Topic: seattle city council
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December 2, 2013 at 3:40 PM
Two Seattle ballot measures seeking to shake up City Council elections fared quite differently at the polls.
The proposal to elect most councilmembers by geographic districts — Charter Amendment 19 — won big throughout the city.
An analysis of precinct vote returns by The Seattle Times’ Justin Mayo shows the districts measure lost in only five of Seattle’s 952 precincts. The proposal received nearly 66 percent support citywide. The result was a surprising turnaround for Seattle, which had repeatedly rejected similar measures in the past.
Seattle Prop. 1, which would have enacted a public-financing system for City Council candidates, failed narrowly — the ‘no’ side won just 50.4 percent of the vote.
The measure had broad support in many areas, winning more than 60 percent of the vote in Capitol Hill, Wallingford, Fremont, the Central District, Ravenna and the University District.
Its broadest opposition was in West Seattle, Fauntleroy and Magnolia.
The narrow loss means a similar plan could be back on the ballot as early as next year. Rory O’Sullivan, a spokesman for the Prop. 1 campaign said backers are considering all options — including possibly expanding the measure to apply to mayoral contests.
“I think the message we found is that there is a lot of energy behind this issue, a lot of energy to go forward,” O’Sullivan said.
December 2, 2013 at 2:24 PM
Seattle City Councilmember-elect Kshama Sawant piled up big vote advantages in several central city neighborhoods to seal her national-headline-making win over 16-year incumbent Richard Conlin.
Sawant drew 60 percent or higher support from the Central District, Capitol Hill, the International District and Wallingford, according to an analysis of precinct vote returns by The Seattle Times’ Justin Mayo. She also scored more than 55 percent in Rainier Valley, Ballard, Beacon Hill, Fremont and the University District.
Her pattern of support was similar to that of Mayor Mike McGinn, but Sawant was able to stack up more intense support in those neighborhoods. She defeated Conlin 51 to 49 percent citywide.
Conlin’s biggest support (55 percent and higher) came from Seattle’s outer-ring neighborhoods including Laurelhurst, Magnolia, Montlake, Sand Point and West Seattle.
November 14, 2013 at 4:27 PM
Seattle City Council challenger Kshama Sawant increased her lead over four-term incumbent Richard Conlin in updated vote totals Thursday afternoon.
Sawant led Conlin by 1,148 votes, up from 402 yesterday. The 41-year-old, who would be the first socialist on the nonpartisan council in recent memory, was at 50.2 percent compared to Conlin’s 49.5 percent.
That puts her out of the range of an automatic machine recount, which is triggered in races when the vote difference is less than 0.5 percent and less than 2,000 votes.
The updated results continued a remarkable turnaround for Sawant, who on election night was carrying just 46.1 percent of the vote but has steadily gained ground since.
On Thursday, she won 55.4 percent of the 5,646 ballots counted in the race.
November 13, 2013 at 4:47 PM
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 over Conlin, a four-term incumbent, on Tuesday — one week after carrying only 46.1 percent of the initial returns on election night.
On Wednesday, Sawant won about 52 percent of the roughly 6,000 counted votes in the race.
King County Elections estimates it still has to count about 8 percent of the ballots it has on hand.
Election results are to be certified Nov. 26.
November 5, 2013 at 7:14 AM
Update | 12:45 p.m., Nov. 6: Ksahama Sawant’s Twitter account has deleted the tweet referenced below, but you can view it through a screen shot. Click on the shot for a bigger image.
Update | 11:35 p.m. Albert Shen said he feels “great about the campaign” despite finishing far behind Mike O’Brien in Tuesday’s election.
In an email, Shen said he looks forward to working with O’Brien to move Seattle forward.
“I will take him up on having that beer with him,” said Shen, referring to a comment O’Brien made in a Seattle Times story last month, “and he can buy the first round.”
Update | 11 p.m. Regardless of how it ends, the Kshama Sawant – Richard Conlin race was the most interesting of the four Seattle City Council elections this year.
And now, it looks like we could be in for a repeat in 2015.
Sawant’s campaign announced late Tuesday that “we are coming after Conlin in 2015.”
A news release noted that because Charter Amendment 19 appears headed for victory, Conlin will likely be up for election in two years in his district — the same district that Sawant lives in.
The Sawant campaign’s Twitter account also hyped the promised challenge, tweeting to Conlin that “you are the big loser of the night. You can collect your paycheck for 2 years and then…Goodbye.”
Read our full story on the results of the Seattle City Council elections here.
Update | 10:05 p.m. Kshama Sawant announced Tuesday night she plans to organize an initiative, aimed for the 2014 Seattle ballot, to establish a citywide minimum wage of $15 per hour.
That idea was leading in initial returns in SeaTac on Tuesday night.
Update | 9:56 p.m. Three Seattle City Council incumbents coasted to re-election Tuesday, while a fourth led by a smaller amount.
Richard Conlin, a four-term incumbent, had 53.6 percent of the early votes. Challenger Kshama Sawant had 46.1 percent.
The other incumbents — Mike O’Brien, Nick Licata and Sally Bagshaw — were in better shape.
Only O’Brien’s challenger, Albert Shen, got more than a third of the vote in initial returns. He was at 35.2 percent.
Licata and Bagshaw each took more than 80 percent.
Original post: Seattle voters today will decide four City Council seats, two of which featured tough campaigns.
Longtime Councilmember Richard Conlin faces challenger Kshama Sawant, the first socialist candidate in 22 years to advance to the general-election ballot for Seattle City Council. Sawant, an economics instructor at Seattle Central Community College, focused her platform on a $15 minimum wage, rent control and a millionaire’s tax. Conlin said he preferred to raise people out of poverty through training programs and a sound city economic strategy.
Councilmember Mike O’Brien is competing with Albert Shen, owner of a small civil engineering firm. Shen said he wanted to reintroduce an ordinance to ban aggressive panhandling on city streets. O’Brien said that was not needed and would hurt poor and mentally ill residents.
Incumbents Nick Licata and Sally Bagshaw appeared to be coasting to re-election against Edwin Fruit and Sam Bellomio, respectively.
October 14, 2013 at 4:15 PM
But money from the biggest donor to Fair Elections Seattle itself is not transparent.
Washington Public Campaigns (WPC), a local nonprofit group, has contributed $10,000 to Fair Elections Seattle — almost one-quarter of the cash received by the campaign backing Prop. 1.
An average voter can’t tell, though, who contributes to WPC. The group is not registered as a political committee with the state and has not publicly detailed the donors behind its campaign spending.
Doesn’t that seem ironic? “Yeah, I can understand that,” said Alice Woldt, a longtime peace Seattle activist and executive director of WPC. “I guess I could’ve sent letters” to donors, Woldt said, asking donors if WPC could disclose their names. “I didn’t think of doing that.”
Donations tended to come from WPC board members such as Evelyn McChesney, according to Woldt. She also said there was a $5,000 donor whom she didn’t feel at liberty to disclose. She said donors understood that WPC would support Prop. 1.
A group like WPC doesn’t necessarily have to register with state watchdogs. There are two tests, according to Lori Anderson of the state Public Disclosure Commission. “It really boils down to whether Washington Public Campaigns gave them money they already had as opposed to raised for that specific ballot measure,” Anderson said. “The second test is whether spending money to support a ballot measure is one of their primary purposes.”
WPC’s primary purpose is not supporting Prop. 1, Woldt said. The group has goals beyond Seattle, such as reversing the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case that equated corporations with people under the U.S. Constitution.
October 1, 2013 at 1:01 PM
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 illicit dealing through a legal system allowing adults to possess small amounts of weed.
While many medical customers “live with conditions ameliorated by medical cannabis, the vast majority do not and would be better served through the access made possible by Initiative 502,” council members wrote in a letter dated Sept. 30.
That could mean combining the recreational and medical markets into a single regulated system, according to council members — though they also said the state should “make certain that the legitimate needs” of medical marijuana users are met. “Patients deserve a system that supports development of medicines appropriate to different conditions at a price point patients can afford,” council members said.
Under orders from the state Legislature, three state agencies — the Liquor Control Board and the departments of Revenue and Health — are supposed to make recommendations regarding the medical and recreational systems.
On Oct. 21, the agencies are scheduled to provide draft recommendations for comment, with a Nov. 8 deadline for comments.
The agencies will then present recommendations to state House and Senate committees in late November. By Jan. 1 they are supposed to deliver final recommendations to state lawmakers.
August 15, 2013 at 10:12 AM
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 say, the police department’s own statistics show an increase in violent crime to the highest level since 2009 in some areas downtown,” wrote Council President Sally Clark and Councilmembers Tim Burgess and Bruce Harrell in a blog post. “… Here are three practical and immediate steps the Mayor should take.”
The blog post then offers the mayor these suggestions:
- “Acknowledge the problem, don’t deny it.”
- “Embrace a continuum of response, including the arrest and prosecution of those causing the most harm.”
- “Police matter, but give them clear and consistent direction.”
After a Metro bus driver was shot Monday, the mayor and West Precinct police Capt. Jim Dermody both suggested violent crime was down downtown. But a Times analysis of police department data shows that’s not the case. The mayor’s Center City Initiative seeks to reduce downtown crime and provide social services while supporting jobs and tourism.
April 29, 2013 at 10:34 AM
Seattle City Councilmember Richard Conlin has drawn a second challenger: Brian Carver, an Amazon.com manager who says education, police department reform and user-friendly transit are the keys to his second Seattle City Council campaign. Carver lost in the 2009 primary for Sally Bagshaw’s seat.
“We need to do all these things while staying true to our progressive values as a city,” Carver said.
Carver criticized Conlin for being the one no vote on legislation requiring companies to offer sick leave. He has been working as a Democratic activist since his 2009 run. He lives with his wife and their 7-month-old son in Wallingford.
Socialist candidate Kshama Sawant is also in the race.
March 19, 2013 at 2:29 PM
David Ishii, AKA Papa Bigfoot, a self-described West Seattle “character,” switched political races this week. He decided not to compete in the crowded race for Seattle mayor, but to instead challenge City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, who is seeking her second term.
Ishii has raised no money for his campaigns and plans to collect signatures to qualify for the August primary ballot, rather than pay a filing fee.
Ishii said he continues to generate ideas. At a recent campaign forum, he said he proposed sending homeless people to Eastern Washington to pick fruit. He also promised to work closely with the Department of Justice to clean up corruption in the city.
In a telephone conversation, he said he used to golf with Al Capone. When told that Al Capone had been dead for some time, he had a quick comeback. “That’s a pseudonym,” Ishii said.
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