Elections 2023 Feb 13, 2023 at 9:00 am

Two Problems: Renters Are Hard to Reach and Less Likley to Vote

Knock, knock! It's a grassroots campaign for social housing. HK



@1 Because years of campaign promises without follow through will make you feel like a sucker for voting.

I remember traveling through a little town in Peru in which campaign propaganda was written on the stucco walls. And that was all this little town saw of their government, once every few years when the ruling party wanted the legitimacy of their vote, not when they provided actual services. It’s not a good look.


The fact that not all the renters they talk to are “jumping up and down” about this vague and unfunded idea might say something.


@3, um, maybe a better analogy is when a business asks you to fill out a survey to make for “a better customer experience.” Sure, it only takes a few minutes, but who benefits? I’m all for voting and civic participation, but I think government failures after failing to deliver on promises gets in the way. Monorail, anyone?


6: The problem with that attitude is that is how people like Trump get elected; just get enough people to say “it doesn’t matter”.


Since I-135 is the only item on the ballot, all that matters is whether it has a higher number of motivated supporters than motivated opponents. I suspect it does. As was the case with the hapless Sawant recall campaign, the I-135 opposition doesn't appear to be doing any street-level campaigning to speak of.


Good to see HON continues to aim low and still fall short, just as they repeatedly did during their long agony of qualifying I-135 for the ballot:

“…set a goal of knocking 50,000 doors, including the ones attached to single-family homes and apartment buildings. As of the Saturday before the election, campaign co-chair Tiffani McCoy said HON had made it through 25,000 doors. She said the campaign's data found 10,000 of those doors belonged to renters.”

Halfway done with only a day to go? Yep, that’s HON. (Don’t worry; financing, building, and managing affordable housing is just a snap, compared to knocking on doors. Really, you’ll just have to trust HON on that.) But over half of Seattle’s residents rent, so how did they manage to find so few renters? Targeting the wrong constituency with insufficient outreach doesn’t seem like a path to success.

At least appearing on the ballot during a special election is no longer an attempt at voter suppression. (At least not when HON does it, that is.)


it is so great to finally get a program that privides significant financial benefit without costing anyone anything.


I read some of the Full Text of Res No. 32069, and I still worry that the proposed Public Development Authority could be abandoned or neglected, or that the Authority suffcould suffer inconsistencies when the Mayor changes.. Help me out?


@15 and other skeptics: Sure, as the Stranger itself admits, I-135 is somewhat of a crap shoot. It took me a while to warm to it. But the sheer enormity of our housing shortage is such that we simply HAVE to experiment with big new ideas, even if they do carry a non-negligible risk of failure. Personally, I'm reassured by the fact that Frank Chopp -- whom no one would ever describe as a wild-eyed urban utopian -- is supportive. If anyone can find the money to fund it and the people to make it work, he can. Swallow your doubts (however reasonable) and take this small leap of faith. Yes on I-135.


@16: “But the sheer enormity of our housing shortage is such that we simply HAVE to experiment with big new ideas, even if they do carry a non-negligible risk of failure.”

Change “our housing shortage” to “Seattle’s Homelessness Crisis,” and you have the exact recipe for how Seattle squandered half a billion dollars, yet still has homeless persons dying in filthy encampments.

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