after my husband Blair stepped down.

    I think the attendees last night appreciated HPAC sponsoring a brief but informative contact with the candidates. Elections can be confusing, and most people never get a chance to see the candidates in person.

    Thanks to Chair Dan Mullins for considering this worthy of 45 minutes on our monthly agenda.

    Comment by Dina J. — 9:31 am March 25, 2010 #

  4. Thanks to both Dave and Dina for good points. As a neighbor I appreciate actually meeting candiates in person-so different than media presentations and campaign “ads.” One of these people will be representing our interests in the larger state arena, they need to face us first in our local context so they know who we are and what we care about. But of course our core mission is improving our self reliance and community. Isn’t there room for both in our lives?

    Comment by Kay K — 12:16 pm March 25, 2010 #

  5. Kay, you are right, we’ve been doing pretty well at both, lately.

    Comment by Dina J. — 7:00 pm March 25, 2010 #

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