Alison Holcomb wrote Initiative 502, and she ran the campaign to pass it last fall, thereby legalizing marijuana in Washington State. That landmark accomplishment came after her career as a criminal defense attorney and as director of the drug policy reform project at the ACLU of Washington (where I worked with her for a couple years, full disclosure).
For a city with so many brilliant and powerful women, there's an absence of women in politics advancing truly progressive political agendas and a dearth of challengers to the Seattle City Council.
So Holcomb became the subject of rumors this weekend after a pollster began asking people how they would vote in a head-to-head match of Holcomb versus council incumbents Mike O'Brien (a progressive) and Nick Licata (a progressive on social issues). They also asked about Holcomb in the mayor's race. Lots of people asked me: Who was paying for this poll? Holcomb? A consultant figuring out how much traction a woman could get? Just some pollster who figured that Holcomb is the most high-profile woman in Seattle politics with a backbone?
I'm not going to spend all day calling people to find out—it's not that important—but I did ask Holcomb. She was familiar with the poll but says she didn't conduct it.
Will Holcomb run for city council?
"I would consider it," she says. "The city is facing some big challenges, and I'm not afraid of hard work."
If Holcomb runs—and I'd love to see her run—I'd hope she doesn't challenge O'Brien or Licata, the only two progressives on the council. Richard Dreyfuss and Sally Bagshaw are both up for reelection this year, and while they are considered shoo-ins thanks to their religious adherence to the downtown business lobby's agenda—and are poised to run well-heeled campaigns thanks to those donors—Dreyfuss and Bagshaw are the most expendable members of the council this year.