West Seattle, Washington
Just got word of this from the Senior Center of West Seattle – executive director Amy Lee Derenthal says one of their members has organized a last-minute forum for those still deciding who to vote for in the City Council District 1 race – here’s the announcement:
Eight candidates are vying for a Seattle City Council seat and all will be here at the Senior Center for the forum.
Wednesday, July 26, 2023
Hatten Hall (second floor)
They are Preston Anderson, a clinical social worker;
Lucy Barefoot, an outreach specialist;
Stephen Brown, president of Eltana bagels;
Maren Costa, a climate activist;
Jean Iannelli Craciun, a sociologist;
Mia Jacobson, a longshoreman;
Rob Saka, an attorney; and
Phil Tavel, an administrative law judge.
All are welcome; the Senior Center is at California/Oregon, with the entrance on the Oregon side. (The only previous forum with all eight candidates was the one we presented June 6 – video and summaries here.) As noted again here last night, you have until Tuesday, August 1st, to vote.
So far, fewer than six percent of the voters in newly expanded Seattle City Council District 1 have sent in their ballots for the August 1st primary – that’s 9,349 out of 74,100 registered voters. Nine days remain until the deadline but this time of year this can go fast, so once you decide who you’re voting for, get that ballot in the postal mail or a dropbox. Voters in our area have three major by-district local races – City Council, County Council, School Board, all with multi-term incumbents leaving office rather than running again. Your ballot also has the Veterans, Seniors, and Human Services Levy, plus a Port Commission race (countywide(. Lots of links in our election preview here. Deadline for turning in your ballot is Tuesday, August 1st, at 8 pm, in King County Elections dropboxes, or if you’re using USPS mail, in time to be sure they’re postmarked by August 1st.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Though it was close to the end of the meeting, an update on the nine-years-in-the-making Morgan Junction Park expansion site was the major news at last night’s quarterly Morgan Community Association meeting, held online and facilitated by president Deb Barker.
MORGAN JUNCTION PARK ADDITION: Kelly Goold from Seattle Parks said they got a lot of good comments at last month’s Morgan Junction Community Festival regarding the park addition. “The funding has returned for the project,” he reminded MoCA, so Parks dusted off the shelved original design and added possible new features such as active recreation (like skating). Money for the site cleanup – it formerly held a dry cleaner – is still available and they are still hoping to get that done within a few months. “Some kind of landscaping” will follow. including potentially “a big sentinel tree.” Then they’ll bring down the fence and open the site to some kind of public use until full development. About 400 people have responded to the survey – still open online – in addition to the hundreds they talked with at the festival. So what’s been holding up the cleanup? Getting the shoring designed, planning the digging of “a big hole,” etc., Goold said. As for the timeline for the park development itself, “that’s at least a year and a half out.” Spring 2025 is the current estimate. No further public meetings planned any time soon – once the survey closes, a new schematic design will be assembled. MoCA plans to invite Goold to the next meeting (October 19th). The city bought the site in 2014 for $1.9 million; within the ensuing two years, the businesses that had been in a building on the site both closed, and the building was demolished.
CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES: All eight were invited. The five who showed up got to speak. Each got a 10-minute spot, primarily spent on self-introduction, with time for a question or two after that. Here are our summaries of what they said:
Though it’s midsummer, the City Council has taken up some big topics. Here are quick notes on three:
SPEED CAMERAS: The Transportation and Utilities Committee has given its official approval to the proposal for “racing zones,” potentially enabling speed-enforcement cameras on Alki/Harbor Avenues and in other areas of the city. Tuesday morning’s vote was 4-0, including Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s vote. The discussion started 27:15 into the Seattle Channel meeting video below (and there was public comment starting around 6 minutes in):
Next step is a full Council vote, which could happen as soon as next Tuesday. As explained when we first wrote about this proposal last month, passage does not guarantee or fund cameras – that would be up to SDOT to plan and propose.
MARITIME/INDUSTRIAL STRATEGY: This plan to create more certainty around the future of maritime/industrial land got final approval from the full council unanimously on Tuesday. Here’s what the council website published afterward. For a deeper dive, including a map (which shows that West Seattle’s east shoreline areas are among the land affected), see the Office of Planning and Community Development‘s website.
RENT CONTROL? On Friday, the council’s Sustainability and Renters’ Rights Committee is scheduled to consider a proposed rent-control policy for Seattle. It would only take effect if state prohibitions on rent control were repealed. The City Council website goes into details; you can read the proposal here. If the committee passes the legislation, it would go to the full council for a final vote.
GOT FEEDBACK? Since the speed cameras and rent-control proposals haven’t had final votes yet, you still have opportunities to provide feedback – firstname.lastname@example.org (and watch the meeting agendas for specifics on commenting at meetings).
It’s almost time to start voting in the 2023 primary. The official voters’ pamphlets have been arriving, and King County Elections mailed ballots today – 1.4 million of them. Some may call this an off-year election but in our area, it’s more important than it’s been in a long time, with the incumbents leaving all three district-specific positions – City Council District 1, County Council District 8, and School Board District 6. None is exclusively West Seattle, but our community comprises most of each district, and the outgoing incumbents are all West Seattleites, as are most of the candidates. In addition to those three races, your ballot also includes one major levy. So here’s the quick refresher on those four major reasons to vote:
SEATTLE CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 1
Now expanded to include areas including Pioneer Square, Georgetown, and SODO, as well as WS and South Park
Lisa Herbold is giving up the seat after two terms. The eight primary candidates are (in surname-alphabetical order, and with each name linked to the campaign website):
The only forum with all eight was the one we presented in collaboration with the District 1 Community Network on June 6th. You can see the video – plus brief written summaries of the eight candidates’ responses to the 17 questions that were asked – by going here. Less than a week later, the 34th District Democrats presented a forum with five of the candidates; here’s our coverage, with video. And days after that, a coalition of mobility and sustainability-advocacy groups held a D-1 forum with four candidates and one candidate surrogate; here’s that video. In your Local Voters Pamphlet, the D-1 candidates start on page 35. You can also see all eight candidates in the city’s Video Voter Guide. (And if you want to explore who’s raised how much and from whom, this site is where to start.)
KING COUNTY COUNCIL DISTRICT 8
Areas including West Seattle, White Center, Vashon/Maury Islands, Burien
Joe McDermott is leaving this seat after 12 years. Candidates are:
SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS BOARD OF DIRECTORS DISTRICT 6
West Seattle and most of South Park
Leslie Harris is leaving this seat after two terms. Candidates are:
This is a district-only vote in the primary, and then a citywide vote in the general. All three candidates are in the Local Voters Pamphlet, on pages 74 and 75. Only Topp participated in the Seattle Video Voter Guide.
KING COUNTY PROPOSITION 1
Veterans, Seniors, and Human Services Levy
We reported on this measure here. In the Local Voters Pamphlet, you’ll find the summary and pro/con statements starting on page 78, and the full text starting on page 90. Want to see what it would cost you next year, compared to this year? Put your address into the King County Assessor’s Transparency Tool.
VOTING: The county predicts 35 percent turnout – you can prove that wrong. The four decisions above aren’t the only ones your ballot will ask you to make, but they’re the main ones. Voting starts as soon as you get your ballot, and you have until August 1st to vote and send your ballot back to KC Elections, either by getting it into an official ballot dropbox (they open tomorrow – here’s where to find them) by 8 pm that night, or by getting it into the USPS mail (no stamp needed) in time for a postmark no later than August 1st. In the contested races, the two candidates who get the most votes will advance to the November 7th general election (the city’s new voting method does NOT start this year).
Half a dozen Alki-area residents told city councilmembers today that they support a proposal that would be a ‘first step” toward automated speed cameras on three streets that would be designated as “racing zones.” We first reported last week on the proposal sponsored by West Seattle/South Park Councilmember Lisa Herbold and co-sponsored by Councilmember Alex Pedersen. Today the Transportation and Public Utilities Committee, chaired by Pedersen, got its first look at the proposal – just a briefing, not a vote; you can see it in the video above, starting 47 minutes into the meeting. This proposal would align city code with state authorization for additional uses of automated enforcement cameras and would designate certain city streets as “racing zones” eligible for them.
The supporters comprised the entirety of commenter turnout for the meeting – five in person at City Hall, one by phone, speaking right at the meeting’s start. The in-person comments were led by Mike Gain, one of the leaders of an Alki/Harbor Avenues resident group that, as he told the councilmembers, has been working with city reps for months on solutions to street disorder including racing/speeding. He said cameras would be a “safety tool” and would be “incredible” to get. Other speakers talked about the racing and stunt driving they see regularly, and the dangers it poses, along with the noise.
The briefing yielded little new information beyond what we previewed here last night, aside from stressing that if cameras are eventually deployed, state law requires half the revenue from citations to go to the state, for the Cooper Jones Active Transportation Safety Account.
What was not discussed, because it’s still several steps down the potential path to camera installation, is where they would be used and how they would be used. Even if this bill is passed, it wouldn’t happen fast – an equity analysis is required, and then SDOT and SPD would have to come up with an implementation plan, and the mayor would be expected to specify funding. An already-authorized plan to double the number of school-zone speed cameras around the city is still in the planning stage.
By the time this committee votes on the “first step,” the list of potential “racing zones” around the city will likely be longer than the initial six (Alki, Harbor, West Marginal, plus three in Northeast Seattle) – during the briefing, Councilmember Dan Strauss, whose district includes Ballard, said he intended to propose two streets including Seaview from the Ballard Locks to Golden Gardens, and Pedersen said he expected other proposals. July 6th is the date he set for that; the committee could vote on the idea July 18th. A full council vote would follow that. How long the subsequent steps would take after that – the time that would elapse before potential camera installation – too soon to say.
The map is from the presentation that members of the City Council’s Transportation and Seattle Public Utilities Committee will see tomorrow morning, their first look at the proposal to designate six streets – three in West Seattle, three elsewhere – as “restricted racing zones.” As we reported last week, this would be necessary before speed-enforcement cameras could be set up. The presentation explains that what’s being proposed now is a potential prelude to cameras, but does not authorize or fund them:
Here’s what that new state authorization means:
The council staff memo also prepared for Tuesday’s briefing has no price tag or other specifics about the potential speed cameras, noting, “This legislation anticipates that the [mayor] will propose implementation measures as part of a future budget proposal, including progress on the required equity analysis. … The financial and other implications of implementing additional camera enforcement will be dependent on the specific implementation measures proposed.” Tomorrow’s meeting starts at 9:30 am and will not include a vote on this – it’s just a briefing. But the meeting will start with a public comment period for this item and anything else on the agenda, which explains how to comment either online/by phone or in person at City Hall downtown.
In a three-hour online meeting that concluded an hour ago, our area’s largest political organization – the 34th District Democrats – made their pre-primary endorsement decisions. Here’s how that shook out in the three major local races for which the incumbents aren’t running again:
SEATTLE CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 1: With almost 200 members in attendance, the group nominated four of the eight candidates for consideration. That first vote ended with Rob Saka at 50 percent, Maren Costa 24.6 percent, Phil Tavel 11.9 percent, and Preston Anderson 11.1 percent. 60 percent is required to win an endorsement, so this went to a second ballot between Saka and Costa; he won the sole endorsement with 63.7 percent. (For context, departing incumbent Lisa Herbold won the 34th DDs’ endorsement four years ago, and they gave a dual endorsement to her and Shannon Braddock in the first D-1 election back in 2015.)
KING COUNTY COUNCIL DISTRICT 8: Two of the three candidates for the position Joe McDermott is leaving were nominated for consideration. Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda just missed winning the endorsement by coming in a fraction of a point below 60 percent. The group then voted on whether to dual-endorse Mosqueda and Burien Mayor Sofia Aragon, but decided on “no endorsement” instead. They’ll be able to reconsider for the November general election.
SEATTLE SCHOOL BOARD DISTRICT 8: Only one candidate was nominated for consideration out of the three vying for the seat Leslie Harris is leaving. Gina Topp (a former 34th DDs chair) got the nod.
ALSO OF NOTE: The 34th DDs took various other endorsement votes but weren’t scheduled to vote on whether to endorse the Veterans, Seniors, & Human Services Levy. County Executive Dow Constantine moved to bring it up, noting that ballots will be in the mail by the time the group meets again July 12th. After voting to allow a vote, attendees endorsed the levy.
The mayor proposed it in March, and the City Council finalized it this afternoon – the next renewal of the seven-year Seattle Housing Levy, expanding it to almost a billion dollars, will be on your November ballot. Here’s an overview of where that money would go, according to the council’s website:
Rental Production and Preservation:
$707,270,379 – Capital funding for new production of affordable rental housing, acquisition of structures to create or preserve affordable housing, and reinvestment in existing affordable housing to make capital improvements.
Operating, Maintenance, and Services:
$122,300,000 – Operating support for Housing Levy-funded buildings for 20 years, supplementing rent paid by low-income residents, including formerly homeless residents and other residents with supportive service needs. Wage stabilization support for supportive housing workers serving residents who have experienced homelessness and who are living with low incomes.
$60,000,000 – Funding for administration of all programs, including holding costs and predevelopment costs for land in the City’s possession.
$50,689,796 – Assistance to low-income homeowners to maintain stable housing through emergency home repair grants, assistance to eligible homebuyers through home purchase loans, and development subsidy loans for the development of new resale-restricted homes.
Prevention and Housing Stabilization:
$30,000,000 – Rent assistance and stabilization services for low-income individuals and families to prevent eviction, support housing stability, and address homelessness.
Acquisition and Preservation:
Up to $30,000,000 (no additional funding) – Short-term acquisition loans for cost-effective purchases of buildings or land for rental or homeownership development.
The first Seattle Housing Levy was a $50 million, 8-year measure in 1986; the one that’s expiring, passed in 2016, was for $290 million. You can see the rest of its history here. As for this one, when proposed in March, it was described as costing the owner of a median-value home – $855,000 – $32 a month.
Less than a week after the latest meeting between city officials and Alki/Harbor neighbors concerned about street disorder and dangerous driving, a new proposal is in the works. City Councilmember Lisa Herbold is introducing a bill that would open the door to automated speed-enforcement cameras on Alki Avenue, Harbor Avenue, and West Marginal Way by designating them as “racing zones,” along with a few other areas of the city. This is a new use of enforcement cameras, authorized by the State Legislature. From the summary of Council Bill 120600:
As authorized by recent changes in Washington State Law (RCW 46.63.170), this legislation authorizes the expansion of camera enforcement to detect speed violations in walk areas, public park zones, hospital zones, and restricted racing zones. This legislation also designates the specific racing zones where camera enforcement is authorized, including:
Alki Avenue SW between 63rd Ave SW and Harbor Avenue SW.
Harbor Avenue SW between Alki Avenue SW and SW Spokane St.
West Marginal Way SW between SW Spokane St and 2nd Ave SW.
Sand Point Way NE between 38th Ave NE and NE 95th St.
NE 65th St between Sand Point Way NE and Magnuson Park.
Roadways inside Magnuson Park including, but not limited to, NE 65th St and Lake Shore Dr NW.
State law (RCW 46.63.170(1)(d)(ii) requires an equity analysis that evaluates livability, accessibility, economics, education, and environmental health when identifying camera locations using this new authority.
Councilmember Herbold’s legislative assistant Newell Aldrich tells WSB that this would give SDOT the “authority to install speed cameras, but not immediately: “There are steps that must be taken in the state law before installing cameras, e.g. an equity analysis.” Previously, speed-enforcement cameras were only allowed in school zones, and the city is already pursuing doubling those (from 35 citywide now, to 70). Aldrich says the racing-zone camera proposal will be the subject of a briefing one week from tomorrow, 9:30 am June 20th, in the Transportation and Seattle Public Utilities Committee, whose chair Councilmember Alex Pedersen is co-sponsoring it. A vote could happen in mid-July. Meantime, we’re seeking some followup information, such as the potential cost of these cameras (which of course would be revenue generators as well) and whether they’d be in use 24/7, not just “racing” hours (West Marginal has been much-discussed as a speeding zone around the clock).
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
For the second time in five days, candidates for Seattle City Council District 1 answered questions side by side this afternoon. Five of the eight candidates participated in a forum presented by the 34th District Democrats at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center in North Delridge.
Like the King County Council D-8 forum that had preceded it (WSB coverage/video here), this one was a prelude to the 34th DDs’ endorsement meeting next week. Five of the candidates participated – Maren Costa, Preston Anderson, Rob Saka, Stephen Brown, and Phil Tavel; a sixth, Jean Iannelli Craciun, was expected, but sent a last-minute message citing a “scheduling conflict.”
Rachel Glass moderated the forum, asking questions the organization had planned in advance. Here’s our video:
For those who don’t want to – or have time to – watch the video, we also summarized their replies. Take note that our summaries do not represent everything they said, nor are they direct quotes unless you see words/phrases/sentences within quotation marks. We’re summarizing the questions, too.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
With ballots going out in just a month, the start of primary-election voting is fast approaching.
Three of our area’s highest-profile elected positions will be on the primary ballot without incumbents. This afternoon, the 34th District Democrats held forums for two of those races – Seattle City Council District 1 and King County Council District 8 – as a prelude to their endorsement votes next week.
We recorded video of both and took as-it-happened notes. First, we’re presenting the one that started the afternoon, two of the three candidates vying for the seat that County Councilmember Joe McDermott is leaving after 13 years. At-large Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda and Burien Mayor Sofia Aragon shared the stage for 45 minutes at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center in North Delridge. (Participation was limited to candidates eligible for the 34th DDs’ endorsements, as spelled out here.)
34th DDs’ chair Graham Murphy welcomed attendees and Chris Porter moderated. First, here’s our video:
For those who don’t want to – or have time to – watch the video, we also summarized their replies. Take note that our summaries do not represent everything they said, nor are they direct quotes unless you see words/phrases/sentences within quotation marks. We’re summarizing the questions, too.
First, Porter asked a sort of icebreaker: Name your favorite food in District 8 (which includes Burien, West Seattle, White Center, Vashon Island, and more)
Aragon: Tung Kee Mi Gia.
Then, opening statements.
Missed our candidate forum this past Tuesday and/or want another chance to see the City Council District 1 candidates? Tomorrow is your next chance – and as a bonus, it’s a doubleheader, also including the first local faceoff between the County Council District 8 candidates. The 34th District Democrats are presenting the forums Saturday afternoon as a prelude to their endorsement votes next week, but the forums are open to all. They’re happening at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW), with County Council candidates Sofia Aragon (Burien mayor) and Teresa Mosqueda (at-large Seattle councilmember) at 1 pm, City Council D-1 candidates (we’re checking on their final RSVP list) at 2 pm. We’ll be recording both forums on video and will publish them Saturday night, as soon as they’re uploaded.
P.S. Next Wednesday (June 14th), there’s yet another chance to see the City Council candidates, also at Youngstown CAC, focusing on transportation, mobility, and climate issues, presented by a coalition of regional organizations; their forum starts at 5 pm and you can RSVP for in-person or online attendance here.
Every part of Seattle actually has three city councilmembers – the district rep, and the two at-large members who represent the entire city. Approaching the midpoint of her first term, at-large Councilmember Sara Nelson visited the West Seattle Junction business district today. Her hourlong mini-tour was doubly relevant, as she chairs the council’s Economic Development, Technology, and City Light Committee, and is a business owner (founding Fremont Brewing with her husband in 2009) – she reminded the proprietors she met today that “I’m a small-business owner too.” Her tour guide was Junction Association executive director Chris Mackay, who first briefed Nelson on the state of The Junction – from public-safety concerns (including the recent hiring of private security) to event planning (with tens of thousands of people expected to converge on The Junction for West Seattle Summer Fest July 14-16. The big job is to keep The Junction “clean, safe, and fun.” They headed out to stops in three businesses – first, The Beer Junction:
Owner Allison has long been on The Junction’s Block Watch committee. She told Nelson the past three years have been especially tough for small-business owners, not just public-safety challenges, but also the 2 1/2-year West Seattle Bridge closure. Both Nelson and the assistant accompanying her said they could help with problems such as better connecting with other city agencies. From there, they headed south to Northwest Art and Frame for a chat with owner Dan:
He told Nelson things were going fairly well – his store started closing earlier, and that eliminated some problems they’d been having in the evening. He also talked about the difficulty of getting police response for thefts; Nelson said she’s working on an easier way to at least file after-the-fact reports. Meantime, she also listened as Dan spoke proudly of his half-century in business and at least one staff member who’d been working there his entire adult life.
Before Nelson’s hourlong visit wrapped up, she also stopped in at My Three Little Birds and heard about how businesses support each other by sharing real-time information on problems; Mackay noted she’s working on getting a better communication tool for businesses to use.
Before Nelson left, we asked about the day’s hottest citywide topic – Tuesday evening’s council vote rejecting the proposal she, Councilmember Alex Pedersen, and City Attorney Ann Davison had put forth to match city code with the new state law on drug possession. What now? we asked. Nelson said she wasn’t ready to talk specifics but “I’m not giving up.”
We promised we’d publish the video from tonight’s WSB/D1CN candidates’ forum as soon as it was uploaded, so here it is. We’ll be working on a separate story in the next few days with written highlights of the candidates’ replies to the 15+ questions we asked. As you’ll see in the video, after the introductions, the first question we asked was whether each candidate would be voted yes or no on the drug-law proposal that current councilmembers had voted down barely an hour earlier. The other questions were from submissions by the member organizations of the District 1 Community Network and WSB readers and were not previewed by the candidates. All 8 candidates participated – they were seated left to right in surname-alphabetical order:
The forum was held at Our Lady of Guadalupe’s Walmesley Center; thank you to everyone who came to see them in person! You can also see the candidates in person during the next forum, 2 pm Saturday (June 10th) at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW), presented by the 34th District Democrats, following a 1 pm forum with candidates for King County Council District 8.
ADDED: Since some prefer to read rather than watch, we promised summries of the replies. We’re adding them here rather than publishing a separate story. What follows is largely a summary; unless you see words/phrases/sentences inside quotation marks, they are not exact quotes.
PRESTON ANDERSON: Crime, safety, homelessness, addiction are issues that have surfaced as he does door-to-door to talk with voters. He’s a clinical social worker and has dealt with all those issues. The City Council could benefit from the perspective of a clinician.
LUCY BAREFOOT: She is an outreach specialist with a background in economics and public affairs who wants to speak up for underserved communities.
STEPHEN BROWN: He calls himself “a mix of creativity and privatism” and thinks that’s “what Seattle needs right now.” He believes he can take ‘a workable plan to an operating entity.”
MAREN COSTA: She was a senior leader in tech for 25 years, managing big teams and big budgets “to get stuff done.” She challenged Amazon to act on climate change and “created a plan, delivered results.”
JEAN IANNELLI CRACIUN: She’s “been involved in politics my entire life.” She would be the first LGBTQ District 1 councilmember since by-district elections began in 2015.
MIA JACOBSON: She has “three small children” so she is thinking into the future. “We have outgrown the system of representation itself” and need to explore new ways.
ROB SAKA: He is a veteran and “public-safety advocate” who says “the public-safety situation is out of hand” and supports hiring more police and building more affordable housing. He wants to “get stuff done that works for all of us.”
PHIL TAVEL: He says “we need a city councilperson who is going to prioritize public service over politics.” He has ben a judge, teacher, business owner. He believes “we can change, we can bring back the things we know and love about this city.”
Questions followed. With the exception of the first one – a late addition because it referred to a much-watched City Council vote that had happened less than an hour before the forum – they were adapted from questions sent by both WSB readers and members of D1CN organizations. They were not provided to the candidates in advance. We allotted 30 seconds for answers in order to get to as many questions/issues as possible, knowing this might be the only opportunity for these candidates to be asked about some D1-specific matters.
First, the late add: That evening, councilmembers had just rejected, on a 5 no/4 yes vote, a proposal to have city code match the new state law criminalizing drug possession. We asked the candidates to say whether they would have voted yes or no on the proposal. Results: Tavel, Saka, Brown, Barefoot, and Anderson said they would have voted “yes”; Jacobson, Craciun, and Costa said they would have voted “no.”
Second question: With the enlarged D-1 map, how will you handle microconcerns?
ANDERSON – Already familiar with other areas of the district – Pioneer Square nightlife, SODO industry, Georgetown nightlife.
BAREFOOT – Lived and worked in other areas of the district – public safety, homelessness need to be addressed via root causes.
BROWN – District representation in councilmember’s office is important.
COSTA – Want to make sure there are more-accessible forums for everybody to more easily engage.
CRACIUN – Very excited about multicultural communities comprising district. She’s been engaging with Pioneer Square in particular.
JACOBSON – We’ve outgrown current system of representation and need technological way for 24/7 digital public comment, more digital town halls.
SAKA – Rather than thinking we’re divided and different, collaborate and find common ground to get stuff done that works for all.
TAVEL – Balance is difficult but important and he’ll be there as will “my amazing team.” Says he can go out and be there for people.
Third question: Georgetown & South Park are communities in need of economic and environmental justice. How will you advocate for their unique needs?
BAREFOOT – Language access. She’ll increase it and engage with as many people as she can.
BROWN – Councilmember will have to go there and reach out actively to ensure all voices are heard.
COSTA – Environmental justice and climate justice are incredibly important – will work with community members to decide where to spend.
CRACIUN – She created and founded Diversity Center of WA. Believes in communities speaking in their own voices.
JACOBSON – Can’t speak for BIPOC community, but they too can access technology and speak for themselves.
SAKA – Comes from a historically marginalized/disadvantaged community. Lives in Delridge. Understands firsthand what it’s like.
TAVEL – He has advocated for so many as a public defender and in community issues like bridge closure and South Park tides.
ANDERSON – Working with 34th District Democrats, he spent a lot of time in South Park recruiting PCOs and can build on that work.
Fourth question – Should we have a moratorium on new/expanded levies?
BROWN – No. Hopes housing levy will pass, transportation levy too. They’re a successful mechanism for funding things that need to be funded outside regular budgeting.
COSTA – Housing levy important. Would like to see new progressive revenue sources explored – like a vacancy tax.
CRACIUN – We need to look at it all with accountability, transparency, and efficiencies. She’d research and understand and take action.
JACOBSON – Yes, if public doesn’t have direct access and can’t give meaningful input on them.
SAKA – No moratorium that would circumvent the will of voters and a transparent process. Does support being “more efficient and effective with dollars we do spend.”
TAVEL – Not a time for a moratorium on levies but would like to see a moratorium on waste, government spending poorly, and giving to people spending inefficiently.
ANDERSON – No. But accountability, transparency, measurable outcomes important. Would implement measurable standards.
BAREFOOT – No. But Seattle needs to spend more responsibility and invest in self-sustaining programs. She’ll watch spending carefully.
Fifth question – Should West Seattle light rail be scrapped?
COSTA – We need to invest in public transportation and get people to use it. Maybe something sooner, but light rail – once it’s built, we’ll realize we can’t get along without this.
CRACIUN – Yes, a lot has changed. Will we continue with it just because we said we would?
JACOBSON – That decision would “require immense investigation by the public.” So we need a way for everyone to speak “in a meaningful way in public view.”
SAKA – No. We need to “expand our flexible transit options …” and biking options, and space for “people to travel in cars if they choose.”
TAVEL – No. But we do need to ensure the environmental impact report doesn’t claim that no buildings are affected – need to be intelligent about it but not scrap it.
ANDERSON – No. In 2015 King County studied extending it through White Center and Burien, I’d want to study that expansion.
BAREFOOT – Yes. “Elevated concrete structures continue to fail. If you cannot give us a tunnel, then scrap it.”
BROWN – No. Has lived in dense transit-rich places without a car. Wants everyone to be able to get around without a car (if they choose to).
Sixth question – City’s climate plan calls for fewer car trips. How will you encourage that?
CRACIUN – Make buses more bike-friendly. Think more seriously about the “15-minute community.”
JACOBSON – 15-minute community sounds amazing but it’s such a huge issue, we can’t just put a band-aid on part of it. “if we had a process that’s publicly accessible, we could access data” of people using all modes.
SAKA – Need to expand flexible options and incentivize people to reduce driving,. Transit needs to be safer.
TAVEL – Supports free ORCA card for all students and people of certain income levels. Son and I will bike around neighborhood visibly.
ANDERSON Increase bike corridors, more transit like small electric shuttles, increase bus access.
BAREFOOT – Runs successful voter education/outreach program and has success giving people options. Incentivize employers to give employees ORCA cards. Need more bike lanes.
BROWN – Support incentivizing moving around city many ways. His bagel business offers ORCA cards to employees. Must recognize topographical challenges
COSTA Make transit safe, accessible, convenient. If you do, people will ride it.
Seventh question – How would you address Admiral area’s transit shortage?
JACOBSON – Give everybody a forum to speak in a meaningful way. Current process does not allow for it.
SAKA – Would like to hear more from Admiral communities about what’s been suspended and why. Would be “best advocate I can be.”
TAVEL – Good bus system but could be so much better, here’s an example why.
ANDERSON – Deploy smaller electric shuttles deeper into communities. Get feedback from communities.
BAREFOOT – Lived in Admiral and was a bus rider – “in peak hours those buses were packed.” Need to take advantage of what we have.
BROWN – Worked for a transit agency, was involved in ORCA card introduction, would like to learn more about improving Admiral service, restoring pre-COVID levels.
COSTA – Wants to see data on underserved areas. We are a water town ane could have electric foot ferries running everywhere like San Francisco.
CRACIUN – Has adult and teen kids who provide ample feedback on what’s not working with the bus system. “I listen to the kids.”
Eighth question: When the Fauntleroy ferry dock is rebuilt, would you support expanding its over-water portion?
SAKA – Yes. We need to expand infrastructure to expand capacity.
TAVEL – Yes. Maybe add a youth-education center to teach kids about the water.
ANDERSON – Yes. Need to ensure we’re running an efficient system.
BAREFOOT – Yes, for people traveling to and from Vashon.
BROWN – Yes, important to invest in infrastructure, but not too familiar with this issue.
COSTA – Yes, would like to see terminal become world-class green construction terminal. Electric ferries. More amenities.
CRACIUN – Lives not far from the dock and experiencing early-morning traffic. Supports expansion but need to talk to neighbors about it.
JACOBSON – Everyone is in favor of improvement but the issue is how we approach it – people know how to solve it but need access to system.
Ninth question – Police are short-staffed and that won’t change quickly. How could SPD be most efficient with current resources?
TAVEL – Need better partnership with city council, city attorney, etc., to figure that out.
ANDERSON – Prioritize recruiting efforts, hire non-police crisis responders.
BAREFOOT – Hiring and training are slow. Sensitivity to diversity is important.
BROWN – Tough question, solvable by working with police union, mayor’s office, council. Not aware of current inefficiencies.
COSTA – Need to ensure Seattle is best place on planet to be a police officer but also need to stand up alternative responses to help take burden off SPD.
CRACIUN – She’s a sociologist with criminology focus. Need to talk to police more. Officer told us infrastructure for training is lacking.
JACOBSON – Working system must be transparent to be held accountable. Otherwise it’s not sustainable. No one is against a functioning public-safety officer. Need to find out why people are losing trust.
SAKA – Public safety issue is out of hand. Need to hire more police and empower them. But need alternative responses too.
Tenth question – Should people consider you the “law and order candidate”? Why/why not?
ANDERSON – Clinician’s perspective is vital.
BAREFOOT – No, although “I do support our police and public safety … There’s so much we can do as prevention” – address root causes.
BROWN – Not sure how to answer but his bagel shop was across from SPD precinct during George Floyd (aftermath) protests, was under pressure to speak negatively about police but didn’t.
COSTA – Would “prefer to be known as the holistic public-safety candidate … we can lead with compassion and still refuse to tolerate” bad behavior.
CRACIUN – She’s the “very pragmatic … researcher, sociologist, studying” candidate.
JACOBSON -No but would like to be considered logical, common sense, functional candidate. Need more data.
SAKA – What does “law and order” mean? As a Black man in this country, he’s experienced police brutality firsthand. But also has seen police acting nobly – would hire more, and hold them accountable.
TAVEL – “I want to be the criminal justice candidate.” Spent years as a public defender fighting for justice. Police need to be more “protect and serve” than “enforce and punish.”
Eleventh question – After (then-recent) unsolved shootings, say you’re a councilmember and a constituent said, “What are you going to do about this?” what would you say?
BAREFOOT – There are resources for victims. “We can do better and I can do better.”
BROWN – “I would join the person in their pain, listen to them, ask them how I could be of service.”
COSTA – “We can do better. We need to invest more in gun violence prevention programs. We don’t have an excuse for this, we need to fight on all fronts the fact that we have the highest rates of gun violence in the world.”
CRACIUN – “Shooting and shots-fired events were at all time high in 2022. I would work for (constituents) to solve whatever problems they were concerned about regarding the situation.” Need to be there for them.
JACOBSON – Technology is amoral. In order to have direct access to legislation, we need to have a real movement of community empowerment … because of the trauma we’re all experiencing.”
SAKA – “One of the communities bearing the brunt is my community, Delridge. I understand what it’s like. I lost an uncle to gun violence. We need to do everything.”
TAVEL – “The rise in gun violence is completely unacceptable … I would immediately be on the phone to SW Precinct commander to find out what’s being done, show up and talk to people affected …” and ensure resources are deployed.
ANDERSON – “I would listen to person to validate their concerns, then hold a forum to brief the community.” Must ensure appropriate investigative resources.
Twelfth question – How big an issue is homelessness in D-1 compared to the rest of the city?
BROWN – Doesn’t have the data but it’s profoundly affecting the people in D-1, in our urban villages and on our streets, so that’s what matters and “I would roll up my sleeves and work on it.”
COSTA – It’s a problem not only in our district but in our city. People are afraid to go downtown. It also affects our unhoused neighbors. Must increase affordable housing dramatically.
CRACIUN – Displacement is caused by large migration of poeople and problem is not enough places for people to live. Camp Second Chance is a successful solution … we have a lot of work to do.
JACOBSON – Remembers first time she saw a homeless person; the population is the most valuable resource to show how the system fails the community. People need direct access to the legislative process.
SAKA – Profound problem throughout D-1. Everyone deserves access to affordable housing and basic shelter, so he supports addressing root cause but we need to address symptoms as well.
TAVEL – Must understand we have many more homeless people by expanding the district, need to do so much more to get people into supportive housing and shelters.
ANDERSON – Have worked with the VA health system, which has reduced homelessness, so it’s doing something right. Need to improve clinically appropriate housing.
BAREFOOT – With expansion of district, homelessness crisis in D-1 has expanded, but the root causes are the real problems – every time there’s a sweep, that’s a displacement, but where are people moving? Need to work with KCRHA.
Thirteenth question – Describe one successful way to address homelessness.
COSTA – “Homelessness is a housing problem,” so build housing/shelter of all types.
CRACIUN – “Understand it.” It’s not just about alcohol/drug/mental problems – focus on “what people need from us, and what they need is a safe place to live. … 30 percent of houseless people are working people.”
JACOBSON – “Create a system that restores their humanity.”
SAKA – “As a former foster kid, I know what it’s like to be uprooted and swept away … we must do better for our unoused neiighbors,” can’t let them “live in squalor,” get them out of tents and RVs, get services.
TAVEL – Biggest problem “is calling this a problem of unaffordable housing … it’s not.” A friend’s brother is chronically homeless and he’s talked with him a lot.
ANDERSON – Complex issue – “25 to 30 percent have psychiatric and/or substance disorders … an expensive population to treat” so outreach must be extended.
BAREFOOT – “They’re all human beings, we’re all human beings, see each other (that way) … love thy neighbor … we need to uplift them, give them the tools they need to succeed.”
BROWN – “The one single tactic is a frame of mind, ‘housing first,’ next to impossible to lift out of your present situation if you don’t know where you’re going to sleep …” or don’t have a place to store your stuff.
Fourteenth question – Morgan Junction has two vacant city-owned spaces [future park expansion and future EV-charging lot] that are vacant, their future uses years away. What should be done with them in the meantime?
CRACIUN – At the Morgan space, allow a skatepark. “Let’s get creative and have fun … and involve the kids.”
JACOBSON – “We should have a community discussion and ask the community what they would like to see there.” Need to be able to access goverhment 24 hours a day for that discussion.
SAKA – “Starting point … listening and learning from the people of Morgan Junction.” Says he’s done a lot of that lately while doorbelling.
TAVEL – “Having been VP of Morgan Community Association …there’s a wonderful plan to put a skate park there” though there are liability issues – thee are things we can do in meantime.
ANDERSON – Should have a regular forum to hear from community members to figure it out.
BAREFOOT – Community “knows better, they know what they want,” hear from them in more convenient times and days.
BROWN – “I would echo panel’s thoughts on have it be driven by Morgan Junction folks,” biased toward social infrastructure as it’s a passion of his.
COSTA – “I would listen to the community as well …also would be great to bring ideas to the community, could we have a design challenge? Something fun and bring ideas to the community?”
Fifteenth question – The city’s commitment to urban creeks has eroded and they’re being treated more like drainage than habitats. Would you collaborate with the community?
JACOBSON – Yes. “A common sense will arise” of clean water and a place to live as a collaborative system arises.
SAKA – We all need access to clean natural environments – would like to hear SPU’s perspective. Lives next to Longfellow Creek.
TAVEL – Would bring in experts – has worked with Green Spaces Coalition, which has incredible environment, climate change experts; city needs to do more to bring in experts.
ANDERSON – Yes, important to preserve integrity and respect the committed citizens..
BAREFOOT – Yes, reach out to experts, put them at the same table and discuss all the D-1 creeks. Also emphasizes that we’re on Duwamish land and need to consult with (the tribe), which has stewarded the land for centuries.
BROWN – As councilmember for D-1 you represent land not just people – collaboration important.
COSTA – Completely agree with engaging the Duwamish people – looking at the river, we know it’s a lot more expensive to clean it up than to keep it clean in first place, “let’s not lose any more of our natural environment.”
CRACIUN – Lived in Alaska a long time – places like this were treasured – the fact that ours are in disrepair is upsetting – definitely need to bring indigenous people into the conversation and make a plan.
Sixteenth question – Woud you propose an election asking White Center/unincorporated North Highline residents if they want to be annexed to Seattle?
SAKA – Would poll D-1 residents first to see what they want.
TAVEL – After talking with Top Hat group, it does come down to what does potential annexees want. If the people there want to be annexed, I’m all for it.
ANDERSON – Absolutely important to engage communities that would be affected, first.
BAREFOOT – Before annexation conversation, needs to be big outreach to find out what they want.
BROWN – Not much to add – if WC folks are interested in being part of Seattle, their reasons and voices need to be heard.
COSTA – White Center’s just one small piece of what we’re facing – we’ll eventually be wall to wall city between Seattle and Portland – need to build out services, connect all these communities.
CRACIUN – Was at WC Pride the preceding weekend. Topic came up in various spots, regarding pros and cons. Just keep engaging community.
JACOBSON – Lived in WC for three years. Most love being unincorporated. Type of change my campaign suggests is cutting-edge approach to “problems that are only getting worse” otehrwise.
Seventeenth and final question – Civic engagement seems low these days – does city government have any role in changing that – what would you do?
TAVEL – Would like to see more council meetings available on Zoom, weekends, evenings, let people record their testimony and submit it; he’ll have monthly meetings and will show up at all neighborhood meetings,
ANDERSON – Wants to have regular forums throughout D-1 – format is pretty critical – social work-y folks talking with each other, not talking at an official.
BAREFOOT – Hybrid and remote meetings help – D1 is very diverse so we need to address every community differently, increase language access, support education.
BROWN – When he goes door to door, people say they are afraid and anxious and nervous, those are barriers to involvement, I let them keep talking.
COSTA – We may be seeing a dip but “what gives me such hope is passion in the younger generations – I would start there and bring them in every way we could … we could get people inspired that way.”
CRACIUN – Asks people at the forum to say hi to people they don’t know. “We need to do this kind of stuff, get together, talk about things you want to talk about.”
JACOBSON – This question speaks to my generation – “our voices don’t matter,” she had many barriers trying to interact with government previously. One thing she would change is that she would require reps to answer questions
SAKA – Education and advocacy. Has served on some boards and commissions. We need people to participate in more of those.
After hours of passionate public comment and councilmember speeches, the City Council voted this evening to reject a proposal to match city law with the new state law regarding drug possession. The vote was 4 yes, 5 no. Voting yes were Council President Debora Juarez and Councilmembers Sara Nelson, Alex Pedersen, and Dan Strauss. The “no” votes included West Seattle/South Park Councilmember Lisa Herbold, who noted that the mayor and police chief have said that drug sales and trafficking are their enforcement priority. Herbold also said she has no faith to believe the City Attorney’s Office will individualize its dealings with people who would be arrested under this law, because of the recent unilateral decision to stop involvement with the Community Court program. City Attorney Ann Davison, who had co-sponsored the proposal that the Council rejected, said afterward in a news release that “Seattle will now be the only municipality in the State of Washington where it is legal to use hard drugs in public.” Herbold fired back in her own news release calling that “an inexcusable mischaracterization of the law. As a result of Governor Inslee’s special session, the legislature approved a bill that adopts a statewide standard of gross misdemeanor for both possession and public consumption. This means that there is now a clear, statewide standard, and there is not a patchwork of differing regulations across the state. This state law will be effective in Seattle on July 1. Nothing the Council does, or does not do, can affect that.” Here’s video of the meeting:
Now less than 24 hours remain until your first chance to see the Seattle City Council District 1 candidates side by side. WSB and the District 1 Community Network are presenting an in-person Q&A candidate forum tomorrow night (Tuesday, Jun 6), 6:45 pm at Our Lady of Guadalupe‘s Walmesley Center (northeast corner of 35th/Myrtle), following a 6 pm community-info fair. Questions have been submitted in advance by D1CN member organizations and WSB readers (thank you!). If you can’t be there in person, we’re planning to have video by night’s end. All 8 candidates (here’s the list on the King County Elections website) have RSVP’d; ballots will be mailed in just five weeks, so if you don’t already have a favorite, we hope this will help.
All 8 of the candidates who will be on your ballot for Seattle City Council District 1 have now RSVP’d for our first forum next Tuesday (June 6th). The election isn’t as far away as it might seem – King County Elections will mail ballots July 12th, and dropboxes open the next day, so voting starts in just six weeks. If you haven’t already decided who you’re voting for in the primary, come see them side by side at what we promise will be a fast-paced forum, so we can get in as many questions as possible. Thanks to everyone who sent suggestions when we requested them! The forum is a two-part event, starting at 6 pm Tuesday at Our Lady of Guadalupe‘s expansive Walmesley Center (northeast corner of 35th/Myrtle) – at 6 pm, come in and meet local neighborhood group reps from the District 1 Community Network‘s member organizations (D1CN is co-presenting the forum); at 6:45, the candidates take the stage. We’re inviting them to come a bit early and to hang around while we’re breaking down the room afterward, to meet prospective constituents. If you can’t be there, we’re planning to video-record it and publish it here.
We’re now just six days away from our first forum in the City Council District 1 race, next Tuesday (June 6), 6:45 pm (after a 6 pm neighborhood-info fair). Seven of the eight candidates have confirmed they’ll be there – in first-name alphabetical order:
You’re welcome to come see the candidates answer questions in person; the forum will be at Our Lady of Guadalupe‘s Walmesley Center (northeast corner of 35th and Myrtle) – we’re video-recording it too so you can watch later if you can’t be there. Potential questions are welcome in advance; the District 1 Community Network, which is collaborating with WSB to present the forum, is asking its member organizations for question suggestions, and we’re asking you. Thanks to everyone who’s sent them so far; if you have one, please send it to our general email address, email@example.com, and please indicate in the subject line that it’s a candidate-forum question. Primary election voting starts in just six weeks – ballots are scheduled to be mailed July 12th.
Though Friday was the last day to file, King County Elections briefly listed a surprise 9th candidate for Seattle City Council District 1 on its website Wednesday [screenshot]: Vincent Auger, whose mailing and email addresses cross-referenced to the local Socialist Workers Party HQ. Some hours after we spotted that, the list went back to the previous eight, whose names will appear on the ballot in this order:
Jean Iannelli Craciun
We asked KCE about the mysterious, short-lived “ninth candidate” and got the answer this morning from spokesperson Halei Watkins, who said Auger “is a declared write-in candidate for D1 but he should not appear on the website as a listed candidate.” (Nor on the ballot, though as always there’ll be a line where you can write in anyone you want.)
Meantime, we are now 12 days away from our first in-person forum in the race, Tuesday, June 6, at Our Lady of Guadalupe‘s Walmesley Center (35th/Myrtle). We’ve invited all eight candidates who formally filed. We’re presenting the forum in collaboration with the District 1 Community Network; the coalition’s organizations have been invited to submit questions, and we’re also opening that invitation to you – send suggested questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and please put D-1 CANDIDATE QUESTION in the subject line. We plan to get more questions and answers during the forum by keeping strict time limits. If you want to be there to see and hear the candidates for yourself, doors will open at 6 pm for an informal community information fair, and the forum will start at 6:45 pm. Voting starts when you get your ballot after they’re mailed July 12th, and ends August 1st.
Two more people filed today to run for Seattle City Council District 1, as King County Elections’ Filing Week concluded, and the fields for our three major no-incumbent races are finalized – unless somebody withdraws by the Monday deadline. From the KCE list, here are the lineups, linked to candidates’ websites if available:
SEATTLE CITY COUNCIL, DISTRICT 1 – 8 candidates
SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS BOARD OF DIRECTORS, DISTRICT 6 – 3 candidates
KING COUNTY COUNCIL, DISTRICT 8 – 3 candidates
Since each of these races has three or more candidates, they’ll all be on the August 1st ballot – unless a withdrawal takes one of the races down to two. Your chances to see candidates in person include two forums coming up – we’re presenting one to which all the City Council D-1 candidates will be invited, in the evening on June 6th; the 34th District Democrats plan an afternoon double bill on June 10th, with the D-1 candidates and the County Council D-8 candidates. We’re also contacting all this week’s new entrants to find out more about them.
One day left in King County Elections‘ Filing Week. No one new filed today to run for the three major local offices whose incumbents are leaving – Seattle City Council District 1, King County Council District 8, and Seattle School Board District 6 – so the lineups, so far, are the same ones we reported last night. Anyone still planning to jump into the race for any of those (or other) offices has until 4 pm Friday to file; here’s how. Primary Election Day is August 1st.
Time for our nightly update on who’s officially filed for the three major local offices that’ll be on the ballot this fall without incumbents. This was the third day of King County Elections’ Filing Week, which ends at 4 pm Friday. From the running list, here’s the update:
SEATTLE CITY COUNCIL, DISTRICT 1
After two more filings today, all six of the people who previously announced plans to run have filed.
SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS BOARD OF DIRECTORS, DISTRICT 6
Three people are running, after another filing today.
KING COUNTY COUNCIL, DISTRICT 8
No new filings today.
Since each of these races has three or more candidates, they’ll all be on the August 1st ballot. Filing for these offices or others up for election this fall can be done online until that 4 pm Friday (May 19th) deadline.