West Seattle, Washington
As announced, Seattle Mayor candidate Bruce Harrell visited the West Seattle Junction this afternoon/evening. When we arrived shortly before 5 pm, he was talking with potential constituents at KeyBank Plaza (California/Alaska), including Husky Deli‘s Jack Miller:
Shortly thereafter, he embarked on a walking tour with West Seattle Junction Association executive director Lora Radford. She led him behind KeyBank to the parking lot and pitched him on the merits of a potential purchase of the four WSJA-leased parking lots by Community Roots Housing, with city-backed funding (reported here in April).
Harrell asked her how the community would react to the loss of the parking lots; Radford said the expectation is that redevelopment would include some public parking spaces, as well as affordable housing and commercial storefronts. From there, they stopped in a few of the businesses open for Art Walk (included Wlld Rose’s and Capers Home, where he did a little shopping).
We had to break off shortly thereafter because of breaking news. Harrell, a former City Councilmember, faces Lorena González, current City Council President, in the November 2nd election, just under eight weeks away. Voting starts as soon as you get your ballot, which King County Elections plans to mail on October 13th.
Almost all the sizable apartment buildings that have gone up in West Seattle in the past decade-plus are participants in the city’s Multi-Family Tax Exemption (MFTE) program. It’s a voluntary program that enables building owners to not pay property tax on the residential portion of their projects, as long as they provide a certain number of units at lower rents pegged to tenants’ income levels. Tomorrow (Friday, September 10th), the City Council’s Finance and Housing Committee looks at legislation that among other things would extend the program – otherwise, nine participating properties will expire this year, after 12 years, including two in the West Seattle Junction, Mural and Altamira. (For an example of how the exemption works, you can look at Mural on the King County Assessor website – the property’s assessed value is $47.7 million, but it’s taxed on $5.7 million of that.) The slide deck for tomorrow’s meeting says 28 apartments at Mural and 32 at Altamira have MFTE-restricted rents. The proposed MFTE changes also could mean lower rents for tenants if they meet new, lower-income levels; otherwise, they’d be grandfathered in at the current rent level. The city says the proposed updates are the result of recent changes in state law. Tomorrow’s committee meeting is at 9:30 am, online; see the agenda for how to comment and how to watch.
Now that Labor Day is past, the fall campaigns are expected to rev up. Top of the ticket remains the race for Seattle Mayor – City Council President Lorena González vs. former City Councilmember Bruce Harrell. Tomorrow night brings the first announced West Seattle event of the fall campaign: Harrell will be touring the West Seattle Junction before and during the West Seattle Art Walk. Junction Association executive director Lora Radford says he’ll be here to talk with community members and answer questions starting at 4:30 pm Thursday at Walk-All-Ways (California/Alaska). Voting for the November 2nd election starts once voters receive ballots, which are scheduled to be mailed October 13th.
6:03 PM: The November election has apparently just lost its marquee measure. Opponents of homelessness-related Seattle Charter Amendment 29 have won a victory in their lawsuit to keep it off the ballot. King County Superior Court Judge Catherine Shaffer ruled today that it “violated state law limiting the permissible scope of local ballot initiatives in many ways,” according to opponents, Their lawyer Knoll Lowney said, “The blunt tool of an initiative is not a way to address this complex and evolving crisis. The law recognizes this and so did the judge.” Supporters call their campaign Compassion Seattle. It would codify various city responses to the crisis and would allow encampment sweeps on public property if its requirements were met. The lawsuit against it was filed two weeks ago, same day the 34th District Democrats hosted a forum about it (as mentioned in our coverage of that event). No word yet whether Compassion Seattle will appeal the ruling.
8:57 PM: Compassion Seattle now has a statement on its website, saying in part “This ruling means the only way the public can change the city’s current approach to homelessness is to change who is in charge at city hall. An appeal of the judge’s ruling would not happen in time for the election. However, we urge the public not to give up the fight. We can still make our voices heard in the elections for Mayor, City Council, and City Attorney.”
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Our area’s largest political group voted Wednesday night to oppose Seattle Charter Amendment 29, the November ballot measure that seeks to codify homelessness-response policies into the city charter.
The 34th District Democrats‘ vote followed a pre-meeting forum with representatives both for and against the proposal, and was one of four endorsement votes for city matters that will appear on the November ballot.
We’ll get to the endorsements later. First – the forum, moderated by the 34th DDs’ Rachel Glass (added: video here):
Six days after the primary election, vote-counting continues. After today’s count, here’s where things stand:
SEATTLE MAYOR – Still former City Councilmember Bruce Harrell and current City Council President Lorena González advancing to the general election, but they’re a lot closer than they were in the first count – Harrell now has 34.1%, González 32.1%. He was almost 10 points ahead on Election night.
SEATTLE CITY ATTORNEY – Incumbent Pete Holmes conceded Friday, and today’s count had no reason for him to rethink that. Nicole Thomas-Kennedy, who wants to end prosecution of misdemeanors (those are the crimes that go through the City Attorney’s Office, not felonies) leads with 36.3%, while private attorney Ann Davison is at 32.7%; Holmes has 30.7%.
SEATTLE CITY COUNCIL POSITION 8 – Incumbent Teresa Mosqueda is up to 59.4%, while her apparent challenger in November will be Kenneth Wilson (16.2%), a bridge engineer who believes the West Seattle Bridge could be partly reopened immediately.
SEATTLE CITY COUNCIL POSITION 9 – Community organizer/cultural worker/artist/attorney Nikkita Oliver is now in the lead over brewery owner Sara Nelson, 40.15% to 39.52%; Nelson led by seven points on Election Night.
KING COUNTY EXECUTIVE – Incumbent Dow Constantine is now just under 20% ahead of State Sen. Joe Nguyen, 51.9% to 32.4%; it was a 23-point lead on Election Night.
WHAT’S NEXT – Once-per-weekday results updates continue until the election is certified a week from tomorrow (Tuesday, August 17th)
The third round of results from the August 3rd primary is now out. Of the five races and one ballot measure that comprised West Seattle ballots, there’s only one major change: Incumbent city attorney Pete Holmes is now in third place with 32%, behind Ann Davison at 34.5% and Nicole Thomas-Kennedy at 33.1%. The count represents 27 percent of all Seattle ballots sent out; that’s just under two-thirds of all Seattle ballots received so far. Next update, tomorrow afternoon.
No changes of note in the second round of primary-election results, announced this afternoon. All local races still have the same two leaders as last night. Here are the full results from King County Elections, which has counted ballots from 19 percent of King County voters, 21 percent of Seattle voters, so far, and will continue daily counts until the election is certified:
Bruce Harrell – 39,173 – 38.02%
M. Lorena González – 29,467 – 28.60%
Colleen Echohawk – 8,872 – 8.61%
Jessyn Farrell – 7,752 – 7.52%
Arthur K. Langlie – 6,120 – 5.94%
Casey Sixkiller – 3,678 – 3.57%
Andrew Grant Houston – 2,570 – 2.49%
James Donaldson – 1,679 – 1.63%
Lance Randall – 1,525 – 1.48%
Clinton Bliss – 928 – 0.90%
Bobby Tucker – 244 – 0.24%
Omari Tahir-Garrett – 233 – 0.23%
Stan Lippmann – 220 – 0.21%
Henry C. Dennison – 213 – 0.21%
Don L. Rivers – 123 – 0.12%
Ann Davison – 34,523 – 34.92%
Pete Holmes – 32,285 – 32.66%
Nicole Thomas-Kennedy – 31,734 – 32.10%
CITY COUNCIL POSITION 8
Teresa Mosqueda – 52,862 – 54.99%
Kenneth Wilson – 17,485 – 18.19%
Kate Martin – 12,018 – 12.50%
Paul Felipe Glumaz – 5,495 – 5.72%
Alexander White – 1,482 – 1.54%
Bobby Lindsey Miller – 1,245 – 1.30%
Jesse James – 1,225 – 1.27%
George Freeman – 1,036 – 1.08%
Jordan Elizabeth Fisher – 1,002 – 1.04%
Alex Tsimerman – 613 – 0.64%
Brian Fahey – 530 – 0.55%
CITY COUNCIL POSITION 9
Sara Nelson – 42,841 – 42.78%
Nikkita Oliver – 35,082 – 35.03%
Brianna K. Thomas – 14,127 – 14.11%
Corey Eichner – 4,066 – 4.06%
Lindsay McHaffie – 1,767 – 1.76%
Rebecca L. Williamson – 1,053 – 1.05%
Xtian Gunther – 818 – 0.82%
Dow Constantine – 141,289 – 53.64%
Joe Nguyen – 78,173 – 29.68%
Bill Hirt – 30,528 – 11.59%
Goodspaceguy – 7,801 – 2.96%
Johnathon Crines – 4,314 – 1.64 %
COUNTY PROP 1 (“BEST STARTS FOR KIDS”)
Approved – 157,953 – 59.28%
Rejected – 108,521 – 40.72%
County Executive Dow Constantine was the main champion of the measure, so we asked him about it during our interview last night in Georgetown:
As of the 6 pm check tonight, 32 percent of King County ballots had been received; 39 percent of Seattle ballots are in.
Four City of Seattle races on the primary ballot – here are the first results (next count not due out until tomorrow):
Mayor – Bruce Harrell with 38 percent, Lorena González with 29 percent
City Council Position 8 – Teresa Mosqueda with 55 percent, Kenneth Wilson with 18 percent
City Council Position 9 – Sara Nelson with 42 percent, Nikkita Oliver with 35 percent
City Attorney – Ann Davison with 35 percent, Pete Holmes with 33 percent, Nicole Thomas-Kennedy with 32 percent
We’ll flesh out the full list of numbers in a bit but in the meantime (update – screengrabs added), check this link for full results.
8:09 PM: In the King County Executive race, the primary will narrow a field of five candidates to two. The leaders are two West Seattle residents – three-term incumbent Executive Dow Constantine with 53 percent and first-term State Sen. Joe Nguyen with 30 percent. Here are the first results (next count not due out until tomorrow):
Dow Constantine – 124,302 – 53.49%
Joe Nguyen – 68,986 – 29.69 %
Bill Hirt – 27,050 – 11.64%
Goodspaceguy – 6,889 – 2.96%
Johnathon Crines – 3,861 – 1.66%
We talked tonight with both Constantine and Nguyen and will add those clips when they’re uploaded.
11:09 PM: Constantine, who spent election night at the “Best Starts for Kids” victory party in Georgetown, expects a “fun” campaign:
Nguyen, who gathered with supporters in White Center, insists it’s time for change:
Datapoints from past elections: The first time Constantine ran for KC Executive, in 2009, he was second in the primary; Nguyen’s run for State Senate in 2018 was his first bid for elective office, and he led after the primary as well as the general. Another datapoint: Constantine held the same State Senate seat Nguyen now holds, for about a year at the turn of the millennium, before moving to the King County Council, shere he served before becoming executive.
That’s the King County Elections ballot dropbox at South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor), easy to ride/walk/drive up to, one of three dropboxes in West Seattle (here’s the countywide map, which also includes one in White Center and one in South Park). Dropboxes are open until exactly 8 pm tomorrow for your primary-election ballot; if you decide to send yours via US Mail, please do that early in the day rather than late so it will definitely get postmarked. As of this evening, KCE says Seattle is up to 17.3 percent turnout (ballots returned). Reminder, the ballot has six decisions for you to make – two city races without incumbents (mayor and City Council Position 9), two city races with incumbents (city attorney and Council Position 8), one county race (Executive), and one county ballot measure (“Best Starts for Kids” renewal/expansion). First round of results will be out around 8:15 pm tomorrow.
Only two days left to vote in the primary election, but very few ballots are in. As of this afternoon, only 13.4 percent of Seattle ballots had been returned to King County Elections; that’s just a hair below the countywide percentage, 13.5 percent. Just six decisions to make on your ballot – two city races without incumbents (mayor and City Council Position 9), two city races with incumbents (city attorney and Council Position 8), one county race (Executive), and one county ballot measure (“Best Starts for Kids” renewal/expansion). Still not sure about the mayor’s race, in which a field of 15 will be narrowed to two? Watch the one and only in-person West Seattle forum (presented by us and the Junction Association three weeks ago) here with 9 of the candidates, and/or check out the Seattle Channel’s Video Voters Guide (for mayor and the other city races) here. If you’re going to mail your ballot (no stamp needed), do that by tomorrow so you can be sure it’ll be postmarked in time; if you’re going to use a dropbox (three in West Seattle!), get it in by 8 pm Tuesday. First round of results is expected by 8:15 that night.
Once the primary-election ballots are counted after next Tuesday night’s voting deadline, the spotlight turns to November, and one city ballot measure will likely dominate the discussion: Seattle Charter Amendment 29. It attempts to codify particular policies for dealing with homelessness, Just announced by the 34th District Democrats – their August meeting will be preceded by an informational forum with reps from both sides. Supporters call their compaign Compassion Seattle, opponents call theirs House Our Neighbors, and participants from both will be part of the online event, open to all, 6-6:45 pm Wednesday, August 11th. You can register here to get the viewing link. The 34th DDs’ regular August meeting will start afterward, at 7 pm (same link if you plan to stay), and they may take an endorsement vote during the meeting,
If your ballot is still waiting to be marked and taken to a dropbox or mailbox – you have just five more days. Next Tuesday, August 3rd, is the deadline – 8 pm for dropboxes (3 in West Seattle), or early enough for mailboxes to be sure it’ll be postmarked that day. It’s not a long ballot – though some of the offices on it have long lists of candidates – 15 for Seattle Mayor (9 were at the West Seattle forum we moderated), 11 for citywide City Council Position 8, 7 for citywide City Council Position 9, 5 for King County Executive, 3 for Seattle City Attorney, and one ballot measure (King County Prop 1, “Best Starts for Kids”). That’s it for your primary ballot. Lost yours? Here’s how to get a replacement. Need to vote accessibly? Here’s how. Need to register? You can still do that in person up till Tuesday. Voted days ago? Track your ballot here.
King County Elections projects only a 40 percent turnout for the August 3rd election. That, despite a ballot including Seattle Mayor, two citywide City Council positions, City Attorney, County Executive, and a major levy. You can prove them wrong – get your ballot in! If you didn’t get your ballot yet but are registered, request a replacement here, or call 206-296-VOTE. If you didn’t get a ballot because you’re NOT registered, Monday is the deadline for registering online or by mail. After that, you can still register in person, but you have to go to King County Elections’ Renton HQ or a Vote Center.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Ballots are arriving. The biggest battle in the primary: Seattle mayor, 15 candidates, no incumbent,
Last Saturday, WSB and the West Seattle Junction Association co-presented the primary’s only mayoral-candidate forum in West Seattle (WSB coverage here, including video), touching on a wide range of peninsula-relevant issues. If you’re still making up your mind, another forum four days later focused on neighborhood issues including development. Wednesday’s online forum presented by Seattle Fair Growth – with co-sponsors including the Morgan Community Association – featured six candidates for all or part of it – Colleen Echohawk, Andrew Grant Houston, Arthur Langlie, Lance Randall for the entirety of the forum, Bruce Harrell departing early, Jessyn Farrell arriving late. Lorena González was invited, organizers said, but couldn’t participate.
You can watch it in its entirety here. We watched it as it happens, and our notes are below. As usual in our coverage, they are paraphrases/summaries except for whatever is between quotation marks:
(WSB photo. From left – Lorena González, James Donaldson, Jessyn Farrell, Colleen Echohawk, Andrew Grant Houston, WSJA executive director Lora Radford, Lance Randall, Bruce Harrell, Casey Sixkiller, Don Rivers)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
When nine of the 15 candidates for Seattle mayor sat side by side for an hour and a half at noontime Saturday, it wasn’t just the only pre-primary forum devoted to West Seattleites’ questions – it was also their first in-person forum of the campaign. With days to go until voting starts, they had appeared in dozens of forums, but all online.
So though the questions were serious, it was almost a festive atmosphere, unlike the more-typical mood by the time campaigning gets down to the wire.
Bruce Harrell joked that he wore shorts in the Zoom-call spirit. Lance Randall handed out custom-labeled mini-bottles of hand sanitizer. Casey Sixkiller and Jessyn Farrell asked to borrow scratch paper, confessing they were out of practice for toting supplies to in-person events.
Along with those four, the forum at the Senior Center of West Seattle featured James Donaldson, Colleen Echohawk, Lorena González, Andrew Grant Houston, and Don Rivers. WSB co-presented it with the West Seattle Junction Association, which streamed it live on Instagram’s IGTV while we streamed to YouTube. Our videographer for the occasion, Edgar Riebe of West Seattle-based Captive Eye Media, also recorded it, and here’s the video, followed by our summary:
12:08 PM: This year, Seattle elects a new mayor – Jenny Durkan decided not to run for re-election. Ballots for the August 3rd primary go out in a few days; you’ll have 15 mayoral candidates to choose from. WSB and the West Seattle Junction Association invited them all to participate in the first and only forum devoted to questions from West Seattleites – most were suggested by WSB readers – and it’s happening now at the Senior Center of West Seattle. You should see the stream embedded above; if anything goes awry, check the WSB YouTube channel or the WSJA Instagram IGTV feed; it’s also being recorded for later viewing.
1:38 PM: Forum’s over; we have removed the stream window above and replaced it with a photo. We will be uploading the recorded video in its entirety later, as well as adding notes. We had one no-show, so nine candidates participated:
Andrew Grant Houston
This, it turns out, was their first in-person forum.
4:16 PM: The lower-res YouTube stream is now archived – pull ahead to 5:40 for the start of the forum:
We’ll have a higher-res version with the story later, but if you don’t want to wait, watch it now!
Four years ago, 21 candidates ran for Seattle mayor, and we moderated a forum to which 15 RSVP’d. This year, 15 candidates are in the race, and 10 have RSVP’d for the forum we’re co-presenting Saturday with the West Seattle Junction Association. It starts at noon, with the candidates side by side at the Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon). Thanks to everyone who’s suggested questions – we’ll see how many we can get through with 10 candidates in an hour and a half. Our calendar listing has the lineup of participants and how to watch.
Three days until the WSB/West Seattle Junction Association forum with nine of the 15 candidates for Seattle mayor. It’s happening Saturday (July 10th) at noon, an in-person event at the Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon). Questions will be asked by your WSB co-publishers, and this is your last call to suggest one. Thanks to everyone who’s made suggestions already – we want to stress that the focus here is West Seattle issues; certainly the city’s biggest overall issues affect the peninsula too, but the candidates have had dozens of chances already to answer general questions, and this is the first chance to run everything through a WS-specific lens. Email questions to email@example.com. As for seeing and hearing the candidates’ answers, the forum will be streamed on multiple channels, including here on WSB and WSJA’s social-media channels. About 20 seats are available for vaccinated attendees, first-come first-served – doors will open at 11:30 am and close around 11:50.
Next week, the ballots go out and the voting begins for the August 3rd primary – including 15 candidates seeking to succeed Jenny Durkan as Seattle mayor. Dozens of organizations have hosted candidate forums on a variety of topics. This Saturday (July 10th) at noon, WSB and the West Seattle Junction Association will present the only pre-primary forum devoted entirely to West Seattle matters. We invited all 15 candidates; 9 accepted. We have roughed out a list of potential questions but are curious what’s on YOUR mind, so if you have a question to suggest – please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. The forum is an in-person event at the Senior Center of West Seattle (4217 SW Oregon); it’ll be streamed on multiple channels, including here on WSB, and we’ll also have a limited number of seats for those interested in being there – stand by for details on that in an update tomorrow.
“We know this crisis is not inevitable.”
That’s how the Alliance for Gun Responsibility‘s executive director Renée Hopkins opened a forum this past week with five mayoral candidates. The Alliance presented it along with Grandmothers Against Gun Violence and the South Seattle Emerald, whose publisher Marcus Harrison Green served as moderator. Though the forum had been scheduled for a while, it happened the day after four people were shot at Alki, one fatally, and during a citywide wave of gunfire incidents.
Participating candidates, in alphabetical surname order, were Colleen Echohawk, Jessyn Farrell, Lorena González, Bruce Harrell, and Andrew Grant Houston. The five qualified by participating in the Alliance’s endorsement process and having at least 1,000 donors, Hopkins said during introductions.
The questioning included full-length answers as well as lightning-round yes/no questions. Opening statements were requested to include the answer to: “If you could wave a magic wand and do one thing to end the gun-violence epidemic, what would it be?” Here’s how the candidates responded: (Note that in all responses in this report, only quotation marks signify an exact quote – otherwise it’s our summarizing/paraphrasing.)
We reported briefly via Twitter this morning that citywide Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, a North Delridge resident, is proposing what could be seen as a step toward getting rid of single-family zoning, which she has long opposed – changing its name. From the news release we just received:
Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda (Position 8, Citywide) announced legislation today that will change the name of single-family only zones, a recognition that the term “single family” as used in Seattle’s zoning code is a misnomer, inaccurately describes current uses, and has roots in exclusionary practices.
The legislation, co-sponsored by Councilmember Dan Strauss (District 6, Northwest Seattle), is in response to the Seattle Planning Commission’s repeated request since 2018 to change the name of single-family only to “Neighborhood Residential,” as laid out in their Neighborhoods for All report. The Planning Commission has reiterated this call in their recommendations for 2019/2020 Comprehensive Plan amendments and in their recommendations for analysis for the 2020/2021 Comprehensive Plan update.
“Seattle’s neighborhoods have always been more diverse than the single family only designation would have us believe—from some of the longest-standing and beloved neighborhood businesses, to brownstone apartment buildings built before tightening zoning restrictions, connected housing with shared courtyards, that all allow for residents to live near schools, parks, and services our communities rely on. Changing the zoning title can help reflect the diverse housing we need across our city to support community well-being, walkability and affordability in Seattle, and create a more equitable and inclusive Seattle to accurately reflect our diverse neighborhoods,” said Mosqueda.
“Language matters. ‘Single family’ zoning may seem to some as merely a planning term, but we know historically it has been used to further exclusionary practices and discriminatory policies of the past. If Seattle is going to be an equitable and just city, then we must also apply that same lens to our zoning code. After years of discussion, we are acting on what we know is right to undo the legacy of exclusion that exists within our planning documents — starting with how we talk about our neighborhoods,” Mosqueda concluded. …
The City Council requested this zoning name change be studied by the Executive every year since 2018 in the Comprehensive Plan Annual Docketing Resolution. This proposal would finally implement that recommendation by first amending the City’s Comprehensive Plan to make the change, and then follow with changes to the land use code.
This change will touch many elements of the Comprehensive Plan, including: (1) the Future Land Use Map; (2) the Land Use, Housing, and Parks and Open Space elements; (3) seventeen neighborhood plans; and (4) the Housing appendix.
These proposed changes can be seen on the Land Use and Neighborhoods Committee website at: seattle.gov/council/committees/land-use-and-neighborhoods. The City Council’s Land Use and Neighborhoods Committee will hold a public hearing to receive input on the preliminary proposal on Wednesday, July 28, 2021 at 9:30 AM. Councilmember Mosqueda intends to formally introduce legislation in August as part of the annual Comprehensive Plan update.
See the proposed legislation here. The announcement also notes this would change official neighborhood plans around the city, including, in West Seattle, those for Admiral, Morgan Junction, West Seattle Junction, and Westwood Highland Park.
While this is a proposal to change the zoning type’s name, not the zoning itself yet, it’s been a hot topic in this year’s mayoral and council races, with most candidates voicing support so far for ending “exclusionary zoning.” Mosqueda said during this morning’s council briefing meeting that potential future zoning changes could come in 2023 and 2024.