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Politics Northwest

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

Category: Seattle City Council
July 16, 2014 at 12:54 PM

ACLU lawyer Alison Holcomb considering a run against Kshama Sawant

Alison Holcomb, criminal justice director for the ACLU of Washington and prime mover behind our state’s legal weed law, said she is “considering very seriously” running for Seattle City Council against incumbent Kshama Sawant. Holcomb has flirted with the idea of working in City Hall before, talking last year about a possible run for mayor or…

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Comments | More in Marijuana, Seattle City Council | Topics: Alison Holcomb, I-502, kshama sawant

June 30, 2014 at 4:01 PM

Public financing of city elections won’t be on November ballot

The Seattle City Council voted today not to consider a public campaign-financing bill for the November ballot. Seattle voters narrowly defeated a measure that would have levied a property tax to create a public financing system for city council elections last year. Councilmember Mike O’Brien sought to have a similar measure referred to his committee for consideration in time…

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Comments | More in Politics Northwest, Seattle City Council | Topics: mike o'Brien, seattle city council, Tim Burgess

May 29, 2014 at 10:45 AM

Business rep on Murray’s $15 minimum-wage panel blasts process as ‘charade’

A business owner who participated in Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s $15 minimum wage panel is now blasting the process as a “charade.” David Meinert, who owns several Seattle restaurants and bars, was a member of Murray’s Income Inequality Advisory Committee. That panel of business and labor representatives met for months to try to craft a More

Comments | More in Politics Northwest, Seattle City Council | Topics: $15 minimum wage, Dave Meinert, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray

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…

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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…

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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.

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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

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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…

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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.

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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…

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

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