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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

November 1, 2013 at 6:09 PM

Campaign against district elections makes robo calls

With just about $5,000 in reported contributions, the group Choices Not Districts, which opposes the ballot measure to change the way city council members are elected, made robo calls over the past week to voters older than 55.

Former City Councilmember Jim Street, who opposes the plan to divide the city into seven geographical districts with two at-large positions elected by the whole city, recorded the phone message against Charter Amendment 19. He tells voters that currently, they vote for all nine city council members and that those nine are accountable to every voter and every neighborhood in the city, rather than just those in their one district.

The recording also notes that Seattle residents have turned down district elections three times before.

The Seattle Districts Now campaign has vastly outraised the opposition. North Seattle business woman Faye Garneau has contributed about $232,000 to the campaign. Another $5,400 was donated by Fremont business woman Suzie Burke. In all, the yes campaign has raised about $263,000 through Thursday.

The supporters for council districts have mailed flyers to Seattle voters and put up yard signs around the city.

The pro-districts campaign argues that candidates running for a district seat won’t have to spend as much money to get known in a district of 88,000 residents rather than 630,000 in the city as a whole. They also argue that city funding for streets, parks and police will be more equitably distributed under a district system.

Comments | More in Politics Northwest | Topics: Charter Amendment 19, city council district elections, Faye Garneau


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