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



I don’t understand why it’d be more difficult to get people to vote in an “off” year election - it’s not like these are some big secret.

People are just lazy and don’t pay attention.


@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.


@2 - maybe it feels futile but, especially with mail in voting, it takes all of a few minutes to do…

*totally unrelated- Is the stranger no longer doing slog AM now too? Was there ever any explanation of the disappearance of PM slog? Just curious .


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


“the City or the State will have to keep feeding it money,”

Yep. That’s why I voted no.

It’s a dumb idea and a blatant attempt to create more patronage positions for council members to reward their supporters.


@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.


Three things stuck me when I read the fine print of this proposal.

First, it's a lottery that get you into this, so anyone who is lucky can get in for life.

Second, it's open to any one, regardless of immigration status, which means someone just coming in, from lets just say a member of Putins group of Russian thugs, can get in on low income housing

Third, no background checks allowed.

So, a Putin thug child rapist murderer could get housing under these rules... if they are lucky enough to win the lottery. And there's nothing you can do about it! They are in for life.

I really, really like the idea of being able to stay in public housing if your income goes up. That's the major flaw with housing as it exists: these a disincentive to do anything that increase your income, which could get you kicked out.

But the points above make it a VERY HARD NO for me. Too bad.


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 hear they found like $7k cash in a burnt-out tweaker camp. Might be a good place to start looking for that seed money.


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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