VIDEO: 4 candidates, 7 issues @ 34th District Democrats’ District 1 City Council forum

Story, photos, video by Tracy Record and Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog co-publishers

Four of the five candidates who have registered campaigns for the District 1 (West Seattle/South Park) City Council seat appeared in the second forum of the season last night.

This one was presented by the 34th District Democrats, whose rules require that candidates contending for the group’s endorsement – the ultimate reason the group has forums – affirm they are Democrats. Isaiah Willoughby did not, the 34th DDs said, but the remaining four – Lisa Herbold, Phil Tavel, Brendan Kolding, Jesse Greene (that’s the L-R order in which they were seated) – did.

First, here’s our full unedited video of the forum, organized by legislative-action committee chair Jordan Crawley, with questions asked by first vice-chair Rachel Glass:

Crawley explained they had used results of their online survey to determine seven issues to focus on. If you don’t have time to watch/listen, we have toplines ahead – but please note, these are not anything close to full transcriptions; for the candidates’ full answers, see the video.

As is customary, the forum began and ended with opening/closing remarks from each candidate.

“I believe I’ve served … by fulfilling my campaign promises,” said Herbold in her introductory remarks, saying her website has 15 pages detailing how.

“We can do better … we’re looking at a city with a lot of issues … new problems every day,” contended Tavel in his introduction. “We are at a crossroad where we need to have new leaders and new ideas.”

Kolding spent his time introducing himself, including his background as a former police lieutenant. SPD is in “crisis” in terms of staffing, he said, adding that he wants to “introduce smart government to this city.”

Greene listed the reasons he is running, including his “passion for this community” and his belief that “our current council has missed the mark” on homelessness, with which he noted he has personal experience, in his childhood.

First question: What’s the next step in increasing “affordable housing stock” after HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability‘s recent passage, and what will District 1 “get out of it”?

Tavel said he’s concerned we won’t get enough affordable housing out of HALA MHA and “we need to do a lot more,” without being specific.

Kolding said he feels MHA “really needs to be revisited.” He said he foresees a “second wave of upzoning” with Sound Transit light rail coming this way.

Greene said he supports more funding for affordable housing but more “middle-income housing” is needed too. He thinks “integrating affordable housing” into developments is vital (as opposed to the “fee option”). He also voiced concern about gentrification, listing High Point and South Park as areas of concern.

Herbold said she’s glad to “hear everyone is in agreement that we need more affordable housing.” She said the council will revisit MHA if too few developers are “performing” (building it in their projects). She said local affordable-housing nonprofits have $200 million in projects ready to go but the city will only have about half that much funding to offer.

Second question: How would you improve the city’s environmental health, sustainability, and resiliency?

Kolding suggested supporting nonprofits that are working on the issue and that the city should continue working on reducing fleet emissions as well as encouraging businesses to keep working on it.

Greene, whose business is in South Park, noted that area’s pollution problems and said that focusing on clean transportation is a top priority. Businesses should do their part via “energy-management systems,” he added.

Herbold also said transportation is a vital focus – reducing single-occupancy-vehicle trips, especially. She also called for investing in “getting people out of cars” and said she’s worked to get more bus service. She also mentioned working with Seattle Public Utilities to increase recycling opportunities for multifamily buildings.

Tavel said “we need to embrace more of what we have” – mentioning South Park’s “urban farm,” greenspaces, and wetland protection.

Third question: Health care. What will you do as a councilmember to ensure people have access to the care they need? was the question, listing multiple areas of health concern.

Greene suggested on-demand help for substance abuse, one of the areas of concern.

He and Herbold both spoke to the need for more mental-health-care beds. She also said food deserts – Delridge and South Park – need food access to be ramped up, mentioning that the city is addressing that via Fresh Bucks, food bank support, and more.

Tavel said our region has good hospitals and clinics and that can be built on.

Kolding mentioned the difficulty in getting from here to hospitals if a disaster cuts access. Regarding mental health and chemical dependency, he called them America’s biggest health issues right now. The former needs full funding, the latter needs more bed availability. He also said a street-crime problem is leading to violence that itself represents a health problem.

Fourth question focused specifically on addiction. What programs would the candidates support to reduce heroin/opiates’ prevalence in Seattle?

Herbold said “treatment on demand” must be made more available, not just for those who are incarcerated. She also said a safe injection site would reverse 167 overdoses, prevent 90 ER visits, and result in 6 lives saved.

Tavel said a stronger safety net in the criminal-justice system is important. “We need to support our drug court and our mental-health court” more than is the case now.

Kolding said he would summarize his entire law-enforcement career with the three words “drugs are bad.” He said involuntary treatment would help many but “you need a bed” for someone to get it. Naran/naloxone should be widely available to reverse overdoses. He said he is 100 percent “against heroin injection sites.”

Greene said he is too, and noted that Vancouver, B.C., which has one, has not seen a reduction in heroin use. People who are addicted need help, so it’s “so important for us to have treatment on demand.”

Fifth question: Public safety. How do the candidates plan to recruit and retain police?

Tavel said the city has grown but the police force has not. The council and mayor need to be more supportive.

Kolding said that too, and said he’s running to be a voice for police on the council.

Greene also mentioned police feeling unsupported, saying he spoke recently with an officer in South Park. The Fire Department too, he said, citing a recent meeting with the firefighters’ union.

Herbold said she “can’t argue” with those who say police don’t feel supported, but, she insisted, “your City Council has supported the police.” She mentioned funding for additional officers, funding for the contract, and more. Police attrition/retention is a problem in many big cities, not just Seattle, she said. And she reiterated that the Community Service Officer program needs to get going.

Sixth question: Light rail – there’s a lot of support for tunneling, but that would cost more so how do you balance that?

Kolding acknowledged the “overwhelming community desire” for a tunnel. “It’s one of those things we can’t afford to get wrong … we need to be creative about finding funding sources.” He said he personally supports the “purple line.” And he declared himself 100 percent pro-tunnel.

Greene said he is too. He then went into a mini-rant about city spending (though light rail is not a city project). “This is a project that’s not going to just benefit West Seattle, it’s going to benefit beyond.”

Herbold said she also supports tunneling in The Junction and also supports looking at Delridge options that would not put an elevated alignment “through a densely populated residential neighborhood.” She said the “shopping shuttle” would be one source of funding.****

Tavel said that putting an elevated line in The Junction is akin to not tearing down the Viaduct. He said it’s importat to get the “purple line” back on the table for the environmental studies.

Seventh and final question had to do with addressing homelessness:

Greene said he believes it’s the city’s most important issue. “We need an individualized approach,” he said. He also called for more “transparency” in the way money is being spent now.

Herbold said, “We know what works” – enhanced shelter, for starter – and more of that needs to be created. Permanent supportive housing, too. (For example, though she didn’t mention it, that is what Cottage Grove Commons in Delridge offers.)

Tavel noted that the 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness is 14 years in without an end. Providers don’t have a good track record, he contended.

Kolding said he wants to create “transitional housing” such as “FEMA-style tents” and a “triage process to direct people to the appropriate facility.” And “if people won’t take advantage of the opportunities they have” people need to be “held accountable to the laws that govern our society.”

Each also had a closing statement.

Herbold said she is honored to serve as the first-ever District 1 city councilmember and hopes to continue because there’s more work to be done.

Tavel said we’re “only looking at one side of so many issues” and said what needs to be done now is “improve civic outreach and listen to everybody …not just those who are yelling the loudest” as well as collaborate and respect businesses.

Kolding declared “the city of Seattle is in crisis” and urges people to watch “Seattle Is Dying” and read “System Failure,” which draws the night’s first smattering of boos from a few corners. He recaps that he wants to work on “smart government.”

Greene expresses appreciation for his fellow candidates as well as those in attendance. “We all do have a different direction taht we believe is the right way for Seattle.” He says his background as a small businessperson has given him a unique perspective.

The 34th DDs’ endorsement meeting will be in June. Before that, they plan to bring together the candidates one more time, in a debate-style event at 6:30 pm April 23rd at Holy Family Catholic School; the public is welcome at that event too.

A few unrelated notes from arlier in the meeting:

AWARD FOR SHARON NELSON: Newly retired State Sen. Sharon Nelson was honored by the group, accepting the Elected Official of the Year award for 2018.

She said, “I love retirement” but also proudly cited a few milestones during her near-decade in Olympia, such as the legalization of same-sex marriage and buying some environmentally crucial land on Vashon Island.

County Councilmember Joe McDermott added some praise for Sen. Nelson.

EDUCATION FUNDING: Seattle School Board president (and West Seattle/South Park board rep) Leslie Harris took the microphone for a few moments to note that the district is dealing with a $44 million budget deficit. That shortage is because, she said, the district is not allowed to use its full voter-approved levy authority. “Call your legislators and raise a little heck,” she urged.

The 34th District Democrats meet on second Wednesdays, 7 pm at The Hall at Fauntleroy.

62 Replies to "VIDEO: 4 candidates, 7 issues @ 34th District Democrats' District 1 City Council forum"

  • Gatewood April 11, 2019 (1:29 pm)

    Jesse seems like a good guy but not ready for primetime.  Lisa seemed uncomfortable with her record and was pretty lame about trying to sell that the council is “very supportive” of police.  Kolding was doing well but them went way too deep on referencing the “Seattle is Dying” news story (you have to know your crowd).  Tavel seemed very solid, well prepared and clearly the strongest at the table.  Also, what was with the shot that Lisa took at Jesse?  This was a forum, not a debate. 

    • LeftofCenter April 11, 2019 (4:47 pm)

      First off, I want to congratulate the 34th DD organizers for a very good event. Kudos to the folks who provided the refreshments and food. I must say, compared to the previous candidates discussion, the audience in this one seemed to be heavily populated by Herbold supporters. All the nodding heads when Herbold was making her points, and then the frowns and looks of displeasure when her opponents were talking – – this was really too much to bear. Here’s my take on this evening: Kolding and Tavel are deserving as the two finalists for District 1. They are the only two levelheaded candidates that can bring our City Council back to sanity. Of the two, I believe Brendan Kolding is our best choice to bring back the thriving and law abiding Seattle we all want and need. The enabling of rampant drug selling and drug use and its associated negative impacts on our safety and well-being has to end.

  • Ryan April 11, 2019 (2:12 pm)

    I appreciate the 34th Democrats opening this forum up to the public. As a left-leaning voter who’s frustrated by the current City Council it was very informative. The incumbent Lisa Herbold clearly knows her issues but her defenses of the city’s failed policy are non-starters. I liked a lot of what I heard from Brendan Kolding & Phillip Tavel but the standout for me was Jesse Greene. Lots of sincerity and background on homelessness. I’ll keep watching until August but impressed by the crop of candidates, especially Green.

    • Gatewood April 11, 2019 (2:30 pm)

      Way too much name dropping.  I appreciate his background but his delivery come across fake to me.  His consultant has over coached him.  He is delivering line he practices in the mirror.  I will keep my ears open for improvement in fairness.  That said, calling every other candidate out for having run for office before was weird and off the mark.  How dare these people be engaged enough to try to serve the public?  He was the weakest challenger  to Lisa last night. Everyone at the table I was at came to that conclusion.

      • Ryan April 11, 2019 (3:13 pm)

        I have to say that I heard a lot of dodging and political answers from all four. Greene did use too many buzz words like “solutions” but his personal background & state level work on homelessness seems to give him an edge over Tavel. I’m also concerned that both Tavel and Kolding appear to be guests on right-wing talk radio shows. We obviously need a change from enabler Herbold but I am not a fan of jason rantz style politics. I’m open to Tavel and Kolding but Greene seems to have the right experience. Just two cents from me and my partner.

        • The truth April 12, 2019 (8:59 am)

          The Saul Spady Show is right wing?  He is a goofball, independent millennial.    

  • j April 11, 2019 (2:16 pm)

    Lisa, I have voted for you before. Not again. Thank you for your time serving (sincerely) but you’re off the mark.  We don’t need “treatment on demand”…We need to “demand treatment,” if you truly want to save lives. Many times I’ve seen people interviewed that said getting arrested saved their life. Additionally, I will never support any candidate who welcomes safe injection sites. There’s no such thing as doing heroin safely. The only people that are treating the addicts poorly and without compassion are the people that are calling this a homeless issue and continuing to let it happen.   Time for change!

    • Mr. J April 11, 2019 (2:40 pm)

      Excuse you? Anecdotal notions that “jailed saved my life” is complete and utter BS. Tell that to the thousands in jail for pot or to the 300+ that have died in PNW jails in the last 10 years. As for safe injection sites, if you want people to overdose in the streets or die in alleys cool that’s your opinion. I’d rather have people who aren’t ready to clean themselves up shoot up in a safe space with people on-hand to help them if anything goes wrong. Safe injection sites are not pretty, but they’ve had real success with getting people into treatment and mental health services. We’ve been jailing people for petty offensives for decades and the result is a prison population that’s out of control (not to mention an enormous tax burden), numerous deaths that could have been prevented etc etc. 

      • j April 11, 2019 (6:51 pm)

        MrJ you are very good about tweaking my narrative to fit your opinions.For starters…I’ve never heard of a marijuana user overdosing. We are discussing heroin, meth etc No one is taking about jailing marijuana users.How many of the 300+ jail deaths are gang on gang violence? Yet again, not what we’re discussing.Maybe you misunderstood what I wrote so I’ll make it a little more clear for you. Do I want heroin users to overdose in the streets? NO! The exact opposite. That’s what your plan will do. Do I want to take my taxpayer money and offer/demand they accept free, high quality treatment and continued support? YES! YES! YES!Our jail system is so overcrowded and out of control that there’s an entire wing that was empty. Sorry. Not drinking that Koolaid anymore. We’ve been told for years there’s no room in jail…It’s full….gotta release people. Then we hear and entire wing is empty. The math ain’t adding up. Keep going on with your ways. Keep supporting this broken system just so you can have easier access to YOUR heroin. Keep killing people MrJ. while the rest of us try to save them.

    • shauna levine April 14, 2019 (6:14 pm)

      yes! well said!

  • neighbor April 11, 2019 (2:21 pm)

    Maybe this was covered in the video, which I haven’t been able to watch, but what is the “shopping shuttle” and how is it a source of funding?    

  • anonyme April 11, 2019 (2:54 pm)

    I’m glad that Kolding said something the audience (at least some of them) didn’t like.  It shows that he stands for something, rather than just saying whatever he thinks the audience wants to hear.  It’s always the same script, and I’ll wager there are just as many voters fed up with that script as there are those who boo…

  • Pete April 11, 2019 (3:13 pm)

    First off I find it hard to support a candidate that has to read their opening statement. The candidates for the most part stepped up their game from the first forum. I believe Lisa has done a lot of things in her time at City Hall but more of the same is not the answer. When Brendon can have a more well rounded grasp of the issues other than public safety issues where he seems pretty hard core then maybe he will get a second look. How many times in any given forum will Jesse bring up the fact that he serves on a committee for Inslee? Is that really that big if a deal? If it were doing great things and solving some of our homeless issues then I am all ears but until you show me how that impacts issues in District 1 I will take a pass. Phil on the other hand seems to have a good grasp on the issues, has plans and ideas to help District 1 and Seattle turn the corner. Phil has what it takes at this point to earn my vote and support. 

  • Peter April 11, 2019 (3:13 pm)

    I know this was a forum and not a debate, but I’m still going to call out who I see as the “winner” on each issue. Affordable housing: Greene, for also showing concern for middle class housing. Environmental health: Herbold, for specifically calling out private automobiles as a problem, which the others don’t have the guts to do. Healthcare: Herbold, for calling out food deserts in addition to other issues. Addiction treatment: Herbold, for a clear headed focus on reducing overdoses and ER visits, even if the means of doing so are unpopular. Public safety: Herold; sorry people, but all the claims of the city not supporting the police and “unofficial” policies of not enforcing the law are lies, Herbold is the only one telling the truth on this issue. Light rail: all losers, pushing for the most expensive options for questionable benefit is the wrong track to take. Homelessness: Herbold, she has the experience and the facts, the others don’t strike me as having any real solutions.  Final score: Herbold 5, Green 1, Kolding 0, Tavel 0. I’m calling Tavel the loser for providing mostly generic non-answers, he doesn’t seem to have anything of substance to offer. Side question: is Willoughby even campaigning? No web site, no nothing.  I thought Greene would be more promising, and so many people seem to like Tavel I’m surprised at his lack of ideas or policies. Kolding’s “though on crime” stance is just rehashing policies that have failed in the past. I’ve disagreed with Herbold on many things while she’s been in office, and I happily voted against her in the primary and general in 2015, but with the current issues facing the city, I think she’s the best candidate we have at this time. Nobody is more surprised than me.

    • A April 11, 2019 (4:38 pm)

      You lost all credibility when you said Herbold was the winner on the homeless issue. Have you been outside lately? The homeless crises is out of of control and your girl Lisa is a big reason why

      • Peter April 11, 2019 (6:26 pm)

        How so? What has she done they’d made it worse?

        • The truth April 12, 2019 (9:05 am)

          Let’s start with her continuous support of Scott Morrow and his share/wheel camps that not only fails to get people into house but actively discourages them from talking to case managers.  How about that Peter???

    • Gatewood April 11, 2019 (4:44 pm)

      Herbold called out food deserts 4 years ago when she ran.  Must have been so fun to run on she thought “let’s not fix it so I can used it again.”  Calling BS on police support.  Give gave a long rambling speech while voting on the police contract about how she was “regrettably voting for it”. Nothing screams support like cringing to vote yes on a nearly 4 year overdue contract.  Last night she pointed out her support by claiming we pay a lot to them.  Great, if I pay my employees a lot but they still all feel like I am unsupportive and They are not valued then I am failing! No difference here.  She was bad last night.  Only diehard supporters thought she did well.  3 former Lisa supporters sat at my table and all 3 shook their heads at half her answers.  None are voting for her.  She is too arrogant to realize she is in trouble!

      • Peter April 11, 2019 (6:30 pm)

        Really? Who would be better at dealing with SPD (who, by the way, make gobs of money for refusing to do their jobs)? Kolding want to criminalize poverty. How will that help anyone?

        • WW Resident April 11, 2019 (8:15 pm)

          Refusing to do their jobs? What a bunch of BS. They’re told not to do them by the great leaders I bet you voted for

        • HappyCamper April 11, 2019 (8:18 pm)

          Talk to an SPD officer for 5 minutes. You will see how incredibly difficult of a job they have on all fronts. They are having tons of trouble attracting and retaining these people that make gobs of money. Must not be a walk in the park. If it was that easy people would be lining up around the block for a job as a cop. 

        • Frank April 11, 2019 (10:46 pm)

          Exactly who at the SPD makes “gobs” of money?   

        • Frank April 12, 2019 (6:00 am)

          Exactly who makes “gobs” of money at the SPD?  

      • John April 11, 2019 (7:46 pm)

        Food Deserts have been proven a popular myth according to NPR.

        The Root: The Myth of the Food Desert

        • Facebook
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        December 15, 20108:39 AM ETI wonder why Lisa continues to embrace  

      • KM April 12, 2019 (12:06 am)

        I don’t think one city council member has the political pull to force private businesses (grocery stores) to open in areas they don’t currently serve. It really sucks we have food deserts in this nation, but thinking Herbold has the power to fix it in her district is laughable.

  • Phil Tavel April 11, 2019 (3:17 pm)

    I want to thank the 34th Dems for hosting the forum last night, to Rachel Glass and Jordan Crawley for an excellent job as moderators and Chris Porter for keeping us candidates to our 2 minutes. I also want to say a big thank you to everyone who took time out of their Wednesday evening to come and listen to the candidates and the issues. Democracy doesn’t work if people don’t participate. Thanks as well to the Blog for their coverage of the forum. 

    • Alki April 11, 2019 (9:47 pm)

      You’d have my vote. Thank you.

  • Jort April 11, 2019 (3:19 pm)

    Well at least Lisa Herbold can fall back on all the goodwill and support she’s worked hard to build up with the various constituencies that will have her back… oh… wait.           Nearly every major road safety project in her district was canceled or “paused” in the last two years, she alienated urbanists AND homeowners with her attempts to use the Seattle Process to water down MHA to nothing, and she has used the same Seattle Process to backtrack on planned transit improvements throughout the city. Maybe she should have been fighting for actual progress, instead of minor, insignificant bureaucratic/centrist baloney. Maybe if Lisa had stood up for road safety on 35th or Fauntleroy, I’d have something cheer about.                         Those commentators who insist she is on the “far left” simply because she hasn’t forced homeless people into the concentration camps you all so lustfully desire should know that she doesn’t have very many allies on the actual far left. God knows this is shaping up to be the “Homeless Are Killing our Babies” Election 2019, which to me is the most bizarre thing to fixate all your concerns on, but, hey, whatever. I once again concede that they are, indeed, very icky to look at and I can see how that would be annoying for some people.

    • flimflam April 11, 2019 (4:52 pm)

      why so snarky and antagonistic in just about every post?

      • Peter April 11, 2019 (6:41 pm)

        Because s/he’s usually right. Somebody has to talk back to the right wing snobs in West Seattle pretending they’re progressive/liberals. I’ve seen it over and over again while living in West Seattle. Talk altruism/generosity in theory, and antagonize the poor/homeless in practice. Talk environmentalism in theory, then howl in outrage about the “war on cars.” Talk about the need for more housing, then lose their s*** over every new apartment building. The hypocrisy of West Seattle “progressives” is eyeball deep. 

        • CMT April 11, 2019 (7:06 pm)

          Or…people want solutions that will actually be effective long-term instead of just accepting the policies espoused by certain politicians simply because they stick a progressive buzzword on it and hope no one digs in to the facts.  Either way, constant snarkiness detracts from what might otherwise be thought-provoking posts.  Your first few sentences made me chuckle because I just heard a news story this morning about how Trump’s incivility is affecting the level of dialogue nationally and an ardent Trump supporter said Trump’s incivility was necessary to counter the “left” and here you are, a self-proclaimed progressive liberal espousing precisely the same reasoning.

        • WW Resident April 12, 2019 (6:26 pm)

          So anyone not with the alt left insanity is a right wing snob. OK carry on

    • Samhain April 12, 2019 (9:42 am)

      Thanks, Jort. This is so true. Something is deeply skewed in our perspectives as a community when so many people characterize the wan ‘solutions’ proposed by Herbold, and her endless backbending to people who will never vote for her as evidence that she is far left.

  • Seaview April 11, 2019 (3:46 pm)

    Of all the candidates Phil Tavel had the best grasp of what is needed to serve the people of West Seattle.  Best of all he understands small business and how important they are to the community. We need someone on the council who has actually owned a business and has signed peoples pay checks. Our current city counsel just wants to tax all businesses to fill their coffers and throw money at problems that they hope go away. Herbold (and the rest of the council) are clueless. I am really unimpressed with her. Jesse is not ready. Tavel is the smart choice for West Seattle.

  • W.Sea.Dem.PCO April 11, 2019 (3:53 pm)

    Thank you so much 34th Dems for putting this together. Lots of logistics and your volunteer hours paid off again! Tavel seemed very well versed on all of the issues and comfortable. I can see him representing us very well and we can always find him at Talarico’s on Wednesday night. Accessibility is very important to me. I supported Lisa last go. I like her. But as Tavel said “ We can do better.” We really must. The heartbreaking homelessness and addiction problems have been increasing. Does this justify another 4 years? I watched the video twice. I saw Lisa checking and typing on her phone. So far, Tavel is my front runner.  

    • Alki April 11, 2019 (9:44 pm)

      She is arrogant, sadly.  It may have worked for seattle 20 years ago. She knows she will not be back. Maybe she will run for Burien council.  Good luck to her.

  • W.SEA.DEM.PCO April 11, 2019 (4:23 pm)

    When I mentioned the phone,I was referring to the video on the 34th Dems Facebook. I feel the current Council has an anti-business attitude. I love our neighborhood businesses. Husky Deli, Easy Street, Pizzaria 22, Raccolto, Itto’s, Alki Lumber; they are part of our community. We have the best people and businesses in West Seattle and South Park. We all are part of an economic ecosystem. I think Phil gets that. We are blessed to have great people stepping up to serve their City. Great candidates!

    • Jort April 12, 2019 (11:26 am)

      Yes, the Council’s obvious anti-business agenda has truly left the Junction and businesses throughout Seattle in the midst of one of the worst economic situations in Seattle’s history. If only we could return to the West Seattle Junction of 1993. Why, the Junction is now just a wasteland of tumbleweeds and down-on-their-luck business owners … oh … wait …. Seattle is in the midst of an unprecedented economic boom. If this is what an “anti-business” council looks like, I’d have to admit some serious confusion.    

  • A April 11, 2019 (4:28 pm)

    Herbold said she wants to invest in getting people out of cars. So I guess all of us “war on cars” conspiracists were right all along. Wait til you see what they are about to do to Avalon Way. Lisa and the rest of the current council are a joke and need to be replaced badly. Stop the nonsense and get some people with common sense in office. I’d rather vote for a drug addict living in a tent than vote for her

    • Jort April 12, 2019 (11:20 am)

      What’s that about Avalon Way? The paving project is not reducing traffic lanes, but it is reducing a few parking spaces. Are you concerned that the city is choosing not to adopt the socialist policies of giving away, for free, public land for personal, private car storage? Or are you just concerned that now cyclists will be safer and have a reduced risk of serious injury or death? Or maybe it’s the fact that the new street design will force drivers to obey traffic laws and drive the legal speed limit?  Help me understand why making this a safer street means we are in the midst of a “war on cars?”

  • Jesse Greene April 11, 2019 (4:42 pm)

    I want to thank the 34th Democrats, Phil Tavel, Brendan Kolding, and Lisa Herbold for holding such a great forum last evening.  I believe all the candidates truly care about this city and even though we disagree on solutions to the challenges this city faces, having decent and holding debate is what makes a strong democracy.   A HUGE thank you, to the West Seattle Blog, for continuing this comprehensive coverage of this important seat.   I look forward to the next opportunity to continue this important conversation!   

  • Mj April 11, 2019 (6:00 pm)

    Seattle Council seats are supposed to be non partisan.  All candidates need to be allowed to participate in forums.  Excluding a candidate for being non partisan is discriminatory and should not be tolerated.

    • Lagartija Nick April 12, 2019 (8:40 am)

      The 34th DD are a private organization that held this forum to inform Democratic voters what their candidates have to say during the primary process. Should the republican party also be required to host democrats at their private primary forums and debates? Furthermore, there are several other independent organizations that have/will be holding forums and debates over the next few months. If Willoughby ever decides he wants to actually campaign maybe he’ll show up there.

    • Jort April 12, 2019 (11:00 am)

      Hi, MJ! If you read the West Seattle Blog’s wonderful summary, you might notice that these people were all seeking the endorsement of the 34th District Democrats. I don’t think it’s unfair to expect that people who want a Democratic endorsement should probably identify with the Democratic Party. This wasn’t a forum of the 34th District Non-Partisan Party.

  • Brendan Kolding April 11, 2019 (6:14 pm)

    I would like to thank the 34th Legislative District Democrats, in particular Jordan and Rachel, for hosting last night’s event!  It was an honor to participate in the conversation, along with Lisa, Phil, and Jesse.  I appreciate the West Seattle Blog for covering the event and providing a video that will allow people who were unable to attend the opportunity to watch.  I am looking forward to the debate!  

    • WOKEALKI April 12, 2019 (6:53 am)

      You’d have my vote. Thank you.

  • my two cents ... April 11, 2019 (7:58 pm)

    I’m surprised that Herbold didn’t get dizzy from all of the spin that she was trying to deliver ….

  • WS Guy April 11, 2019 (8:40 pm)

    It was good to hear Kolding come out 100% pro-tunnel.  I needed to hear that from him.

  • 2cents April 11, 2019 (8:43 pm)

    I see Herbold and the “also rans.” She’s the only credible option here yall.

    • Alki April 11, 2019 (9:50 pm)

      Maybe she is what’s wrong with seattle… think about it.

    • 8CENTS April 12, 2019 (6:57 am)

      Kolding and Tavel.  Kolding and Tavel.  Kolding and Tavel.  Kolding and Tavel.  Kolding and Tavel.  These are the 2 candidates we need to go to the elections.  Just my 8 cents.

  • Concerned citizen April 12, 2019 (8:12 am)

    I have to question the judgement or intellect of anyone voting for Herbold. She’s been objectively bad at representing the interests of her constituents.

    • Jort April 12, 2019 (11:02 am)

      “Everybody who doesn’t vote the way I want them to vote is a stupid idiot!” That’s an awesome electoral strategy, my friend!

      • WW Resident April 12, 2019 (6:23 pm)

        That’s ironic since you Jort, make those assumptions all the time when someone thinks differently from you

    • my two cents ... April 12, 2019 (6:10 pm)

      @concerned citizen Agree! Herbold has shown no ability, willingness to consider the community as a whole. Sorry to burst someone’s bubble, but this is not a binary equation – it is pragmatism, give/take, and the realization that multiple levers drive (and cause) the issues the community faces. Herbold’s knee jerk reactionary policies don’t do anything to create real change and progress.

  • Mj April 12, 2019 (11:01 am)

    The City Council needs to be changed starting with showing Lisa the door.  Enabling of illegal activity needs to stop.  Being poor is no excuse for using illegal drugs, littering, stealing and the like.  Back in the day people used to expect people to work and make their own way.  My grandparents lived on the wrong side of the RR tracks and did not conduct illegal activities.  It’s called work and with historic low unemployment jobs are readily available.  It’s time to expect more!

  • Jack April 12, 2019 (9:01 pm)

    We are fortunate to have this opportunity for a change in our city council  . We need new direction and new ideas   The city is faced with big problems that are not improving.  I supported Phil in the last election.  And feel he ie even more prepared now   He has the energy and heart to help us   And we need it

    • shauna April 14, 2019 (6:39 pm)

      agreed Jack- energy, heart, and focus to deal with our problems 

  • pjmanley April 13, 2019 (12:02 pm)

    A heroin addiction costs a lot more than rent.  But nobody wants to talk about that fact.  I suppose it makes me a Naz, but I don’t believe in coddling irresponsibility or enabling destructive behaviors.   That only fosters further dependency and irresponsibility, which magnifies the crises we’re in right now.  To those who demand “housing first” then deal with the issues later, I have only this question:  What do we do about the next 14,000 homeless who show up to take the place of all those we house?  Or 28,000?  Or 50,000?  Where does it end, Seattle?  It only ends when we address the afflictions and circumstances that make people homeless, stop enabling destructive and damaging lifestyles, and actually start treating the problems, not just the symptoms.  And that will never happen without reinstating law and order for everyone and getting rid of the double-standards we have now.  

  • ava l levine April 14, 2019 (6:22 pm)

    Amen to Tavel and Kolding! It’s obvious we need one of these two to lead and help us.

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