West Seattle, Washington
12:30 PM: Next year, that window will have someone else’s name on it. King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg announced this morning that, after four terms, he will not seek re-election. He said, “I have 358 days left in my term. I am determined to finish well.” Satterberg has been with the office since joining as an intern in the mid-1980s. The KCPAO is responsible for prosecuting crimes defined in state law as felonies. From his announcement today:
When the pandemic started, we were the first in the state and one of the first offices in the nation to have a 100% remote domestic violence protection order service. That meant that people who were trapped at home with abusers no longer needed to physically come down to the courthouse to get court-ordered protection.
We were also one of the first in the state and one of the first in the nation to create a data dashboard – revealing in great detail our work, our priorities and the challenges that await. We make informed decisions based on this data. It’s right there on the front page of our office website for anyone to see.
We are also launching new and innovative community partnerships and diversion programs with trusted community non-profit organizations that are here to help victims of crime as well as the people who have caused the harm. I am encouraged by the support of the County Executive and County Council for our community-based diversion programs. We have the goals of interrupting violence, of decreasing crime, and creating community connections that are part of accountability.
We’ve done all of this while also filing roughly 25-30 cases felony every day. These are the most serious crimes that occur in King County – murders and assaults, armed robbery, residential burglaries, sexual assaults, child abuse, among many others. Most of our cases never make the news — but we’re in court every day, trying jury trials, filing serious violent cases and resolving cases. During the COVID period, things have slowed, but never stopped.
Satterberg was a Republican when elected in 2007 and announced in 2018 that he had changed parties. He has roots close to this area; he attended high school in Burien, and his father practiced law in White Center.
12:58 PM: The first candidate has just announced – Satterberg’s chief of staff, Leesa Manion, says she’s running.
Among the elected officials ceremonially sworn in today was the new Seattle City Attorney, Ann Davison. She too had a brief speech after her oath of office. She was introduced by Victoria Beach, longtime chair of the Seattle Police Department African American Community Advisory Council, who said that “Ann has given our city hope” and would be “a city attorney like no other.” Davison herself noted that she’s the first woman to hold the position, making this “a big day for women and girls in Seattle.” Even more than that, Davison said, “this election showed that people are powerful and they’re demanding that we enforce our laws,” after a time in which, she contended, many felt powerless, unsafe, and afraid. “Our legal system must be used as a tool to stand up for victims,” Davison said. She didn’t get into policy specifics but did talk about a duty to “take guns off the streets” so that “misdemeanor gun violations” aren’t followed by felony violent crimes. Davison succeeds Pete Holmes, who came in third in the primary
Lots of government-related news today. Just received one more announcement – an online event to which you’re invited tonight:
Your representatives in the State Senate, State House, and U.S. House of Representatives – all West Seattle residents – are inviting yo8u to a live online town hall at 6:30 tonight:
Join Sen. Joe Nguyen, Rep. Eileen Cody, and Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, for a virtual town hall–featuring Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal!
The town hall will begin with an introduction by each participant, move into a conversation about the issues facing Washington in the build up to the 2022 Legislative Session, and end with questions from the audience.
The Legislators will also answer participant questions during the stream, but if you would like to submit a question ahead of time, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “34th Town Hall.”
You can see the stream here.
(Seattle Channel recording of this morning’s event)
11:05 AM: Two months after Seattle voters elected him, Mayor Bruce Harrell is now in office, and right now you can see his first speech as it happens – following a ceremonial swearing-in – by clicking into the Seattle Channel stream above. We’ll be publishing topline notes below.
He opens by saying “2022 is not like past years”- it’s not a time to open with exuberance but to acknowledge it’s been a fearful time for people, including fear that “Seattle is going in the wrong direction.” He promises an “obsession” with competence and kindness. He says – in first mentioning the homelessness crisis – that the city will be intolerant “not of the people who are unhoused but of the conditions that caused them to become unhoused.” He says, “We’ll implement ideas that work.” He declares, “We are not afraid.” He discusses the diversity of his executive team, including “three deputy mayors who are women of color.”
Looking to the future – “Seattle will be thriving – no more of this ‘dying’ narrative,” Harrell insists. “Everyone will have an opportunity to help us.” His request for the cynical: “Give us a chance.” He wants the city to be “one Seattle.” He says it’s time to move toward “healing and reparation and restoration” and “a real dialogue.” He promises “health care for all … we’ll make sure every resident in our city not only has health care but is healthy.” This will involve partnership with providers and he says talks are under way. Also: He promises everyone will feel “safe and supportive,” from gun-violence prevention to police accountability. He says Seattle has the chance to set a national example. Then regarding homelessness, he says “One Seattle” doesn’t let people suffer on its streets and promises to publish a plan “within the first quarter,” with an accompanying executive order.He mentions another executive order to review processes to expedite “affordable housing” construction.
He also says the city will be hiring a new Parks director (if that means the current superintendent is leaving, that’s the first time it’s been mentioned). Also, a new mentorship program in which he says the city will partner with Seattle Public Schools. He says that also will address violence and protect young lives. “We must be all in for protecting our kids.”
He promises that these aren’t just empty promises – they’re policy commitments. “We’re not going to play small ball,” says the former athlete. He also notes that “One Seattle” doesn’t mean bragging that Seattle is “number one” but rather unity that includes humility. “We will replace fear with love,” he promises in closing.
11:28 AM: It’s on to media Q&A. First asks about his creation of a Chief Equity Officer position. That will include “new outreach strategies,” especially for “small BIPOC businesses,” and ensuring that good-paying jobs are accessible to all.
Will he keep Interim Police Chief Adrian Diaz? Harrell says that hasn’t been decided yet, but “discussions” are continuing.
Asked to elaborate on “health care for all,” the mayor says they’re starting with addressing those who don’t have health care – so they’ll start by formulating a plan for those people within a few months.
Asked about his political position, he refutes the suggestion that he’s not “progressive” – “I ran on a progressive agenda … This is what progressive policy looks like. … My plea to those who claim to be the progressives, give us a chance and let us work together.”
Asked about the shortage of COVID testing and parents’ anguish in deciding whether to send kids to school, he says the city is partnering with the state and county, but has no new specifics, promising an “inventory” of how things are working.
Will he extend the eviction moratorium? “We’ll announce that in due time” – within the next week – he says, noting that “small landlords” are at risk as well as tenants. The decisionmaking process will include looking at whether the moratorium “worked.”
When will people see a difference in addressing homelessness? He promises “real progress in a short time” as well as more clarity with existing data – so that it’s easier to understand where people live now, and what’s happening.
11:45 AM: The event wraps up. We’ll add the recorded video above when it’s available. (Note: Video added at 12:20 pm – if you can’t see the embedded version above, go to this Seattle Channel page.)
5 PM UPDATE: We asked the mayor’s office about the “parks director” reference. They replied that superintendent Jesús Aguirre is “retiring from the office later this month.”
4:17 PM: Second big announcement from Mayor-elect Bruce Harrell: Sam Zimbabwe is out as SDOT director. Just received:
Today, Seattle Mayor-elect Bruce Harrell released the following statement:
“Today, I am announcing that when I take office in January, I will be making a change in Seattle Department of Transportation leadership. We will embark on a robust national search for a new director who is aligned with my vision for this critical department. As we embark on that search, I will appoint SDOT Chief of Staff Kristen Simpson to serve as interim director. Kristen has let me know that she will not be applying for the permanent position.
“Going forward, my vision is for a Seattle Department of Transportation that centers equity throughout our transportation network across every street and sidewalk, in every neighborhood and community. We must create a balanced transportation ecosystem – increasing safety and decreasing travel times by bolstering transit, improving sidewalks, protecting bike lanes, and recognizing the role of cars and new electric vehicles.
“From Vision Zero to net zero, we will prioritize climate resilience and lead at the intersections of accessibility, reliability, safety, and sustainability.
“I want to thank Director Zimbabwe for his service and dedication to the City of Seattle. His leadership and quick action closing the West Seattle Bridge no doubt saved lives and has put the bridge on track to open in mid-2022. His response to the pandemic – thoughtful and meaningful efforts like Stay Healthy Streets and outdoor dining permits – should be celebrated. I wish him all the best in the future.”
Outgoing Mayor Jenny Durkan hired Zimbabwe three years ago, one year into her term. He had previously worked in Washington, D.C.
5:40 PM: Adding more backstory – The previous SDOT director, Scott Kubly, left a year before Durkan announced she was hiring Zimbabwe. Kubly, also from D.C., had the SDOT job for three and a half years. Between the two, Goran Sparrman served as interim director, a role he also filled before the arrival of Kubly, succeeding Peter Hahn, who left toward the end of the McGinn administration.
Another newly elected city leader has announced her first round of major appointments. City Attorney-elect Ann Davison has chosen Scott Lindsay as deputy city attorney. Lindsay was the 2017 general-election opponent of outgoing City Attorney Pete Holmes, who Davison defeated this year, and was a public-safety adviser to former Mayor Ed Murray. Davison also announced that her Criminal Chief will be Natalie Walton-Anderson, who spent 24 years in the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office earlier this year. The official announcement of both appointments is here.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
“The voters spoke, and hopefully my colleagues on the council heard the message.”
That’s what City Councilmember-elect Sara Nelson told the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce toward the end of Tuesday’s meet-and-greet, responding to a question about how she would work with councilmembers with different political ideology and ideas.
Nelson and Port Commissioner-elect Hamdi Mohamed spent an hour answering questions during the midday online event, as both prepare to take office. Both are first-time elected officials – Nelson was elected to the Seattle City Council‘s citywide Position 9, formerly held by Lorena González, who ran for mayor instead of for re-election; Mohamed was elected to the Seattle Port Commission‘s Position 3, defeating incumbent Stephanie Bowman. Topics ranged from public safety to economic development.
With three weeks to go until Bruce Harrell is inaugurated as mayor January 4th, he’s announced his first major appointments. Only one is a department head – an interim budget director – but the others include deputy mayors (including one focused on housing/homelessness), a chief equity officer, and a director of strategic initiatives. The appointees include past and present city officials as well as people from non-city backgrounds. See the full announcement here. (Photo from seattle.gov)
You’re invited to hear on Tuesday (December 14th) from two of the people who will soon take office after winning November elections. The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce is hosting an online “meet and greet” with City Councilmember-elect Sara Nelson (left) and Port Commissioner-elect Hamdi Mohamed (right), noon-1 pm Tuesday, and it’s open to all, free. Nelson was elected to citywide Position 9, succeeding Lorena González, who opted to run for mayor instead; Mohamed was elected to Position 3, unseating incumbent Stephanie Bowman. They are both just a few weeks from taking office. If you’re interested in watching/participating in Tuesday’s event, the registration link is on the Chamber’s website.
Today the usually obscure process of redistricting – drawing new maps for political districts after the Census – drew headlines because the commission working on legislative and congressional maps missed their deadline. But a separate group is still at work on another new map of note – redrawing King County Council districts. Their deadline is next week, after 10 months of work, and they’re down to working out the differences between two draft maps. A West Seattleite who’s on the King County Districting Committee, Rob Saka, called our attention to the group’s work earlier this fall. We watched tonight’s meeting.
West Seattle is currently in County Council District 8 [map], which also includes Vashon and Maury Islands, White Center and much of unincorporated North Highline, much of Burien, and part of downtown/Capitol Hill. Both of the draft maps keep West Seattle and Vashon/Maury remaining in District 8, but the district diverges from there. On Draft Map D, District 8 stretches much further south; on Draft Map E, the boundaries are much further north on both ends of the district, which would endin White Center. Here’s a version showing the areas of disagreement countywide (look for the stripes):
Before the end of tonight’s 2-plus-hour meeting, the committee members resolved some of the differences, but they didn’t reach final agreement on District 8, only agreeing that the “small cities” in the Sea-Tac Airport area should be in the same district, whichever district that turns out to be. They’ll continue talking again tomorrow night, and you can watch the livestream – the link is here, along with the schedule of other meetings, including a final public hearing on November 30th. If you have comments in the meantime, you can email email@example.com.
P.S. The city of Seattle has a redistricting commission, too (with members including former mayor Greg Nickels of West Seattle), but it’s at a much earlier stage of the process.
Although the Washington State Legislature doesn’t officially reconvene until January, committees are meeting next week, and legislators are starting to think about what’s ahead. The three who represent our area – State House Reps. Eileen Cody and Joe Fitzgibbon and State Sen. Joe Nguyen, all West Seattleites, though they represent a district that also stretches south including White Center and west including Vashon and Maury Islands – had a mini-town hall at Wednesday night’s 34th District Democrats meeting. Each was given some time to talk about what’ll be big this year. Here are highlights of what they said:
REP. JOE FITZGIBBON: The past session “made the most progress on climate change,” including the clean-fuel standard, steps toward phasing out a greenhouse gas, the Healthy Environment Act, phasing out plastic waste … “We got a lot done but we have a lot more to do.” De-carbonize building and water heating is a priority, with a package of bills “to accelerate the transition from gas and oil heating to electric” due next session. Methane, the second-most-impactful greenhouse gas, will be a target this session too, “particularly from landfills, the largest source of methane” in our state. He said there are also some clarifications and loose ends to be tackled. Also, he’s working on bills targeting appliance energy-efficiency standards, phasing out PCAS, addressing salmon recovery (riparian-area protection among other things). He also said they remain hopeful a transportation package will pass this year, including transit, ferry funding, and a contribution to West Seattle Bridge repair.
REP. EILEEN CODY: She reminded everyone “we’re going into a short session” – most of it by Zoom – so it’ll be intense and “problematic, we’re kind of concerned about what we’ll be able to push through this year. She’s focused on the health-care work force – which has suffered a pandemic-related toll. “We’re facing a huge nursing shortage … home health aides … mental health …” and shortages are worsening. To address it, they’re working with hospitals and the education system to increase the slots available – 50 percent of people who apply to nursing programs don’t get in. So they’re working on ways to increase that. Equity issues are a focus as well, such as trying to improve health care for undocumented people. Just this week her attention was called to another idea, that prescriptions are written in patients’ languages; Oregon passed a bill recently, so she’s working on one for Washington. Other focuses: Charity care – though she expects it to trigger a “huge fight,” as it has in the past. The insurance commissioner is working on a bill she’ll sponsor regarding “surprise billing.” Other consumer issues on her radar include a “co-pay accumulator” regarding medication and telehealth legislation involving removing certain fees for people paying out of pocket. The Long-Term Care Act is likely to see some changes, especially for people who are “clsoe to retirement and would not be vested.”
SEN. JOE NGUYEN: He’s looking at how the infrastructure and Build Back Better funds forthcoming from the feds will be allocated. Also: Housing affordability, investment in basic needs. He’s also hopeful that a transportation package will get passed; Rep. Steve Hobbs will no longer be chairing the Transportation Committee since he just got appointed Secretary of State. Nguyen expects “someone more progressive” will succeed him. Next week is Committee Week “to go over some initial thoughts for our legislative session.” Nguyen also noted that the state budget forecasts are looking better than expected.
QUESTIONS/ANSWERS: Rep. Cody was asked about the legislation “to stop corporate health-care takeovers.” Rep. Cody said that will be going through Judiciary, not Health Care (which she chairs). She said it doesn’t stop takeovers but would strengthen Attorney General ability to look at takeovers and ensure services aren’t lost. “It’s going to be a hard session for the hospital association.” She was also asked about the challenge to the Long-Term Care Act. She’s aware of it. For Rep. Fitzgibbon: “Has all #5 plastic been banned?” No. But three applications of Styrofoam are, starting in a couple years. For Rep. Cody: What can she do to promote universal health care/Medicare expansion? The latter, nothing, because it’s federal; the former, the state can’t afford unless they get federal funds. Another question for her: Why are half of all nursing applicants not getting accepted? Not enough room in the programs – not enough nursing educators, not enough clinical placements for trainees at hospitals. Pediatrics, mental health, OB/GYN are the ones particularly short in training space, she said. Another question for her: What will happen with the Universal Health Care Commission? It’ll start meeting next year. Next question: Any hope of funding to increase school counselors and other support staff? Rep. Fitzgibbon said it’s “something we want to do” but it’s “extremely expensive” so depends on how the revenue looks. 2021 had a lot of tax increases so 2022 is less likely to do, given it’s an election year, he added. For Sen. Nguyen, a question about money to reduce homelessness. He said it’ll be a priority “across the board.” When will the Legislature act on redistricting? Rep. Fitzgibbon said that’s not the Legislature’s action to take – it’s the Redistricting Commission. If they deadlock, it goes to the State Supreme Court, but “that’s never happened.” Rep. Cody clarified that legislators vote on it, but need a supermajority agreement for changing with the commission comes up with. Regarding possible changes to the 34th, Fitzgibbon said he doesn’t think the commissioners will substantially change the makeup of this district. He doesn’t favor the option that would remove Burien from the 34th.
Next question: What about guaranteed basic income? Sen. Nguyen said he supports it; it’s being studied. Fitzgibbon and Cody voiced support too; she added, “Gotta figure out how to pay for it.” Last question: Could homelessness and pandemics be added to the Growth Management Act? Fitzgibbon said the former is addressed to some degree but he’s not sure how the latter would/could be addressed.
Got a question for the legislators? Here’s where to find their addresses.
If you live in a single-family home within the city limits, the land it sits on is likely zoned SF 5000, SF 7200, or SF 9600. Those names will go away under a city proposal unveiled in today’s Land Use Information Bulletin. The city already is in the process of changing neighborhood plans to show “neighborhood residential” as the new name for areas that had been “single-family’; now it’s planning to change the actual zoning designations citywide. The notice is an early alert that the City Council’s Land Use and Neighborhoods Committee will hold a public hearing next month. Here’s what the proposal would do:
• Single-Family 9600 (SF 9600) zones would be renamed “Neighborhood Residential 1” (NR1);
• Single-Family 7200 (SF 7200) zones would be renamed “Neighborhood Residential 2” (NR2);
• Single-Family 5000 (SF 5000) zones would be renamed “Neighborhood Residential 3” (NR3); and
• Residential Small Lot (RSL) zones would be renamed “Neighborhood Residential Small Lot” (RSL).
Zoning district names would be updated on the zoning map and in the Land Use Code (Title 23 of the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC)), short-term rental regulations (SMC 6.600), traffic administration regulations (SMC 11.16), street use regulations (SMC Title 15), building and construction codes (SMC Title 22), and environmental regulations (SMC Title 25).
Though there’s talk of eventually changing the actual zoning, all this does for now is change the names. The public hearing is planned for the Land Use and Neighborhoods Committee’s 9:30 am meeting on December 8th; you’ll find the agenda here when it get s closer. In the meantime, you can read the entire 218-page bill here. You can also email comments through December 7th to Noah An in the office of Land Use/Neighborhoods chair Councilmember Dan Strauss; firstname.lastname@example.org is the address.
The newest results from Tuesday’s election are out. Nothing has changed in the Seattle city races – the gaps have narrowed a little but are still very wide. However, the Seattle Port Commission now has two incumbents losing. For Position 3, Hamdi Mohamed has taken the lead and is now two points ahead of incumbent Stephanie Bowman; for Position 4, Toshiko Grace Hasegawa‘s lead over incumbent Peter Steinbrueck has widened to three points. See the full list of updated results here. For King County, 43 percent of ballots have been received, 33 percent counted; for the city of Seattle, 54 percent of ballots have been received, 41 percent counted.
The second round of election results is out. Last night, King County Elections had counted ballots from 22 percent of voters countywide; today, that’s up to almost 26 percent – that’s two-thirds of what’s been received so far. The only race with a change of note is the last one on the list below, Port Commission Position 4, in which the challenger has now taken the lead.
Bruce Harrell – 97,763 – 64.2%
Lorena González – 53,965 – 35.4%
Ann Davison – 85,543 – 57.7%
Nicole Thomas-Kennedy – 61,430 – 41.4%
CITY COUNCIL POSITION 8
Teresa Mosqueda* – 77,149 – 53.2%
Kenneth Wilson – 67,123 – 46.3%
CITY COUNCIL POSITION 9
Sara Nelson – 89,059 – 59.8%
Nikkita Oliver – 59,497 – 39.9%
KING COUNTY EXECUTIVE
Dow Constantine* – 195,342 – 57.1%
Joe Nguyen – 142,582 – 41.7%
SEATTLE PORT COMMISSION POSITION 1
Ryan Calkins* – 233,099 – 73.2%
Norman Sigler – 82,699 – 26%
SEATTLE PORT COMMISSION POSITION 3
Stephanie Bowman* – 165,053 – 50.4%
Hamdi Mohamed – 161,033 – 49.1%
SEATTLE PORT COMMISSION POSITION 4
Toshiko Grace Hasegawa – 163,338 – 49.79%
Peter Steinbrueck* – 163,063 – 49.70%
Next count is planned for tomorrow afternoon ~4 pm.
8:11 PM: The election-night results count is in. Here are the four city races:
Bruce Harrell – 84,975 – 64.6%
Lorena González – 46,046 – 35%
Ann Davison – 74,549 – 58.2%
Nicole Thomas-Kennedy – 52,419 – 40.9%
CITY COUNCIL POSITION 8
Teresa Mosqueda – 65,687 – 52.4%
Ken Wilson – 59,045 – 47.1%
CITY COUNCIL POSITION 9
Sara Nelson – 77,581 – 60.3%
Nikkita Oliver – 50,762 – 39.4%
That’s it for vote counts until tomorrow afternoon, but we’ll update with reaction as the evening goes on. This count represents ballots from 27 percent of the city’s voters; as of 6 pm tonight, 39 percent of voters’ ballots had been received.
8:48 PM: Citywide Position 8 Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, a North Delridge resident, is first to declare victory. “We knew this was going to be a close election given the frustration many people feel right now coming out of the pandemic, in an economy that isn’t working for all people, and a homelessness crisis that impacts too many,” she said in an emailed statement … City Attorney candidate Nicole Thomas-Kennedy says in an emailed statement that she’s not ready to concede: “The primary prepared us to have to wait several days for complete results of this election, but I’m as hopeful tonight as I was then.” … Updating the results above to show exact percentages and vote totals.
8:10 PM: From the election-night results count, the non-city races:
KING COUNTY EXECUTIVE
Dow Constantine* – 169,087 – 57.3%
Joe Nguyen – 122,573 – 41.5%
SEATTLE PORT COMMISSION POSITION 1
Ryan Calkins* – 200,739 – 73%
Norman Sigler – 71,870 – 26.1%
SEATTLE PORT COMMISSION POSITION 3
Stephanie Bowman* – 143,505 – 50.7%
Hamdi Mohamed – 137,905 – 48.7%
SEATTLE PORT COMMISSION POSITION 4
Peter Steinbrueck* – 141,636 – 49.9%
Toshiko Grace Hasegawa – 140,099 – 49.4%
SEATTLE SCHOOL BOARD DISTRICT 4
Vivian Song Maritz – 80,246 – 67.9%
Laura Marie Rivera – 37,325 – 31.6%
SEATTLE SCHOOL BOARD DISTRICT 5
Michelle Sarju – 97,873 – 82%
Dan Harder – 21,065 – 17.6%
SEATTLE SCHOOL BOARD DISTRICT 7
Brandon Hersey* – 104,814 – 91.4%
Gretchen Williamson – 8,748 – 7.6%
Next round of results will be out Wednesday afternoon.
9:54 PM: A few notes – The victory for Constantine, who (like his opponent) is a West Seattle resident, gives him a fourth term as County Executive … The Seattle Port Commission has never had a woman of color, so if either (or both) Hasegawa or Mohamed win, they’ll make history.
As of noon today, King County Elections had received ballots from just under 25 percent of voters in West Seattle and South Park. That beats the citywide percentage of 23.7%, but it means a lot of ballots are still unmarked. If yours is still sitting on a desk or counter waiting to be filled out, time’s ticking, but it’s not too late to help beat the predictions of low turnout. Your ballot has 17 local/state races and issues. If you plan to use USPS mail, it needs to be postmarked by tomorrow, so you’ll want to get it out as soon as possible. If you’re going to use an official dropbox – there are three in West Seattle, one in White Center, and one in South Park (map/addresses here) – 8 pm Tuesday is your deadline. Lost your ballot? Here’s what to do. Want to check that yours has been received? Go here. As usual, there will be one results announcement daily, with the first one around 8:15 pm tomorrow
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Most of the spotlight this election season has shone on candidates for Seattle city offices. But that’s not all you’ll find on your ballot (if you’re among the 80+% of local voters whose ballots haven’t been turned in yet). You have 17 choice to make – including three races for Seattle Port Commission.
Five commissioners, all elected countywide, comprise the board, serving four-year terms. This year, Positions 1, 3, and 4 are up for election. In each race, the incumbent and a challenger filed for the seat, so there were no primary votes – all six candidates went directly to the general election. Thursday night, five of them participated in an online forum presented by the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition and Seattle Parks Foundation – for Position 1, first-term incumbent Ryan Calkins; for Position 3, two-term incumbent Stephanie Bowman and King County policy adviser Hamdi Mohamed; and for Position 4, first-term incumbent Peter Steinbrueck and state Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs executive director Toshiko Grace Hasegawa.
DRCC executive director Paulina López co-hosted with SPF CEO Rebecca Bear. In opening comments, they pointed out the enormity of the Port of Seattle‘s impact on our region, both seaport and airport operations. The forum was only allotted an hour, so after introductory opening statements, questions were asked randomly of one or more participants. What we’ve written below is our summarizing/paraphrasing of the questions and answers, not direct quotes unless designated as such by quotation marks.
Tuesday is the deadline to get your ballot in, so this weekend is the perfect time to vote if you haven’t already. So far, only 18.4% of West Seattle/South Park voters have turned in their ballots. As always, the deadlines are 8 pm Election Day (Tuesday) if you use a county dropbox – or earlier, to ensure a November 2nd postmark, if you are mailing via USPS. If you need help voting – including doing it via an assistive device – you can go to a King County Elections Vote Center starting tomorrow (nearest one is at Lumen Field Event Center, open 10 am-4 pm Saturday, 8:30 am-6 pm Monday, 8:30 am-8 pm Tuesday). Still making up your mind? We’ve covered some forums along the way – you can review our coverage archive here – and watch for two reports tonight on the Port Commission and King County Executive forums held by local groups last night. As noted here, you have 17 decisions to make this time around.
Today, with meetings at 9:30 am and 2 pm, the City Council launches into the next phase of shaping the next city budget: Going through proposed amendments. Almost 200 of them will be rolled out over the next three days. We read the documents for today’s reviews and found six of particular note:
*Almost $500,000 to add air conditioning to the non-A/C area of Southwest Library, for “climate adaptation”
*Two amendments for Camp Second Chance, West Seattle’s only tiny-house encampment – $80,000 to connect the camp to a sewer system in the area, $100,000 to ensure a mobile city hygiene trailer visits CSC regularly
*$380,000 for “Indigenous-led energy efficiency projects in the Duwamish Valley,” described as potentially involving work at the Duwamish Tribe Longhouse
*200,000 to support youth leadership programs in the Duwamish Valley, such as the Duwamish Valley Youth Corps
This is just the first of three days in which proposed amendments will be presented – we’ll be going through the documents for the other two days too. Today, the many other proposed amendments also include another of note from West Seattle/South Park Councilmember Lisa Herbold (who also proposed the Camp Second Chance and youth leadership amendments mentioned above) – almost $400,000 for animal-control patrols in city parks.
HOW TO COMMENT: There’s still a lot of time to comment before the council gets to the point of finalizing its version of the budget. Most meetings, for example, start with a public comment period; two more public hearings are planned in November. This page has all the information.
If you’re still making up your mind, with 10 days left to vote, you might be interested in two local online candidate forums, both coming up next Thursday night. 5-6 pm, the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition is co-presenting a forum with the six people running for three Seattle Port Commission seats; each race is countywide, and has for this election a challenger and incumbent – Norman Sigler and Ryan Calkins (Position 1), Hamdi Mohamed and Stephanie Bowman (Position 3), and Toshiko Hasegawa and Peter Steinbrueck (Position 4). You can register here to get the viewing/listening information. Then at 6:30 pm Thursday, this month’s West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting will feature a forum with the two West Seattleites who are in the running for King County Executive – State Senator Joe Nguyen and incumbent Executive Dow Constantine. This job has a tremendous influence on local transportation, since King County runs Metro buses and the Water Taxi, and the Executive sits on the Sound Transit board. Watch here for viewing/listening info when it’s available – we’ll have it in the WSB West Seattle Events Calendar as well as that day’s daily preview. (Ready to vote now? Dropboxes are open – here’s the list/map – or send your ballot via USPS, no stamp needed.)
Video/photos and recap by Patrick Sand and Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog co-publishers
Two of the Seattle City Council‘s nine positions are on your ballot for the general-election voting that’s under way right now.
The four people seeking them were in West Seattle tonight for an in-person forum at Our Lady of Guadalupe‘s Walmesley Center, presented by the Westside Interfaith Network, High Point Mosque, and League of Women Voters Seattle-King County.
Though the forum stuck to basic topics like homelessness and public safety, the dialogue – moderated by West Seattle journalist Brian Callanan – was lively, with each candidate offered the chance for up to four rebuttals, and most of those 16 opportunities getting used.
OLG pastor Father Kevin Duggan and the League of Women Voters’ Lucy Gaskill-Gaddis welcomed the candidates – for Position 8, incumbent Teresa Mosqueda and civil engineer Ken Wilson; for Position 9, community organizer/lawyer/artist Nikkita Oliver and brewery co-owner Sara Nelson. Wilson is the only first-time candidate in the group; Oliver ran for mayor in 2017, the same year Nelson made her first try for council.
All four candidates were asked to answer each question. What you read below in our recap is how we summarized the questions and responses, not direct quotes except for what’s within quotation marks. When you see more than one response from a candidate following a certain question, that’s a rebuttal.
First, opening statements:
The only West Seattle forum scheduled for the only two City Council seats on the general-election ballot is this Monday, and you’re invited to watch in person or online. The Westside Interfaith Network and the League of Women Voters Seattle-King County are presenting the forum for citywide Positions 8 and 9 on Monday night at Our Lady of Guadalupe‘s Walmesley Center (35th/Myrtle). For Position 8, the candidates are incumbent Teresa Mosqueda (a West Seattle resident) and engineer Ken Wilson; for Position 9, there’s no incumbent because Lorena González is running instead for mayor; the candidates are brewery owner Sara Nelson and community organizer/artist/lawyer Nikkita Oliver. You can suggest topics to the organizers via this survey. If you’re going in person (masks required), doors open at 6:30 Monday; the forum (and livestream), moderated by West Seattle journalist Brian Callanan, starts at 7 pm.