With nine weeks until the November 5th election, and summer in the rear-view mirror, the campaign for Seattle mayor is about to resume in earnest, and what we believe to be West Seattle’s first post-primary mayoral forum has just been confirmed for two weeks from today: Senior Center of West Seattle executive director Karen Sisson says incumbent Mayor Mike McGinn and challenger State Sen. Ed Murray will be there at 1 pm on Tuesday, September 17th. Lucy Gaskill Gaddis will moderate, in a format including opening/closing statements, moderator questions, and audience questions. (The Senior Center is at California/Oregon in The Junction.)
Any other groups have forums/debates scheduled? Don’t wait until the last minute to let us know – we’d love to get your event in the WSB calendar now; firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
(West Seattle section of Times’ mayoral-vote map, shown with permission; click to go to interactive map on ST site)
With a little over two months to go until the general election, our partners at The Seattle Times have mapped out the primary-election results in the mayoral race. As you can see when you click here to go to the interactive map (click any spot to get that precinct’s results, or put an address into the search box), State Sen. Ed Murray took more territory (purple), running strongest in north/west West Seattle – where, as he frequently noted – he grew up – while Mayor Mike McGinn (orange) finished ahead in much of the east and south. City Councilmember Bruce Harrell (green) took two precincts in Arbor Heights, one in the Roxhill area, and one in Admiral. And just in case you wondered, given pre-election developments regarding a certain development – McGinn won the precinct containing the 4755 Fauntleroy Way SW (aka Whole Foods) development site and much of The Triangle, with 27 percent of the vote to 25 percent for Murray and 21 percent for Peter Steinbrueck, who, according to The Times’ map, did not win any precincts in West Seattle outright. General election day: November 5th.
Just a few of the sightings at the 34th District Democrats‘ annual Garden Party in the bright Friday night sunshine at West Seattle Nursery: Above, guest auctioneer and City Council President Sally Clark with the 34th Dems’ hospitality chair Mike Heavey; another of the elected officials on hand, 34th District State Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon:
The 34th DDs’ State Committeeman Chris Porter was decked out in the spirit of this year’s party theme, “Fiesta”:
Busy weekend for the group – they plan to table at today’s Delridge Day festival, along with more than 70 other organizations and businesses (including us!).
(WSB photo from August 2012: Part of the crowd at last year’s Garden Party)
It’s a summertime staple – the annual Garden Party fundraiser for our area’s biggest political organization, the 34th District Democrats – and tomorrow (Friday) is the night, West Seattle Nursery‘s the place. This year’s theme is “Fiesta,” with a Tex-Mex buffet and live music, and some of the auction items even fit the theme – including a week in Sayulita, Mexico. Also up for grabs to the highest bidder(s):
* a half-case of wine from the Vashon winery,
* a yachting tour of Lake Union with Dow Constantine
* a week on the island of Majorca, Spain in a luxurious condo,
* cocktail party at Rep. Eileen Cody‘s home, co-hosted by County Councilmember Joe McDermott
This year’s guest auctioneer is Seattle City Council President Sally Clark, and the event’s always a draw for other local political leaders, so you never know who you’ll get a chance to chat with. Tickets are $34 individual/$60 couple; the event starts at 6 pm Friday at WS Nursery (California/Brandon).
King County Elections has released its second round of primary-election results – which look a lot like the first round, though in the races for mayor and Council Position 2, the distance between first and second place tightened a bit.
SEATTLE MAYOR – Results are here.
SEATTLE CITY COUNCIL, POSITION 2 – Results are here
SEATTLE CITY COUNCIL, POSITION 8 – Results are here
KING COUNTY PARKS LEVY – Results are here
KING COUNTY EXECUTIVE – Results are here
SEATTLE PORT COMMISSION, POS. 3 – Results are here
A plain-text file of all races is here. Next update is expected in the 4 pm hour tomorrow.
8:14 PM: King County Elections expects to be out with election results any time now. They will publish the first ballot count tonight – then another update around 4:30 tomorrow afternoon, and more updates daily (or near-daily) from there.
8:18 PM: The numbers are in, and we have updated below:
SEATTLE MAYOR – Results are here.
SEATTLE CITY COUNCIL, POSITION 2 – Results are here
SEATTLE CITY COUNCIL, POSITION 8 – Results are here
KING COUNTY PARKS LEVY – Results are here
KING COUNTY EXECUTIVE – Results are here
A plain-text file of all races is here.
Making the rounds at the West Seattle Farmers’ Market this morning, Peter Steinbrueck became the third mayoral candidate in five days to visit the peninsula. He brought along what seemed like an armada of supporters – they staked out the corners by the market, offering literature to passers-by (we were hit up twice in each direction) even as the former city councilmember mingled. No soapbox speeches, just handshakes and on-the-fly chats. His visit follows incumbent Mayor Mike McGinn‘s coffeehouse chat yesterday (WSB coverage here) and State Sen. Ed Murray‘s Wednesday night event at the Masonic Temple (WSB coverage here). Any of the other six candidates (here’s the online voters’ guide for all 9) headed this way before voting ends Tuesday night? Let us know – email@example.com. And if you haven’t voted yet – whoever you’re voting for – the West Seattle and White Center ballot-dropoff vans will be back tomorrow and Tuesday.
Nine candidates are in the running for Seattle Mayor, going into Tuesday’s primary election, and another one made a final-days campaign stop in West Seattle this afternoon – the incumbent himself, Mike McGinn. His campaign sent word at 1 pm that he would be at C & P Coffee (WSB sponsor) around 3 for an informal coffee-hour chat. Several people asked the mayor questions about topics from transportation to development to the 4755 Fauntleroy Way development; he said he understands West Seattle’s undergoing growing pains and – as he had said in this interview we reported on two months ago – needs more transit, which he says he’s working for. We asked how he thinks the effort to clear the “Nickelsville” encampment by next month is going; he said that while he didn’t have specific numbers handy, it didn’t seem as if the City Council-approved efforts to help find housing for campers was making much of a dent in their numbers yet.
Elsewhere on the mayoral campaign front, State Sen. Ed Murray was in West Seattle this past Wednesday night, and we learned this afternoon that Peter Steinbrueck plans to campaign at the West Seattle Farmers’ Market around 11 tomorrow morning. Any other mayoral candidates campaigning here before voting ends Tuesday night? Let us know – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anthony is one of the friendly King County Elections reps you’ll find at the official ballot-dropoff van in West Seattle, open until 5 pm today, 10 am-5 pm Monday, and 10 am-8 pm Tuesday. As with previous visits, the van is parked along the driveway into the West Seattle Stadium parking lot (from the northbound side of 35th SW, just south of SW Avalon Way). This year, there’s a White Center dropoff van too, same hours, at 9720 8th SW by the Greenbridge Library. If you’re looking for a fixed-location 24-hour box (until 8 pm Tuesday), the nearest ones are downtown and in Burien – all listed here. No stamp needed if you drop off your ballot at a van or box BUT if you mail it – do be sure it’s stamped.
With less than a week until voting ends and vote-counting begins in the August 6th primary, one of the 9 candidates for Seattle Mayor came to West Seattle tonight to speak to supporters. State Sen. Ed Murray, a former West Seattleite, campaigned tonight at the Alki Masonic Temple on the east edge of The Junction. We arrived mid-event, noting about 60 people on hand, so can only note a few points from his speech: Critiquing the incumbent mayor, Murray repeatedly referred to contentiousness – “frayed relationships with regional partners,” “arguing” with the City Council – and framed himself as someone who “brings people together.” Regarding a contentious issue from his last sessions in Olympia, Murray said he was hopeful an agreement for transportation funding would be worked out with legislators before year’s end, or, almost certainly in the next session of the Legislature, because Eastside legislators, he said, don’t need Metro cuts any more than we do on this side of Lake Washington. After he finished speaking, his former fellow state senator, this area’s King County Councilmember Joe McDermott, took the microphone to close the event.
So far as we know, Murray is the only mayoral candidate with a final-days-of-voting event planned in West Seattle (this one, by the way, was organized by local supporter Nils von Veh, not by the campaign); if you know of anyone else, please let us know so we can include it in the calendar and also cover it – even if it’s just informal campaigning, from doorbelling to sign-waving – email@example.com.
Whoever you’re voting for, next Tuesday night is the deadline to get your ballot in – and if you don’t want to mail it, as noted here two weeks ago, ballot dropoff vans will be available this Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday at West Seattle Stadium and Greenbridge – details here.
Though the plan to close the “Nickelsville” encampment in West Seattle has been final for a while, a semi-related proposal to allow more potential encampment sites in the city didn’t come up for a final vote until today – and a majority of City Councilmembers said no. The proposal sought to set up a process by which temporary encampment sites could be approved, with a long list of rules and prerequisites – you can read them here. Its sponsor, Councilmember Nick Licata, was one of four “yes” votes, along with Councilmembers Sally Bagshaw, Bruce Harrell, and Mike O’Brien; “no” votes were by Council President Sally Clark and Councilmembers Tim Burgess, Richard Conlin, Jean Godden, and Tom Rasmussen.
Ballots for the August 6th primary go out today. If you would rather drop yours off than mail it, you’ll have a second “drop van” option in this area this time around. In addition to the ballot-dropoff van that will again be stationed on the driveway of West Seattle Stadium (4432 35th SW), King County Elections has added one in White Center – at Greenbridge Library (9720 8th SW), right across Roxbury from the south edge of Highland Park. Here’s the map showing all drop vans and 24-hour dropboxes around the county. The county says the drop vans will be available on Saturday, August 3rd, and Monday, August 5th, 10 am-5 pm, and on Election Day, Tuesday, August 6th, 10 am-8 pm; the 24-hour dropboxes will be available starting tomorrow.
(With the mayor: SW Precinct Capt. Joe Kessler, center, and Lt. Ron Smith, right)
After a tour of West Seattle with Seattle Police‘s West Seattle leadership, Mayor McGinn met the media (WSB and three TV stations showed up) this morning for a Q/A session outside the Southwest Precinct. He’s been doing this at every precinct; West Seattle was originally scheduled for July 5th, but breaking news that day elsewhere in the city forced a postponement to today. First, here’s our video of today’s entire 32-minute briefing/Q-A session with the mayor and precinct commander Capt. Joe Kessler:
We asked about something that was a hot topic on the post-Independence Day Friday when this event was originally scheduled – this year’s fireworks craziness, which was not just a West Seattle hot topic (we saw it come up on multiple neighborhood sites around the city, as well as sparking regional-media coverage). The mayor agreed there would need to be “a dialogue” before next Fourth of July, but also insisted “the community” would have to step up here, since it was beyond SPD’s ability to deal with possibly thousands of violations. We also asked about the status of the SPD surveillance cameras installed from Fauntleroy to Alki to Harbor Island and beyond (our coverage archive is here), which the mayor had said would not be activated until a “thorough public vetting” had taken place. The next step, he said, would be for “protocols” to go to the City Council, at which time there would be more public vetting; no timetable so far, though originally, when we first reported on this almost six months ago, SPD was working toward a March 31 target for activation.
While robbery and burglary numbers for the Southwest Precinct were higher in the first half of this year than a year earlier, Capt. Kessler said they had dropped in recent weeks due to some key arrests. Having reported some of those arrests here, we asked the mayor if his administration works with King County on issues such as prosecution of the suspects; he said they do. (No specifics.) Capt. Kessler also mentioned that SPD has changed up its Alki patroling strategy to some degree this summer, focusing on nighttime rather than daytime, and so far, no major problems. Alki was part of the tour the mayor took before the precinct Q/A; he said he also had visited High Point to talk about issues such as those raised at last week’s community meeting (WSB coverage here) and had been to the “Nickelsville” encampment – where, he said, the population has been going up, not down (we have heard a recent estimate of 170). On our video, you’ll also hear the mayor answering some non-WS questions asked by the TV crews.
The entire visit was pegged to a followup on the Safe Communities initiative, which included a meeting here in West Seattle nine months ago (WSB coverage here). A city staffer handed out paper copies of a handout with West Seattle-specific toplines on how concerns raised at that time had been dealt with since; we’re checking to see if we can get a digital copy to attach here.
ADDED: Here’s the aforementioned report.
This year’s primary election is August 6th, four weeks from tonight. Tomorrow night, our area’s largest political organization, the 34th District Democrats, has one more round of endorsements to make, for one position on the Burien City Council and three on the Seattle School Board. (Endorsements already made are listed here.) The meeting also will include a review of the legislative session that’s just concluded with two special sessions, featuring updates from all three 34th District legislators, Sen. Sharon Nelson and Reps. Eileen Cody and Joe Fitzgibbon. The public’s welcome at the meeting, which starts at 7 pm Wednesday (July 10th) at The Hall at Fauntleroy (9131 California SW).
If you have just moved to this state, or have just reached voting age, July 8th (one week from tomorrow) is the registration deadline if you want to vote in the August 6th primary, headlined by the vote that will winnow the field of Seattle mayoral candidates down to 2. If you’re ready to register, you can sign up right here, right now, via this link. If you need to register another way – or if you need to take some other action, such as changing your address – there’s lots of helpful info on this page of the King County Elections website.
(UPDATE: Here’s the official Council news release)
(Updated Tuesday – Archived meeting video now substituted above – public comment starts 27 minutes in)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 2:43 PM: The City Council is in the middle of public comment right now, preceding the rest of this afternoon’s agenda, which starts with the proposal to give an as-yet-unspecified human-services organization $500,000 for shelter and other assistance to be given to “Nickelsville” campers, so they can be moved out and the camp closed by September 1st. You can watch live, while the meeting is under way, by clicking “play” above. Three commenters have spoken so far, all expressing concerns about the item – two regarding accountability, and one in opposition. As we publish this, Joanne Brayden, known as “JoB” here on WSB, is speaking about her experience volunteering to help the camp residents, and urging the council to use this expenditure to also help those living in other “encampments,” such as the nearby greenbelts. “There are families there, and children – we need to help them,” she concluded. The public-comment period is open to any topic on the agenda, so the person following her is speaking about something else. Updates as we go.
2:53 PM: Highland Park Action Committee co-chair Billy Stauffer is speaking now. He reinforces the request for using part of the money to get “campers” out of the greenbelt. “As people leave Nickelsville, the greenbelt will see more and more campers,” he warns. He also suggests the restoration work Nature Consortium has been doing in the greenbelt – some of which, he says, has been undone by “campers” – could use some support. He reminds the council this is the third summer Nickelsville has been occupying the 7116 W. Marginal Way SW site without authorization.
3 PM: The formal discussion of the bill now begins. It’s a substitute version – we’re not seeing the new version on the agenda; here’s what’s currently there. Council President Sally Clark says this was introduced “a couple weeks ago” (actually, it was introduced just one week ago). She says the substitute version has some “technical” changes – including cleaning up language about what other cities had done, and spelling out accountability for what’s being done with the money and who is spoken to, setting a mid-August date for a formal report on how it’s going. Clark addresses the HPAC request about the greenbelt and says they’d have to talk about whether that comes out of this money or additional money. She also alludes to a discussion during this morning’s Council briefing meeting regarding the greenbelt-restoration issue (we’ll check that out later). “This is not a small undertaking, but that should not stop us from trying,” Clark concludes, opening the floor to comment from other councilmembers.
Councilmember Sally Bagshaw suggests the issue of campers in the greenbelt(s) could be addressed by changing the language; Clark expresses concern about that, particularly since the number of such “campers” is unknown. Councilmember Tim Burgess notes that the most recent city budget has money specifically earmarked for “encampment cleanups” and protocol for how it can be used.
Councilmember Nick Licata, who wasn’t one of the seven councilmembers who sent the mayor the “close it by September 1st” letter that sparked this bill, says he will support it. He thinks there will need to be more money to deal with people in greenbelt encampments.
Councilmember Bagshaw says she agrees with him and others that this is “a start.”
3:15 PM: The bill passes unanimously. Who gets the $500,000? Last time we asked the Human Services Department last week, that was yet to be worked out.
4:26 PM: Here’s the official Council news release. Another encampment issue comes up tomorrow – a 5:30 pm hearing on Councilmember Licata’s proposal to expand the zones where they could be allowed.
4:52 PM: We’re listening to the video of the morning “briefing” meeting mentioned during this one; starting around 20 minutes in, there was extensive discussion about how this should be monitored and what if it’s not as successful as they hope. (See for yourself, here.)
(State Sen. Ed Murray, right, speaking with four local political leaders at his side)
We’re at the 34th District Democrats‘ biggest meeting of the year – 139 voting members here, making endorsements for the year’s big races, starting with Seattle Mayor.
SEATTLE MAYOR: Five of the nine candidates were nominated to be in the running for the endorsement. They spoke in this order: St. Sen. Ed Murray, Peter Steinbrueck, Mayor Mike McGinn, Councilmember Bruce Harrell, Kate Martin. (Video added:)
The first two drew no speakers in opposition; a 34th member identifying himself as a longshoreman spoke against McGinn because of his arena support, and McGinn defended the plan – “There (will be) union jobs building it, and union jobs working there’ – which otherwise had not been mentioned. A woman who spoke against Harrell accused him of not coming to neighborhoods except when he’s campaigning. Speaking in rebuttal, Councilmember Harrell apologized for disappointing her, after a defender countered the allegation. No one spoke against Martin. Now, we’re waiting for the vote and results.
8:01 pm update: Murray 1st, McGinn 2nd after the first ballot. So there’s a 2nd ballot. To get a solo endorsement, one will have to win 60% of the next vote.
8:22 pm update: On the second ballot, Sen. Murray gets 70 percent, Mayor McGinn 30 percent. Sole endorsement for Murray, a former West Seattleite.
SEATTLE CITY COUNCIL: First up, position 2, with incumbent Richard Conlin taking the floor first. “I really want to do some great things for West Seattle, great things for the region,” he says, having arrived moments earlier – another LD has an endorsement meeting tonight on the other side of the city, it seems. Challenger Brian Carver follows. … Mike O’Brien speaks but his challenger Albert Shen doesn’t get here in time to … 8:20 pm update: Conlin is endorsed. … 8:32 pm update: O’Brien is endorsed.
BLOCK ENDORSEMENT: In a block “yes” vote toward the start of the meeting, the 34th endorsed a slate including Seattle Councilmembers Sally Bagshaw and Nick Licata, City Attorney Pete Holmes, the King County Parks levy, County Sheriff John Urquhart, Port Commission members John Creighton and Courtney Gregoire (see the full block slate here).
MEETING ADJOURNED … just before 9 pm. We have video from the mayoral candidates’ speeches and are processing it now. The primary election, by the way, is August 6th. And before the 2009 primary, datapoint, the 34th gave a dual endorsement in the mayor’s race to McGinn and then-incumbent Greg Nickels.
2:10 PM: If you click the “play” button above, it’ll take you to the live feed from City Hall, where the City Council’s Housing, Human Services, Health, and Culture Committee is starting its meeting, with the agenda including an item on the “Nickelsville” site. More to come.
2:18 PM: Public comment is beginning. Those who speak can address anything coming up on the agenda. The first two speakers voiced support for SHARE, the organization that runs shelters around the city. The third, Trace De Garmo, is speaking specifically to Nickelsville: “If you want to speed up our move now, please temporarily provide us with water and electricity hookups.” He says they want two religiously controlled sites, for up to two years, to house up to 200 people. The committee’s chair, Councilmember Nick Licata, is questioning him to verify that Nickelsville has not yet found such sites. The next person says Nickelsville found out about the 7 councilmembers’ “close it by September 1st” letter when media crews started showing up later Monday. She is reading its official response letter – see it here, or here:
The next person says shutting Nickelsville down “would be doing a great disservice” to the city as well as to the encampment itself; followed by another person who says “Nickelsville is badly needed” because of the shelter shortage, and mentions Nickelsville’s vision of being an “eco-village.” Dorli Rainey, speaking next, tells the council, “What you are doing is splitting families.” The next speaker says he is ashamed of having to turn people away from shelters.
A representative of the Low-Income Housing Institute next tells the council they are considering making land available for an encampment. She is followed by a woman who says she supports homeless people but has seen problems with SHARE and has tried to talk with the city – which contracts with SHARE – about it, but contends no one will do anything about it.
2:47 PM: Another commenter points out the police presence at City Hall and is contentiously accusing the council of being unfair to the homeless people who have spoken. Minutes later, public comment ends, and the chambers are all but clearing, though Licata reminds everyone that the Nickelsville-related item is coming up third on the agenda.
3:04 PM: The committee is now discussing the Nickelsville-related item – which isn’t up for a vote, but more a decision on which way they want to proceed. Outside City Hall, the pro-encampment protest has begun; Emily Heffter from The Seattle Times (WSB partner) tweeted this photo showing demonstrators on the steps.
Back inside, Licata is saying that the Monday letter from seven of his Council colleagues did not seem to him to be “anti-encampment.” One of the signers, Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, is agreeing. She says she believes Nickelsville residents “have created community.” She wonders if the proposal to expand possible encampment sites could also include property owned by nonprofits. The philosophical conversation continues.
3:21 PM: Licata says he wants to talk now about specifics about “what we’ll be facing in the next couple months” – specifically, the mayor’s response that if the council wants the camp cleared by September 1st, he will follow their directive to evict anyone who’s left then. And he envisions that not everyone will have left, “so we’re going to be faced with not a good photo op.”
3:44 PM: They’re still trying to shape what the rules would be. Licata notes that Nickelsville has 125 people now. Should legislation, they’re discussing, put a limit on the number of sites? Councilmember Bruce Harrell says, what about people who choose to live in tents? Licata assistant Lisa Herbold says it’s not like they have an option to go into long-term housing, because it has waiting lists: “The function of a tent city is not an alternative to long-term housing, it’s someplace you go while you wait for long-term housing.”
4:04 PM: The document accompanying this agenda, by the way, is here. Option 2, the committee agrees, possibly leaving Nickelsville at the current site, “is off the table.”
‘We’re way behind on transit’ – but there’s still hope for light rail: Mayor talks West Seattle transportationJune 12, 2013 at 11:47 am | In Transportation, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 33 Comments
(Mayor McGinn at Diva Espresso on Tuesday; photo by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Though you haven’t heard much about it lately, there’s still a chance West Seattle will get light rail, some years down the line.
Mayor Mike McGinn came to West Seattle on Tuesday afternoon to get that message out, and we took the opportunity to ask him about other issues related to West Seattle’s transportation challenges.
It was his third visit to West Seattle in a week, and tonight will be his fourth visit in eight days, as the 34th District Democrats decide who to endorse for this year’s election races, including the one in which he’s vying for re-election against eight opponents. His series of visits began June 4th with the Madison Middle School briefing on dental care for students citywide and continued Sunday as he breakfasted at Chelan Café with five community activists.
That brings us to Tuesday afternoon.
The mayor and two staff members – SDOT transit expert Michael James and communicator Aaron Pickus – came to Diva Espresso in The Triangle to offer a West Seattle-specific briefing on the state of light-rail planning, though the conversation turned to other things.
He said that after talking to West Seattleites – including the group with whom he had breakfast on Sunday – he realized people here might not be aware that light rail is at least a bit beyond pipe-dream status.
We recorded the entire briefing/discussion on video – keep in mind it was at a busy coffee shop, so you’ll hear the espresso machinery in the background now and then:
If you don’t have time to listen, the key points are ahead:
Election 2013: City-council-district supporters say they have enough signatures to make November ballotJune 9, 2013 at 8:42 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 7 Comments
Seattle Districts Now, the group backing an initiative to have most Seattle City Councilmembers elected by district, say they have enough signatures to make the ballot. They just issued a media alert saying they’ll be at the City Clerk’s Office on Tuesday with more than 45,000 signatures, 50 percent above the 30,000 required. If that meets the verification test, the proposal would be on the November ballot. As explained on the SDN website, they want seven councilmembers elected by district – West Seattle would be one of those districts (here’s the map) – and two at-large; right now all nine are elected at large. An elect-by-district proposal that went to voters as a city-charter amendment 10 years ago was rejected, 54 percent no, 46 percent yes.
Mayor McGinn breakfasted at West Seattle’s Chelan Café today with a small group of community activists, including Pete Spalding, who shares the photo. Spalding, whose current involvement includes the Southwest Precinct Advisory Council, Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council, Delridge Neighborhoods District Council, and citywide Parks and Green Spaces Levy Oversight Committee, explaining that he and Chas Redmond (in the top photo) initiated the invitation. Redmond’s current involvement includes the City Neighborhood Council and Morgan Community Association. Also at the table were Mat McBride, chair of the DNDC; Dorsol Plants and Michael Taylor-Judd, both currently involved with the North Delridge Neighborhood Council (and both former candidates for City Council), while Plants is with Spalding on the levy Oversight Committee; and Marty Westerman from the Fauntleroy Community Association. (The participants may well be involved with other groups – this is just what we know from our recent community coverage.) Spalding says, “We discussed a wide range of West Seattle issues during the two hours.” Any specific announcements or revelations? we asked him via followup e-mail. “We spent a lot of time talking about peninsula-wide transportation issues, a number of issues around the Department of Neighborhoods, and our desire to see the city spend more time, effort, and money on West Seattle issues.”
How do the candidates for Seattle Mayor differ in their philosophies toward and plans for keeping Seattle safe? With the August 6th primary election getting closer – the vote that will determine which two of those nine candidates advance to November – you’ll get a chance to hear from them later this month. The city’s Precinct Advisory Councils are co-sponsoring a public-safety-focused mayoral forum at 10 am Saturday, June 22nd, at City Hall downtown; we received the announcement today from the Southwest PAC’s Pete Spalding. All are welcome, and while RSVPing isn’t mandatory, the co-sponsors are hoping to get an idea of turnout, so if you can RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org, please do. That’s also the e-mail address to which you can send suggested questions before the forum. Along with the PACs, the forum’s co-sponsors are City Councilmembers Tom Rasmussen and Tim Burgess (now a former mayoral candidate). It’ll be moderated by West Seattleite and journalist/broadcaster Brian Callanan of the Seattle Channel.
Since last week’s City Council discussion of possible next steps regarding the “Nickelsville” encampment now in its third year in West Seattle (WSB as-it-happened coverage here), we’ve been following up regarding what’s next. So far, there are two public meetings of note, both at City Hall downtown: One, as mentioned in last week’s coverage, is 5:30 pm June 25th; that’s the formal public hearing on Councilmember Nick Licata‘s proposal to expand the areas of the city in which encampments would be allowed; here’s the official notice with details. Before that, however, Licata staffer Lisa Herbold confirms to WSB that the committee he chairs – Housing, Human Services, Health, and Culture – will take up the overall issue of Nickelsville’s future during the committee’s next regular meeting at 2 pm Wednesday, June 12th. That will include the alternative proposals suggested by the mayor and by the encampment’s own Central Committee, in hopes the discussion will reveal which way councilmembers are leaning, though no final decisions will be made.
Meantime, as noted in a followup discussion at last week’s Highland Park Action Committee meeting, community members are urged to contact the mayor, councilmembers, and other decisionmakers with their opinions and ideas; HPAC’s website has more details, including contact information.
ADDED FRIDAY: Just noticed that, minutes after we published this update, Slog published a picture of a flyer that turned up posted in Crown Hill, equating HPAC – whose leadership met with the mayor last week, though no notable progress is reported – with NIMBYism. Anyone seen the flyer around here?
As-it-happened coverage: City Council committee takes up encampment-location issue – Nickelsville and elsewhereMay 22, 2013 at 2:06 pm | In 'Nickelsville' encampment, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 44 Comments
(TOPLINE, 4:12 PM: Council discussion’s over; next step, public hearing June 25th)
(Editor’s note: What was the “live” video, above, has since been replaced with archived video of the meeting in its entirety)
We’re in the City Council chambers at City Hall downtown, along with more than 100 people, as the Housing, Human Services, Health, and Culture Committee prepares to take up two hot topics – encampments and marijuana.
We’ll be updating live, mostly on the former topic, because of the Nickelsville issue. We also hope to add the live-video window here in a moment (the 2 pm meeting is running a bit late). More to come.
2:13 PM: Public comment is about to begin. Council chair Nick Licata says each speaker will be limited to a minute and a half. First, Rev. Bill Kirlin-Hackett of the Interfaith Task Force on Homelessness says he supports Licata’s proposal. “What we all agree about is that we need to keep working on remedies to enable interim survival plans,” he says. Next, a woman identifying herself as a Tent City 3 resident, who says excluding campers from residential areas would be discrimination. “Because I’m homeless, you don’t want me in the residential areas where kids are and stuff like that … (but) I don’t want to hurt kids.” Another Tent City 3 representative speaks next, about discrimination. “We support our friends at Nickelsville and want a good solution to their current dilemma,” but this is not it, he says.
A Nickelsville resident who says she is living there with her son and two cats is next. She says more than 125 people are there now and last summer peaked at more than 180 people. She says conditions and order are OK – except for the lack of running water, sewer, and “little police protection … We are doing great but our preference is to be moved someplace” where they would have such things. She says they “hope to move within next 2 months” without any new city codes and that they oppose the ordinances because they are not necessary.
Another Nickelsville resident, Trace DeGarmo, brings up the newly proposed Nickelsville “Option 7,” which he says would work within the current religious-encampment ordinance. They would move to two sites under control of religious organizations with whom they would sign contracts, he says. “This plan is now entirely doable” and would enable Food Lifeline to take over the current site
He is followed by Carolyn Stauffer of Highland Park Action Committee, who mentions the petition they have circulated with more than 200 names.
“We would like to see you act now and enforce the existing land use codes, because that’s your job … That it’s taken the council two years to have this conversation is shameful and disappointing,” she says, reiterating their demand that the encampment be moved before “it begins a third summer” there.
CLICK AHEAD TO READ THE REST OF OUR DETAILED AS-IT-HAPPENED COVERAGE:
1:24 PM: City Councilmember Tim Burgess has just sent a news release to his media list announcing he’s dropping out of the race for mayor. He would have had to file by 4 pm today. Here’s the news release (PDF from his site). He had just been in West Seattle last Saturday for a chat with voters – we had received (but not published) a photo from his campaign that day:
1:36 PM UPDATE: You’ll probably recall that seven other candidates had declared they were running – they and Burgess all participated in the April 29th “Super Seattle Mayor’s Forum” co-sponsored by the 34th District Democrats (WSB coverage, including video, here). The other seven have all filed for official candidacy, according to this page on the King County Elections website; it had been noted by political-news site PubliCola that Burgess was the only one not to have filed by noontime today.
6:12 PM UPDATE: Two more candidates joined the race, making it a field of nine, by the deadline. One is West Seattle lawyer Doug McQuaid, who ran last year for state Supreme Court; his campaign website does not appear to be up yet (at least not at the link listed on the county Elections website), but his background is detailed on a site related to last year’s court campaign. The other new candidate to file in the mayor’s race is Joey Gray, whose bio is on her website. The full list of candidates in this office and others on King County ballots in the August primary is here.
(May 13, 2011, WSB photo)
Two years ago today, the homeless encampment that calls itself “Nickelsville” returned to the site where it had begun – a mostly-city-owned parcel on the eastern edge of West Seattle. According to a flyer posted on the semi-official Nickelsville Works Facebook group page, encampment residents and supporters plan a second-anniversary party next Sunday afternoon. That’s three days before their uphill neighbors from the Highland Park Action Committee have a meeting scheduled with Mayor McGinn.
Today was also the deadline that HPAC chair Carolyn Stauffer had given McGinn and City Councilmembers for announcing a move-out date for the encampment. The nonprofit Food Lifeline has proposed building a new center there, to collect and process food for food banks around the region. But in addition to the encampment’s presence, there’s also bureaucracy in the way, such as getting the site declared “surplus” so the city could consider selling it.
Stauffer writes on the HPAC website that only one city leader to whom the letter was sent, Councilmember Richard Conlin, replied, though without any commitment of specific action. As for the mayor, she writes in part:
The Mayor has donated [to Nickelsville] thousands of dollars in materials and rat abatement, and has been ignoring the neighborhood pleas for city action. We asked again that he be brave enough politically to stand up for our neighborhood and say no- that one cannot squat illegally on public land anymore, that it is too much to ask of our neighborhoods without due process and public comment. Giving the encampment a move out date is the Mayor’s job, and we are meeting with him on May 22nd to make sure that he understands that, and to make sure he knows that the neighborhood is serious when we ask for a move out date.
If he chooses to continue to ignore this, he will have a difficult time getting through the political season coming up without having to address his non-action. As we stated in our April 2nd letter, we will be taking steps to pursue legal action at this point.
We too have an inquiry out to the mayor’s office and will update when we hear back.
Seattle Port Commission races often get little attention, but deserve more, candidates told the 34th District Democrats at their monthly meeting in Fauntleroy last night. Most of the meeting was devoted to a candidates’ forum moderated by chair Marcee Stone-Vekich, with various races from Burien City Council to Southwest Sewer District – not including Seattle Mayor, since the 34th DDs co-sponsored the campaign’s first major forum just last week in Georgetown. (Here’s our coverage of that event, including video of the entire forum.)
Our video above features the three Port Commission candidates who showed up, from left: Commissioner John Creighton, candidate Michael Wolfe, and recent commission appointee Stephanie Bowman.
Part of the forum included unopposed (so far) candidates, among them King County Sheriff John Urquhart, who was elected last year to the remaining year of his predecessor’s term, so has to run again this year:
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