Elections 2023 Jan 31, 2023 at 7:30 am

Roosevelt Resident Wants to Fight for Density and Progressive Revenue in City Hall

Davis wants to be the "anti-Alex Pedersen," the outgoing NIMBY city council member who currently represents District 4. Brandon Hill



Love him or hate him, Pederson represents a constituency that got him in office. Contenders would be smart to look beyond the blind progressivism people show on social media and happy hour. Voters want to see their tax dollars get results and they fear runaway change.


NIMBY is a meaningless, subjective, throwaway term. Actual philosophy and policy is what voters want to evaluate.


@1: And it had nothing to do with race, right?


@3, it’s not like they were the same person but for race. Pedersen was not a socialist nor had a background in film/acting/etc.


@4: Pedersen had no background and almost no policies (beyond opposing the bike lane on 35th). He was a generic white dude, an empty blazer, upon whom a certain portion of Seattle could lay their dreams of the "good ol' days." He avoided debates and forums that made him even slightly uncomfortable ("Cascade Bike Club? Oh my stars!"). He called himself a progressive because he voted for Obama...twice.

Were he not white, he would not have gotten 10% in the primary.


@5, I mean, speculate the intent of voters all you want, but so far that’s been a losing recipe. Shaming voters into submission rarely works, and what’s so wrong with spending tax money judiciously.

Progressives would really benefit from a little organization. We’ve seen it over and over again, the candidates in the ideological center steal each others votes and the extremes go to the general election. Then voters panic and choose the candidate closest to status quo.


@4 you're really fooling yourself about the strength of Shaun Scott's candidacy. He was in the mold of Sawant and Oliver and advocated for policies that were far left of even many capitol hill residents. To think that platform was going to win the day in Wallingford and the areas around the UW is fantasy. That 2019 election was a bow wave for progressives because of the Amazon interference. The only Stranger endorsed candidate that lost that year was Shaun Scott. You're right that some voters probably voted for Peterson as a vote against Scott but not because he was an African American man, it was because he was a flawed candidate that promoted policies the voters did not support.

One comment about Davis. Why does being Irish "piss him off"? That is really weird, self loathing thing to say and is really insulting to those who have Irish heritage and whose families were discriminated against when they first came to America. If his intent is to legislate from the dais viewing everything through the oppressor-victimhood lens much like Shaun Scott would have then I hope the voters of D4 go in a different direction. That type of politics is not going to help Seattle solve anything.


sorry @8 was for @5


@8 I never mentioned Shaun Scott.


@10 who was Peterson's opponent when he was elected in 2019?


Well, at least we now know why his Guest Rant was recently published here (the one which got near-universal criticism in the comments).


@13 It was a crowded primary. Pedersen was often absent from debates and forums and yet received the most votes despite having no real policies beyond being “data driven” (which isn’t a policy). He was an empty Nordstrom jacket who looked like Richie Cunningham. Gee whiz, Potsie, I wonder why he won?


@15 Pedersen had some experience working in government, on policy issues, and housing finance. Also he was an aid to a former Councilmember. It’s not nothing:

From Wikipedia: He joined the Presidential Management Fellows Program during the Clinton administration and worked on homelessness and community development programs for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under Secretary Andrew Cuomo. Pedersen was an aide to the Oakland City Council and a housing finance analyst for Bank of America and Alliant Capital before joining Seattle politics.


@5: Such racism!


Already, we can see how this race will get covered by the Stranger: either you vote for Ron the Urbanist, who’s already proposed a a slew of new tax increases whilst not questioning a dollar of spending — and without proposing a single tax reduction for the poor — or, per @5, you’re a racist NIMBY who’ll fall for any guy in a suit.


@15 you really have low regard for voters around here don't you? There were 10 candidates in the primary. The only BIPOC person running was Shaun Scott. So why did voters choose Peterson over the other white candidates, including three other white men, if this was solely based on race? You're really stretching to make this about race when there is no evidence even anecdotally that race had any influence on this campaign.


@21 I never said it was solely based on race.


@19 They weren’t a “bunch of nobodies.”


@22 ok, honestly I have no idea what point you were trying to make then since your very first comment references race. I do enjoy the fact this article about a new entrant for D4 turned into a debate about previous candidates and voters. I guess this guy just really isn't that interesting. Hopefully we can get some serious candidates in this race in the next couple of months and have a real discussion.


Pedersen benefited from the same sort of vote splitting that has lead to other center-right candidates gaining office in Seattle. In the primary, Pedersen staked out the right flank with no serious competition. The left had Cathy Tuttle, Emily Meyers and Shaun Scott. If memory serves, Scott got the endorsement of The Stranger, and was considered the most progressive, despite Meyers being endorsed by Jayapal. As is often the case in primaries, very few people run, which tends to benefit the most enthusiastic, if least qualified candidates. Scott advanced to face Pedersen. Hard to say why Scott lost, but his youth and calling himself a socialist probably didn't help. I think a stronger candidate from the left would have beaten Pedersen, although Scott ran a spirited race, and didn't lose by that much. Pedersen also ran a very good campaign -- doing his best to split the middle on the issues.


@2 -- Bullshit. NIMBY in this case means being very conservative when it comes to zoning reform. This is a major issue in this city, and if you are unaware of that, you haven't been paying attention. NIMBY might not be the best word (I prefer "preservationist") but it is the same idea. Same with the term "urbanist" on the other side. The terms aren't ideal, but they definitely have meaning.


@7 "Progressives would really benefit from a little organization. We’ve seen it over and over again, the candidates in the ideological center steal each others votes and the extremes go to the general election. Then voters panic and choose the candidate closest to status quo."

Yes, this! Position 9 is the one that really pisses me off. Brianna Thomas is a strong progressive who was very effective at getting things done (like the $15 minimum wage). She had experience, and would have hit the ground running. But instead The Stranger had to endorse Oliver, who then advanced. When it came down to Oliver versus Nelson, people decided Oliver was too extreme (or too much of a demagogue) and so they went with Nelson. The Stranger needs to think about what these people can actually accomplish, instead of living in their fantasy world.


This is copied from The Stranger:
“Ron Davis is an entrepreneur that has spent most of his professional life working to improve the lives of workers and seniors. He's a on the boards of Futurewise, Seattle Subway, the Roosevelt Neighborhood association and the University YMCA, where he fights to make Seattle a more just, inclusive, green, walkable, city. He has a JD from Harvard Law School and lives in Northeast Seattle with his wife, a family physician, and their two boys.”
And here is my interpretation:
Ron will not specifically state his employment, employers, entrepreneurship, business successes or beneficial use of his JD law degree. I would like to see examples of his success, his CV, before I consider ANYTHING.
Signed, A person who does good, has a very successful career in biotech and technology, covers their mouth when they cough, donates lots of money to Food Lifeline, and is married to a successful woman in Social Services.


@8 >> Why does being Irish "piss him off"?

I'm guessing you aren't Irish. It is a funny way of saying that he sometimes gets agitated and emotional. Nothing wrong with that, I do the same thing myself. Likewise with being Scottish and frugal. I seriously doubt there are many Irish who would be offended by the statement, especially when said with a wink and a smile (as was the case here).


Anyway, Davis seems like a solid candidate, given his endorsements. This stands in contrast with Mitnick, who has been endorsed by ... anyone? Seriously, I went to his campaign website, and can't find anyone. That's not good. Mitnick seems like a good guy -- I probably agree with him on most issues. But he needs to get other leaders to support him if he wants to get elected. Simply running on his youth and political leanings isn't enough.


@31, Chandra Hampson isn’t an endorsement I’d be proud of. She has created all kinds of distractions on the school board - tweeted into a spat with the Mayor demanding no sweeping of encampments at a school, went to court over a report that found her in violation of a harassment/intimidation/bullying policy with staff, and headed up the Board while schools stayed closed for 18 mos. Nope.


this the same rich-white-guy from the guest rant the other day talking about a bunch of new taxes?
how about these people just donate money to the city if they have so much extra they are willing to give, rest of us over here on the struggle bus...
pretty sick of seeing wealthy people on the council, honestly.


@28: We’ve been over (and over, and over) this already. In the D9 primary, Nikkita Oliver and Sara Nelson EACH received three times as many votes as did Thomas. Nelson accomplished this without the Stranger’s endorsement (indeed, over the Stranger’s bitter opposition), so why would The Stranger’s endorsement of Thomas have eliminated Oliver? Do you seriously claim over 2/3 of Oliver’s voters would have switched to Thomas, just because the Stranger said so?

(Also, there are now open seats on the Council, including District 3, which has ever elected only a woman of color. If you believe Thomas would be a great addition to the Council, why not stump for her now?)

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