Friday, April 24, 2009

Notes from the City Council Spectacular

Some disclaimers to start: I didn't get to the event until 7:30 (it started at six), so I only heard form/talked to a handful of the candidates that were actually there. My apologies for uneven reporting (and to the candidates I didn't get to talk to), but I caught what I could.

Also, it was so loud in there it was impossible to hear anything most of the time unless you were right by someone's mouth. Why was it so loud? The place was absolutely jam-packed with people talking local politics. The only way you could pick out the candidates was by their bright orange safety vests, and ingenious idea on the part of the event organizers. Admittedly, a decent percentage of the crowd was composed of the candidates and their campaign aids, but there were plenty of young, bright-eyed Seattlites there quizzing the aforementioned.

Here's who I saw and my notes about them from last night:

  • Dorsol Plants - "I'm a real person". Also, best name ever. Big issues: neighborhoods, transportation, and ending homelessness. The phrase "adding teeth to the neighborhood plans" really made my ears perk up. His key strategy - ending the miscommunication between the City and itself and the City and the people, emphasizing outreach to non-English speaking populations.

  • Mike O'Brien - brought his "sexy voice" (i.e. getting over cold + yelling over noise), hasn't picked what position he's running for yet.

  • Sally Bagshaw - "Getting people together to solve problems". Big issues: transportation, public safety, school, and sustainability. Jim Diers (formerly of Dept. of Neighborhoods) book "Neighbor Power" is her bible. It sounds like she's been working as a lawyer in Seattle for forever. She is running for Position 4.

  • Jordan Rover - "Making Seattle livable for families", especially when it comes to housing. He emphasized the need for the City Council to work with the school district to make Seattle schools better. He also mentioned he was all for the Dearborn Street Project, which raises some alarms for me. Yes, the developers signed a community benefits contract with the Dearborn Street Coalition, but there are many residents (including minority small business owners) that did not agree to the contract and are still concerned about the development. Well, maybe that should be past tense: it looks like the development was cancelled because of the economic downturn.

  • Jessie Israel - "Walkable Communities". Big issues: the aforementioned, strategic partnerships between the City and the non-profit community, and "smart efficient investments in transportation, the environment, energy efficiency, new job training, sound living, and neighborhood betterment". I feel like that last point was a plethora of talking points crammed into one. Also, she's a native back three generations.

  • Martin Henry Kaplan - "I'm a small business owner" (architectural firm, if you're interested). Big issues: Growing local economy, strengthening City's commitment to the neighborhoods, transportation. He's running for Position 6.

  • David Ginsberg - He's running for Position 2 vs. Conlin (disclosure: I went to Conlin's Burritofest this last weekend - excellent guacamole). Big issues: relocalizing our economy, finding more money for transit by lobbying in Olympia, lobbying in Olympia for a state income tax and and to lower sales tax in order to create a fairer tax system in Washington, wants to see City Council lobbying in Olympia more often (no, really.), affordable housing through a larger supply of housing, wants to see City working closely with neighborhoods to achieve density targets in a way that's accpetable to the neighborhoods. I only talked to him for a couple of minutes - he was really good at communicating his platform fast.

Dominic Holden, unlike myself, remembered to bring a camera: you can see his pictures and comments here Erica Barnett went too (didn't see her, she must've left before I arrived), you can see what she has to say here.

No comments:

Post a Comment