West Seattle politics 1426 results

VIDEO: Bob Hasegawa, Mike McGinn, Cary Moon @ West Seattle Chamber of Commerce mayoral forum

When the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s mayoral-candidates forum got going on Thursday night, only two of the original six RSVP’d candidates were on the stage at Youngstown Cultural Arts CenterCary Moon and Mike McGinn. Three had canceled earlier – Jenny Durkan and Jessyn Farrell had doublebooked and were at campaign events, Nikkita Oliver told the Chamber a personal situation had come up. But a third joined in: Bob Hasegawa, a state senator who had been kept late with legislative duty, bounded onto the stage about 17 minutes into the forum.

Pete Spalding, who chairs the Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee, moderated. You can see the entire hour-and-a-half forum in our unedited video above; what we have written below are key points of the questions and answers, but by no means complete transcriptions.

The forum began with opening statements:

CARY MOON – She started by saying she would snark about the candidates who didn’t show up except that she had bailed on the Sustainable West Seattle forum @ Summer Fest last Saturday (as had Durkan). She said that she is running to do something about the city becoming a place of haves and have-nots. It’s time to make a plan, “discuss it, own it,” she said, to solve problems “with bold solutions,” such as housing affordability.

MIKE McGINN – He started by complimenting the organizers on making the countdown timer more visible than in any forum he’d been to previously. He said that when he took office as mayor in 2009, the economy was in bad shape, but now, while it’s in good shape, he wants to “hold the line on regressive taxes” that he says the current city government seems to see as the solution to everything.

1st question: With all the taxes, and an increasing city budget, how do people know the money is going for what they intended it to go? Moon promised transparency and metrics. “Without that, how can we have public trust?” McGinn talked about “line-item’ing (levies) out to the greatest extent possible” – what are the timelines, what’s been spent, “what’s been produced to date.”

2nd question: What will you do to help small businesses grow and prosper?

Read More

HEADED TO NOVEMBER BALLOT: Countywide Veterans, Seniors, Human Services tax levy

The King County Council voted today to send the Veterans, Seniors, and Human Services property-tax levy to the November 7th ballot, after reducing the rate from 12 cents per $1,000 of assessed value to 10 cents, which is double the rate of the levy this one will replace. Here’s what the official county announcement says the money would go for:

Veterans: To plan, provide, administer and evaluate a wide range of regional health and human services and capital facilities for veterans and military servicemembers and their respective families.

Seniors and caregivers: To plan, provide, administer and evaluate a wide range of regional health and human services and capital facilities for seniors and their caregivers or to promote healthy aging in King County.

Vulnerable Populations: To plan, provide, administer and evaluate a wide range of regional health and human services and capital facilities for vulnerable populations.

You can read the documents related to the legislation – co-sponsored by our area’s County Councilmember Joe McDermott, who is also the council’s chair – by going here; the actual bill finalized today is here.

ONE WEEK FROM TONIGHT: Delridge Neighborhoods District Council forum with City Council candidates

With two weeks left to vote, the mayoral candidates seem to be everywhere (and will be back in West Seattle this Thursday). But that’s not the only choice you’ll be making. At-large (citywide) City Council Positions 8 and 9 have long lists of contenders too – and one week from tonight, 7-9 pm, you’ll be able to see many of the candidates at a forum presented by the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council. The announcement from DNDC chair Mat McBride:

This forum is intended to engage and inform the residents of the West Seattle Peninsula, who comprise roughly 1/7th of Seattle’s total voting population. This event is open to the public and the media.

The format is intentionally very simple – each candidate will be given 5 minutes and a microphone to present their platform. There will be no audience or panel questions during presentations, and once all presentations have finished candidates will be able to mingle with the audience. Snacks and non-alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase, and an area will be set aside for adults who are accompanied by children.

Who: Seattle City Council Position 8 and 9 candidates
What: Candidate forum – 5 minute presentation followed by mingling with prospective constituents
Where: Highland Park Improvement Club – 1116 SW Holden
Why: Because voters shouldn’t look at a ballot and say “I have no idea who this is”

Within a day or so, we should have a list of who’s RSVP’d so far, and we’ll add it here.

ELECTION 2017: Voting begins, and other notes

Ballots are arriving in the mail, so primary-election voting has begun. Five notes:

IMG_1943
(2016 photo, shared by High Point Library)

BALLOT DROPBOX OPEN: As of today, the dropboxes around King County are open, 24 hours a day until 8 pm Tuesday, August 1st, the primary-election voting deadline, no postage required. Here’s the location list; in our area, the nearest ones at the High Point (35th SW/SW Raymond) and White Center (1409 SW 107th) libraries. (If you’re in unincorporated North Highline south of WC, one’s been added at the Boulevard Park library.)

SWSHS ON ‘ACCESS FOR ALL’: There’s only one ballot measure in our area – King County Proposition 1, “Sales Tax for Access to Cultural Programs.” This would raise the county sales tax one-tenth of one percent for seven years to “expand access to arts, science, and heritage programming …” The Southwest Seattle Historical Society announced this week that its board recently voted to officially endorse it – and explains why here.

COVERAGE OF LAST NIGHT’S ENDORSEMENT: Speaking of endorsements, we covered the exhaustive process last night that put this area’s largest political organization, the 34th District Democrats, on the record as supporting two candidates for mayor. (Our report includes many other notes, including an update from our area’s school-board director Leslie Harris.)

(Yes, really, 21 candidates. This is a photo of our just-received ballot)

CANDIDATES AT SUMMER FEST ON SATURDAY: Another reminder – 2 pm Saturday (July 15th) in Junction Plaza Park (42nd/Alaska), see up to 16 (as RSVP’d so far) of the 21 mayoral candidates in the Sustainable West Seattle-presented forum that we’re moderating. We’re going to do our best to keep it moving, so drop in even if you only have a few minutes.

CITY COUNCIL FORUM COMING UP: The ballot also asks you to pick two City Councilmembers – citywide Positions 8 and 9. No incumbent for Position 8 – there are eight contenders; the seven Position 9 candidates include incumbent Lorena González. If you want to wait to see some of them in person first, set aside the evening of July 25th, when the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council is planning a forum – more details soon.

On 4th vote, 34th District Democrats endorse Bob Hasegawa, Jessyn Farrell for mayor

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

It took more than an hour and four rounds of voting tonight for the 34th District Democrats to decide who they are supporting for mayor.

The result: A dual endorsement for Bob Hasegawa and Jessyn Farrell. Hasegawa got the most votes in each round, but never the required supermajority.

At the start of the endorsement consideration, four candidates were nominated for consideration – besides Hasegawa and Farrell, members stood up to nominate Jenny Durkan and Cary Moon. The four nominees were in turn from a total of 8 eligible (declared Democrats, though the position is nonpartisan) – the other four, not nominated by anyone, were Michael Harris, Mike McGinn, James Norton, and Jason Roberts.

Here’s how it unfolded (followed by what else happened at tonight’s meeting at The Hall at Fauntleroy): Read More

VIDEO: 4 mayoral candidates @ Admiral Neighborhood Association

Most of tonight’s Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting was focused on the Seattle mayor’s race, with four candidates speaking and taking questions. We recorded them on video, above – first, Gary Brose; second, Casey Carlisle; third, Greg Hamilton; fourth, Larry Oberto. Each was given up to five minutes to make a statement, and then questions continued for close to an hour. (Sorry about the lighting, or lack of it – ANA meets in a low-lit room at The Sanctuary at Admiral – the clip works best if you just listen to it in the background.)

WHAT’S AHEAD: King County Elections mails ballots tomorrow, so primary-election voting is about to start (deadline is August 1st, and that’s when vote-counting will begin). 21 candidates in all are running for mayor; see them all here. You have at least two more chances to see multiple mayoral candidates in West Seattle – 16 of the 21 candidates have RSVP’d for the Sustainable West Seattle-presented forum that we’re moderating at Summer Fest this Saturday, 2 pm, in Junction Plaza Park; six candidates will be at the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s transportation/business-issues forum at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center on July 20th (mingling 6:15 pm, forum 6:45 pm).

SEATTLE MAYORAL ELECTION 2017: 3 West Seattle events this week

By week’s end, your primary-election ballot should arrive – King County Elections plans to mail ballots on Wednesday. Three election-related events are coming up this week in West Seattle:

MAYORAL CANDIDATES AT ADMIRAL NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: Tuesday night at 7 pm, ANA’s meeting will include three of the 21 mayoral hopefuls, as just announced by president Larry Wymer:

Gary Brose
Casey Carlisle
Harley Lever

All are welcome at the meeting, at The Sanctuary at Admiral (42nd SW/SW Lander).

TUESDAY UPDATE: Greg Hamilton and Larry Oberto also have RSVP’d, so now that’s five.

34TH DISTRICT DEMOCRATS’ MAYORAL ENDORSEMENT: Last month, our area’s biggest political organization had a mayoral forum with nine candidates (here’s our coverage, with video). But the 34th Dems did not take an official endorsement vote. We’re told they’re planning on one at this month’s meeting, 7 pm Wednesday at The Hall at Fauntleroy (9131 California SW).

MAYORAL FORUM AT SUMMER FEST GREENLIFE: And another reminder, Sustainable West Seattle is hosting a forum with mayoral candidates (we don’t have the final list yet) at 2 pm Saturday, during the SWS-presented GreenLife section of West Seattle Summer Fest. Got a question you’d like to see us (we’re moderating) ask? Post it here. All welcome at Junction Plaza Park (42nd/Alaska).

YOUR NEXT MAYOR: Candidate forum at West Seattle Summer Fest GreenLife on July 15. What would YOU ask?

Next week, the ballots go out, and the longest list of options you’ll see on yours is the 21-candidate field for Seattle Mayor – this is the order in which they appear on the King County Elections website:

Cary Moon
Harley Lever
Michael Harris
Keith J. Whiteman
Jessyn Farrell
Dave Kane
Thom Gunn
Gary E. Brose
Mike McGinn
Jenny Durkan
Jason Roberts
Tiniell Cato
Alex Tsimerman
James W. Norton, Jr.
Larry Oberto
Casey Carlisle
Lewis A. Jones
Nikkita Oliver
Mary J. Martin
Greg Hamilton
Bob Hasegawa

If you’re still deciding which one will get your primary-election vote – be at West Seattle Summer Fest‘s GreenLife stage on Saturday, July 15th, at 2 pm, for the next local mayoral-candidate forum. Sustainable West Seattle is organizing the forum; your editor here is moderating it; and the questions will come from your suggestions – starting now, in the comment section below this announcement. As Stu Hennessey of SWS says, “Not all questions can be used, but all questions are important.” GreenLife will be in Junction Plaza Park (42nd/Alaska) for this year’s festival, so that’s where we’ll see you for the forum a week from Saturday!

VIDEO: Full Council to vote on income tax Monday after committee approval today

That’s the archived video of this morning’s meeting of the City Council’s Affordable Housing, Neighborhoods, & Finance Committee, which voted unanimously for CB 119002, the “income tax on high-income residents.” The five councilmembers present and voting were committee chair Tim Burgess, the bill’s sponsors Lisa Herbold and Kshama Sawant, Sally Bagshaw, and Mike O’Brien. That sets up a final vote by the full Council next Monday morning (July 10th). You can see the full bill here; its key points: “a tax on individual residents with total income above $250,000 per year ($500,000 for joint filers) …” The tax would be levied only on the income beyond that amount, not on the first $250K (individual) or $500K (joint). The income beyond those amounts would be taxed by the city at 2.25 percent. Here’s what the bill says the money would go toward:

All receipts from the tax levied in this Chapter 5.65 shall be restricted in use and shall be used only for the following purposes: (1) lowering the property tax burden and the impact of other regressive taxes; (2) addressing the homelessness crisis; (3) providing affordable housing, education, and transit; (4) replacing federal funding potentially lost through federal budget cuts, including funding for mental health and public health services; (5) creating green jobs and meeting carbon reduction goals; and (6) administering and implementing the tax levied by this Chapter 5.65.

The big question remains, what happens after the full council vote, considering that an income tax is against state law? City leaders say they’re ready to fight anyone who sues, thinking that it could lead to a ruling changing state law.

VIDEO: Commenters at City Hall public hearing plead for more time to review the thick HALA MHA Draft Environmental Impact Statement

(WSB video of the entire hearing, unedited)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

At Wednesday night’s public hearing about the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Housing Affordability and Livability Act’s Mandatory Housing Affordability component, the most common comment was “give us more time to read, analyze, and react to it.”

The decision on that would have to be made by Seattle Office of Planning and Community Development director Sam Assefa, his staff said at meeting’s end, by which time he was not in sight, though he had given the introduction. OPCD’s Geoff Wendlandt offered that they weren’t likely to extend the July 23 deadline.

There also were several complaints that the hearing was not being broadcast by Seattle Channel (prompting a few people to ask us afterward where they would find our video).

37 people commented in almost an hour and a half. That was preceded by the classic open-house setup, with summaries on walls and easels around the room, listing points you otherwise would have to pull out of the 462-page DEIS, toplines of the alternatives it looked at, which propose different paces and types of rezoning and growth.

Toplines of what was said: Read More

ELECTION 2017: Monday’s your deadline to register to vote in August primary

June 29, 2017 11:54 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle politics

21 candidates for Seattle Mayor (and no, there won’t be a 22nd), eight for City Council Position 8, seven for City Council Position 7, two for City Attorney, plus King County and Port of Seattle races, and the Access for All” sales-tax increase. Want to help decide them all? If you’re not already set to vote in the August 1st primary (voting actually starts in about two weeks, when ballots arrive), Monday (July 3) is your deadline. Here’s how.

VIDEO: 6 mayoral candidates @ West Seattle Democratic Women

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

With less than three weeks remaining until King County Elections mails your primary ballot, do you know which of the 21 mayoral candidates you’re voting for?

We’re covering all the West Seattle forums, including the latest one presented today by the West Seattle Democratic Women, during their monthly meeting in the WS Golf Course banquet room.

First, if you’d like to watch/listen, here’s our unedited video of the entire hour-and-a-third forum featuring six candidates:

Ahead, text highlights of what they were asked and how they replied, as voting time approaches:

Read More

NEXT MAYORAL FORUM: Next Thursday @ West Seattle Democratic Women

June 15, 2017 9:31 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle politics

Missed last night’s mayoral candidates’ forum at the 34th District Democrats (WSB coverage here)? The next one in West Seattle is just a week away – next Thursday, June 22nd, 11:45 am, at the general meeting of the West Seattle Democratic Women. WSDW chair Rachel Glass says they’re expecting at least five of the 21 candidates – RSVPs are still coming in: “This is a chance to get up close and personal with the people who are seeking to be the next Executive leader of our city.” The group meets at 11:45 am at the West Seattle Golf Course, following, she adds, “an optional pre-meeting group discussion led by Theresa McCormick at 10:30 am. You may order lunch ($13.50 for members; $15 for non-members, or if you don’t want lunch, a room charge of $5.00 includes coffee/tea and dessert). The length of the event would be about 90 minutes.” If you want to reserve a spot, RSVP to Rachel ASAP at werdachel@aol.com and let her know if you plan to have lunch, since they need to order in advance.

VIDEO: Jessyn Farrell wins ‘mayoral showdown’ @ 34th District Democrats

June 15, 2017 7:29 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle politics


(WSB photos and video by Patrick Sand. **Recognize the candidates? IDs at end of story)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Nine candidates showed up for the 34th District Democrats‘ mayoral showdown.

By night’s end, there was a showdown winner – but not an endorsee, as the group decided not to take a formal vote (yet, anyway).

Like most epic events, it began with the national anthem:

That’s tenor José Iñiguez. (The meeting usually starts with the Pledge of Allegiance.)

Some other business ensued before the mayoral forum that began with nine and was whittled to one – the candidates had to get here from another forum across town. But we’ll get to those other items later.

MAYORAL FORUM: 34th Dems chair David Ginsberg prefaced it with, “When we planned the agenda for the spring, we didn’t expect the mayor’s race to be hotly contested” – no one could have foreseen Mayor Ed Murray dropping out; they thought City Council Position 8 would be the real battle. Ginsberg reiterated that all 21 candidates were welcome to participate at least at the start of the event. .

The 34th’s Chris Porter moderated. First, each of the nine got to give an introduction:

Read More

ELECTION 2017: Update – 34th District Democrats’ mayoral forum Wednesday

ORIGINAL REPORT, 3:47 PM SUNDAY: The primary election is approaching quickly – King County Elections will mail ballots on July 12th, just one month from tomorrow. This Wednesday night, a mayoral-candidates forum is in the spotlight at the 34th District Democrats‘ monthly meeting, and the group says all 21 candidates will participate as it begins – brief introductions, answers to a question drawn at random, and then the crowd will decide which candidates they want to hear more from, as the process moves toward an endorsement by night’s end. 7 pm Wednesday (June 14th), The Hall at Fauntleroy (9131 California SW).

MONDAY NIGHT UPDATE: 34th DDs chair David Ginsberg tells WSB that “incorrect information was posted to our Facebook page (it has since been updated). While all candidates are welcome to participate, we will not likely see all 21 candidates for Mayor in attendance on Wednesday. At this point I would expect the number in attendance to be closer to 7.” So far, he says, these candidates have confirmed they’ll be there:

Jenny Durkan (D)
Jessyn Farrell (D)
Senator Bob Hasegawa (D)
Mike McGinn (D)
Cary Moon (D)
Jason Roberts (D)
Keith Whiteman (no party information available)

HALA REZONING: Digging into the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, part 1

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

If you want to settle into the weekend with a little light reading, consider the 460+ pages of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda‘s Mandatory Housing Affordability component (let’s just call it the HALA MHA DEIS for short).

Since it officially went public on Thursday, we’ve been looking through the HALA MHA DEIS in order to present the first in a series of “what you need to know about it” – or, ways to wade through it – reports, rather than just slapping up a news release and a link and moving on. While the comment period runs a month and a half, its marquee event – a City Hall public hearing – is only three weeks away.

The Draft EIS is the next major step in the process we have been closely covering since last October, when the draft maps showing proposed rezoning appeared online. The point of HALA MHA is to require developers to set aside a certain percentage of their projects as affordable housing, or to pay a fee into a city fund that will pay for affordable housing somewhere else. In exchange, zoning increases to give them more capacity – on average, an extra floor. But other proposed changes are more complex, such as upzoning all single-family areas in urban villages, and expanding urban-village boundaries in some areas (the West Seattle Junction Hub Urban Village is proposed for some of this). Read More

VIDEO: Lisa Herbold lone ‘no’ vote as City Council passes beverage tax

(Seattle Channel video of this afternoon’s meeting, with public comment starting 14 minutes in, bill consideration 58 minutes in)

West Seattle/South Park City Councilmember Lisa Herbold was the only “no” vote this afternoon as the council passed the so-called “sugary beverages” tax – officially known as an ordinance “imposing a tax on engaging in the business of distributing sweetened beverages.” Herbold said she isn’t opposed to the concept of the tax but today she tried again to lower it and expand its scope – and again, like last Friday, she couldn’t get a majority of the rest of the council to go along with her. The tax was originally proposed by Mayor Ed Murray, who plans to sign it at a ceremony tomorrow morning. It won final approval 7-1 (Councilmember Kshama Sawant, who voted against it in committee last week along with Herbold, was absent).

THE DETAILS: According to council staff via Twitter, the bill would tax distributors at one and three-quarters cents per beverage ounce for those with $5 million+ income, one cent per beverage ounce for $2 million-$5 million income, those with income under $2 million exempt. But spokesperson Dana Robinson Slote says the full text of the bill “won’t be official until tomorrow morning, when all amendments are integrated by staff.”

MONDAY: Beverage tax goes to full City Council

One of tomorrow’s big stories will be whatever happens when the full City Council takes up the proposed “sweetened-beverage tax” at its 2 pm meeting. Our area’s City Councilmember Lisa Herbold tried last week to cut it from one and three-quarters cents per ounce to one cent per ounce, and include “diet” beverages, saying that combination would still raise more money than the higher tax without “diet” beverages. But her proposals didn’t get committee approval, and she voted “no” on the tax as currently proposed. Herbold still tried to make her case one more time in her weekly newsletter/blog post. Will any of her colleagues change their mind? We’ll likely find out tomorrow. Meantime, the Seattle City Council Insight website breaks down why the bill is being pushed toward a final vote tomorrow, days after its non-unanimous committee passage – saying it’s related to the timing of a an expected referendum if the tax passes. Here’s the agenda for tomorrow’s 2 pm meeting at City Hall, which will have a public-comment period, and will be live on Seattle Channel.

HALA REZONING: Council briefed on ‘community design workshops,’ gets newest timeline

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The next milestone in the process of shaping the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda component known as Mandatory Housing Affordability will come next week.

That’s when the draft Environmental Impact Statement will be made public, the City Council was told this morning.

That announcement came from Office of Planning and Community Development‘s Sara Maxana, a key staffer working on HALA, toward the end of a council briefing on the Community Design Workshops held in the city’s 17 urban villages as part of the HALA MHA feedback process.

Councilmember Rob Johnson‘s office organized the workshops, and this morning’s briefing featured his staff’s point person for them, Spencer Williams, as well as John Howell from Cedar River Group, one of the consulting firms that facilitated them, along with Makers Architects. The slide deck above is the summary of what they say they heard in the workshops (and it’s here in PDF).

We monitored this morning’s briefing and discussion via Seattle Channel; here’s the video – the briefing starts about 43 minutes in:

West Seattle’s design workshops were held for each of the four WS urban villages:Read More

VIDEO: City Council committee briefed on gun violence, hours after deadly Alki shooting


(Tuesday night photo by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Just after 9 am Tuesday, we noted here that a City Council committee had scheduled a briefing today about gun violence.

Just before 9 pm Tuesday, West Seattle’s second shooting in three days took the life of a 23-year-old man.

This morning’s briefing ended a little over an hour ago, and while much of it was focused on citywide trends, prepared long before the deadly shots last night on Alki Beach, councilmembers did ask repeatedly about the case and what will be done to try to prevent more violence and to reach out to neighbors.

The stats regarding the number of gunfire incidents/shootings are through May 15th, councilmembers were told. So that does not include the two West Seattle shootings in the past three days – Sunday in High Point, last night on Alki.

About the deadly shooting itself. SPD management at the briefing said the same thing that had been sent out as an SPD Blotter update earlier in the morning – it’s not believed to be random. Some sort of confrontation preceded it, with a large group in the area “because it was a nice day.”

West Seattle/South Park Councilmember Lisa Herbold – not a member of the committee but in attendance – asked about plans for increased patroling on Alki. The main part of the answer: Bicycle patroling was being stepped up.

She also asked about use of the mobile precinct – after years without one, the SW Precinct got its own in late 2015 (WSB file photo above) – and how that’s decided. It’s up to the precinct commander, she was told.

At that point, we messaged SW Precinct leadership and talked with Operations Lt. Ron Smith. The mobile precinct has spent some time on Alki already this year, he said, but they have to balance it with deployment to our area’s other trouble spots – Westwood, Roxhill Park, Don Armeni Boat Ramp (last weekend), South Park, among others.

Councilmember Lorena González, the West Seattle-residing at-large councilmember who chairs the committee that was briefed today, said she had heard good things about the mobile precinct’s use and wondered about its funding and staffing. She also asked what SPD’s plans are regarding reaching out to neighbors and others worried about what happened last night and about safety in general. She referred to a woman who had spoken about the Alki shooting, emotionally, during the public-comment period at the start of the meeting.

The response started out with a mention of Community Police Team outreach and eventually circled around to a suggestion that SPD could call a community meeting to provide information and answer concerns. And what we hear at every police briefing at neighborhood meetings was reiterated – call 911 if you see something that makes you “feel uncomfortable … we need to come out and see what’s going on.”

Again, this briefing was scheduled long before what happened last night, and was more intended to address a wave of shootings in the South Precinct jurisdiction earlier this year, as well as citywide trends. Toplines on that included SPD reps saying that Seattle’s violent-crime rate is lower than it was a few years ago – same number of incidents, more residents.

But the number of gunfire incidents this year is higher than previous years, and here’s some of what’s being done to address that:

SPD says they’re looking at “street segments” where there are repeated problems and trying to analyze how to address it – for example, one such location somewhere in the city was a convenience store, so they were looking at talking with the business owner about better lighting. (There’s no grant money to help with that, so far as SPD knows, though – that was noted in response to a question.) Somewhere else in the city, a house that was repeatedly fired at was once the home of gang members, and though they had moved, their “opponents” continued to go by and shoot at it.

What about public perception that safety could be improved by police visibility in known trouble spots? Herbold asked. SPD says they do ask officers to drive through such areas, spend “down time” in such areas. Data-gathering is a big part of their effort to reduce the problem. So is regional collaboration to put what happens into context and try to prevent future instances, and the recognition that some of the trouble stems from people “coming into and out of our city.”

Collaboration with other agencies includes tracing shells/firearms with help of ATF.

Video of the entire briefing should be available via Seattle Channel‘s video archives by day’s end, and we’ll embed it here when it is. (Added: Here’s the video.)

We’ve also asked the Southwest Precinct for any additional details of what’s planned in terms of a presence on Alki for the upcoming holiday weekend, which is likely to be a busy one at the beach with sunshine predicted to return starting Friday and continuing into next week.

ELECTION 2017: November vote sought for retitled Veterans, Seniors, and Human Services Levy

What is known right now as the Veterans and Human Services Levy will become the Veterans, Seniors, and Human Services Levy before voters around King County are asked to renew it this November. The announcement came today from County Executive Dow Constantine, noting that this is a one-of-a-kind program:

No other county in the United States has a voter-approved levy of the same scale or scope that is dedicated to serving veterans, active service members, and their families. For more than a decade, it has helped veterans succeed by connecting them with housing, employment and treatment.

So what exactly does/would the levy pay for? Here’s a three-page PDF fact sheet from the county. And here’s the summary of its cost:

The rate would be 12 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. For the owner of an average home in King County – currently about $450,000 – that would mean an increase of about $3 per month, going from $1.50 per month to $4.50 per month.

You can read the full announcement by going here.

ELECTION 2017: The West Seattleite who says she’s NOT running for mayor

Filing week continues – and one West Seattleite has just announced that she’s NOT running for mayor. Persistent rumor had it that Councilmember Lorena González, a Junction resident, would jump in, after Mayor Murray bowed out, but she just sent this statement to media organizations including us:

After speaking with my family and much consideration, I have decided to not enter the Seattle Mayor’s race in 2017. While being the Mayor of Seattle would be an incredible honor, I remain focused on the work we have yet to accomplish on the Seattle City Council. Over the next four years, I am uniquely positioned to continue protecting our immigrant and refugee families and championing paid family and medical leave, police reform and housing affordability. I am humbled by the incredible outpouring of support and encouragement to consider this opportunity but I instead will redouble my efforts on the Seattle City Council as a citywide representative in Position 9.

The countywide list of “who’s filed so far” shows she’s officially filed for re-election to that role. No one else has filed for Position 9 yet, but the deadline’s not until Friday; six others have campaigns registered with the city.

VIDEO: First mayoral candidate to announce in West Seattle – Greg Hamilton

Almost directly across the street from where Mayor Murray announced last week that he would not run for re-election, a new candidate announced tonight that he’s in the race. Greg Hamilton is an entrepreneur and military veteran who served in the Special Forces (his biography is here) and says he wants to “save Seattle.” He is the first candidate to make his announcement in West Seattle – it happened at Pegasus Pizza, where we talked with him for a few minutes:

P.S. This is official “filing week” for mayor of Seattle and many other offices around King County, through Friday; you can check here to see who has filed so far; 14 mayoral candidates had registered campaigns with the city through today (not yet including Hamilton), and they are listed here.

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