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Politics Northwest

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

Category: Seattle City Council
March 19, 2014 at 4:10 PM

Medical examiner confirms Jim Compton died of heart attack

The King County medical examiner has confirmed former Seattle City Councilmember and TV journalist Jim Compton died of a heart attack. Compton, 72, was found in his car in North Seattle Tuesday morning. He’d been out for dinner with friends the night before and never arrived at home. His death was widely reported Tuesday as due to…


0 Comments | More in homepage, Local government, Seattle City Council | Topics: heart attack, Jim Compton

January 30, 2014 at 6:38 PM

Councilmember Harrell caught uttering a vulgar word at disruptive activists

Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell was caught on microphone during public testimony earlier this week using a vulgar word to describe two Stand Up America activists who regularly insult and hurl obscenities at council members. During testimony before the Seattle Public Utilities and Neighborhoods Committee Jan. 28, Alex Zimmerman and Sam Bellomio, whose abusive language at…


0 Comments | More in Local government, Politics Northwest, Seattle City Council | Topics: Bruce Harrell, Stand Up America

January 6, 2014 at 3:38 PM

Murray, Sawant sworn in before large crowd at City Hall

To cheers and sustained applause, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, Socialist City Councilmember Kshama Sawant and other newly and reelected city officials were sworn into office today before a standing-room-only crowd at City Hall.

The usual formal ceremony in city council chambers was replaced with speeches that mixed calls for class struggle with pragmatic politics. Sawant got the biggest cheers from the audience that included supporters who waved signs supporting a $15 minimum wage. After taking the oath of office, administered by Nicole Grant, vice president of the Washington State Labor Council, both women turned to the hundreds of spectators packed into City Hall and raised their fists, a gesture that seemed to signal defiance from politics as usual and solidarity with working people.

Sawant also denounced the “glittering fortunes of the super wealthy” saying they came at the same time as the lives of working people and the unemployed “grow more difficult by the day.”

Murray, the city’s first openly gay mayor, also got sustained applause when he took the oath of office from former Governor and ambassador to China, Gary Locke, on a bible held by Murray’s husband, Michael Shiosaki.

In contrast to Sawant, Murray praised Seattle business for its innovation and creativity and suggested that the path to economic equality would need businesses support.

He also suggested that government could help improve people’s lives. He said he saw government as a place not for political posturing or ideology, but a place for pragmatism.


0 Comments | More in Seattle City Council | Topics: ed murray, kshama sawant

November 13, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Sawant maintains lead over Conlin in latest vote update

Kshama Sawant extended her narrow lead over Seattle City Councilmember Richard Conlin in updated vote totals released Wednesday afternoon. Sawant led Conlin by 402 votes – 83,095 to 82,693. That translates to a 49.99 percent to 49.75 percent lead. Sawant, who would be the first socialist on the nonpartisan council in recent history, first took a lead


0 Comments | More in Seattle City Council | Topics: kshama sawant, Richard Conlin, seattle city council

November 9, 2013 at 2:19 PM

Nervous? Conlin urges ballot check

Socialist Kshama Sawant’s momentum has all but scared the fleece off the trademark vest of Seattle City Councilmember Richard Conlin. With Conlin clinging to a steadily shrinking lead over Sawant, the four-term incumbent emailed supporters Saturday, telling them to “make sure every vote is counted.” The usually unflappable Conlin asked supporters to make sure their ballots had been…


0 Comments | More in Politics Northwest, Seattle City Council | Topics: kshama sawant, Richard Conlin

November 4, 2013 at 3:47 PM

Sawant’s ambush attempt fails when Seattle City Council members use second door

Take it from someone whose job includes ambushing politicians with uncomfortable questions: you must always watch for the second door.

Seattle City Council candidate Kshama Sawant failed to do that this afternoon, dooming her plan to ask current council members entering their regularly scheduled meeting to sign a pledge to  increase the minimum wage.

Sawant and several supporters were waiting, oversized pledge in hand, outside council chambers as the 2 p.m. meeting start time approached, arrived and ticked past.

“Somehow they found another way to go inside,” campaign director Philip Locker breathlessly announced two minutes after 2, adding, “they have a secret door!”

The group then hurried inside to speak during public testimony.


0 Comments | More in 2014 elections, Seattle City Council | Topics: ed murray, kshama sawant, mike mcginn

October 1, 2013 at 1:01 PM

City Council: Move most medical pot patients to recreational system

Most medical marijuana patients should be brought into the recreational pot market the state is creating, urged all nine Seattle City Council members in a letter to Gov. Jay Inslee and key legislators. The medical marijuana market continues to operate, at best, in a gray market, council members said, which could undermine the state’s goal of  curtailing…


0 Comments | More in Politics Northwest, Seattle City Council, State government | Topics: Jay Inslee, marijuana, seattle city council

August 15, 2013 at 10:12 AM

Councilmembers urge McGinn to be tougher on downtown crime

Mayor Mike McGinn has scheduled an afternoon news conference to announce additional resources for public safety, but three Seattle City Council members aren’t waiting to see what the mayor has in mind, offering instead their own suggestions this morning about how to reduce violent crime and street disorder. “Contrary to what the mayor and police commanders…


0 Comments | More in Politics Northwest, Seattle City Council | Topics: Center City Initiative, crime, mike mcginn

August 6, 2013 at 5:54 PM

King County expects low voter turnout, results about 8:15 p.m.

With Seattle’s mayoral race and a King County parks levy hanging in the balance, King County Elections officials say they’ll count at least 230,000 ballots Tuesday night, releasing a single batch of results at about 8:15 p.m. Turnout in the midsummer primary election is expected to be low. Officials have estimated 35 percent turnout…


0 Comments | More in 2014 elections, Seattle City Council | Topics: 2013 primary election, king county elections, Seattle mayoral race

July 26, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Candidates, mayor differ on library funding

Mayoral Candidate Peter Steinbrueck has called out Mayor Mike McGinn for recommending a $1 million reduction to the 2013 library budget in the executive’s supplemental budget.

The mayor’s office was quick to respond that it is not cutting any programs, services, hours or collections. Rather, said spokesman Robert Cruickshank, it’s redirecting some savings the city found after discovering that it had budgeted twice to end the one-week August furlough throughout the library system. And health care costs for the libraries are about $500,000 less than anticipated.

Cruickshank called the reallocation of library funding “a technical change that reflects overbudgeting.” And he added that the library “is on board” with both adjustments.

But Steinbrueck, along with Councilmembers Tim Burgess and Jean Godden, say savings found in the library budget should stay with the library and not be redirected to other general fund programs. They note that 13 branches are still closed on Fridays and the library is still trying to rebuild collections and catch up on building maintenance deferred during four years of budget cuts.

Steinbrueck notes that the recommended reduction comes in the same week McGinn sent out a campaign flyer asking “What if Seattle had a mayor who made sure our libraries stayed open?” The answer on the reverse side picks up a theme from the mayor’s reelection campaign ads and mailers: “We do and his name is Mike McGinn.”

Steinbrueck, who served two terms on the Library Foundation Board, said, “I’d like to see these funds stay with the libraries. I’m certain they could find a good use for them.”


0 Comments | More in Politics Northwest, Seattle City Council | Topics: libraries, mike mcginn, Peter Steinbrueck

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