Surrounded by cheering, Southeast Seattle community leaders, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn Wednesday announced he was running for re-election. The mayor said he wanted to continue to focus on his priorities, education, public safety, social justice and the environment.
He announced plans to improve early childhood education in the city and to seek a city measure to fund expanded rail lines. The mayor was flanked by some of his campaign co-chairs including, Estela Ortega, executive director of El Centro de la Raza, Tony Lee, a low-income housing advocate, and Kip Tokuda, a former state representative.
The mayor acknowledged adversity during his first term, but cast it all as external events — a poor economy, snow storms, the May Day protest march and a garbage strike. Through it all, he said, he kept his 2009 promises to protect social services, public safety and maintain city basics such as street repair and replacement of the seawall.
“How we worked on these issues is as important as what we worked on. We did it by listening to you,” the mayor said.
The small but crowded room at the Filipino Community Center was a dramatic contrast to his announcement four years earlier when he was largely unknown as a Sierra Club and neighborhood activist who made opposition to the Highway 99 tunnel the centerpiece of a campaign that ousted two-term Mayor Greg Nickels.
McGinn didn’t dwell on some of his political defeats over the past four years such as voters strongly approving the tunnel construction or rejection of a $60 car tab that would have helped to fund his planned rail expansion. He also declined to address the number of A-list candidates lining up to run against him, including State Sen. Ed Murray, City Councilman Tim Burgess and former City Councilman Peter Steinbrueck.
Instead McGinn focused on his accomplishments — maintaining human services and police budgets in the face of declining revenues, working for the successful passage of an expanded Families and Education Levy, restoring funding for potholes and road maintenance and getting police out of their cars and onto the streets.
“I’m proud of what we’ve done, and I look forward to working on the future together,” McGinn said.