How Seattle City Hall Works (And How to Make It Work for You)

A primer on political power and how it works here.

Comments

1
That's all you have to say about Mike O'Brien? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ahhhhh!!!!! Reporting in from Ballard / District 6.
2
The city is still reeling...

Actually, very few voters actually care. The Stranger and the rest of our idiotic chattering political class are still deeply invested in their belief in Murray’s guilt, and constantly seize every opportunity to repeat their belief as if it was an actual, proven fact, but the rest of us have long since moved on.

How different officials reacted to Murray's alleged abuse (some stuck by him, others called for his resignation) lingers in the background of everything they do.

Again, in reality, nobody actually cares. As the link shows, the Stranger was deeply invested in their belief in Murray’s guilt, and treated every questioning of it as heresy most foul. Despite the Stranger’s loud and hectoring insistence, we citizens of Seattle showed a distinct lack of interest in the unverifiable stories told by Murray’s unreliable accusers, and any elected official whose public stance dared follow our guidance was targeted by the Stranger for retaliation.

None of this public denunciation had any effect in the slightest; as even this piece admits, Durkan followed directly in Murray’s footsteps. (Not admitted: Murray explicitly endorsed Durkan; the Stranger endorsed a candidate who’d called for Murray’s resignation.)

Still, the deep lingering resentment at the triumph of voters over chatterers manifests itself in myriad petulant displays, such as the months-old and unflattering image of then Mayor-elect Durkan atop this article. Captured at the exact moment the Stranger’s endorsed candidate was forcibly faded back into well-deserved obscurity, it tells us how the chatterers remain frozen in time, unable to accept their equally well-deserved defeat.
5
@3, @4: Still showing the chronic effects of having unquestioningly swallowed emissions from male convicts, I see.

(You really ought to have that condition looked at by a doctor, you know.)

How do you like the performance in office of the successor whom Murray personally endorsed?
7
@6: Looks like now you’ll never get another chance to swallow one of Mr. Heckard’s stories.

Mr. X haz a sad. )-,:
8
No mention of Seattle Transit Blog in the Media section? For shame.
9
As someone who has written a public education blog about Seattle/Washington State and national education issues, I'll chime in a bit here on public education in Seattle.

Many would like to say that public education is failing, Seattle Schools (as a district) is dysfunctional, Washington State underfunds schools and more.

- Public education is NOT failing as a whole in Washington State. We are among the highest ranked states for number of board-certified teachers, our numbers of students taking the SATs is near the top AND also for the climbing number of students of color taking the test. Our graduation rate is 79.7% versus the national average rate of 83%.

However, the Washington Supreme Court ruled that the Legislature has not been fully funding public education for decades. (FYI, our state constitution says the "paramount duty" of the state is to amply fund public education.) The Legislature is finally getting around to meeting that ruling (although still not done) and have decided a state property tax (rather than say, an income tax or capital gains tax) would be the vehicle. But the dirty secret on that is while Seattle schools will be getting more money they will NOT be getting all the money collected in our region in order to backfill for districts in less property-rich areas of the state.

- Seattle Schools. The Board, like the City Council, is non-partisan. There used to be some closet Republicans on the Board but after they screwed up back in the '80s, not too many have run. Again, as a whole, the district runs okay with a lot of great schools with good teachers and principals (the majority of schools are good for sure and I say save your money and don't go private for elementary). But the district has had some leadership issues (a superintendent died, his replacement ran the district in the red to the tune of $32M, another left because of a scandal, etc.). Seattle Schools, like every urban district, struggles with the opportunity gap which is exacerbated by how well SPS does with so many white students as compared to black, Native American and Latino students.

- Interaction of public education and politics right now seems to be charter schools. They are very new to our state (since 2012) and the first law (by initiative) was overturned in the WA Supreme Court. Seattle itself did not vote in favor of charter schools. A new law was created by the Legislature in 2015. There are currently 11 charters in WA State, most in the Puget Sound region and two in Spokane.

There has been a political side to a new middle and high charter schools being opened in Rainier Valley with what looks like some behind-the-scenes machinations by City Council. If I had to guess who it is, I would guess Bruce Harrell and/or Rob Johnson. Only Kshama Sawant has publicly stated her opposition to charter schools but it would appear there are others on the City Council who opposed them as well.

Mayor Durkan has refused to interview or answer questions about her views on public education except that in her videotaped interview with the 36th Dems she said she thought the School Board was "a problem." Ed Murray seemed to have the same thought so there may be a power play for control of Seattle Schools in the next couple of years.

My blog is Seattle Schools Community Forum, https://saveseattleschools.blogspot.com/
10
A city the size of Seattle would have far more council seats in Europe: do yourselves a favor and file a petition to water UP your vote by DOUBLING - at the minimum - the number of city-council districts. --- https://www.citizensincharge.org & https://www.fairvote.org/how_we_can_chan…