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Politics Northwest

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

November 20, 2014 at 9:01 AM

Former Seattle Mayor McGinn takes new job, says no plans to seek return to elected office

Former Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn (Credit: Jim Bates / The Seattle Times)

Former Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn (Credit: Jim Bates / The Seattle Times)

Information in this article has been corrected. Mike McGinn lives just inside the border of the Seattle City Council’s 6th District. A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that he lived in the 5th District.

Nearly a year after leaving City Hall, former Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn has settled on a next act. And it’s not in electoral politics.

McGinn, 54, has accepted a part-time consultant position at the Seattle start-up DriveDecisions, where he’ll work as a “public sector advocate.”

That means he’ll recruit governments and foundations across the country to use the company’s data mapping visualization tool.

DriveDecisions takes data from many sources to build interactive virtual environments. The company’s existing platform displays Seattle-specific information useful to real estate developers, such as property values, height restrictions, transportation options, utilities and demographics.

McGinn says he was excited when he first saw the tool. He says cities can use it with open data for planning and to share information with citizens.

The company is led by Luis Borrero, an architect who serves on the Seattle Planning Commission.

“I’m going to try to help him make the tool more robust by reaching out to municipalities and agencies,” McGinn said.

The Seattle City Council is moving to geographic representation for its 2015 election and McGinn lives in the 6th District, as do current council members Mike O’Brien and Nick Licata. But the Greenwood resident says he isn’t taking aim at the seat.

“I’m not running for the council, or for anything,” he insisted.

Instead, McGinn is making speeches.

In September, he spoke at the Boston Carbon Risk Forum and the Strong Towns National Gathering. He’ll next talk at the Vancouver (B.C.) Climate Risk Forum.

Elected mayor in 2009, McGinn’s lost his bid for a second term to Ed Murray last year.

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