WEEK AHEAD: Two more West Seattle chances to compare Seattle City Council District 1 candidates

General-election voting starts in less than three weeks. You have many decisions to make, and the top of the ticket is the Seattle City Council District 1 race between Maren Costa and Rob Saka.

(WSB photo, last Monday)

We presented a forum with them last Monday night; this week, you have two more chances to see them side by side in West Seattle:

TUESDAY (OCTOBER 3): Seattle CityClub and GSBA will present a District 1 debate in the Brockey Center at South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor), 7 pm, in-person and livestreamed. More info here, as well as a registration link which the sponsors say includes a chance to suggest a question.

THURSDAY (OCTOBER 5): The Harbor-Alki Neighbors’ Group has announced an in-person “town hall” with the candidates at 7 pm Thursday. The venue will be Admiral Church (4320 SW Hill):

Town Hall Q&A with Rob Saka and Maren Costa with emphasis on issues of specific importance to residents of Alki and Harbor Avenues, Alki Beach, and Beach Drive. The public is invited but space is limited. It is not required but registration is recommended: email diedrehaines@gmail.com. Potential questions can also be submitted in advance to the same email contact.

A livestream is not planned for this event, but it will be recorded on video for later viewing.

P.S. Those aren’t the last West Seattle forums for Saka and Costa – the next one after these will be October 10th at Our Lady of Guadalupe.

40 Replies to "WEEK AHEAD: Two more West Seattle chances to compare Seattle City Council District 1 candidates"

  • Seattlite October 1, 2023 (10:18 pm)

    I just reread Saka’s and Costa’s voter pamphlet statements to confirm why I am not voting for either one of them.  Both are cut from the same cloth of the current and departing city council members.  Neither will bring to the table the urgent infusion of common sense needed to promote policies that will bring back a fully staffed police officer count to control Seattle’s crime.  Candidates who do not clearly state that their number ONE job is protect WS’s and greater Seattle’s citizens do not merit a vote.

    • Sam Danziger October 1, 2023 (10:37 pm)

      I live about a block and a half from Rob Saka in Delridge. Like me, Rob’s got a bunch of young children.  He’s really interested in making (and keeping) WS a safe place for kids to be able to play outside.  If you don’t think he’s serious about preventing crime, please take the time to show up at one of the events and ask him about it.

      • Delridge? October 2, 2023 (8:27 am)

        Saka doesn’t live along Delridge. Is this some weird ploy to make him seem more accessible by saying he lives in a slightly poorer neighborhood than he actually does?

        • Walterego October 2, 2023 (12:31 pm)

          This is a ridiculous south is north, west is east type comment. I also live a several blocks from Rob in Delridge and our kids share an elementary school and in the past, a youth soccer team.Critique his positions all you want but he is deeply invested in Delridge, and in West Seattle.

        • Really October 2, 2023 (12:43 pm)

          @Delridge? – Ummmm, have you looked at the map? If you check the public records, Saka’s house is objectively in Delridge (the comment doesn’t say “along Delridge”). 

        • PDiddy October 3, 2023 (1:37 am)

          Troll alert.

    • elephant in the room October 1, 2023 (10:55 pm)

      This is why everyone gets their own ballot. I’m on the other side of this issue, and I’m voting for Maren Costa because she’s not a rube for the Harrell/SPOG agenda as we’ve seen with Mr. Saka. Police staffing reform is 100% not important to me. The perceived need for police is entirely because we choose to have neighbors that are justifiably desperate for their most basic needs. It doesn’t take a genius to understand that crime will subside when thousands of necessarily desperate people aren’t scrambling in the shadows to meet their entirely essential needs. We are all acting  to deprive people of homes because we’ve failed to act for a decade. The elephant in the room is the homeless crisis, don’t fall for the Harrell/Saka bait-and-switch.

      • North Admiral October 2, 2023 (12:08 am)

        Do you have an example state that is doing this well ? It just seems like policies you seek just move us more into San Francisco which has been a colossal failure.I feel like Seattle is a boiling frog. Everytime I leave my house I’m shocked by how much trash and graffiti there is everywhere. Seattle used to be the cleanest city and now we just live in garbage. I can name all the piles of garbage on my way to work. They never change. I know where all the street mattresses are like old friends who I see day after day 

      • Robert October 2, 2023 (4:40 am)

        I really appreciate the elephant in the room response. It helped me make up my mind about the election. The writer is of course, partially correct, if everybody’s essential needs were addressed crime, might go down. In the meantime, the overwhelming majority of people are simply to suffer. The writer seems very confused as most people who don’t have their essential needs met don’t respond by committing crimes.  There are organized crime groups going after businesses. And a compassionate approach toward the mentally ill and drug addicted isn’t leaving them in the streets to suffer. 

      • JS October 2, 2023 (6:29 am)

        I would argue that homelessness and a police officer shortage are in the same league when it comes to urgent issues.The current state of this town is evident that both need to be addressed quickly. Criminals, if anything, are opportunistic. When we give them a comfy place to sleep, free food, a government check, and no one to hold them accountable for their behavior, we are only enabling them. There needs to be an incentive to do better for yourself and consequences for those that are not even trying. 

      • Flivver October 2, 2023 (6:52 am)

         Your solution is no money for police. Instead, spend the money on government owned free or minimal cost housing that people can live in forever. That will solve the crime/mental health/drug issues? Who will pay in the long term??

        • we will pay October 2, 2023 (8:19 am)

          The answer is simple: you will pay. You will pay just like you are paying now. You will pay because it’s your responsibility to help those who cannot help themselves, and that is because there’s no other economic solution. There is no second look at school budgets for special education, and few question the financial help extended to those with disabilities. Why is this problem different? People don’t commit to homelessness and/or substance abuse like they’re enlisting for the army or applying for a new job. And people don’t go from 100% mentally and physically healthy to street-level addict by choice. There are underlying problems that as a city we have CHOSEN to forego as a priority.It’s time to pay. I will pay, you will pay, we will pay. This is one of the wealthiest cities on earth and we complain about petty crime by the homeless. Please take a long look in the mirror and try to understand that this anxiety we all have would be undone by a minor financial commitment to help our sick.

          • Anonymous October 2, 2023 (10:44 am)

            I guess those with shallow pockets are SOL?  Some of us have hard enough time putting food on our own tables as is, let alone keeping the lights on.  So how are you going to tell us that we will pay?  It’s this type of thinking that forces those that are just getting by into the deeper end of the pool.  

          • Adam October 2, 2023 (4:20 pm)

            “There is no other economic solution”. Correct. There is none. That’s because every time we decide to throw money at the problem, we’re not actually solving the underlying issues. Don’t look for an economic solution. It doesn’t and hasn’t worked. Our schools are performing terribly? Throw money at it! Homelessness? Throw money at it! It’s the gastric bypass surgery of fixing societal ills. Good luck with that approach. We can fix the way we police AND staff more cops under that new culture. It’s absurd to pretend we shouldn’t have consequences nor public servants to enforce the laws. It’s absurd to pretend the reason for crime is being poor (if so, why do rich also break laws?). If you wanna know why Seattle is in the state it’s in, just read most of the above comments. Weirdly, the consensus seems to be to stick to the terrible plan with horrendous results. Also, if every time someone runs you call them the next Biden or Trump or Harrell or whichever villain you wanna insert, you’re doing yourself a disservice. You’ve just handed over all decision-making to the stupid parties that have us in this mess and fall prey to their propaganda. So enjoy being part of the continuation of the problem. Instead, I’ll just do my own research. I trust my own abilities. Funny how the same ridiculous talking points about the other side’s representatives just constantly get recycled. But hey. It’s easier that way, right? I’d guess 90% of the people here have almost no clue about the candidates, the parties, the topics, or even basic civics work. You’re mostly all blustery buffoons. 

        • K October 2, 2023 (9:39 am)

          Police are more expensive than social workers.  Jail is a FAR more expensive place to house people than any low income or subsidized housing solution that has been proposed, or even paying market-rate rent for a year.  You are already paying.  If you want to save money long-term, solve the underlying issues.  

      • Winn October 2, 2023 (7:17 am)

        Well said! The solution isn’t more police, the solution is helping the people in need so they aren’t so desperate and destitute!

        The Stranger did a good recap of some recent examples of bad police behavior being the real cause of slow response times, not low staffing. Like going to lunch for 40 minutes when they claimed to be responding to a high priority domestic violence call, or hanging out in the SPOG lounge for 20 minutes after they said they were responding to a priority one call just a few minutes away. Look up “Bad Apples” in the Stranger.

      • Mike October 2, 2023 (7:52 am)

        “The perceived need for police is entirely because we choose to have neighbors that are justifiably desperate for their most basic needs”WOW, this is amazing.  I assume you, like many in West Seattle, aren’t connected to the Asian community in Beacon Hill.  I can tell you police are very much needed, racially motivated attacks with threats to (and actually killing) Asians are actually happening in Seattle, by people who aren’t desperate for their most basic needs.  These violent criminals are entitled, they will kill you because they see you as an easy target.  Enough is enough with the virtue signalling.

        • ColumbiaChris October 2, 2023 (12:14 pm)

          I’m not sure why you think SPD has any concern for the safety of AAPI residents, because their actions certainly suggest otherwise.https://www.thestranger.com/news/2023/09/22/79177194/seattle-police-officer-hurls-racist-slur-at-chinese-american-neighbor

        • elephant hasnt left the room October 2, 2023 (2:59 pm)

          No one is virtue signalling by asking that city council elections focus on getting homeless people into housing. Do you remember when the crime in Seattle was far less predictably characterized as on-the-street assaults, late night burglaries, and residential property crime? I do, and the thing that changed between then and now is the limited housing we’ve CHOSEN to have in our city. There are 1000 platitudes about how expensive Seattle is. Other wealthy cities have pulled through these growing pains, the solution for them was never to intensify law enforcement. I am not saying that the problems of 2021-2023 exclude racist assaults, I’m saying that the elephant is still in the room on homelessness and there is no solution besides focused funding and consistent sequential decisions to add housing within the boundaries of the City of Seattle. Smart organizations can walk and chew gum, Rob Saka and Bruce Harrell, between the 2 of them them, cannot. Rob Saka is a bad person for our council. He’s overcome a lot and has achieved a lot in his life, but he is not smart about public policy.

    • rb October 2, 2023 (11:39 am)

      this is Seattle. there will hardly ever be a common sense candidate. they all think they do because they are slightly less progressive than someone else. But it is still going to be much of the same old soup year after year.

  • Rhonda October 2, 2023 (2:32 am)

    I’m holding my nose and voting for Saka simply because Costa’s agenda is a wrecking ball.

    • West Seattle gal October 4, 2023 (6:16 am)

      Undecided and curious about your comment… can you share what you mean by wrecking ball? What are you concerned about with Maren’s platform?

  • anonyme October 2, 2023 (6:10 am)

    I’m writing in Chas Redmond.

  • Madmatt October 2, 2023 (9:37 am)

    We certainly need more police and especially less progressive judges.  Soft on crime is what is making Seattle a joke on he national news,  it appears Costa is just another progressive with no real experience in city government.  

  • West Seattle Resident October 2, 2023 (11:37 am)

    People see a false choice in this election. Being pro law enforcement does not immediately make one anti-homeless. But just like the far right tried to tell everyone Jan 6th was just a peaceful day in DC, the far left tries to gaslight all of us into this belief that enforcing laws on crime makes one a fascist. The far left and the far right are going to destroy this nation if the silent middle doesn’t speak up.  We continually vote to increase our own taxes to help the less fortunate. Don’t let some far left ideologues convince you that also fighting for safer streets and schools is some kind of fascism. It is utter lunacy what “progressives” are pushing these days. Sure many of the homeless are victims. You know what? There are a lot of victims in civilized society too. Just bc you have been a victim of some sort of injustice doesn’t mean you get free reign to commit crimes, refuse treatment and help and continues to destroy yourself and community in the process. Vote Saka. He’s flawed but at least says the right things about safety. Let’s stop this insanity before we become Portland. Portland is never going to recover. We still have time. 

    • Jake October 2, 2023 (12:26 pm)

      Portland actually handles homelessness a lot better than us. The “Visibility” of it is just that. Seattle sweeps and sweeps and sweeps and it’s a terrible waste of time and resources. We should be modeling after them. They build tiny house villages, dedicate real money to crisis helpers as well. Costa gets that the issue is nuanched. I’ll be voting COSTA all day. Saka is a step backwards. 

    • Really October 2, 2023 (12:46 pm)

      @West Seattle Resident – Hear, hear

    • Suzanne October 2, 2023 (1:14 pm)

      @ West Seattle Resident – I 100% agree with you. Will be voting for Saka as well. 

      I was initially swayed by the letter from the other candidates that came out against Saka. But then learned that it was apparently sour grapes from Travel, who spearheaded it.  Tavel lost three elections, and this time he lost to Saka. No specifics were provided.  I hope that voters can see through this and vote according to what they actually see from Saka. He’s impressed me. Not the perfect candidate but his vision of District 1 is far closer to mine than his opponent’s. 

    • The elephant is still here October 2, 2023 (3:05 pm)

      Yes it does.

      Budgets are a zero-sum game. When we give a ton of money to SPOG and make concessions to landlords because both fabricate discrimination against their respectively well-off cohorts, we deprive ourselves the ability to spend on housing and services for people without them. Yes, there is room for both, but Saka doesn’t understand much beyond what the mayor asks him to understand. He is a shill, he is a rube, he is not a good fit for the council. He sees an elephant in the room and chooses to discuss his life story and career over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over. Two anecdotes, zero solutions. Saka is a shill for Harrell, and Harrell is a shill for the stewards of Seattle’s wealth. Prove me wrong, but do it fast because I might not be here long.

      • K October 2, 2023 (5:50 pm)

        It’s odd that so many are lining up to vote for the guy whose biggest campaign promise is being BFF with the mayor–the same mayor who has worked in city government for 15 years–as the candidate for change.  Like, how does one who is so committed to the establishment convince so many they are going to do things so differently?  It boggles the mind.

        • elephant October 3, 2023 (7:35 am)

          Yes, he’s not proposing a change to anything. He can’t even change topics without going back to the same story again again. Did you hear he overcame housing issues himself navigating the foster care system? Has he told you his story about joining the military? Wait until you hear about his law degree the third time in the same speech, that’s when you really appreciate it. He has kids and lives on Delridge but he probably mentioned that 3 minutes ago and then again just now. “Rob Saka: The Same Old Story”.

  • BeTheChange October 2, 2023 (2:52 pm)

    I encourage everyone to watch the remaining debate and make your decision based on what you see.  For me, I’m voting for Rob Saka.  To be honest, I did not know about either Rob or Maren before the primary. I knew going in who I was voting for (he did not make it through).  Once my person was out, I looked at the candidates and I can see why people like Rob Saka. He is a rock solid guy with a great resume and a great vision.  I like him.  Yes, I was sad that my vote did not make it through, and I was surprised when my guy said to support the defund-the-police candidate (Maren).  But then I thought about it and was really confused because he doesn’t agree with
    her platform.  As was said in another thread, maybe there were some bruised ego’s, or maybe my candidate really did change his beliefs to support her. But for me, I’m voting for the former foster child, who has fought for us in the military, and is now fighting for a better West Seattle for his family, his children, and for us. If you’re still unsure, please watch the debates. I like Rob Saka, and I think you will too.

    • sorry rob, elephant again October 3, 2023 (7:41 am)

      Nope. You don’t get to post campaign ads, Rob. Your anecdotes aren’t antidotes for the elephant in the room this election. Respectable but irrelevant. You can’t hitch your wagon to a mayor who ignores the district, then take money from downtown developers, and expect voters down here to support your corny campaign. Sorry pal, SPOG has a lobbyist position open where they need a lawyer who supports corporate crime.

  • Hayotzer October 3, 2023 (2:09 am)

    Ideas are more infectious than a virus— you can see this with how progressives live in a Seattle echo chamber of failed policies that maintain ideology at all costs. Even when the idea proves unsustainable as we enjoy a 25 year high crime rate people still think we don’t need more police despite an obvious officer shortage. Try calling the 911 for a nonviolent response and see if they come. Costa is another example of regurgitating the same failed ideas that make the modern progressive movement a joke. Blue cities are signing petitions to the Supreme Court for help and fix the homelessness crisis, NY governor and Mayor walking back their position on the migrant crisis, Burien approves a no camping bill. The pendulum is swinging back to middle but will District 1 elect another Lisa Herbolt? 

  • Del October 3, 2023 (2:13 pm)

    Karen Costa voted for NTK. Thats all the information I need who not to vote for.

  • Scarlett October 3, 2023 (8:50 pm)

    The more I see and hear from both progressives and conservatives, the happier I am to be a libertarian. Libertarians aren’t perfect, but right now they embody far more American values than either Democrat or Republican sell-outs, both desperately trying to differentiate themselves from the other – unsuccessfully.  

  • BeTheChange October 3, 2023 (9:38 pm)

    Debate is now available online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_IFBgFlPfwHere's a couple comments worth reading:


    49 minutes agoWatch 1:47:30 MM. The candidate responses are very telling. If there is one clear difference in the candidates, this is it.Reply


    1 second agoRob Saka: My empathy for low income/underserved comes from my childhood in fostercare/low-come/reduced lunch and my service in the military. Maren Costa: My empathy is from working in tech development where we walk in the shoes of our customers. Yikes! Cringe worthy!

Sorry, comment time is over.