Election 2013: City-council-district supporters say they have enough signatures to make November ballot

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. checkbox.jpgThey 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.

7 Replies to "Election 2013: City-council-district supporters say they have enough signatures to make November ballot"

  • JoAnne June 10, 2013 (7:36 am)

    The public sector union/Democrat establishment in this city does not want accountability.
    They will fight tooth and nail against this, just as before.

  • Dale June 10, 2013 (7:37 am)

    I remember that vote and in fact this used to be how city council members were voted upon. A local west seattle young man was behind the initiative to reintroduce this then. I don’t recall his name but did speak to him once in the junction about this. Very articulate, UW grad. His argument then was that the heavily financed special interests could push their candidates into prominence-vs the interests of the local neighborhoods which he felt needed a stronger voice. I agree.

  • Larry Clark June 10, 2013 (7:37 am)

    This is really important to bring civic accountability back to Seattle. Right now no one on the council has the responsibility of representing our or any specific part of Seattle. If traffic decisions or zoning decisions seem wrong for an area, there is no council member who is responsible to that part of Seattle. Instead they are swayed by special interest groups or developer objectives.

    It is time to be represented by district. Council at large has had it’s chance and is not meeting the needs of the majority of the citizens.

  • Toby Thaler June 10, 2013 (9:56 am)

    JoAnne–You can make a difference: The Democratic party is not monolithic. Policy positions are made initially by legislative district organizations. A number of the districts (32nd, 37th, 36th, 46th) in Seattle did vote to support signature gathering. None has voted against it.

    Now that the campaign itself is really beginning, these district organizations will be asked to endorse Charter Amendment No. 19. You can make a difference–join the 34th District Democrats and vote to endorse. http://www.34dems.org/ (Endorsement votes on November ballot items will be later in the summer.) Democratic district organizations are a great way to engage in City politics in a way that actually has an impact.

  • Mickymse June 10, 2013 (10:00 am)

    This is also different from public financing, which may also be on the ballot. Public financing does not remove the power of money from campaigns, and candidates will still need nearly a quarter million dollars to compete. It simply attempts to lift up some candidates to compete.
    District elections have the potential to alter the campaign playbook entirely — and at no additional cost to taxpayers. Instead of being forced to raise that quarter of a million to print glossy mailers or send robocalls, it offers the ability to doorbell or personally call a significant portion of the “new” electorate. It also gives more power and influence back to our neighborhood groups and media — like this blog — whose endorsements and opinions will carry real weight again.

  • Tuesday June 10, 2013 (10:59 am)

    It will be interesting to see who supports this and who does not. It will be very telling! Very telling indeed. I like this sort of thing. It exposes people who our out for their own interests… It will also be hilarious to see how politicians talk their way around opposing it and why they’re doing it for your own good.

  • Heidi A June 10, 2013 (9:59 pm)

    I’m concerned that this system would reduce West Seattle’s influence and diminish our representation. City wide elected officials know that West Seattle is key, they can’t win without us. They have to visit the penninsula (if not already from here) and pay attention to what “we” are saying.

    I say we in quotes because we have many voices and don’t always agree, so having a single representative presents the risk of having a representative beholden to a minority group that does not represent the majority of WS.

    Case in point – the Seattle School Board. In the north, there are neighboring directors that have common goals or band together to get what the north needs. We have one represenative for the entire peninsula. When that one is ineffective, we essentially have none.

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