Interested in being District #1? Petition filed for electing City Council with 7 region-by-region reps

January 22, 2013 at 11:31 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 9 Comments

The campaign announced back in September to push for electing City Council members by district filed its charter-amendment petition with the city today, report our partners at The Seattle Times. Right now, for example, there’s one West Seattle resident on the City Council, Tom Rasmussen, but he, like his eight council colleagues, was elected to represent the entire city. The Seattle Districts Now proposal draws boundaries for 7 council districts (here’s the map; note that West Seattle would be District #1); read the full text here. So what would it take to pass this? All explained here.

9 Comments

  1. This is not a good idea. IT’s been floated a few times before. As it is now, all residents of the city have access to all city council members… some are better than others, some are more responsive than others, etc. It would be a shame to limit West Seattle’s access to council members to one only. Tom Rasmussen is great, and I will always vote for him. But, depending on my concern, I may go to Licata, or Conlin, or any other council member. What interest would a council member have in speaking to someone from West Seattle, if she or he represented Ballard? Ward politics is not a good idea for Seattle.

    Comment by visitor — 1:17 am January 23, 2013 #

  2. Agree.

    Comment by Greenpeace — 4:58 am January 23, 2013 #

  3. Seattle is too big to have at-large districts. Right now, if you want to win your seat, you need tons of money for citywide media advertising (mailers, TV ads, radio, etc.). That means you have to fundraise constantly and you tend to be beholden to the developers and major corporations in the city who give you those funds. Right now, I don’t feel like I have a representative I can talk to at all. We’re one of the few cities our size or larger without districts, and it makes for a dynamic of nine “mayors” vs. one actual mayor that has not worked for some time.

    Comment by Mightymoh — 5:54 am January 23, 2013 #

  4. I’ve voted against this districting every time it came up. If West Seattle feels left out of things now, think what it would be like if six of the seven council members don’t have to care whether West Seattle votes for them.

    Comment by KatherineL — 8:09 am January 23, 2013 #

  5. I’m honestly shocked to read that there are people who believe West Seattle is being well-represented. I’d make the counter-argument that we have 7 people shucking responsibility and dodging our issues. Do you think that awful Deep-Bore Tunnel with ZERO downtown exits (specifically screwing W.S.’s commute) would have happened if we had a voice on the Council? Do you think the Rapid-Ride-branded bus service CUT would have gone down? We need a strong advocate leading the way, somebody who understands our issues AND HAS NO OTHER PURPOSE than advocating for those issues. We need a Councilmember to put us on the fast-track to having a subway line. Development is on fire but nobody is demanding these developers pay to mitigate the infrastructural strain they are causing to parking, congestion, etc. West Seattle is the red-headed stepchild of Seattle neighborhoods and one big part of that is having no serious, dedicated representation on the Council. (And it’s not just us, btw. Ballard gets screwed over all the time, too. Ballard needs a different voice advocating for them as well.)

    Comment by cascadianone — 8:48 am January 23, 2013 #

  6. wouldn’t each councilmember still chair certain committees? so you still go to them about issues that fall under the scope of their committee, right?

    Comment by sam-c — 8:50 am January 23, 2013 #

  7. Sam-c, assuming that each council member still chaired certain committees, the ward politics method of governing would be a mess. IF the Ballard council member got the parks committee, guess where all the parks improvements would go? And if not, do you think that council person would have any hope of being re-elected in Ballard. or Eastlake, or UDistrict, or whatever. This is a bad idea for Seattle. Divisive politics is not what Seattle is about.

    Comment by visitor — 12:41 pm January 23, 2013 #

  8. Where do I sign up as a signature collector? This is truly a wonderful idea. It simply makes sense that we should have leaders who know and understand the issues in their districts. I think that this will strenthen communities by giving voices to all corners of the city. I also beleive that it would foster greater communication and understanding between the council members and their constituency.

    Comment by Luap — 6:32 pm January 23, 2013 #

  9. I hereby second what “cascadianone” said!!!

    Comment by Ken T — 8:19 pm January 23, 2013 #

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