Topic: Mayor Mike McGinn
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December 3, 2013 at 1:54 PM
Turns out, there is a mayor’s school, or at least a crash course, and Seattle mayor-elect Ed Murray plans to attend.
Harvard’s Institute of Politics will hold a three-day session on leadership and policy for more than 20 incoming big-city mayors Wednesday through Friday.
“I’m looking forward to visiting the Kennedy School at Harvard to hear from experts and from those who have some experience in the mayor’s seat,” said Murray in a statement. “I”m also looking forward to meeting and establishing relationships with my fellow mayors-elect who will soon take the mayor’s seat for the first time. It should be a very useful, productive experience.”
The Seminar on Transition and Leadership for Newly-Elected Mayors is co-sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and is held at the Kennedy School of Government. The new mayors will attend sessions including transitioning from campaign to City Hall, finance and administration, jobs and the economy, public safety, education and technology.
The sessions will be led by top academics, policy experts and politicians.
Outgoing mayor Mike McGinn frequently said on the campaign trail in his failed reelection bid that there is no mayor’s school and he had to learn on the job.
November 12, 2013 at 5:20 PM
Elected officials from across the country will converge on Seattle Wednesday for the four-day Congress of Cities, the annual convention for the National League of Cities. Mayor Mike McGinn will address the opening session. No word yet on celebrity mayors — New York Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio or outgoing Newark Mayor (soon to be New Jersey Senator) Cory Booker, or, perhaps, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, fresh off his admission that he smoked crack during a drunken stupor.
“That would be AMAZING,” said City Council staffer Dan Nolte, “but I’ve been on twice weekly conference calls for the last three months regarding this conference, and had he RSVP’d, I’d know about it.”
The city of Seattle will host a reception Wednesday night at Benaroya Hall and a closing night gala at the EMP. In between, hundreds of city officials will explore Seattle, on their own or on locally sponsored mobile tours that will take groups of 50 delegates to areas including Columbia City, to learn about neighborhood revitalization with Seattle City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, a recycling facility in SoDo that’s helping Seattle reach its zero waste goal with Councilmember Jean Godden, a tour of the Microsoft campus (making your city safer using the power of big data) with Redmond City Council members and, for energy wonks, how the city improved safety and reduced energy costs by installing LED lights, with Councilmember Mike O’Brien.
October 29, 2013 at 4:49 PM
A Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce political-action committee supporting Ed Murray for Seattle mayor has agreed it violated city and state campaign-disclosure laws when it failed to disclose a $15,000 contribution from Vulcan, according to a proposed settlement agreement after a Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission investigation.
The commission will vote Wednesday on a recommendation to fine Civic Alliance for a Sound Economy (CASE) , the Chamber’s political arm, $1,500, with half suspended if there are no further violations through the 2015 election cycle.
Wayne Barnett, executive director of the commission, said Vulcan should have been listed among contributors to People for Ed Murray, an independent expenditure committee, and also as one of the committee’s top five contributors. Vulcan had made a contribution to CASE, which then gave money to People for Ed Murray.
“When CASE made the contribution, they were obligated to disclose that Vulcan’s contribution had been earmarked for Ed Murray,” Barnett said.
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn’s re-election campaign filed an ethics complaint in September alleging that two-business-funded PACs supporting Murray colluded to deliberately conceal information from Seattle voters, including other business donations to the Chamber PAC.
The Ethics Commission investigation found only that the Vulcan contribution should have been disclosed because it came with specific instructions for how it could be used.
Both Murray and McGinn have gotten support from independent expenditure groups that can raise unlimited money and are not subject to the $700-per-donor limit that applies to candidate committees. Two union-funded committees have backed McGinn with more than $100,000 while People for Ed Murray raised more than $150,000 for the primary. Another independent expenditure committee, People for a New Seattle Mayor, has raised more than $100,000 for the general election, with the biggest donation, $45,000, coming from the Seattle Firefighters Union, and $15,000 from the Seattle Police Officers Guild.
October 12, 2013 at 3:23 PM
State Sen. Ed Murray seemed to echo many themes of neighborhood champion and failed mayoral candidate Peter Steinbrueck at a Saturday breakfast forum hosted by the Seattle Neighborhood Coalition.
Murray, who is challenging incumbent Mayor Mike McGinn, pledged to reinvigorate neighborhood planning and the city’s Department of Neighborhoods. He said residents should be more involved with planning for growth and in prioritizing what projects and improvements they want to see.
He also said that within his first 100 days of taking office, he would convene a Neighborhood Summit to identify problems between neighborhoods and the city and to prepare for the upcoming Comprehensive Plan update which will guide the city’s growth and land use over the next 20 years.
“Neighborhoods should be involved in how the city goes forward and changes. I want to empower the neighborhoods in a way they haven’t been since before (former Mayor) Greg Nickels,” said Murray, who noted that he started his political career as an aide to former Seattle City Council member Martha Choe at a time when he said the Department of Neighborhoods played a strong role in planning.
McGinn also cited his neighborhood cred, noting that he started his political career as a Greenwood Community Council activist. He said his administration has done a lot of neighborhood planning, but has focused on implementation rather than just broad updates across the city. He also said that no rezone is done without a lot of public process.
He described the Department of Neighborhoods working with the Department of Transportation to involve the neighborhood with a repaving process along 23rd Avenue through the Central District. He said the city is not just laying a road but is working with residents and business owners to widen the sidewalks and calm traffic.
“The Department of Neighborhoods is working better with other departments than ever before. It’s more robust. We’re bringing more people into the planning process,” McGinn said.
About 40 people attended the forum which was held at the Central District Senior Center.
Peter Steinbrueck, who finished third in the August primary among nine candidates, attended part of the forum and said he was pleased with Murray’s understanding of growth and planning. But Steinbrueck said he would withhold an endorsement in the race until Murray laid out his plans for protecting industrial lands in the city. Steinbrueck opposed the Sodo location for a proposed new sports arena.
McGinn led negotiations for a deal among the city, King County and investor Chris Hansen to build a new arena south of downtown with $290 million in public money. Murray has said he wants to preserve freight mobility, but hasn’t opposed the Sodo location, about a block from a major Port of Seattle terminal.
To McGinn’s familiar lament that he had no experience as an elected official before winning the job in 2009, Murray countered that there is a mayor’s school.
“It’s called experience in government,” Murray said. He cited other legislators-turned-executives, former Governors Gary Locke and Booth Gardner, and said his own writing large budgets in the Legislature gave him experience with the workings of departments, their staffing and functions.
McGinn said that he would gladly set his accomplishments as mayor against Murray’s in the Legislature. He reminded the audience that the country was in a recession when he took office and that he had balanced the city budget, preserved human-services funding, doubled the Family’s and Education levy and kept library funding. He noted that the state Legislature, in contrast, had cut education funding, social-service funding and failed to pass a transportation package in the past session to prevent cuts to Metro transit service.
“I’m happy to compare outcomes with what Senator Murray has achieved in the legislature,” McGinn said.
Several Montlake, Roanoke and Portage Bay residents attended the forum and asked the candidates about the stalled planning for the Seattle side of the Highway 520 bridge expansion project. Murray said that under Nickels, the city was unable to agree on a plan to present the Legislature, with the result that only the eastern side of the bridge is designed and under construction.
“The city still hasn’t come forward with a city option for a 520 plan. We can’t get mitigation money for the project until the city has a plan,” Murray said, adding that he thought he could bring the state and city together.
McGinn said that the state’s haste to start the project led to defective pontoons and “a much larger structure than I think is needed there.” McGinn had argued unsuccessfully earlier in his term that the bridge only needed to be four lanes. The state expects to build a six-lane bridge over Portage Bay.
McGinn and Murray, who have frequently clashed at forums and debates over the past month, argued Saturday about McGinn’s opposition to the tunnel and Murray’s support for a funding bill that left Seattle taxpayers on the hook for cost overruns on the tunnel.
At one point, a member of the audience asked McGinn to stop rolling his eyes and smiling sarcastically while Murray was speaking. “Please stop doing that. It’s annoying” said Eileen McCann from Ballard.
McGinn apologized from the front table and again to her personally after the forum ended.
October 9, 2013 at 9:58 AM
The idea of a $15 minimum wage continues to build momentum in the Seattle area, with Mayor Mike McGinn saying he would support an effort to set the standard even higher.
In an interview with The Associated Press, McGinn said he thought $15 was a “fair starting point” for the minimum wage discussion. He cautioned that the issue was best handled legislatively and that the actual number would be determined by city council members.
“If the council proposed a higher number, I’d support that,” said McGinn, who is seeking re-election next month.
He added later: “I would expect that, if re-elected, we would put together a coalition to figure out how far we could go on the minimum wage.”
McGinn challenger Ed Murray recently announced that he would push for a $15 minimum wage but planned to proceed with a phased-in approach. Washington already has the nation’s highest state minimum wage at $9.19 an hour, while San Francisco is the local jurisdiction with the highest hourly standard at $10.55.
The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, and advocates have been pressing nationwide to push the number higher. In a small effort in the Seattle suburb of SeaTac, union-backed advocates were successful in getting a ballot measure that would raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour.
October 8, 2013 at 5:58 PM
In another measure of the ideological tightness of Seattle’s “me too” mayoral race, state Sen. Ed Murray called a news conference Tuesday to point out he totally agrees with Mayor Mike McGinn on opposition to coal trains rolling through the city.
Seeking to rebut what he called a “whispering campaign” by McGinn forces, Murray said notwithstanding campaign cash he’s received from some pro-coal train businesses, he’s against the trains, which coal opponents say would disrupt traffic and send coal dust spraying into air and water — in addition to abetting global climate change.
It’s an issue that McGinn has elevated to a top-tier priority in his mayoral campaign. Murray has been more muted on the topic; hence Tuesday’s news conference in which he tried to put to rest doubts about where he stands.
“I have been, since the first day I announced in December, opposed to these coal trains, despite the information you might have gotten from — I guess you could call it the office of misinformation — the McGinn campaign,” Murray said at the news conference next to the train tracks on the downtown Seattle waterfront. As if to reinforce his point about the disruption more trains would cause, Murray’s event was interrupted twice by passing trains at the nearby railroad crossing.
October 3, 2013 at 6:17 PM
Without mentioning his opponent’s name, Seattle mayoral candidate Sen. Ed Murray contrasted his vision of a progressive city that works together against incumbent Mayor Mike McGinn’s and what Murray called his “politics of division.”
Before an audience of about 100 supporters at the Columbia City Theatre today, Murray outlined his priorities for public safety, transportation and education and said that as mayor he would “embrace opportunity, foster collaboration, provide leadership and reinvigorate our progressive spirit.”
The early-afternoon speech was introduced by Pramila Jayapal, former director of OneAmerica, who praised Murray’s “unshakeable commitment to civil rights and social justice” and said he’s spent his two-decade career in politics “bringing diverse constituencies together to form coalitions to move forward our issues.” Jayapal was one of almost 20 minority community, civil-rights and union leaders who signed on to a letter released by the Murray campaign earlier in the day rebutting McGinn’s accusations Monday that Murray hadn’t supported efforts to retain affirmative action in the state after Initiative 200, which repealed it.
Also in the audience was former mayoral candidate Peter Steinbrueck, who following his third-place finish in the August primary, declined to endorse either McGinn or Murray. Steinbrueck told reporters today that he might make an endorsement in the race next week.
September 30, 2013 at 1:13 PM
The Port of Seattle Commission sent a strongly worded letter to Seattle Mayor McGinn today, urging the city to start over on the review process for a proposed sports arena in Sodo.
The Port has opposed the arena from the start, saying it would tangle traffic near the city’s seaport, threatening its competitive position and crowding out maritime and industrial businesses that support middle-class jobs in Seattle. The commission’s letter today is a reaction to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the proposed arena.
“Not only are arena proponents risking Sodo’s full-time, middle class jobs, they are also gambling with city finances,” the letter says.
The Port claims that the city should have analyzed alternative sites for an arena, even though a private investment team led by Chris Hansen is only interested in the Sodo site near Safeco Field. The letter also says the traffic analysis in the report “lacks all credibility.” The letter urges the city to start the process over.
September 27, 2013 at 11:59 AM
A mayoral debate sponsored by the Seattle Parks Foundation Thursday night was mostly a genteel discussion of how to pay for and improve city parks. Mayor Mike McGinn floated the notion of a new tax on sugary drinks in Seattle. State Sen. Ed Murray backed the idea of a new taxing district.
But the debate really blew up at the end, when McGinn and Murray tangled over Murray’s legislative record and the alleged embezzlement of more than $250,000 by an employee from a Democratic campaign committee that Murray co-chaired.
McGinn attacked the embezzlement as an example of Murray’s failures, while Murray accused McGinn of taking the race to a “low point” by trying to score points off of personal tragedy.
The exchange showed just how testy the race is becoming as McGinn — after months of listening to criticisms of his mayoral record — tries to turn the tables by putting Murray’s record on trial, while Murray accuses the mayor of resorting to sleazy tactics. (more…)
September 13, 2013 at 4:50 PM
After a week of sniping, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and state Sen. Ed Murray took a break in a debate at the Belltown Community Council Thursday night, where they stuck mostly to their own talking points, muted their attacks and ended with what may have been the first cordial handshake of the campaign.
Moderators Jeanne Kohl-Welles, the state senator whose district includes Belltown, and Belltown Community Council President Elizabeth Campbell (not to be confused with the anti-tunnel activist of the same name), said no progress is made on formulating policy for the city’s future if the candidates just point fingers at each other. In that spirit, the moderators allowed many two-minute answers that gave McGinn and Murray more time to formulate thoughtful responses.
Crime and public safety were again central themes of the debate. Campbell asked McGinn to commit to hiring 100 new police officers and guarantee they would be on the street next year. McGinn said the city didn’t have money for that many, but said that with improving city revenues, his budget would fund 30 new cops who likely would be on patrol. He also spoke in favor of his Center City Initiative, which tries to identify bad actors downtown and determine if they are amenable to treatment or other social services or whether they should be arrested and charged with a crime.
“When are services appropriate and when are consequences appropriate? You can’t have one without the other. We all know we need to enforce against violent activities,” McGinn said.
Murray said that Seattle lost officers overall during budget cuts the past few years and needs to consistently add more police. “If people are breaking the law, they need to be arrested,” he said. In one mild attack on McGinn, Murray said, “Officers don’t have a clear message about what to do [about downtown crime]. That’s a problem of leadership.” But Murray avoided being painted into the law-and-order corner — often a loser for mayoral candidates in Seattle (i.e., Mark Sidran) — by reiterating that no officers should be hired unless they are trained in urban policing, anti-bias and use of force.
Murray also outlined his criteria for a new police chief and how he would conduct the selection process. He served on the search committee that ultimately chose Chief Gil Kerlikowske, and said he thinks the current process scares off good candidates.
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