Jody Rushmer, 38, is a software-industry manager and West Seattle High School alum who says he’s running after “spending an awful lot of time on my couch yelling at the radio, yelling at the TV” about things with which he disagreed.
FIRST WSB REPORT ON HIS CANDIDACY: When we found his filing on May 4th
A PRIORITY: Digging into the city budget. He says he’s tired of so many levies being sent to voters instead of the existing city budget being spent “equitably.”
TRANSPORTATION: Rushmer is concerned about mitigation, “what are we going to do when the tunnel opens and they start charging a toll and all the traffic shifts to I-5?” He’s also concerned about 35th SW rechannelization and the Admiral Way Safety Project, saying people come out who “have no idea what’s really going on in the community. … It would be great if one lane on 35th was enough, but it wasn’t enough even” before the high bridge was built. He doesn’t think 35th is as dangerous as the city suggests. “We live in a large and growing city, and if we want to continue to get around that large and growing city, we are going to have to have the road capacity.” Thinking otherwise, he says, is “not realistic.”
WILL HE VOTE FOR ‘MOVE SEATTLE’? No.
HOUSING AFFORDABILITY: We interviewed Rushmer the same day the mayor’s action plan came out. He took issue with the Multi-Family Tax Exemption leading to “affordable housing” – “the rents are too high and the maximum incomes are too low” – and he is concerned about too little parking being built. He thinks the goal is admirable, but disagrees with the proposed ways of getting there. He also thinks that building microhousing equates to “building a transient community … I don’t think that’s going to benefit our community in the long run.”
MORE ABOUT PARKING: He says he’ll stand up if elected and shout that the current rules about not having to build parking in some cases “have to change.”
ABOUT SOUTH PARK: He’s concerned about its lack of a bank and lack of groceries and would like to be “an ambassador” for economic development there. He spent time volunteering at Concord Elementary, coaching basketball.
ROLE MODEL: “Education saved my life,” Rushmer says, and a lot of credit goes to his “Big Brother” mentor from younger years, a technology exec who inspired him to go to college, among other things. If elected, he hopes to match up schools and tech companies – like the xxx program that WSHS and Chief Sealth are part of now – to get more people involved with helping students.
SPEAKING OF SCHOOLS: “I don’t know how state legislators can live with themselves” with the way they’ve treated schools, he says. He also says that anyone who can afford it sends their kids to private schools and should be able to have enough confidence in the public schools to send their kids there.
WHY VOTE FOR HIM? He doesn’t believe that having a lot of experience in local politics/government, as some of his opponents do, is a good thing. He also is proud of not having “a large organization” – he’s out campaigning by himself, and believes that is a better way to engage in a conversation and make a connection.
SEE HIS INTERVIEW WITH US: We started by asking why he decided to run.
SEE HIM ON THE SEATTLE CHANNEL’S VIDEO VOTERS GUIDE: Here
CONTRIBUTORS’ LIST: Here
SAMPLING OF QUESTIONNAIRE RESPONSES: We couldn’t find any online.