VIDEO: First debate-style faceoff for District 1 City Council candidates

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The questions were similar but the format different as the 34th District Democrats put four of the Seattle City Council District 1 candidates side by side last night for the second time in two weeks. From left, Phil Tavel, Brendan Kolding, Jesse Greene, and incumbent Lisa Herbold spent an hour an a half in what was billed as a debate, with rebuttals and counter-rebuttals.

So far, as with previous events, the debate at Holy Family Bilingual Catholic School generally ran along the lines of the challengers criticizing city leadership in general and, at times, Herbold in particular, rather than any of the three non-incumbents taking on the others. It’s all in the video above; the 34th’s Jordan Crawley and Chris Porter moderated (the video begins with Crawley explaining the rather intricate rules). Our toplines are after the jump:

Kolding was most direct in his criticism, countering Herbold’s contention that the council shows its support for Seattle Police – his employer until recently – through increasing SPD funding. He pulled out a list of specific points which he contended were displays by Herbold of non-support for police. Among his citations was her support for Initiative 940, the ballot measure approved by 60 percent of voters statewide last year. She countered that 940 was broadly supported by voters in District 1 and the rest of the city (72 percent approval in King County). Kolding suggested that voters didn’t understand what they were voting for – “it was sold to the public as a training bill; it wasn’t.” He also criticized Herbold for saying she approved officers’ recent contract “regretfully”; she said her regrets were that the contract undid some reforms.

Affordable housing was another topic; Greene said the lengthy permit process is a problem, along with the cost of buildable land, while Tavel said his rent had gone up $100 because his landlord’s property taxes had risen 50 percent. Herbold said that our state’s regressive tax structure plays a big role in the city’s “challenges.”

A question about the drug-addiction crisis brought up the concept of “safe injection sites,” as had been the case at previous forums. Though Herbold did not pull back her support for the concept – saying they are actually “overdose prevention sites” – she said the regional US Attorney’s recent anti-injection-site remarks meant the city was unlikely to try “moving forward” on the idea. Greene, noting that he lost his father to addiction, said “we need to work together” to fight it rather than politicizing it. On a followup, Kolding reiterated his previously voiced support for involuntary treatment, saying that would be a manifestation of a “community caretaking function.” Herbold said involuntary treatment certainly is part of a toolbox but as a “last resort.”

A question on the environment and what the city could do about emissions from motorized transportation on the roads led to some meandering responses. Tavel talked about pollution from aircraft and vessels; Kolding mentioned carbon-offset credits and partnering with scientists; Greene said he would like to see solar panels in all new buildings. Herbold noted that since the council committee she chairs includes utilities in its portfolio, she had worked on an initiative in support of electric-powered solid-waste trucks, plus, she said she had advocated for increased bus service, and repeated her concerns about the Center City streetcar.

They also discussed accountability for homelessness-related service providers and other aspects of addressing homelessness. Kolding, who has said he would favor “FEMA-style tents” for dramatically expanding shelter space, said there wouldn’t be a time limit for people moving on as long as they were working toward a “dignified lifestyle.” He also repeatedly used the phrase “homeless industrial complex” in reference to service providers; Herbold took issue with that, pointing out the low pay for many in that line of work. Greene said providers should be incentivized and again underscored his personal experience with homelessness. Herbold noted that she authored legislation regarding accountability for service providers. Tavel stressed a need for clarity on goals and also said that if they’re not being met, “disincentivizing” is what’s in order.

Taxes were the next topic, and along with reiteration of tax inequity came musings on whether tax money is going to the right place, as well as whether “the right people” are being taxed, as Greene put it while taking a shot at the sugary-drink tax. Tavel said it’s imperative to better understand where current tax dollars are going; he would call for auditing SDOT and utilities. He also wondered where marijuana taxes go. During Kolding’s 10 years with the city, he said, it was “embarrassing” to see money “flow(ing) out.” He also said that if the objective is to get people with money to spend more of it (ostensibly on taxes), safe streets would encourage that. Herbold said “we don’t see 75 percent of our tax dollars” as it goes to other entities, adding that “25 percent of King County cities have higher property taxes” than Seattle.

Prior to closing statements – which are part of our video as well as opening statements and the debate in its entirety – attendees were reminded that if they want to vote on who the 34th DDs will endorse in the race – the ultimate reason for this debate and the forum held April 10th – they need to join the group, which meets second Wednesdays.

WHAT’S NEXT: The field of candidates for the August 6th primary won’t be official until filing week in mid-May. Meantime, other groups/organizations have said they’re planning forums and/or debates, but the only date we know of for sure so far is the one we’re co-sponsoring with the West Seattle Junction Association at Summer Fest, tentatively set for July 14th.

73 Replies to "VIDEO: First debate-style faceoff for District 1 City Council candidates"

  • Pete April 24, 2019 (8:58 pm)

    I hope the voters of West Seattle and South Park are paying attention to what the candidates are saying. You can see that the candidates are getting their legs under them for this campaign. We are beginning to see some separation amongst the candidates on certain topics. For me Phil Tavel has taken the clear lead in vocalizing what his vision for moving District 1 is. I hope everyone is registered to vote, uses their democracy vouchers and then exercises their right to vote this year.  

    • Anon April 25, 2019 (12:26 am)

      It is refreshing to see that we’ll have distinctly different choices.  Kolding seems like a single-issue candidate and I personally find his views a bit extreme on that one issue so he’ll be a no for me.  I could be swayed on any of the other three, but I am also liking Phil Tavel as you are.

  • Gatewood April 24, 2019 (9:15 pm)

    I was there and I was very much liked Phil Tavel.  He had a solid grasp on all issues.  Kolding would balance the council with on the ground perspective on police issues but he needs way more knowledge on other issues.  I just don’t get Jessie Greene,  I was trying to get passed his poor public speaking (volume doesn’t equal passion) but even looking past that his ideas contradict.  How can you say middle class affordable house must be maintained on cost kept down so developers don’t have to charge more. Then in the environment question say you would require all new buildings to have solar installed?  I looked into it. Solar cost 25-60k to to install on a house and way more on apartments. How does that keep things affordable?  Also saying washington can sell that energy?  They are raising the rates for customers because we are conseving so much they cannot keep up with needed revenue to support the current infrastructure.  Also the wholesale market has been week the last two years.  Just virtue signaling with ideas that don’t link.  Lisa well…..70% of voters don’t support Injection sites as you claim.  You have been in city hall for 20 years or so.  Take your retirement and let us get some fresh voices and ideas. Your legislation get ruled illegal, raises rents, punishes small business and impacts our minority neighbors.  Thanks for your efforts but go live in Northbend full-time now.  

    • heartless April 24, 2019 (10:06 pm)

      I looked into it. Solar cost 25-60k to to install on a house and way more on apartments.”

      Oh?  Weird.  I googled ‘cost install solar panels seattle’ (without the quotes) and the internet suggested the cost for a house was about 17k before rebates.Do you have evidence to support your various claims, this one included? 

      I’m just curious, because you seem to have a lot of vitriol and not much by way of facts or citations.  

      • Jort April 24, 2019 (11:35 pm)

        “I’m just curious, because you seem to have a lot of vitriol and not much by way of facts or citations.”      Welcome to WSB District 1 2019 City Council candidate comments sections.

      • Gatewood April 25, 2019 (12:03 am)

        Average Seattle house is a 10kW usage. You front all this cost and them get some Federal rebates with your taxes.  Also the credits are schedule to be cut in half in 2020.  I would love to show you the two quotes from local companies that bid my house but you are not getting my address off the top.  I am not anti-solar as you may be able to tell because I almost installed a system.  I won’t own the house long enough for it to pencil out and several real estate agents told me the maintenance of the panels and system scare off some buyers (there words not mine).  Here is a link to the consumer and wholesale issues as well. for vitriol, nope. When failed policies are championed as working, when two policy points conflict with stated message, when math doesn’t add up and buzz words are used to distract from facts or lack of knowledge, I question it.  Thanks for attempting to troll me with your quick google search, it was fun.  I will let you fact check from here on out!

        • heartless April 26, 2019 (8:13 am)

          Um, your numbers range from 17k to 60k (before tax credits), so while my search yielded an admittedly low number I don’t see how it was that wrong.  We hadn’t narrowed it down to what kW we were talking about, and since any and every bit helps I’m still not convinced it makes sense to talk only about 10kW and up.

          And as for sounding vitriolic–well, yeah, to me you sounded that way.    

          “Thanks for attempting to troll me with your quick google search, it was fun.”

          Glad you had fun, I guess, but there was no attempt at trolling.  But then, as you write further down in this comment section, the “…term troll is thrown around really casually these days.”  So maybe that’s how you were using it, just throwing it around casually.  As for me, no trolling– I just thought your numbers were off.  Cheers.

      • beef April 25, 2019 (12:29 am)

        Get them installed and you will know the cost. Solar costs $3-4 per watt installed. A 10kW (10,000 watt) system costs $30-40k. That is (was) the exemption on WA sales tax for an installation.Yes I have a 10kW installation.

  • ByeLisa April 24, 2019 (9:38 pm)

    Brendan Kolding again was the winner.   Let’s get this city back on track and clean up the Drug Addicts who have taken over the city.  No more Property Taxes and Injection sites!!  Common sense is what we need. Bye Lisa !

    • Brenda April 25, 2019 (12:17 pm)

      Couldn’t agree with you more!!!Vote Kolding for getting our city back !

      • Thomas Wood April 25, 2019 (3:24 pm)

        What ever we do let’s make sure Lisa Herebold is sent packing

    • Nolan April 25, 2019 (12:42 pm)

      Proto-fascists have no place in Seattle.

      • WW Resident April 25, 2019 (4:16 pm)

        OMG!!! You’re not alt left who hate the police and want them to actually be able to enforce the law, you’re so fascist!!!! Get a grip

        • Nolan April 26, 2019 (10:04 am)

          You want to give me a better word that describes someone who wants to use the police to further beat down the most vulnerable people in our city? Someone who claims that hiring more law enforcement and throwing them at a problem will make it go away, no matter what that problem is? Someone whose rhetoric is rooted in bringing back law and order, other priorities be damned?

  • Jethro Marx April 24, 2019 (10:04 pm)

    How can you take Mr. Tavel seriously when he uses the “word” disincentivizing? I mean, the blog couldn’t even report it with a straight face. But hey, at least they’re all sounding like politicians! Looks like “none of the above” for me again. Did anyone ask about off leash dogs or fireworks? Those are truly the peninsular issues about which we are most passionate.

    • WSB April 24, 2019 (11:02 pm)

      Nope, no questions in any of the events so far got anywhere near off-leash dogs or fireworks. Many more issues still untouched, too. As for my face … there’s a picture of it next to the word “dour” in the dictionary, so I have no choice but to report it all with a straight face. Contextually – harder to convey as I had to run the camera and take notes, no backup last night – he used it after a couple others used “incentivize,” so it was sort of a reactive word, which you’ll see/hear if you check out the video. – TR, dourly

    • Anspo April 25, 2019 (12:09 am)

      It read weird to me too. Then I watched it in context. If you watch the video the way he used it makes sense. TR has to state the words used and it would have been impossible to fluidly add that explanation into the story. 

  • James Koutsky April 24, 2019 (10:07 pm)

      Brendan, thank you for running for the District 1 City Council seat. You  bring great experience and knowledge to the City Council. I look forward   to the election.  JK

  • Jort April 24, 2019 (11:33 pm)

    This Kolding guy is hilarious. I’m surprised he didn’t manage to find a way to equate carbon emissions with the “homeless industrial complex,” whatever the heck that’s supposed to be. Instead of saying “hello” when he answers the phone, he probably reflexively screams “FEMA-STYLE TENTTTSSS!!!”  I do appreciate that Kolding is taking on the super-winning, always successful stance of “the people who overwhelmingly voted for I-940 were too stupid to know what they were doing.”  If you ever wondered what it would be like for a die-hard conservative to run for office in deep blue liberal Seattle, take a look at this guy. I’m not a huge Lisa fan, but I will obviously vote for her over some fringe nutcase who wants to lock the homeless into concentration camps. Oh, I’m sorry, “FEMA-style tents in concentrated areas.”

    • AvalonTom April 25, 2019 (6:17 am)

      Kolding spends a bit too much time hanging out with the Safe Seattle / Speak out Seattle / Burien Voice people (if you dont know who these groups are, look up on FB at your own risk, they all stem from the same right wing minority that ran for office last time. ) The homeless industrial complex and FEMA style tents give him away on that.  His understanding of the homeless issues is shockingly simple. My guess would be a very close race between Mrs. Herbold and Mr. Tavel. 

    • Brenda April 25, 2019 (12:19 pm)

      Get your facts straight. Kolding is a Registered Democrat

      • Jort April 25, 2019 (12:43 pm)

        Speaking of facts, did you know that there are no “registered Democrats” in Washington? Our state doesn’t have party registration. Period! Please don’t tell people to “get their facts straight” and immediately follow up with something that’s not true. Here’s a voter registration form from the Secretary of State, maybe you can help point me to the location where you register for your political party in case I’m missing it:

        • OP April 26, 2019 (9:28 am)

          Jort: Individuals can be registered whrreas candidates cannot. Kolding is a registered Democrat.  

    • Angele April 27, 2019 (6:07 am)

      FEMA tents as concentration camps is a bit extreme, don’t you think?   Considering that the state legislature might soon legalize encampments on sidewalks, parks and streets, parking lots,  usurping the authority of city governments. Local governments would not have to allow encampments if they have an immediate-available alternative for shelter and FEMA tents are a logical solution.“Homelessness
      and drug addiction are ravaging Seattle, Washington’s largest city. More than
      400 illegal encampments now exist within the city limits. Last year, municipal
      cleanup crews collected more than 2.4 million pounds of trash and human waste
      from a small fraction of these encampments. Discarded needles litter the
      streets, and even Puget Sound’s famed mussels have tested positive for opioids.
      Prohibitions against public
      camping, littering, drug consumption, and theft do not “criminalize
      homelessness” — they provide the foundation for public safety in urban
      environments. Social disorder will only increase if Gregerson’s bill becomes
      law. The legislation would perpetuate the suffering of addicts and the mentally
      ill, who constitute more than 80 percent of the street population. The solution
      to the city’s homelessness crisis is to remove the incentives to live outdoors,
      let police officers enforce the law, and empower social workers and outreach
      teams to help the most vulnerable get off the streets, into treatment and
      housing, and on the path to self-sufficiency.”


  • Jort April 24, 2019 (11:47 pm)

    “A question on the environment and what the city could do about emissions from motorized transportation on the roads led to some meandering responses…”Yeah, I’ll bet it did! That’s because “liberal” Seattle has a really hard time squaring their supposed concerns about the environment with the actual, real-world reality that their choice to drive vehicles is the number one cause — and growing — of carbon emissions in the city. Solar panels are cute, but our hydroelectric dams aren’t what’s warming the planet: it’s our stupid, stupid cars. America is alone in the world in being not only one of the largest carbon emitters by total emissions, but also in per capital carbon emissions. What drives this? Our insatiable desire to plan our society around cars and our lack of political courage to change this.So, yeah, I imagine they struggled to answer that question, because if there’s anything that we dare not question in this country from either side of the political spectrum, it’s our unwillingness to change a single thing about our toxic, dangerous and deadly car culture. But yeah, solar panels! That’ll make people feel like they’re, uh, doing, uhhh… something?

    • zark00 April 25, 2019 (11:07 am)

      It’s actually airplanes, jet exhaust, that’s contributing the most to Seattle-area carbon emissions, and is also growing at a far faster clip than auto emissions.  Auto emissions up 1% 2016 to 2017, Trucks up 3%,  jet exhaust up 22% – and jet exhaust is up a whopping 40% since 2014.  So yeah, we need to stop flying around so much I guess?  We can do something about all of them, but, like you said, we choose not to.

      • jort April 25, 2019 (1:04 pm)

        Hi Zark00, can you point me to your source? Let’s get the numbers correct, shall we? The most recent source I have for this information is the city’s 2016 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory, linked here, which clearly shows that 34 percent of emissions come from cars and trucks, while 21 percent come from aviation. Aviation has had the highest percentage increase since 2014, but it is not 40 percent, it’s 17 percent. Not quite so “whopping.” Meanwhile, our cars, and people’s choice to continue driving them and our government’s choice to continue enabling their use, are the single greatest factor in our city’s carbon emissions, and that is not disputable. Cars and light-duty trucks ALONE contribute 1,626,000 metric tons of CO2, which is literally more than any other line item on the entire summary table. It is critically important that we not minimize the singular contribution that American automobiles have to our warming planet, though I can certainly understand the instinct to do so when it has become such an integrated factor of American societal development. 

      • Buildings are a bigger problem than cars and planes April 25, 2019 (1:18 pm)

        It’s actually buildings.  I am sure that building codes are part of City Council’s responsibility and could be added as part of the solution to reducing greenhouse gases. This is not a new discovery. The issue has been known for a while.

        • Jort April 25, 2019 (3:29 pm)

          Sorry, you’re actually wrong. Buildings are not the greatest source of Seattle carbon emissions. Take a look at Seattle’s emissions report. Buildings, which are specifically accounted for, make up 22 percent of Seattle’s emissions. Transportation makes up 59 percent.      I know that people really, really, REALLY don’t want their personal decision to drive cars to be so destructive to global warming, but in Seattle, that’s the cold, honest truth. If we want to reduce our emissions, we need to make it harder — actually harder — to choose to drive your toxic car. It sure is easier to point the finger somewhere else and might make you feel less guilty, but it’s healthier to live in a reality-based world, and not in a fantasy-world where we believe what we want to believe in order to feel better about our destructive decisions. 

        • AlkiMark April 25, 2019 (8:31 pm)

          Actually I heard on the radio today that the state ferry system is the largest consumer of diesel fuel in the state

  • beef April 25, 2019 (12:34 am)

    If you are a “Law and Order” candidate, you are just here to waste more of our tax dollars and continue to oppress the people who are on the less fortunate end of the economic spectrum. That has been the plan since the 60s and that has failed spectacularly, all it does is waste out tax dollars.Also, if you don’t know that the State of Washington severely limits what the City can tax and spend those dollars on , you really need to do more homework. The limitations from the State legislature and State Constitution are the main reasons that the City does not have the flexibility to address the problems we are currently experiencing in this City.

    • AvalonTom April 25, 2019 (6:34 am)

      You hit the nail on the head! The folks running are promising the moon and pretend to have some sort of a secret sauce to magically fix all our problems in 15 second sound bites.

      • Gene April 25, 2019 (7:29 am)

        So what else is new?

      • Jon Wright April 25, 2019 (8:26 am)

        That’s the philosophical problem I have about challengers not running on what they are for, but running anti-incumbent campaigns. The number of homeless people in Seattle seems to evoke that. “We’ve spent all this money and there are still lots of homeless people therefore the current Council is incompetent and they all need to be replaced!” That doesn’t address what the money was spent on, whether it did any good, or how spending that money differently would have led to better outcomes. Nor does it address legal limitations. The courts have imposed some very specific constraints. My thought regarding our homeless neighbors is if we hadn’t spent the money we did, things would probably be way worse than they are (and yes, they could be worse). Did we get the best possible results for our tax dollars? I really can’t say. But anyone who simplisticly claims all that money was wasted doesn’t know, either. If candidates are going to claim they are a better choice than those currently in office, I think they need to demonstrate they have a real grasp of the problem and specific solutions (that are actually viable) that are better than what  has been tried to date.

        • The Truth April 25, 2019 (11:25 am)

          That’s why I liked what Tavel has been saying!  It’s not about cutting all funding and claiming all money has been wasted.  It’s about looking at the data, seeing what programs (there are several) with solid records of moving people into housing and connecting them with service, seeing which ones don’t (there are several) and reallocating the funds from the bad to the good.  Very reasonable approach.  You take away the ammo for people to criticize the system when you actually show accountability.   

    • Concerned citizen April 25, 2019 (7:33 am)

      Brilliant points, letting addicts repeatedly offend and commit pretty crimes while destroying our public spaces is clearly working.

      • Jethro Marx April 25, 2019 (12:26 pm)

        If we’re talking about pretty crimes, you must mean the guerrilla knitters who occasionally wrap the lampposts; I love them! How simple our concern could be if we could focus our community frustrations on a single group as the source of our problems! Seattle grows into a metropolis and how do we make it Cloud City instead of Gotham? But words matter.

        • Karl Tull April 25, 2019 (12:53 pm)

          Words matter. We need to respect the rule of law.  Vote Kolding.  Single issue that is of the utmost importance to tax paying citizens: Safety. Microphone drops.

          • Jort April 25, 2019 (1:08 pm)

            Ooo!  A mic drop! So edgy!

          • Jethro Marx April 25, 2019 (1:41 pm)

            Yet these four vie for our council seat, and they cannot be mic-droppers. Rather they must weigh the issue before them, day in and day out, and if all one can muster is to yammer on about those damn RV ghettoes it will not do when the issue is something unrelated.

  • MJ April 25, 2019 (7:28 am)

    Every property tax levy makes housing less affordable.  One more reason Lisa needs to be shown the door is her support for the Library Levy that was supposed to be a one time use during the depth of the recession.A candidate that can budget and prioritize using existing resources is needed.  

  • Concerned citizen April 25, 2019 (7:28 am)

    I’d be fine with Tavel or Kolding, but Herbold must go.

  • Gxnx April 25, 2019 (9:37 am)

    Any Republican candidates?Time for change

  • ABH April 25, 2019 (9:54 am)

    For me it’s pretty simple, if you elect a candidate like Herbold and she can’t articulate her position on issues effectively (just listen to her last KUOW interview), doesn’t seem to have a real vision addressing critical problems and simply doesn’t integrate into our community in a way that makes her visible and energized to take on problems, then it’s time for her to go.  Let’s get some intelligence, passion and commitment into this position. #ABH anyone but Herbold! 

  • TJ April 25, 2019 (10:03 am)

    Well the reality is our culture has been built around cars, and that isn’t changing much. It allowed suburbs to be built which allows people to own houses. Where the anti-car people who use carbon emissions as their basis for wanting us to stop driving to fit THEIR philosophy lose their traction is electric cars. There is a real possibility that most cars can be run solely on electric in the not to distant future. Carbon issue negated. And regarding the homeless junkie issue comment what tax dollars can ve spent on: we have spent a lot with zero success. Perhaps look to Bellevue and how they have handled it?

    • PigeonRidge Ben April 25, 2019 (10:51 am)

      Could you tell us what Bellevue did?

    • Jon Wright April 25, 2019 (11:14 am)

      Saying “we have spent a lot with zero success” treats homelessness as a binary thing: either we have homeless folks trying to live amongst us or we don’t. I suspect that money we have spent has helped a lot of people, it just hasn’t helped everyone. Absolutisms like “zero success” come across as angry rhetoric indicative of a bias toward simplistic thought vs. making an effort to really understand the situation.

    • zark00 April 25, 2019 (11:15 am)

      lol, there’s under 400 homeless people in Bellevue, over 12,000 in Seattle.  The jungle had over 400 people in it alone.  That’s how Bellevue handled it: it was never a problem to begin with, problem solved.

      • AvalonTom April 25, 2019 (2:38 pm)

        12,000 in King County. Please get your numbers right.

    • KM April 25, 2019 (12:04 pm)

      The carbon issue is not negated simply shifting to electric vehicle, but it’s is reduced by roughly half through the lifecycle of the vehicle: Still, that’s a lot better than relying on gas vehicles.What EV’s don’t do is ensure that our streets are safe for all users, and there are many concerned drivers, cyclists and pedestrians out there who are not comfortable with the amount of deaths in the US related to auto crashes (around 37k a year for the past couple years, not including the 2+ millions that are injured or disabled). The city has a goal of reducing road-related deaths to 0 by 2030 (ambitious!) The “anti-car” narrative is more than eliminating tail-pipe emissions. It’s about safety for all users and reducing the impact to our environment of keeping up car infrastructure and production. 

  • Jesse Greene April 25, 2019 (12:48 pm)

    I would like to thank everyone that came out and to my fellow candidates for putting their selves “out there” to try to better our community.  I have great respect for anyone willing to make the great sacrifice to run for office.  It is known to me that everyone in this race shares a love for our community and what separates us all is simply our approach.  The dehumanization and vilification of candidates on message boards is unfortunately the byproduct of the toxic partisanship we all need to make a stand up to.  Lisa, Phil, and Brendan are all parents, family members, and friends to people within this community and I am thankful that they have spent so much time in their areas of service trying to make this community better.  

    • Karl Tull April 25, 2019 (1:11 pm)

      Thanks Jesse for your sobering message.  As a compassionate parent, would we look the other way and/or throw money at a drug addicted child, enabling them to continually put poison in their body? And when the money runs out, let them steal and vandalize others and live in squalor as they plot to get their next fix? Housing First for these folks is a joke. As a parent who cares deeply about my family and for their and the community at large’s health and safety, I urge West Seattleites to vote for Brendan Kolding.

      • Nolan April 25, 2019 (3:10 pm)

        A parent that cares so deeply that you oppose an effective, empirically-backed approach to handling drug addicts because you want them to die in jail. Riiight.

        • Paul April 26, 2019 (2:41 pm)


          I am pretty sure Karl was referring to community impact and
          not how successful Housing First was at ensuring that the most community destructive
          people are given permanent housing with no consequences for their action.  Because if you lived near DESC Cottage Grove
          Commons, you would see that DESC’s “national recognized” Housing First program condones
          its residents to drink on street corners, buy and use drugs in the Shell gas
          station across the street, and supply food and “medical supplies” to the
          homeless population in the community that has exploded since Cottage Grove
          Commons has opened.  Don’t trust me, ask
          any SPD beat officer, they will tell you DESC Cottage Grove Commons is a nuisance
          to the community.


          Nolan, as I see it, Housing First is like Injection Sites, while
          they may address one problem, they destroy communities. So Nolan, to me, your
          support Housing First is nothing more than supporting drug dealers over safe
          communities.  Not very parental if you ask

          • Jethro Marx April 26, 2019 (8:06 pm)

            You’re throwing out a lot of hearsay and baseless claims, but this is, after all, a public comment area, so I guess I’ll not be surprised. Tell me more about how you’ve seen supervised drug use sites “destroy communities.” Because they’re not too common, and I’d be very surprised, indeed, if you were doing anything other than pooting out some nonsensical hot air. But please, tell us of your experiences. DESC is working a harm reduction model, not harm elimination, because that’s what is practical.

        • WW Resident April 27, 2019 (3:34 pm)

          Empirically backed to do what? Keep drug addicts addicted so they can continue to steal to feed their addiction? Awesome

          • heartless April 27, 2019 (6:46 pm)

            WW Resident: I’m not exactly sure what you’re asking about with regards to the empirical backing–but if you are referencing what are called safe injection sites, then the evidence is a bit mixed, but generally in favor of them.  This is a link to a discussion of various studies:

            But, basically, it says that while the jury is still out they seem to increase rehab and getting off of the drugs, and they decrease overdose fatalities.  Of course what studies like that don’t do is (or are unable to do) is quantify changes in a neighborhood due to these sites, are perhaps therein lies the rub.

            If you are after empirical evidence, you will find some on the internet, and the general consensus is cautious optimism regarding the addicts in said areas; with little work on the effects of surrounding neighborhoods (results either positive or negative).  

      • Peter April 25, 2019 (6:28 pm)

        You may very well be a parent, I don’t know so I’ll take your word for it, but I see no evidence of compassion in your comments. 

  • Jesse Greene April 25, 2019 (1:23 pm)

    Gatewood:  While I know better than to feed the trolls, I am going to talk to your continued misrepresentation of my positions and your attacks ever since I entered this race.  In no way at the event, did I state that all new buildings need to have a solar system that feeds their entire energy consumption.  I stated that I would like grid tied solar in all new building projects in the future to become the leading city in the United States in cutting carbon emissions and fighting climate change.    In my short 60 second response time, I didn’t have time to talk to the fact that if new single family residences had a 4 KW system, that we would be going a long way towards powering a 10 KW home like yours.  So every 2.5 new houses, we would have made enough energy to power 1 house.   Secondly that even if your model of 17K for the system before tax incentives holds true, the way you offset the cost is crediting (lowering) the cost of permitting by 17K for this project; thus, netting zero as far as housing prices.  The answer isn’t always raising tax revenue… sometime making positive impact in our community can be done without stuffing more money into city hall.   We need to continue making positive impact in climate change, as I would like this beautiful city to be here for my kids and their children.   You hide behind an anonymous handle making negative comments and misrepresentations.  WE ALL GET IT.  You support Phil Tavel and had your mind made up before anyone else entered this race as we can see in your history of comments… and that it OK!  Phil is a real nice guy (I personally like him a lot) and if he has positions that you believe best represent you, then vote for him.  It is up to you whether you continue to misrepresent the other candidates positions to try to create confusion.  My hope is you will realize that it is a strategy that does not better the race or the community.  I am in this race to give everyone an opportunity to have an OPTION that does not and has not worked in the city bureaucracy.  I am in this race because I believe we need someone who has experienced homelessness and works on homelessness to help solve the issue instead of over simplifying it.  I am in this race because we need someone that actively runs businesses and completed graduate level business school to make economic policy and spend our tax money responsibly.  I am in this race because I was born in this community, I went to college in this community, I run businesses in this community, and my kids go to school in this community.  I love West Seattle and South Park dearly and want to do what I can in civic duty to help my community. 

    • Gatewood April 25, 2019 (4:36 pm)

      The term troll is thrown around really casually these days.  I appreciate your reply with actual details.  If I understand it correctly and please correct me if I am wrong or misinterpreting:I would build my house and be required to install some sort of solar integration.It would cost (not sure what you meant by my model in your reply) lets say 17k for a unit that wouldn’t produce enough power for a standard single family home but would have a cumulative effect in increasing the grid.Next the city would cut my permitting fees by 17k or let’s for reasonability say 12k after some other Federal rebates are applied?So is the city giving me or developers free solar? I would love free solar because as stated, I am a fan of solar and almost wrote an insanely large check to install it.  Yet most of the city revenue growth has come in via construction and if we are cutting 12-17k worth of funds off every house built by developers it would leave a massive whole in out budget.In a time when we desperately need to maintain our funding for things like expanded services for all our unsheltered neighbors fighting mental health, addiction and various other needs I question the developer giveaway.  When we already have some of the cleanest power in the country and it’s only getting greener. I am not sure this is a needed or wise move given the affordability crisis.  I am open to any correction of my understanding as long as you start without the troll crap this time.  Fun fact- My original support was for you and Phil but your performance at the SOS forum sent that support over to Kolding as the second person I would be comfortable going through with Phil.  Your mansplaining type reply about offering Lisa Herbold Ilene Cody’s number in the 34D forum really showed you need more seasoning.  Sorry if you don’t like the feedback. Take it or leave it. You seem like a nice guy and I will give you credit for wanting to improve the city. Anyone who runs for office is brave and they also need to be ready for feedback that they might not want to hear.  Best of luck!

    • Peter April 25, 2019 (5:11 pm)

      Mr. Greene, you should probably fire whichever consultant told you it’s a good strategy to address constituents as trolls. 

      • anspo April 25, 2019 (5:37 pm)

        Seriously!  Could have started that whole statement without the first sentence and it would have sounded like a candidate defending a position and actually made a decent attempt to lay out his case.  Instead, he starts off calling a apparently engaged voter a troll?  You have got to be kidding me.  You have Jort just trashing Kolding but notice he doesn’t engage.  He just tanks everyone for attending and for those who are engaged.  Great restraint Kolding!  Jesse take notes….

      • Nolan April 26, 2019 (10:01 am)

        Frankly, it’s refreshing that he’s calling them as they are. A lot of y’all are trolls whose (noisily pushed) opinions are utterly without merit, and there’s no value in pretending otherwise.

  • TJ April 25, 2019 (3:00 pm)

    Bellevue’s approach to homeless is pretty simple, and I am familiar with it. They have shelters and programs to get people off the street. But, they do not allow public camping or derelict rv’s. Drive through any part and you will not see a tent. Aggressive panhandling is not allowed. And, they enforce drug laws there. I was for marijuana legalization, but not for the police to turn a blind eye to blatant public use. A good friend is a cop there and they will not allow junkies to get comfortable. Literally 8 miles away here in Seattle and the city allows all of the above, so it is clearly more than a affordability issue because Bellevue is more expensive than here. Junkies, predators, and criminal homeless people coming into the region won’t head that way, but come to where they have been allowed to set up shop

  • Peter April 25, 2019 (3:03 pm)

    It’s discouraging that even when directly asked about vehicle emissions, none of them will even acknowledge the huge amount of pollution by private automobiles. There are no true environmentalists in this race.

    • Jort April 25, 2019 (7:33 pm)

      Peter, take a look at the comments in this thread trying desperately to find ways to minimize the actual, real-world impact of Seattle car drivers and their contributions to destroying our planet. Whether it’s “solar panels,” “buildings,” or “airplanes,” they are achingly desperate to find something — anything — to avoid recognizing the singular threat that automobiles pose to this planet. I am tremendously pessimistic about our ability to counter the effects of climate change in any meaningful way because, in the reality-based world, we’ll need to dramatically alter the way we think about transportation to even come close. If there’s anything that unifies politicians of any political bent, it’s the unquestionable, unyielding supremacy of driving a car above all other factors in America. We are truly doomed.    

  • dhg April 25, 2019 (3:13 pm)

    Thanks for the comments, Jesse.   I wish we could get our national politics to run along the same lines of reasonable discourse.  Unfortunately, they last time we had a presidential debate it sounded more like Housewives of Reality TV than a debate on important issues.

  • Brendan Kolding April 25, 2019 (4:07 pm)

    I would like to express my appreciation to the 34th District Democrats and Holy Family Bilingual Catholic School for hosting this important and informative debate!  Many thanks, also, to the West Seattle Blog for being there to cover the event.  Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to all who attended and all who are participating in this discussion.  

  • TJ April 25, 2019 (9:28 pm)

    I would like to tell you to take a deep breath and relax Jort, but it seems you are one of the extremely vocal voices that is part of the problem. I’ve heard it said a few times recently nationally that meaningful climate change legislation is doomed now because it’s become way too political and hijacked by extremists on both ends, and I agree. The “Green New Deal” is a non-starter for any democratic presidential candidate and they know it. It seems like we actually have done a decent job in the last 50 years here locally on the environment. It is well known the air and water are cleaner here now than in the 1970’s, but that doesn’t get any attention. Cars are getting cleaner, and electric vehicles being the main mode in the not too distant future is realistic. But where I get turned off is when people say that isn’t good enough and throw some bogus indirect carbon claims on “the batteries” and say we need to somehow legislate people out of cars. Or some goofy claim about methane from cattle, so people need to stop eating meat. Complete lifestyle changes aren’t realistic, even to many people who are passionate about the climate

    • heartless April 26, 2019 (8:25 am)

      “I’ve heard it said a few times recently nationally that meaningful climate change legislation is doomed now because it’s become way too political and hijacked by extremists on both ends”

      I’ve heard it said a few times recently nationally that Canada is secretly a puppet state of Spain.

      Look, the issue of climate change has become too political for your taste?  You feel people on both sides are being too extreme?  REALLY? The absolute mass of scientists and trained experts saying this is a huge and deadly problem, do you find them to be extremists? 

      I know it’s a standard strategy these days to set up false equivalencies, to suggest that both sides have equal merit, but, really, this is too much.

      “and throw some bogus indirect carbon claims on “the batteries””

      Who is doing this?  What are you talking about?  Why on earth would people be making bogus (and indirect!?) claims about batteries?  What would that serve?

      “Or some goofy claim about methane from cattle”

      I…. I just give up…  

  • WS Realtor April 26, 2019 (9:13 am)

      I’ve observed that Brendan Kolding and Phil Tavel have very similar messages, just a different style of delivery/personality, so either would be great.  So then, which of these two candidates is more likely to firmly go against the status quo at city hall and  follow through with their convictions once elected – I believe Brendan Kolding will!!

  • The Truth April 26, 2019 (10:43 am)

    The interesting thing about this whole thread is currently not one comment here at time of this comment that is excited about re-electing Herbold. 66 published comments and not one speaking out in support of Lisa!  There is hope for change! 

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