ELECTION 2023: One week left to vote on two ballots

We are one week away from not only Valentine’s Day but Election Day – actually two elections, with separate ballots and voting methods. Next Tuesday night (February 14th) is your deadline to vote in both. So we’re reminding you/refreshing your memory:

SEATTLE I-135: This is the one issue on the traditional by-mail ballot you should have received already if you’re registered to vote – Seattle Initiative 135, which would create a new Public Development Authority to build so-called “social housing.” We took a look at I-135 a month ago here. This ballot has to either be in a King County Elections dropbox by 8 pm next Tuesday or be in the USPS mail early enough to guarantee it’s postmarked no later than February 14th. (As of tonight, only 12 percent of ballots had been returned.)

KING CONSERVATION DISTRICT SUPERVISOR: You’ll find the ballot for this vote online. You’re choosing one of three candidates to serve on the King Conservation District Board of Supervisors. Two of the three are West Seattleites – incumbent supervisor Chris Porter and Csenka Favorini-Csorba; also running is April Brown. The district explains itself as “a special purpose district committed to helping people engage in stewardship and conservation of natural resources” with an $8 million budget. Voting is conducted via online ballot access, with an option for requesting a physical ballot; find the voting link and candidate info here, and vote by 8 pm next Tuesday.

26 Replies to "ELECTION 2023: One week left to vote on two ballots"

  • anonyme February 8, 2023 (5:47 am)

    We already have a Dept. of Housing, as well as numerous other factions working on affordable housing.  We don’t need yet another layer of bloated bureaucracy to achieve the goals set forth in I-135.  This is set to become yet another boondoggle like the ‘homeless industrial complex’ sometimes referenced here.   It makes much more sense to incorporate new ideas into an existing framework rather than creating expensive, ineffectual, redundant agencies.  If we spent less money on bureaucracy and more on actual issues, we might actually get somewhere.

  • Jeepney February 8, 2023 (5:59 am)

    “No” on I-135, no accountability for how our $$$$$$ will be spent.

    • Tired of Delridge February 8, 2023 (9:51 am)

      Voted ‘no’ as well

      • shotinthefoot February 8, 2023 (10:45 am)

        note to everyone – no one cares how you voted. you’re just (anti)virtue signaling. 

        • M February 8, 2023 (11:58 am)

          Speak for yourself.  I like to see what the temperature of the community is on issues, and this blog is a great place to get that information informally, until the actual results come through.  

          • shotinthefoot February 8, 2023 (12:47 pm)

            yeah, this is a great place to find out your neighbors don’t care about anyone but themselves. 

          • reed February 8, 2023 (1:44 pm)

            M you must be new here.  Relying on these comments as an accurate temperature of the community is a joke, and every recent election cycle proves it.

        • Flivver February 8, 2023 (11:58 am)

          shotinthefoot. Evidently you care. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be commenting. Right?? 

        • Julian February 8, 2023 (1:40 pm)

          Have you ever considered your comment is seen as anti-virtue signaling to other people?  

  • Jeff February 8, 2023 (9:45 am)

    I have a few questions about social housing, and Im asking in earnest because I don’t really understand this proposal.    1.   What does this do differently such that it requires a new organization vs. expansion of something like the Seattle Housing Authority?2.  The wait time for an SHA apartment is often measured in years, and it has a funding source.   How will the new (and as yet unfunded) program be more effective?3.   Lacking new funding, won’t the new program be competing with existing programs that have similar goals?   Isn’t this just adding more admin overhead?

    • WSB February 8, 2023 (10:05 am)

      We linked the supporters’ (there are no organized opponents) FAQ in previous coverage; here it is again. Among the questions is the one you ask.

      • Jeff February 8, 2023 (10:31 am)

        Thank you!   I’m definitely with them on the problems caused by our current zoning (allow at least 4 units on all normal size residential lots, please!), but not convinced by much else.  I guess it mostly sounds nice enough, but it’s too vague for me to want to create a new organization that might someday start raising money and someday after that start building something.   Comparing it to the monorail definitely influenced my opinion, but probably not in the way they would have hoped.  

    • Just J February 8, 2023 (12:35 pm)

      Thank you for asking the questions.   I worked for over 40 years to help create affordable housing options, and this idea, although earnest, doesn’t advance the cause in my opinion.  1.  The idea of social housing is almost identical to the current work of other housing organizations, and especially the Housing Authorities.  It strives for long term ownership, with local control, to keep the housing affordable.  That is identical to other non-profits and the HA, and all affordable housing funds have really long affordability covenants.  2.  This organization is not funded, and the funds will come out of other current funding sources for affordable housing.  Unfortunately, even the most creative approaches take time to produce units (from getting the land to completing the updates or building), so not faster.  3.  YES is is competing and reducing other already inadequate funding for affordability.  Affordable housing reduces the costs to keep the units affordable to people of different incomes.  And the current organizations working on this are really creative, hardworking and compassionate.  Please vote No.  Thanks. 

  • Scarlett February 8, 2023 (10:13 am)

    I will be voting “yes.”   The so-called “free market” which is itself a laughable oxymoron these days, itsn’t going to solve the housing crisis.  

    • Flivver February 8, 2023 (12:06 pm)

      Scarlett. Agree there is a housing problem. Why is this measure the cure?? What guarantees are there that in 5 years there’s nothing to be shown for the money spent, except for those that got paid to actually do something that ended up not being accomplished.

    • Eric1 February 8, 2023 (12:57 pm)

      Scarlett, I am not sure what you mean that the free market is an oxymoron.  There is no affordable housing shortage: Given the low vacancy rate in Seattle, residents can afford the housing.  There may be a shortage of housing overall but name me a popular place that doesn’t have this problem (even better yet, name me a place that has solved this problem without becoming Detroit).  If you can’t afford the cost of housing in a particular location given your job skills, you need to move.  Before you think I am a conservative, I am just a realist:  I grew up in Hawaii (a blue a state as there is).  Look up the average housing cost, and then the average income and you will laugh.  I left “paradise” because there are very few jobs in Hawaii that will get you a house (even as a married couple) and we saw no way affordable housing would magically appear to the average person.  There is no “right” to live anywhere just because you were born there so  I moved to Seattle in the early 90’s when it was cheap and you could buy a house on two mediocre incomes. Ironically, my kids will/have moved out of Seattle because now they can’t afford to live here either.  It sucks but it is the same reality for them as it was for me.  But, moving to cold and rainy Seattle 30 years ago turned out good for me because I am way better off here than if I had stayed in paradise. Likewise, I am thinking my kids are better off where they are as well because life is what you make of it.  If it is that “bad” in Seattle, people should look to other places for opportunities.  I know lots of people who left Hawaii and Seattle and most of them don’t come back because where they go is better for them even if they didn’t want to leave at first. If you don’t see your life improving without “outside” help, waiting to win the lottery is a horrible way to fix the problem.  Waiting for Seattle/King County/Washington to fix your problem has even worse odds of success. The only thing I agree with you on is this initiative will not solve the housing crisis.

      • C February 8, 2023 (6:18 pm)

        Eric1 – so you think all the people who clean the hospital hallways and bus your tables, etc should move if they can’t afford to live in or around the city? The whole city would shut down. And before you hammer on more about if your skills can’t afford you to live here… I have a masters degree and work in healthcare locally and it’s STILL hard to make ends meet some months. But ok, all us healthcare folks will just leave too if that’s your genius idea.

        • Eric1 February 8, 2023 (11:17 pm)

          C.  That is the point – You have a masters degree, work in healthcare, and it is still hard to make ends meet. What about those that don’t have an advanced degree or work in heath care? If all the Seattle hospital custodians left for better opportunities elsewhere I would be happy for them. They should not be concerned if the corporate owners of Seattle area hospitals can’t find replacements. I don’t fault people for staying in expensive cities, there are benefits that are worth having roommates, commuting, living in smaller housing units, etc…  But the comment was centered the free market not working (I think it is), and while it certainly is not helping solve the housing crisis, I don’t think the government can.  My point was that people consider moving to where the housing is affordable, not hoping to win the government housing lottery for the few available units. Seattle is 50% more expensive to live in than average, if you move, the pay is likely to be less but as long as that isn’t 50% less, you should be better off. 

      • Scarlett February 8, 2023 (7:54 pm)

        You know what doesn’t travel with you on your quixotic search for that affordable house in Kansas?  Wages.  The prevailing wages in many parts of the country make their skyrocketing housing nearly as unaffordable as here.   There really is no ‘cheap’ housing anywhere, from big city to small town.   I’m not sure what it takes to convince you and others that we are in a full-blown housing crisis in this country, a crisis like the one that prompted the Housing Act of 1937.  Why shouldn’t the government or state intervene? The tax code is perfused with government goodies to prop up home values, as well.  Name me one other investment where you can realize $500K in asset appreciation (24mo/5 year), sell it, and not pay a dime of in capital gains taxes. 

        • 1994 February 8, 2023 (10:26 pm)

          There may be no cheap housing to find but there still remains cheaper housing to be found. The idea behind social housing is to reduce private home ownership by having government or a non-profit purchase ownership of housing properties, then rent them to those needing housing…. .  For years I did not want to be a renter. I aspired to be a home owner. Home ownership is a goal for many Americans. Why should the government contribute to making that goal even more expensive for people by removing private housing from the market place? 

          • Scarlett February 9, 2023 (12:37 pm)

            You’re going to have to bring more than Cato Institute semantic sophistry to the table if you want to debate me.   The deterioration of conservatism in this country has nothing to do with with the Left – though are certainly excesses to found there –  is largely a self-inflicted injury brought about by dependence on cliches and hypocrisy. 

    • Julian February 8, 2023 (1:41 pm)

      I-135 will not solve it either

  • M February 8, 2023 (10:57 am)

    It’s a no for me.  Sounds like another way to suck up precious dollars in overhead. 

  • 937 February 9, 2023 (8:49 am)

    This will pass. With +8%

  • anonyme February 9, 2023 (1:41 pm)

    There is no painless way to address the housing crisis, which is actually a population crisis.  It is both irrational and physically impossible for any municipality (or planet, for that matter) to provide housing for anyone and everyone who decides to live here.  “Build it, and they will come.”  That’s the problem, not the solution.  The planet cannot support the eight billion people who already inhabit Earth; the resources do not exist.  You can pile people on top of one another in ever more crowded urban areas (exacerbating social and cultural conflicts) but unlimited housing growth requires finite resources far beyond funding.  Sprawl will continue anyway, with devastating consequences.  This measure also provides housing for those earning up to $120k per year.  If you can’t find a place to live making that amount of money, you are seriously lacking in life skills that no amount of taxpayer funding will, or should, provide.  We do need affordable housing, but not by perpetual construction (environmental destruction) or expanded bureaucracy.  Capitalism won’t fix this. 

    • Scarlett February 9, 2023 (7:33 pm)

      I  believe the idea was that higher income renters would subsidize the lower income renters,  but putting that aside (and the Paul Erlich debates), I think we’ve arrived at the same conclusion via different routes:  capitalism, or more accurately crony capitalism, isn’t going to solve this.   

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