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Will in Seattle 2
Thank God.

Democracy is tiring.

Better to live as a corporate serf. Hey, you watched Continuum yet?
Posted by Will in Seattle on February 5, 2013 at 12:54 PM · Report this
It's a boring fucking job, that's why. The grind of hours-long consensus-based meetings all day every day is not the same sort of draw the spotlit mayor's office is.
Posted by gloomy gus on February 5, 2013 at 1:04 PM · Report this
kk in seattle 4
Let me translate Cienna-speak:

Unless "every decision coming off the second floor is beyond reproach," then someone should spend months convincing voters that he or she could meet that standard.

Got it? 99%? Not good enough.
Posted by kk in seattle on February 5, 2013 at 1:12 PM · Report this
Cienna Madrid 5
@3, That hasn't stopped four or five challengers jumping into council races in the past. Why is it now?

@4, Are you seriously implying that there's no room for improvement--or even conversation--in City Hall?

If not, I'm not sure what your point is, besides mindless snark. If you do have a point, I'd love it if you could spell it out in a straightforward way, so I could respond to it.
Posted by Cienna Madrid on February 5, 2013 at 1:27 PM · Report this
Goldy 6
Let me translate @4... Oh wait... Google Translate doesn't have an Idiot-to-English setting.
Posted by Goldy on February 5, 2013 at 1:33 PM · Report this
Conlin is the only one of the four who could (and should) possibly be unseated. And only if someone like Macklemore ran against him.
Posted by DOUG. on February 5, 2013 at 1:59 PM · Report this
Sawant will file to challenge one of these incumbents. SA is still debating who to run against.
Posted by Pol Pot on February 5, 2013 at 2:02 PM · Report this
cressona 9
Of the nine current councilmembers, Nick Licata and Richard Conlin are the two I'd most want to see challenged. Really, they're the only two I'm itching to see replaced. I voted for Licata's challenger Jessie Israel four years ago. I voted for Conlin's challenger four years ago, and the guy was so underwhelming his name even escapes me now.

What have I got against Licata and Conlin? Well, can you think of two politicians who've thrown cold water more often on any efforts to make Seattle a little more like Vancouver, BC and a little less like Houston? (I was going to say "a little less like LA," but LA seems to be getting its act together with transit and density.)

Of course, there's a big difference between urban/green activists like me being dissatisfied with these two and a serious candidate stepping up to mount a long-shot challenge against either of them.
Posted by cressona on February 5, 2013 at 2:06 PM · Report this
@5, yeah, sorry about that. The upshot of my super-great premise is that the last cycle weeded out the possible candidates who thought a council race would be !!exciting!! (ForchFergusonSchraerPuseyWhoevs.) I figure nobody's been able to re-delude themselves about that quite yet - give 'em one more cycle to forget all over again.
Posted by gloomy gus on February 5, 2013 at 2:19 PM · Report this
Dominic Holden 11
With the exception of Mike O'Brien, who has passed some gang-buster bills in his freshman term, Seattle has a generally uninspired, stagnant council. Even Nick Licata used to be stronger, but he seems to have withered in his fourth term, standing up when social justice issues arise but often cowering on important environmental issues like transit and density. It sucks for everyone that nobody is challenging them to get better. We could do so much for this city right now... envisioning a functional transit network for 30 years down the road, incentivizing smart development that better accommodates a low- and mid-income workforce, filling downtown with major employers. Instead the council just putters along with housekeeping chores, facilitating whatever freeway project the state wants to work on next and diligently passing legislation that the mayor gives them. That course is to do nothing bold and basically just build a sprawling LA-like metropolis with a wealthy, Caucasian center. The job they've cut out for themselves could be performed by low-tier bureaucrats, a totally missed opportunity for such a smart town.
Posted by Dominic Holden on February 5, 2013 at 2:25 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 12
Any challengers will promptly find themselves sharing a parking space with Richard the III.

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on February 5, 2013 at 2:49 PM · Report this
Fnarf 13
I think it's telling that there are fifty high-powered contenders for the mayor's office and none for the council. I think Gus is right -- no one wants the job. It's not interesting. You can talk all you want about what you'd like the city to do, but the council's never going to make any of that happen.

And I wish people would stop talking about LA like it's the great bugaboo of sprawl and low density. LA is considerably denser than Seattle, and always has been. They've had real transit for decades, and are building more faster than you can think. Large parts of the city are walkable, not just in theory but in actual PEOPLE WALKING. LA is economically and culturally vibrant in a way that Seattle is terrified of. The horror-LA of people's imaginations? That city is called "Seattle"; we already live there. You might miss that from Capitol Hill or downtown but if you look at the area as a whole, LA is miles ahead of us by every urban measure you can think of, and actually compares quite well to San Francisco by most measures, if you don't stop at the artificial municipal boundary and look at the reality.

Seattle is strictly podunk. More similar to Boise than LA.
Posted by Fnarf on February 5, 2013 at 2:56 PM · Report this
michaelp 14
Word is a lot of folks are waiting for 2015. There appears to be many a folk who believe that Seattle Districts Now will prevail, and are salivating over the map, determining exactly which districts they live in, and which incumbents will be in those districts, or have to run city-wide.

Plus, with all of the air being sucked out of the room by the Mayor's race...well, which of these council members is in any way vulnerable?
Posted by michaelp on February 5, 2013 at 3:08 PM · Report this
Dominic Holden 15
@13) I agree, it would be great if Seattle was more like LA. But I never said Seattle is just like LA now or would be someday (in terms of concentration of great stuff), just that our outward sprawl could be huge like theirs.

But you're wrong that the people don't want council jobs or that the council can't do anything. Races have been packed in years past. And the politicians who get elected can be hugely productive: Mike O'Brien has done more interesting, useful stuff in his first three years than Richard Conlin has done in 15 years.
Posted by Dominic Holden on February 5, 2013 at 3:21 PM · Report this
Anyone suprised that O'Brien is the only Council member that Dominic approves of? I believe that he's called Mini Mike for a reason.
Posted by M. Wells on February 5, 2013 at 3:22 PM · Report this
Dominic Holden 18
@16) Considering all the critical coverage I've given the mayor his last few years in office, I'm surprised you'd trot out that old horse. I'm sorry you miss Greg so bad.
Posted by Dominic Holden on February 5, 2013 at 3:28 PM · Report this
I would run, but I've written so many seething e-mails to city council members, it would be really awkward if I had to work with them every day.

Any progressive contemplating a run against Conlin should know that you will have my vote and whatever meager funds I can afford to contribute.
Posted by monorail on February 5, 2013 at 3:53 PM · Report this
Fnarf 20
@15, our outward sprawl IS huge like theirs. Marysville to Orting, Mill Creek to Covington to South Hill, our built-up region is as big as the LA basin and about a tenth as dense, outside the city core. The thing you fear has already happened. 99% of it is outside the control of the City Council, too.
Posted by Fnarf on February 5, 2013 at 3:59 PM · Report this
Mickymse 21
Why should anyone else sacrifice themselves on the altar of neighborhood advocacy, transit activism, or nonprofit leadership, when supporters of those causes seems unwilling to make the donations, call their friends, and walk precincts on their behalf? And the supporting organizations are worse because everyone is always afraid to back a challenger and risk angering the incumbent if s/he gets re-elected?

The folks you most want on Council are those most unlikely to be able to fundraise $100,000+ and we don't have mechanisms in place to alternatively support good candidates.

We re-elected Jean Godden last time! And she thinks everone should still read news in papers and get yellow pages dropped on their doorstep... Clearly, the folks who are unhappy with the Council and/or think it's not pro- the things you listed above are not participating in the process.
Posted by Mickymse on February 5, 2013 at 4:11 PM · Report this
@14: Agreed. With Council Districts on the horizon and three Council oldsters making their (hopefully) final runs this year, I think people are keeping their powder dry for the wide-open race of 2015.
Posted by J.R. on February 5, 2013 at 4:11 PM · Report this
I think the lack of candidates for these four positions is in good part because of the Seattle Districts Now proposal: Section 5 of the City Charter Amendment includes: "the four positions elected at the 2013 general municipal election (positions 2, 4, 6, and 8) shall each be for two year terms ending at midnight, December 31, 2015." The four year terms are automatically reduced to two year terms to facilitate the transition to a 7 districts, 2 at-large council.
Posted by TobyinFremont on February 5, 2013 at 4:14 PM · Report this
seandr 24
Obviously, the job needs to come with a more attractive compensation package.
Posted by seandr on February 5, 2013 at 5:07 PM · Report this
DOUG. 25
@13: LA has not had "real transit for decades". It's getting better, but that's a recent trend.

The "large parts of the city [that] are walkable" are separated by miles and miles of unwalkable stretches. Ever try to walk to a Dodger game? How about an LA Galaxy game down in Carson?

Also, LA is not "considerably denser than Seattle". LA has 8000 people per square mile, Seattle has 7400.
Posted by DOUG. on February 5, 2013 at 5:10 PM · Report this
C'mon, Dominic. Anyone who reads you regularly knows that you think the Council is an evil cabal designed to obstruct the Mayor's office. No use changing the story now.
Posted by M. Wells on February 5, 2013 at 5:19 PM · Report this
There are a number of people talking about it, they just haven't been as loud because a difference in opinion in the city or even mismanaging your announcement for running isn't leading to honest disagreement, but to personal attacks on people's individual lives.

Posted by Dorsol Plants on February 5, 2013 at 6:09 PM · Report this
Hey kids here some more info if you are free for next six or nine months. The job pays 120K a year plus benefits and includes extensive paid vacations. How'd you like to see Europe and Asia in style next year?

Here's the City FAQ candidate page:…

And more Filing info from the County. (Sorry, you'll need $1,200 "I'm serious-sorta" money to get started.)…

Don't leave running for office on your bucket list.

Posted by Zander on February 5, 2013 at 7:31 PM · Report this
Oh please someone run against Conlin. Someone who can actually make sense and has ideas -- good ones, hopefully, but any ideas would be an improvement.
Posted by sarah70 on February 5, 2013 at 9:45 PM · Report this
kk in seattle 30
@5: This was your sentence, not mine:

"Either . . . every decision coming off the second floor is beyond reproach—or we have a serious problem."

Really? There's nothing in between? Can't we have just a minor problem or two?

Did I say "There's no room for improvement in City Hall"?

Did I say "There's no room even for conversation in City Hall"?

No, I simply quoted exactly what you said. You recognize that it's completely ridiculous, but you said it, not I.

I get it that your livelihood depends on the city being in permanent crisis, and that every elected official is a pawn for developers intent on destroying civilization. But really, *yawn*. At least if you're going to write that we have a *serious problem,* you might indicate what the problem is, other than that you might not be able to spend endless hours boring us with City Council horse-race blather this summer.

And Goldy, now that you've called me an idiot for simply calling Cienna out on her breathless drama-queen bullshit, I'll have to go back to the "Idiot Formerly Known as KK" handle that I started using after Dan Savage called me an idiot. Wow, you all are a thin-skinned bunch.
Posted by kk in seattle on February 6, 2013 at 12:48 AM · Report this
the idiot formerly known as kk 31
Ah, that feels better already.
Posted by the idiot formerly known as kk on February 6, 2013 at 12:51 AM · Report this
Given the quality of people there the last few years, nobody really has lately.

Kick the habit! ! !

Just say no to the Community Development Roundtable!
Posted by sgt_doom on February 6, 2013 at 10:24 AM · Report this

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