Joel: “Couldn't they just propose a different set of district lines without delaying the progress of this legislation?” Getting a charter amendment on the ballot takes a lot of effort. And time. It cannot just be changed with a new set of district lines without re-starting the signature gathering clock.
Junipero: Changing to all 9 districts has been tried repeatedly and lost at the polls. Discussion among numerous interests took place in the first half of 2012, and it was determined that a 7-2 proposal had a better chance of passing. Once you settle on 7 districts, the map basically draws itself. 7 districts cannot be drawn to increase “minority majority” districts; it was this reality that caused UFCW to ask SDN to return to an all 9 proposal. [Demographics: SDN’s district 2 is 67% POC, district 3 is 29%, district 5 is 27%, and district 1 is 26%. Seattle overall is 28%. --2010 Census data]
After some discussions UFCW and allies agree in principle that districts is better than no districts. No “organized opposition” to Seattle Districts Now is apparent, notwithstanding The Stranger’s attempt to gin one up with a leaked two week old email. It is unfortunate that this dirty laundry has been aired; SDN and UFCW have a great deal of overlapping interests and supporters in common—check out the list of endorsers at seattledistrictsnow.org
“The backers of this proposal are a bunch of white NIMBYs who have never shown much concern for the needs of people of color.” This is simply not true, and not deserving of a response.
Cascadian: SDN’s map was drawn without any consideration of the residence of existing councilmembers. If Charter Amendment No. 19 passes, incumbents will have to decide in 2015 whether to run in the district where they live, for one of the two at large positions, or retire. More importantly, in future redistricting, the process explicitly prohibits “consider[ation of] the residence of any person.”
Study the proposal and learn how it is inherently democratic; it makes retail politics viable. SDN cannot solve all the problems with Seattle's government, but it sure moves in the right direction. Download the petition, get some signatures, and please vote yes on November 5.