Somehow I missed this earlier in the week, but this is a really strange little affair: Remember that video I posted on Tuesday by the Seattle Youth Commission talking about potential bus cuts and their impact on high school students? Turns out, because it was advocating a position on a ballot measure before voters, it appears to be an ethics violation. Whoops!
Seems like an honest mistake—but the weird part is that it also appears that no one in the mayor's office had any idea what their youth commission was up to.
Wayne Barnett, executive director of the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission, said he learned about the video Tuesday.
“I’ve reached out to the mayor’s office to schedule ethics training for the Youth Commission,” Barnett said...
A spokesperson for Mayor Ed Murray said the city had no notice that the video was being released and has asked the Youth Commission members who produced it to take it down. The spokesperson also said that the commission accepted Barnett’s offer of ethics training. Youth Commission adviser Rahwa Habte couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday.
[Sam] Orlin, a Sealth High School junior, said he was notified Tuesday by the mayor’s office that the video sent from his personal email address broke city rules.
“It’s an ethics violation. The video will be coming down. We shouldn’t have used the commission logo,” he said. He said he would remove the logo, and the line that says it was produced by the Youth Commission.
“The video will be back,” he said.
The video was removed from YouTube Tuesday evening.
The youth commission aren't rogue activists; they're a board of young adults who are appointed by the mayor and the city council. They apparently have regularly scheduled meetings and had been working on this video with the previous mayor's office since before Proposition 1 was even on the ballot.
So why was the current mayor's office so totally asleep at the wheel?