West Seattle politics 1414 results

NEXT MAYORAL FORUM: Next Thursday @ West Seattle Democratic Women

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

(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.

VIDEO: 34th District Democrats make City Council endorsements, and more

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

This area’s largest political organization is now on record with more endorsements for the August primary. Last night’s meeting of the 34th District Democrats at The Hall at Fauntleroy included a sole endorsement for the much-contested Seattle City Council Position 8, in a process that wound up spanning two meetings.

SEATTLE COUNCIL POSITION 8 ENDORSEMENT: Chair David Ginsberg said it’s been determined since the April meeting (WSB coverage here) that the first Position 8 vote didn’t follow the organization’s rules – the slate of candidates included a non-Democrat).

Then last night, though he was nominated for endorsement, that same candidate, Jon Grant, was again ruled ineligible since he is running as an “independent Democratic Socialist.” That left three endorsees – Teresa Mosqueda, Hisam Goueli, and Sara Nelson. There also was a proposal for “no endorsement,” advocated by Chas Redmond.

Mosqueda won with 60 votes of the 94 credentialed 34th DD members on hand at that point. Read More

VIDEO: Mayor Murray announces at Alki Bathhouse that he will not run for re-election

(Added 12:09 pm: Unedited video of the mayor’s 9-minute speech)

10:29 AM: We’re at Alki Bathhouse, where Mayor Murray has just taken the stage.

(Front of the room, moments before the mayor arrived)
We’re told he will not take questions after making his statement. He begins, “I’m happy to be back home in Alki, where I spent my childhood … Alki is my favorite place on this planet. I’m happy to be back .. where it all began. I’m happy to be back here, a poor kid from this neighborhood who never even heard the word ‘gay’.” He says he’s “standing here before you as your mayor” and gets applause – a round of which greeted his arrival.

He is detailing achievements, starting with transportation, including the Viaduct/tunnel. “I’m happy to have been here, and to have been in the (state) House … and I’m happy after a 29-year battle to have passed the (LGBTQ) civil-rights bill.” More applause.

He continues to run through highlights of his career. “I’m happy to have been part of some remarkable achievements … from the civil-rights bill to the ring I wear on my finger.” Husband Michael Shiosaki is standing at his left. Murray’s voice is breaking a bit. “… We together have made progress as a city,” he continues.

(One minute of the mayor’s speech just before confirming he won’t run for re-election)

He is withdrawing as a candidate for mayor, he said at 10:34 am. He says the mayor’s race must focus on the future, and the “scandal” – referring to the lawsuit accusing him of sexually abusing minors decades ago – is making that impossible. He says it is hurting this city, as well as hurting him and his husband.

But, he says, deciding not to run for “the best job in politics – mayor of the city of Seattle – this career that has been my life” is painful. “It tears me to pieces to step away, but I believe it is in the best interest of this city that I love.”

… “I plan to remain mayor of this city until the end of my term, and I will be just as active (then as before). … As I have said in my final State of the City address, we cannot wait, Seattle cannot wait, we must continue moving forward.” And he thanks those who have stood by him for years, volunteers, family, friends. “I thank you for your support and your love .. and to the people of Seattle, thank you for the opportunity to serve you and this great city … It has been the absolute absolute opportunity of a lifetime.”

10:42 AM: The mayor has finished his remarks, and as an assistant told us beforehand, did not stay for questions. He left the stage after hugs and applause:

So who WILL be on the August 1st primary ballot? Next week is the official filing week for candidates, but 11 – besides Murray – have already filed campaign notices with the city – see them here – and we’ve heard of at least two more who aren’t listed there.

11:31 AM: We are back at HQ, uploading our video with the mayor’s entire statement, and we’ll be adding a few photos too. Here is the news release just published on the city website; it’s been one month and two days since the Seattle Times published first word of the lawsuit against the mayor.

While the mayor left right after his statement, some of those who stood behind him and along the walls inside the Bathhouse went outside and mingled a while in the sunshine, some doing TV interviews.

Mayor Murray to make announcement on Alki this morning

Yes, for those who are asking, Mayor Murray‘s office has just confirmed (via an advisory e-mailed to news media including us) that he will “make an announcement at 10:30 this morning at Alki Beach.” What that announcement will be, lots of rumors, nothing official. It’s been a month since he was sued with allegations of sexually abusing minors decades ago. Since then, he has continued to insist he’ll stay in office and run for a second term; the official filing period isn’t until next week. Why Alki? The mayor has an affinity for this area, having lived here for a while in childhood, and also, he noted after his election in 2013 that he had the largest margin of victory in this area. We’ll be there for the announcement.

FOLLOWUP: ‘Access for All’ sales tax will be on August 1st ballot

As a result of a 7-2 King County Council vote tonight, the “Access for All” tenth-of-a-percent sales-tax increase is headed for the August 1st ballot. This comes two months after King County Executive Dow Constantine sent the proposal to the council, which at one point mulled shelving it. If approved by voters, it will add one penny of tax to every $10 you spend in King County, and that is expected to raise $67 million a year for about 350 arts, science, and heritage organizations, as described in the original announcement. County Council Chair Joe McDermott, who represents our area on the council, is a co-sponsor of the proposal; tonight’s two “no” votes were Councilmembers Larry Gossett and Dave Upthegrove.

VIDEO: City income-tax resolution gets unanimous council OK. So now what?

3:36 PM: A short time ago, the Seattle City Council unanimously passed a resolution supporting the idea of a “high-earner income tax,” co-sponsored by West Seattle/South Park Councilmember Lisa Herbold and Council President Bruce Harrell. Since it was a resolution, not legislation, all this means is that they like the idea – nothing actually happens until and unless a bill is drafted and approved. The resolution sets a goal of making that happen by mid-summer.

If you’re interested in more information about what could and might happen, a group called Trump-Proof Seattle has a town-hall meeting this Thursday in West Seattle – not a city-convened event, but Councilmember Herbold will be there – 6 pm May 4th, at Olympic Hall on the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus. That organization is proposing a tax it says would be “affecting only the wealthiest 5% of households … 1.5% on income in excess of $250K.” The council resolution expresses support of that, but city legislation has yet to be drafted, and “legal viability” is a big question. We’ll update this report later with video from this afternoon’s meeting.

3:51 PM: Video now added above.

Who’s running for Seattle mayor, so far? More than you’ve heard

So you’ve probably heard by now that former Mayor Mike McGinn wants that title again. He announced it this morning with this tweet:

… and then invited reporters to his Greenwood home at midmorning to find out more. (We were on the list but couldn’t go. Pick your favorite citywide source for details.)

Though citywide media has focused on just a few candidates, even before McGinn’s announcement, nine campaigns were registered with the city Ethics and Elections Commission. They are, in alphabetical order, with links to campaign websites when we could find them, so you can learn a bit about who they are and what they want to do:

Casey Carlisle
David Ishii
Mary Juanita Martin
Ed Murray (incumbent)
Nikkita Oliver
Jason Roberts
Andres Solomon
Alex Tsimerman
Keith Whiteman

None listed a West Seattle address with the city, at least for the campaign. The two who don’t seem to have websites, Ishii and Martin, also ran in 2013; Ishii dropped out before the primary, in which Martin received 1.06% of the vote, far behind Murray with 30% and McGinn with 29% (in the 2013 general, Murray won with 52% to McGinn’s 47%).

While those listed above have registered their campaigns, the official candidacy-filing period is still four weeks away – to get onto the August 1st primary ballot, candidates will have to file with King County during the week of May 15 through 19. Top two vote-getters in the primary advance to the November 7th general.

VIDEO: 34th District Democrats host Rep. Jayapal, City Council Position 8 ‘showdown’

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The 34th District Democrats‘ forum for Seattle City Council Position 8 had a winner – but did not result in an endorsement, for now.

The forum, billed as a “showdown,” was the almost-three-hour meeting’s main event, though U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal‘s appearance – which punctuated the candidates’ forum, because of her time constraints – brought down the house. So we’ll start with her – here’s our video:

Rep. Jayapal said the Democrats are not a “minority party” but rather an “opposition party” right now. She explained that the transition into her new role has been easier than she expected because the focus has been on immigration and health care, two issues she has long worked on. She also talked about the health-care bill that was scrapped, calling it really “a tax bill” with tax breaks for the richest Americans that at one point carried a “trillion dollars” in breaks. “It was really hard to sit there in committee and hear about all these people who ‘didn’t deserve to have health care’.” While she hailed the victory in getting the bill pulled, “don’t think that it’s over,” she warned, and said that goes for other issues, such as privatizing Social Security. She said she’s signed onto the “Medicare for All” bill. And she said that it’s important to “fix what needs to be fixed.” Overall, our area is “the moral conscience of the country,” she declared. But she also said there are some Republicans “who want to work on immigration reform” so there is some hope on that issue, “working on a proactive solution as well as all the things that we are fighting against.”

Regarding the Syrian situation, “it was unconstitutional for the president to do what he did with that strike … You cannot bomb your way to peace; that is my belief. … We were all devastated by the images we saw, but if you care about those kids,” let refugees in, she said. She also criticized the proposed budget for “cut(ting) everything that you care about.” She said an “educational campaign” is planned to explain to people what’s in the budget. “It’s a horrible horrible budget for all of us, for the entire United States.” Overall, she urged people, “stay engaged … As a longtime organizer, I believe that strength emerges in times of crisis … We are in a fight for the soul of this country.” It was noted that she has a Town Hall on Vashon Island tomorrow night (“and we already have an overflow room!” someone pointed out).

Last but not least, Rep. Jayapal delighted the locals by saying she is hoping to move to West Seattle within the next six months – which means, she pointed out, she will officially live in the 7th District. (She currently lives just outside its boundaries, in Columbia City.)

Now, to the forum for Seattle City Council Position 8, the at-large position that has no incumbent because Councilmember Tim Burgess is not running for re-election. Read More

UPDATE: County Council’s budget chair shelves County Executive’s arts-access tax

3:36 PM: One month after County Executive Dow Constantine proposed a sales-tax increase to pay for increased arts/culture access, the County Council’s budget chair says he’s shelved it. South King County-representing Councilmember Dave Upthegrove pulled the proposal from the agenda for a committee meeting tomorrow, “effectively killing” it, according to a subsequent news release, which quotes Upthegrove as saying, “This is the wrong proposal at the wrong time. As currently configured, the funding is distributed in an unfair manner that hurts, rather than helps, our efforts to achieve equity.” He says he’d be willing to reconsider it next year.

5:16 PM: Responding to our request for comment from or on behalf of Constantine, Deputy County Executive Sung Yang told WSB that the executive is not giving up hope of getting it onto the August ballot. He noted that three councilmembers co-sponsored it, and that there’s still time to take action by May 1st to let voters decide its fate in August.

ELECTION 2017: See all ten Seattle City Council Position 8 candidates @ 34th District Democrats tomorrow

Both at-large (citywide) positions on the Seattle City Council will be on the ballot this fall. One – Position 9 – has an incumbent, West Seattle resident Councilmember Lorena González, and two challengers so far. The other – Position 8 – is open, since Councilmember Tim Burgess isn’t running for re-election. So far, 10 people have filed to run for that seat, and you can see and hear from all 10 of them at Wednesday night’s 34th District Democrats meeting. An endorsement vote is expected afterward. The organization also is scheduled to hear from 7th Congressional District U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal. Tomorrow night’s meeting starts at 6:30 pm (program @ 7) at The Hall at Fauntleroy (9131 California SW).

P.S. Everybody campaigning for city offices so far this year is listed here.

VIDEO: King County Executive Dow Constantine launches second re-election campaign

Tuesday morning, King County Executive Dow Constantine watched Bertha’s breakthrough with other VIPs at the north end of the future Highway 99 tunnel. Tuesday night in West Seattle, he launched his second re-election campaign. Here’s what he told the crowd:

(WSB photos and video by Leda Costa)

As you can hear about 11 and a half minutes in, the event at The Hall at Fauntleroy drew protesters as well as supporters. Some held signs outside.

For months, there’s been a campaign to try to convince Constantine to cancel a county project that includes a new youth-detention center. He issued a statement two months ago saying “zero youth detention” is a goal to work toward, but the project, approved by voters five years ago, is proceeding. (As you can hear in the video, his speech also addressed the issue before the interruption, saying his administration had been reducing “disproportionality” in the system.)

Meantime, his second re-election campaign since moving from the County Council to the Executive position in 2009 is starting without anyone actively campaigning against him so far – the main opponents he cited last night were the Republicans in the White House and Congress. “The last seven years have seen some challenges and some successes,” he said. “But the next four years … are going to be a fight.” Even without an opponent, the state Public Disclosure Commission website shows he’s raised $1.1 million in campaign contributions.

Will West Seattle have a voice on new Renters’ Commission? Time to apply!

The official call has gone out this morning for volunteers to serve on the city’s newly created Renters’ Commission. Here’s the announcement:

Established by ordinance in March, the SRC will advise the City on policies and issues of interest to renters citywide.

The Commission is composed of 15 members – six are appointed by City Council, six are appointed by the Mayor, and one position will be filled by a young adult through the Get Engaged program. Two positions are selected by the SRC once established. Commissioners will serve without compensation.

The SRC will consist of people living in an array of rental housing types, including students, low-income renters, LGBTQ renters, people with past felony convictions, people in subsidized housing, and those who have experienced homelessness. It’s also expected that members be geographically representative of Seattle. SRC meetings will be open to the public.

Those interested in being considered should complete the online application by Monday, May 1 by 5 p.m. If you cannot submit the application online, contact Seferiana Day at 206-684-8806 and an application will be mailed to you, or you can pick one up at the Seattle City Council main office – Seattle City Hall, 600 Fourth Avenue, 2nd floor, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. You can also learn more on the Seattle Renters’ Commission’s website.

New Seattle, King County collaboration on homelessness, with $68m/year county sales tax instead of $55m/year city property tax

(King County photo: County Councilmembers Jeanne Kohl-Welles, speaking, and Claudia Balducci, with McDermott, Constantine, and Murray)
Elected officials including King County Executive Dow Constantine, Mayor Ed Murray, and County Council Chair Joe McDermott have just announced a new regional collaboration on homelessness. As part of it, the mayor is dropping his proposal to ask Seattle voters for a property-tax increase to raise more money for homelessness-related efforts, and instead, county voters will be asked next year to approve a one-tenth-of-one-percent sales-tax increase. Here’s the full announcement, published as a city news release:

Today, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and King County Executive Dow Constantine announced a new regional effort to help people experiencing homelessness receive services and access to a permanent home.

Along with city leaders, service providers and All Home, Mayor Murray and Executive Constantine will convene a joint task force to assess needs and resources, and propose a strategy that will get people living unsheltered into permanent homes, keep people in their homes and out of homelessness, and coordinate responses to root causes such as behavioral and mental health and substance use disorders. The scope of the effort reflects the reality that homelessness is a regional crisis, and presents an opportunity for a robust, coordinated response.

The effort would be funded by a 0.1 percent sales tax increase that would go to King County voters in 2018. Seattle, King County and other jurisdictions have been working together closely to address this regional crisis, creating a more coordinated system that focuses on the individual needs of people living outside and that uses a data-driven approach to ensure programs are accomplishing the goal of getting more people into permanent housing. Today’s announcement will lead to increased coordination and accountability, while the City of Seattle continues its work to address other impacts, such as increased trash and needle cleanup.

This region-wide, $68 million per year funding package would replace the previously-proposed, Seattle-only property tax levy.

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