Published July 24, 2015 – video interview below
Chas Redmond, 68, a Gatewood resident and NASA retiree, has been campaigning for more than a year and a half. While he has been a busy, committed community advocate since long before that – he first appears in our archives in a 2007 report on the then-imminent 35th/Kenyon crosswalk removal – he told WSB he’s amazed at how much time campaigning has taken, the minutiae as well as the big stuff.
FIRST WSB REPORT ON HIS CANDIDACY: December 20, 2013, announcement
WHY DID HE START SO EARLY? The logistics and administration of a campaign fascinated him, and the only way he was going to get a handle on it all, as his own campaign manager, was to start early. He had helped with other West Seattleites’ council campaigns in recent years, but he says there was still a lot to learn and master.
WHAT HAS SURPRISED HIM ALONG THE WAY: The “undeniable congeniality” of West Seattle politicians. “The surprise to me was how much fun it is hanging around, being competitive with people who are running for the same seat.” He says he’s “learned a lot” from some of the other candidates. “A lot of us are maneuvering our own campaigns to pick up a lot of the good things we’ve learned from our competitors.”
WHAT HAS DISAPPOINTED HIM: That the state and city campaign rules aren’t as “tight” as federal campaign rules.
HIS BIG ISSUE: TRANSPORTATION: In particular, transportation equity and accountability. And he points out he was sounding that call long before most others, around the city as well as around this district. “I’m now really happy to hear others (talking about it).” Meantime, he wants to see an extra deck on the West Seattle Bridge exit to northbound 99, transit-only, because “we have to build something” to ease congestion, realizing that even if ST3 includes West Seattle light rail and is passed, it wouldn’t be in service for more than a decade. “That’s something we could do now.”
WILL HE VOTE FOR THE ‘MOVE SEATTLE’ LEVY? No. “West Seattle doesn’t benefit, hardly at all.” He wants to go over the SDOT books and thinks he’d see a “lot of fluff” that wouldn’t make levy failure a disaster.
HOW ABOUT HOUSING? Redmond was one of our first interviewees, so the Mayor Murray/HALA recommendations weren’t out yet. But we asked him about what was already being discussed because of “leaks,” and he said there’s potential for urban villages to have an appealing mix of housing like some East Coast cities, but he was concerned that no one on HALA was really representing the single-family homeowner point of view from a neighborhood standpoint.
POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY: Most of our interviews didn’t get to this topic, but Redmond brought it up on his own, saying he feels SPD Chief Kathleen O’Toole is going to have to fire some officers.
SOMETHING ELSE HE BROUGHT UP: He’s against building any more new stadiums in SODO, and against public funding for stadiums in general.
REMEMBER THOSE HPM SIGNS? Listening to our interview again while writing this story, the week after the flap over mispainted “20 MPH” (HPM) signs through Fairmount Ravine, we note that Redmond actually brought up the then-impending signs as what he saw as potential waste because he uses the road frequently and can’t imagine anyone going faster than 20 mph.
WHY VOTE FOR HIM?: He’s responsive, and has “a lifetime commitment of honesty, integrity, and followthrough (and) I’m a smart person and a really quick learner.”
SEE HIS INTERVIEW WITH US: We started by asking what it’s been like to be on the campaign trail so long:
SEE HIM ON THE SEATTLE CHANNEL VIDEO VOTERS’ GUIDE: Here
CONTRIBUTORS’ LIST: Here
P.S.: We discovered that Redmond’s own campaign website has a page full of links to other questionnaires he answered.