"So put down the edible—and the edible underwear, and the new ASMR video that makes your nipples hard—for a hot civic minute. This won't take longer than your last edging session. Did you find your ballot yet? (We already told you: It's in your mailbox.) Then vote how we tell you and no one gets hurt."

Are you guys teenagers?


All solid picks except the very #Corporate do nothing Juarez. John Lombard will far better represent ordinary working people.


I’ve been incredibly impressed by the campaign Girmay Zahilay has been running. It’s not an easy decision to take on the establishment and a local legend, but he has been out there knocking on doors constantly and appears to have a serious field game. Definitely someone to support! He just released a campaign video as well that’s one of the best I’ve seen in an a local election, check it out here


You endorsed every incumbent on our City Council that you could.

Yeah, you guys sure are radical and edgy.


Learn more about Melissa Hall!

Read an endorsement of her:
If you live in district 6, you should vote for and support Melissa Hall.

She is a pro-housing land use nerd. We need more housing in Seattle. We need more affordable housing, and she supports funding that. Melissa supported allowing ADUs (i.e., mother-in-law basement apartments) without rules like requiring your actual mother-in-law to live there. Seattle’s zoning currently prevents building new triplexes or townhomes on over 65% of Seattle land. This means new building tends to be either McMansions or largish apartments. Melissa supports allowing more “missing middle” housing in Seattle. Seattle has grown about 22% in the last decade but we haven’t added 22% more housing stock. Her resume includes time as a land use attorney for the State of Florida. She will know how to get the details right.

We need transportation infrastructure that is not car-centric, and we need it fast because we have about 2 decades before climate change is irreversible. 62% of Seattle’s carbon emissions come from transportation, and the total amount from transportation is increasing. Mayor Durkan has canceled and delayed a number of transit and bike-related improvements, and Melissa supports taking control, requiring transit and bicycle improvements without mayoral interference. She’s advocating using automated traffic enforcement fines on places like 3rd Avenue (which is a transit-only corridor) to pay for transit improvements.

One of the big reasons I support Melissa is her compassion. When she announced her candidacy, I asked her what changes she’d like to see in the city’s approach for people living on the streets. Obviously, we’d like to house everyone but even in the best case scenario that will take time. In the meantime, she told me:

“I want to be sure our policy doesn’t come from a place of dehumanization and it is made with people in this situation. I think that looks like more safe places to camp and park and getting rid of sweeps.”

Melissa understands that chasing unsheltered people from place to place with draconian sweeps is inhumane and won’t work.

Melissa moved to Seattle with her wife about four years ago because they viewed Seattle as a safer place for a couple like them to raise a family. She’s soft-spoken, so she’s not made for sound-bite, “if it bleeds it leads” local TV, but she’s amazingly smart, thoughtful, and listens to the people who aren’t heard.

Vote Hall for D6 !


"Then vote how we tell you and no one gets hurt." Yes, of course, the statement's deliberate hyperbole--but it still reflects the worst kind of sanctimonious self-importance. The right is intolerant? So is your ridiculous "Control Board." You're jealous tyrant-wannabes hiding behind smirking irony, faked expressions of populist sympathy, and pseudo-rebellious two-bit iconoclasm. Vote how you want to, and no one has a right to hurt--or threaten--you, even in "fun." What a creepy bunch of bullies you are to even dare suggest we should vote how you tell us to vote. And, yes, I know you don't really mean anyone would get hurt--but you're exactly the kind of fools who facilitate for bullies who eventually WILL hurt people who dissent.


The Stranger endorsements- always good help but sometimes a head-scratching “ huh?”

My area of expertise IS Seattle Public Schools so here goes:

District 1 for School Board - not Liza Rankin. She’s a good, caring person but she has not got the professional chops that Eric Blumhagen does. He also knows the district better than she does and has been on more district committees. Calm, smart, analytical - vote Eric Blumhagen.

District 3 - Chandra Hampson, good God no.

That’s pretty much what several of my blog readers said when she announced and I agree.

Bright person but so rigid and judgmental. She believes she know -on sight- anyone’s racial or ethnic background and will pass judgment if she believes it is true or not. Astonishing. I would worry about her thought patterns on people and their backgrounds in her decision-making if she got on the Board. A hard no from me.

The better choice is wonky Special Ed parent, Ben Leis. And, if not him, then Rebeca Muniz. She know very little about the district but is bright and appealing and would be the first Mexican-American to serve on the Board.

District 6 - The Stranger got it right here. The Board is changing 5(!) seats out of 7; we need to retain the smart people with experience and institutional knowledge. Yes to Harris.

Lastly, they are right on Zachary DeWolf and his time on the Board. Lackluster is the word. That and not being available to his community are both huge. If he can’t do the job well on the Board, he sure isn’t ready to be on City Council.

Sadly, if he loses for City Council, he’ll still be on the Board.

Melissa Westbrook
Seattle Schools Community Forum


50 Ways to Leave the Council

The problem is all inside your head, she said to me
The answer is easy if you take it logically
I'd like to help you in your struggle to be free
There must be... 50 ways to boot the Council

Take a long hike, Mike
Make a new plan, S'want
Don't lose your head, Deb
Just listen to us!

Enjoy the new job, Rob
You've been excused, Bruce
And pack up your pal, Sal
Your time is up!

Hop on the bus, Mosq'
No need to be coy, Gonz'
Drop off your keys, 'Lise
Pls set yourselves free!

Time to roll on along, Rooks
Been quite the ride, Reds
No need for goodbyes, Goobs
Just slip out the back y'all
And never return!

She said it's really not my habit to intrude
For the more I hope my meaning won't be lost or misconstrued
So I repeat myself, at the risk of being cruel
There must be... 50 ways to boot the Council
50 ways to boot the Council...


@6 you must be new here.

Agree, reluctantly, with the Sawant endorsement. She's horrible on constitutent service and indifferent to many of the district's more prosaic concerns but goddammit, she fights. I wish at least one of her opponents had the same passion for housing and tax equity, I'd vote for them in a heartbeat. But they don't, so Sawant will have to do. Hoping for a better choice next time.


I don't understand why The Stranger is obsessed with the head tax. It is regressive. In contrast, a progressive income tax would be much better. Even a flat income tax (which should be legal) would be better. If I make ten times the minimum wage, I pay ten times as much. That means that the cost to the lowest income worker can be lower. The head tax is probably the most regressive tax possible.

I'm not saying the city council handled the head tax situation properly, but we should move on, and find better, more equitable forms of funding.


Why vote for Sawant? She hasn't done anything. She's probably the most incompetent Socialist ever. She thinks charging Dick's Burgers $275 per employee per year is a good idea because... Amazon.


I already voted. I moved to Bellevue.


@7 (Mellissa Westbrook) is annoyed at Chandra Hampson because she called her out for her biased worldview, such as comments about how we should offer vocational school for POCs and not college, and the like. Hampson knows her stuff, works her butt off in her community mentoring kids who need it, knows the district, and will challenge you on whether you’re really promoting equity or something else. Good on the Stranger for endorsing. Melissa on the other hand takes pot shots from her blog, occasionally threatens to run for School Board to stay relevant, but I get the sense she’s just trying to make the district better for her kids in affluent N.E. Seattle and her advocacy ends there. Vote Hampson!


You stoners forgot to endorse Jeanne or Abigail in the OTHER County Council race. What gives?


@11 nailed it.


VOTE SAWANT!!! we need affordable housing as bad as we needed the 15$ wage 100% vote Sawant!!!!!!


@15: County Council #4 isn't on the primary ballot. Just two candidates.


@11 Taxing those who can't afford to be taxed (a flat tax without floor) is much more regressive than taxing large companies a flat rate per employee. You'll also have to explain why taxing large companies a flat rate is regressive.


We’ll be Caracas in the Sound by Christmas.

Start thinking of ways to cook your dog.


Being "divisive" means calling the head of the city's largest private employer "the enemy," as Sawant did with Jeff Bezos. Sawant has admirable passion and I agree with some of her policy stances. But Bezos is not the enemy and calling him that is acutely unhelpful. Yes, Amazon's growth has caused problems that we need to address, but Amazon's decision to grow in the core of Seattle has been a tremendous net positive for the city. You know what's a lot worse than being in a rapidly growing city? Being in a stagnating or shrinking city.


Juarez seems pretty unpopular in her district. I'd say 50-50 whether she makes it out of the primary.


Thanks for the cheat sheet on who NOT to vote for. It's not always clear who the Socialists are, as some (like Tammy Morales) like to hide that inconvenient association.

Fortunately we have The Stranger to expose who they are. Great public service y'all!


Fuck Andrew Lewis. Dude is nothing but a stuffed shirt political climber. He is plum slimy. Why not just not endorse in the district? The council doesnt need another white straight dude who envisions himself as a cast member from West Wing.


@22: well-said. Stereotypes, knee-jerk blaming, dogmatic speechifying, presumption to speak for "the people" against some ostensible "enemy": right or left, these are always red flags. And, surely, Kshama Sawant is intelligent, capable, and willing to stand her ground--and she is also tunnel-visioned, self-important, and shrewdly careering and publicity-obsessed. It wouldn't be a tragedy were she to be re-elected, but I'm hoping one of the other intelligent, capable running in District 3 wins. Too much sanctimonious, recipe-book, us-versus-them blaming and grandstanding from Sawant. And the same goes for The Stranger.


I agree with many of your selections - especially Sawant and Herbold. Sawant always stands for the marginalized and does not take corporate money. That is huge to me because I believe that until we get corporate money out of politics we will continue to have a high level of corruption and politicians who are bought off by corporate interests. I also really like Christopher Peguero.


@11 a tax on employers is regressive? Only in a world where one bows at the alter of the trickle down bullshit we’ve swallowed for 40 years.

To be clear, Council should push the income tax to the Supreme Court, but I’m not interested in candidates who only want to raise needed revenue through approaches that require a new state Supreme Court decision. Years down the road. not when we can do a head tax tomorrow to address community needs. And we know it would pass muster, because we had one 10 years ago.

And look, if Amazon’s Exec team can’t accept a slightly smaller return and cuts employee hours, that is not the same thing as a regressive tax -it’s corporate greed. There are other pUblic relations and policy mechanisms to try to keep that from happening. Calling such threats of hostage-taking “regressive”, and seeing them as inevitable, only feeds the trickle-downers...and seriously fuck them.


@20 -- I thought there would be someone who struggles with the comparison. Let me give you a simple example. Let's assume that the city wants to raise an average of $1,000 dollars per employee. OK, now compare the two taxes. A head tax is simple: $1,000 for each employee. If you make minimum wage, you pay $1,000. If you make half a million a year, you pay $1,000.

In contrast, with a flat tax, someone who makes less, pays less. That person making minimum wage might pay $300, while the person making half a million pays $5,000.

It still isn't as progressive as a graduated income tax (where the minimum wage earner would pay nothing, and the higher income worker would pay more) but it is a hell of a lot better than a head tax.

As for the company paying it, that is a distinction without a difference. It doesn't matter what the company does, or how profitable the company is. A tax on personal income and a head tax work the same way: they are taxes on individuals. Individuals pay it, whether it is taken out of their paycheck (without any official notice) or whether they pay it at the end of they year. It is like the sales tax -- the retailer is the one that actually sends the money to the state, but the individual is the one that pays.

To make matters a bit more complicated, the head tax was only for large companies, and was focused on gross receipts, not profits. So a small law firm with a dozen highly paid employees pays nothing. Even if the firm brought in 100 million for the two owners, they pay nothing. But the workers for a grocery store that is barely profitable would have to pay.


@31: During the process to enact the ill-fated EHT, CM Sawant had your last point explained to her by witnesses in Council Chambers. She did not take it well, first verbally abusing the witnesses, and then walking out of the meeting after both witnesses and audience members contradicted her claims:

‘The knife really came out with Safeway, though, and this is also where Sawant went off the rails. Provoked by a comment by Spady that “any taxes that causes Safeway to lose jobs is a bad one,” Sawant responded with a prepared talking point that Safeway is owned by Albertson’s, which has $59 billion in annual revenues. This time the response came from the audience instead of Spady, when several people retorted that revenues are not profits. Sawant simply responded, “It’s not a struggling business,” to which the audience shouted back that it is. At the end of the next panel session, Sawant returned to the topic, reading another prepared talking point that Albertson’s is on Forbes’ “top companies” list, so it couldn’t possibly be struggling. Then she left the meeting.’



The Stranger seems to really love the sprawling encampments, the head tax, and the concept of a safe injection site.

Here is my proposal to The Stranger: I will vote for all your candidates if you can answer the following questions.

A) Should there be any practical limit on how much an encampment is allowed to sprawl, and if so, what is that limit? Should one encampment be able to occupy an entire parking lot, vacant lot, planting strip or playground? What should we do when an encampment reaches the sprawl limit?

B) The head tax was originally $250/employee. Kshama Sawant proposed quadrupling it to $1000/employee. Yet you still support her. Would you support quadrupling it again to $4000/employee? What do you consider to be the correct amount to punish a local business for hiring locals?

C) On a map of Seattle, could you please provide some locations (ideally one in each district, as you have supported candidates who want a safe injection site in their own district) where you would like to build these sites. Please keep in mind that you are condemning the surrounding radius of approximately 3-4 blocks to turning into hell on earth, just as Insite has transformed its neighborhood into a crime-infested drug-bazaar-slash-mortuary with cops and ambulances permanently stationed on the street.


Also I want to add that your reason for endorsing Zahilay over Gossett is super gross. Even you admit that Gossett has been an excellent career public servant for decades, and now you want to end his career and cast him into oblivion because he had the temerity to vote for a white man over a woman of color?

This isn't even being an immature edgelord idiot who just wants to watch the world burn (that's the rest of your endorsements). This is just malice disguised as purity, plain and simple.


"with a flat tax, someone who makes less, pays less."

there are people who can't pay anything and sometimes they can't make ends meet. Taking $300 from minimum wage employees who can't afford to live here is regressive even if they end up paying the same rate as high income earners

an employee head tax isn't at all like an individual income tax. A head tax increases the cost of operating in Seattle thus decreasing business profit margins, i.e. it is a tax on profit returning to investors (even if based on gross revenue) and no employee income is affected.


@14 Complete bullshit. I called out Hampson for her judging my racial background AND where I was raised. No one died and made her judge and jury ( and it’s super insulting to my late abuela).

Also, I signed my name folks and that’s called courage of your convictions. Can’t say the same for you.


Funny how nobody minds that Amazon sponsored the recent gay Pride march -or should we call it the Corporate Pride march?


I may find myself reverting back to Sawant for the General Election, in the primary I am going with Zachary DeWolf as an "Alternate Progressive Voice". That said, even Sawant is preferable to a Chamber of Commerce "bend over for Amazon" candidate.


@36 what does your abuela have to do with anything? No judge or jury here, just good points from Hampson. Let’s give her credit where it is due. She’s put herself in the trenches with kids that need it most and she’s putting her money where her public service mouth is. Surely you don’t have a problem with that? You endorsed less experienced candidates because of your personal grudge? Wow


I have not once, ever, heard a single person in D6 mention Harris' name, so.........


My order of left-to-right preferences in federal and state elections is, 1) Progressives, 2) Centrists, 3) Conservatives, 4) Nazies. My preferences in any Seattle-area elections given the "successes" of the current city council is, 1) Centrists, 2) Conservatives, 3) Nazies, 4) Progressives.


I like Scott in the University District - he's a refreshing change to these tedious elections. Emily would be my second choice.

I'm otherwise mostly unimpressed and hoping we'll hear a whole lot more from candidates in every district about rent control. People are getting freaky rent increases.

I'd reelect Sawant, too, because she has the spine to take on the wealthy interests. I didn't agree with all parts of the head tax, but I think they should have stuck it out once started, and I definitely think Amazon and Albertsons and these big corporations should be paying taxes to the city. Take this ridiculously expensive auto registration, for example. That shouldn't be on our heads - these billionaires should be funding public transportation - or it should be coming out of state weed revenue which is enormous.

I'd give other businesses a break, though, with these taxes - including newspapers like the Seattle Times. And .. if it can be calculated without regard to the number of employees, that's probably best because then it doesn't translate self-defeating-ly in terms of jobs (though they'll probably argue that, anyway).

They also need a clearer vision on how the money would be spent and should open it to discussion by voters/residents beforehand.

I'm otherwsie tired of hearing people argue about homelessness. This is a no-brainer. You need rent control, more subsidized housing, safe injection sites that aren't on top of people's residences. You don't need costly police sweeps or campuses for the homeless or more of these shelters that no one wants to go to for good reasons. You do need to put people into immediate and permanent housing whether it's modest motel rooms or simple apartments - and assign social workers depending on the population group (not all need social workers, but some do). But it should be housing where individuals or couples or families can lock their f'in door and have privacy, safety, and minimally, a f'in bathroom for hygiene and health. These are human rights.

Make psychopath Bezos pay for it - and if he wants to leave Seattle, tell him good riddance. It would be great for small business owners. Take their buildings and turn them into more affordable housing or performing art centers, etc.


@42, there are no nazis running for City Council


@11 The original 'head tax'* was more progressive than a flat income tax, when it was a percent of payroll for big companies. The revised fixed amount per hour for bigger companies version was probably more regressive than a flat income tax (though its a bit tricky to tell).

Regardless of that, IMO, it was rolled out in a way that ensured failure.

*Neither was actually a head tax, though the revised version was close.


@40 I do give Hampson credit for being a bright person who cares.

But I am not the only one who finds Hampson rigid (and I didn't have to lead anyone in that direction, they said it on their own).

What does my abuela (grandmother) have to do with it? Well, if you have a candidate who believes she can accurately assess a person's race/ethnicity/upbringing and announces to others what that is, I would have to wonder - what she would do internally to parents who came before her if she sat on the Board?

It's not a personal grudge; it's a worry about her ability to not be judgmental based on nothing more than her own biases.

And again, I sign my name and put my 20 years of educational advocacy with my remarks.

Ben Leis is a superior candidate to her. As I also said, Muniz may be green but I'd rather have someone who is open-minded and a team player than someone who is judgmental and obstructionist.
Melissa Westbrook


4: The most radical and edgy thing that can be done is to keep Amazon and the Chamber of Commerce from buying control of the city council. The last thing that's needed is to give people like Bezos and Schultz more control of the city.


@36: Are you posting from the day-care center mommy and daddy dropped you off at?


27 There's nothing adult about trying to solve every problem by having as many people as possible arrested. Filling the jails hasn't improved life in any community its been tried in. What works to deal with the homeless who happen to be mentally ill-btw there are a lot of people who weren't mentally until capitalism made them homeless-is to have neighborhood treatment centers where the mentally ill can get their medications, as well as counselling and support. What works for drug abuse is to treat it as a social and health issue, NOT a criminal justice issue. Arresting drug users does nothing to treat the problem and inmates in prisons and jails often stay on drugs. And legalizing drugs would do even more to make the drug problem controllable, because no one would avoid getting help out of fear of imprisonment and people could get the counseling and support THEY need to move away from drugs.

There simply isn't anything mature or adult or grownups in putting the boot in, throwing the four-point restraints on and destroying lives by giving people criminal records. It doesn't make overall life better and it leaves too many people without a chance to get their lives together after getting out of the prison-industrial complex.


@43: “I'm otherwsie tired of hearing people argue about homelessness.”

The arguments are finished. The city is adopting the recommendations in the Poppe Report, de-funding our homeless-industrial complex and funding approaches which work. Mayor Durkan’s administration is aggressively sweeping the smaller encampments, as those do not require advance notice. (By the time we begin clearing the larger encampments, the inhabitants will have the options of accepting our offers of shelter, or leaving our town.)

The only persons who still ‘argue’ are CM Sawant and her coeterie of fellow dead-enders at places like The Stranger. They’re all clinging to the tatters of a status quo which disappeared with the EHT’s repeal.


@46, I’d really encourage you to do more reading and talking about race. It doesn’t matter that you have an abuela or a black friend, it matters what people perceive you as on a day to day basis and how they treat you based on the color of your skin. Hell I have a brown grandmother and I know I’m white. If you’re not living as a POC and on the receiving end of that reality, ask yourself how you can be an ally. It’s pretty simple. White fragility is real and I’ve lived it too, time to get over ourselves. There’s a ton of underserved POC kids in our district that don’t have access to multimillion dollar endowments in their PTAs. May the best candidate win for school board. We’ve actually got some good contenders this round.


@48: Because things have gone so swimmingly with the City Council we have? Please, please spend your time this election season saying that’s indeed the case! Nothing wins votes like saying needles and shit on children’s playgrounds are the way things should be! (And who’d want a City government which is as well-run as Amazon, anyway?)

Good luck with all that.


Melissa Westbrook is once again blatantly lying about Chandra Hampson because of that one time Chandra did not pander to her and treat her like the (fake) expert Westbrook thinks she is. But why drag Liza Rankin into your gutter of bullshit? If you don’t know the extent of Liza Rankin’s history of experience in this district, then you are even more uninformed than we all believed you already were. How pathetically uninformed. for a self proclaimed “expert”.

Funny you’d bring up anonymous posts, since those are the type that primarily agree with and endorse your shit parade blog.

If anyone is wondering what Melissa Westbrook’s angle is, take a cursory glance through her Twitter feed. That!s where she solicits reporters, journalists, news sources, and GENUINE education advocates to use her as a source on radio, tv, and in print. She throws herself at them and it reminds me of a scene from ‘Whatever Happened To Baby Jane”. The only reason this tactic has worked out (locally only) this far is because no one else is willing to go on tv and let that much bullshit fall out of their face. But Westbrook thrives on this...and on trying to pit Seattle’s Native community against each other because they are not the monolith Westbrook wants to treat them like (again, cursory glance at MW twitter feed).

Westbrook’s true nature is on full display on this thread as well, as evidenced by her allowing her personal grudge to advocate for a candidate running for school board who has admitted never even attending a single school board meeting...that’s a little more than “green”.

The bottom line is that Westbrook would endorse a turd sandwich over a woman who doesn’t kiss her ass, and Rankin or Hampson don’t have the inclination or the time because they’ve been too busy doing the actual work. That thing Melissa comments on but has extremely limited experience with.

Go have a seat, back on your lazy boy recliner with your laptop and log back onto your own weird little blog where you post as yourself under your name, then back yourself up “anonymously”. Actually, It would not surprise me one bit if that started mysteriously happening here as well.

Seattle kids need way more of Hampson & Rankin, and way, way less Westbrook if the issues in our district are to be solved.


@50: The commenter @27 wrote nothing about jailing anyone, nothing about any authoritarian act of any kind. You're bashing your own straw man.

What he did say was the approach used by the current Council has failed, and it has failed so badly they are losing their jobs over it.

You're free to address that point any time you like.


@55 Calm the hell down.

I said good things about Liza Rankin but I don't think she's ready to be on the Board. That's not "the gutter."

The people I interact with on Twitter from the media are colleagues - they come to me many times for help/contacts. It's natural that we retweet each other.

My twenty year record of supporting great candidates for school board speaks for itself. Of course no community is monolithic but yes, I do support UNEA. As does Director Scott Pinkham. Will you be calling him out?

And here's yet another complainer who can't sign their name.

I rest my case.

Melissa Westbrook


@57: You just wish they were losing their jobs about it. There's a long time 'til election day and its far from clear that the voters think a city council that simply obeyed corporate power on all issues would do any better.

And, as you know full well, I mention mass arrests because that's what those of you on the far right. You also want mass institutionalization of the mentally ill homeless, even though the conditions they would be institutionalized under, due to the complete lack of funds available for institutionalizing people means the conditions would have to be inhumane and punitive.

As to your favorite pointless obsession, the employment tax-you know perfectly well that that was only proposed because of the bans on income and employment tax, and the need to gather additional revenues, that was the only means available to do so. Bezos should have just done the decent thing and paid it, but as we all know-thanks to his divorce trial, among many other things, Bezos is incapable of human decency. The employment tax was never the preferred method of Sawant and her supporters-at the time, it was just the only method available. There were no other options for raising revenue. And there's no reason why Bezos should be permanently free of any obligation to pay any taxes at all. He runs a package delivery service, he doesn't walk on water or raise the dead.

Now that the courts have ruled that Seattle CAN do a municipal income tax, that will be. Obviously that's what would have been proposed if this state didn't have a constitution drafted by early 20th Century boiled-shirt plutocrats.

Not sure why you want to go back to the Calvin Coolidge era-all we got in those years were the policies that caused the Depression.


The first sentence in the second paragraph should read: "And, as you know full well, I mention mass arrests because that's what those of you on the far right WANT". I sometimes leave out a word when writing quickly.


@58: “You just wish they were losing their jobs about it. There's a long time 'til election day...”

First, I wasn’t making any predictions. Of the seven incumbents in this year’s elections, a majority have already decided against even asking us to retain them. Why do you think that might be?

Second, there’s an election in two weeks. If you want to assume your favored incumbents will survive it, please go right ahead.

Third, hoping things will magically change for our three remaining incumbents between now and November doesn’t smell of desperation. Not at all. Trust me on that.

“...its far from clear that the voters think a city council that simply obeyed corporate power on all issues would do any better.”

Well, a City Council which didn’t openly antagonize a major employer, or goad a rich guy into successfully suing us over an old building, might just look pretty good to many voters by now. (Again, any ideas on why that might be?)

“And, as you know full well, I mention mass arrests because that's what those of you on the far right WANT.”

You are the only one here who has mentioned mass arrests. (And if you actually believe there’s a sizable population of “far right” anyone in Seattle, then you really are pitiable in your delusion.)

“You also want mass institutionalization of the mentally ill homeless,”

Again, you’re the only one making that claim. Provide quotes and source citations, or admit you’re just trying to put words in your opponents’ mouths.

“As to your favorite pointless obsession, the employment tax,”

Hey! You admitted the EHT was an employment tax! Good for you! Baby steps!

(Oh — um, there might actually be a point — or even more than one — to calling out supporters of the failed EHT and making them defend it, over and over and over, when those who voted for it are standing for re-election. Again, any ideas on what those points might be?)


@10, 16, etc. Yes, "fights." What, you don't think the Chamber of Commerce fights? Or the landlord/real estate lobby? Or Amazon? The fact that these entities can make their demands by wordlessly sliding a check across a desk while working people have to yell, march and disrupt doesn't mean there aren't two sides fighting. It only looks that way on TV (and that's by design).

I don't like Sawant. She is seriously lacking in numerous qualities that a public official in a representative body should possess, and this may well cost her re-election. But she groks the underlying dynamic that fuels homelessness, drug use and despair to an extent that none of her opponents comes close to equaling. (Well, maybe DeWolf excepted, but didn't we elect him to the school board just last week? It doesn't reflect positively on him that he is so eager to leave that job without leaving his mark on it. I generally don't look favorably on young men in a hurry, especially not white ones.)

Vote for Sawant. Then hope like hell for a better choice in 2023.


“But she groks the underlying dynamic that fuels homelessness, drug use and despair to an extent that none of her opponents comes close to equaling.”

Really? Give an example of her understanding how homelessness and drug addiction are linked. To hear her tell it, homelessness is somehow all the fault of Amazon for providing too many well-paying jobs. (Hence her “Amazon tax” on jobs.)

“Vote for Sawant. Then hope like hell for a better choice in 2023.”

The best time to rid ourselves of failed incumbents is now. Their costly failures make them easy to replace, and we have many choices.

(Oh — and as far as sliding a check across the desk — you have allocated some of your Democracy Vouchers already, right?)


Yes, I have, for Shaun Scott (D4).

Look, if Sawant was as ineffectual as you and her other detractors claim, the moneyed interests bankrolling candidates like Egan Orion wouldn't be nearly as intent on getting rid of her. On the contrary, they'd be happy to have as a representative of the left someone who's all sound and fury without consequences. She certainly wouldn't be worth spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to depose.

But Sawant scares the hell out of them. That's reason enough to vote for her in my book, her many shortcomings notwithstanding.

(P.S. Technically I shouldn't have referred to Zachary DeWolf as "white." I regret the error, but stand by my critique. Maybe in four years he'll be a truly appealing candidate, bur right now I'm afraid if we elect him to the council he'll just bolt to run for State Rep. next year. Slow down, dude. Seriously.)


@63: “...the moneyed interests bankrolling candidates...”

Sawant’s campaign has accepted a lot of money from outside the city, so please spare us your cliches.

“On the contrary, they'd be happy to have as a representative of the left someone who's all sound and fury without consequences. She certainly wouldn't be worth spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to depose.”

You do understand her “Save The Showbox” shtick could still cost us millions of dollars, right? Would it be worth spending “hundreds of thousands of dollars” to prevent a repeat? How does that math work out for you?

You also need to look into how much trouble even an “ineffectual” Council Member can cause. For example, the City Council must approve certain multi-lot developments. Why should a developer go to all the trouble of purchasing the lots, getting the permits, &c., when CM Sawant can simply throw a wrench into it? Why should they take that risk?

Oh, and back to the original point you were addressing: what has she actually DONE to earn re-election? Saying she scares the people you want scared sounds a lot more like schoolyard bullying than good governance.


{Sigh} Again, I don't like Sawant! What part of that don't you get? I'm not going to defend everything she does, no matter how many times you keep asking.

But yes, her presence on the council means that major developers have had, and will continue to have, to concede substantially more than they would have to otherwise in terms of taxes, affordable housing and other public amenities if they want to build their megatowers. That's why they want her gone and that's why she's worth keeping, regardless of her VERY REAL shortcomings in other areas. If you think that makes her a "bully" we obviously have different worldviews. I know who the real bullies in this city are, and Sawant isn't one of them.


@65: “I'm not going to defend everything she does, no matter how many times you keep asking.”

No, but I am going to keep asking you to defend YOUR advocacy of her re-election, and that includes your explaining why she gets a pass on her needless actions, which have only hurt us. There are many other candidates than the one challenger you have mentioned.

“But yes, her presence on the council means that major developers...”

Then you can name at least two, right?

“ concede substantially more than they would have to otherwise in terms of taxes, affordable housing and other public amenities if they want to build their megatowers.”

Yes, we should put every impediment we possibly can in the way of building more housing right now. That’s good civic policy in the midst of a housing crisis.

Finally, there is one argument we should never, ever accept from anyone who works for us or with us, and you’ve swallowed it whole:

“But yes, her presence on the council means...”

No. Nobody gets a free ride. Just showing up — for which she’s not exactly famous, BTW — doesn’t count. Vague statements about how she scares the persons you want scared, or unverified claims of her effectiveness in dealing with un-named persons, just sound like post-facto rationalizations for supporting an underperforming candidate. We know the EHT got repealed after we citizens revolted against her policy. We know the owner of the Showbox won his lawsuit. We may yet have to pay out millions of dollars to him, getting nothing in return.

Why keep rationalizing re-election for a candidate you don’t even like, especially in a year we have so many others on our ballots?


Do not listen to a word Melissa Westbrook says. She's a racist and her "expertise" is tainted by her racist ideologies. It's interesting that she claims Hampson does the very thing Westbrook, herself, does here in her blog post: where she guesses the race and ethnicity of school board candidates based on their pictures! Gross. IF - large if - Hampson did what Westbrook claims, at least she wasn't stupid enough to put it in "print" and sign her name to it. If you want an idea of what Westbrook and her "expertise" are all about, please visit her website and read the comments - full of racism and queerphobia. If that's your thing, then by all means follow her advice, otherwise, The Stranger got it right!


Ann Sattler sounds awesome. Just voted for her. District No. 5 needs better representations. Thanks!


Go Ann Sattler ! The adults have returned and it’s time to clean up the mess, Seattle.


Sawant is a racist sack of horseshit who told a room full of hundreds of proud Vietnamese American immigrants that the pain they suffered at the hands of communists in Vietnam is "debatable". She also said that the democratic flag of South Vietnam is painful and controversial to many (its only controversial to communists), and refused to support a city resolution honoring the flag and the sacrifices of the Vietnamese American community in Seattle.


I really appreciate Mellisa Westbrook's point of view and admire her dedication to reporting on what is happening in Seattle Public Schools. The attacks on her are so over the top as not to be believed. It's like she has become the focus of some crazed stalker who uses multiple names to get at her. I agree that Ben Leis and Leslie Harris would be great for school board. I'm just glad I get to vote for one of them.


Tammy Morales is certainly qualified, but I'm concerned about not having black representation on the city council, and District 2 has the strongest black candidate in Mark Solomon.


@67 Again, calm down ( or get a paper bag to breath in).

I didn’t “guess” anyone’s race by their photo. I only stated that for the candidates who said it themselves in their statements. It helps to know how to read for content.

My rep is solid and your name-calling won’t fly. Stranger readers, call up Dominic Holden and ask him about me. Or my brother who’s gay. He’d laugh so hard at this nonsense.

Again, another person who lets BS fly but hasn’t the courage to sign your name.

Got a candidate you support? Why not tell Stranger readers about that?


Morales v Solomon - Rich person with a “socialist” hobby (but not TOO socialist) v Black man who grew up in this community. Easy choice.


Also, Melissa Westbrook is the worst. Dog whistler who throws her white-mommy blog privilege around to try and influence an elected body that she is afraid to actually join, and therefore have real accountability for her lack of actual equitable ideas.


@76 - I'm with you regarding District 2. I agree with you that Black people are extremely under-represented currently in Seattle and our District is probably the only one left that can send a Black person to City Government. Morales does not bring a unique voice to the council and lacks experience in working across the constituents of District 2. I've also had personal experience with her and found her to be poorly organized and not accountable.

Honestly, none of the candidates are clearly qualified for the job, but Solomon seems earnest, has positions that reflect under-represented communities in the District, and has experience with city government - making him the best of the lot.



Thanks for the perspective. I personally see Morales as an economic tourist seeking a political seat, and see Solomon as qualified both in perspective and experience.


@70 Sawant can certainly be abrasive and rhetorically excessive (yet another thing I don't really like about her) but I don't see how her comments were racist. She made the right call, and a brave one, in saying the council shouldn't take sides in what is essentially an internal dispute for the Vietnamese community by honoring one or the other flag. Neither side in that horrible war acquitted themselves honorably.


Do you enjoy random stabbings, junkies throwing hot coffee in toddlers’ faces, women being raped at the local car dealership in the morning, needles in your kids’ playgrounds and human shit and urine in your local storefront?

Then vote for these morons above.


20 years of corporate driven massive growth leading directly to cost of living inflation and the requisite big city social problems — and then five meager years of tepid pseudo leftist attempts at addressing this market driven inflation...



According to FBI statistics the rate per 100,000 residents of violent crime in Seattle in 1985 was 1,317. In 2017the rate was 633. (Correct my math here but that's like a 30% decline).

But what about all them dirty junkies stealing my mail? Property crime rate in 1985 was 11,426. In 2017 the property crime rate was 5,259.


Seattle's crime rate has been in a steady and precipitous decline since the 1980's with the peak being in 1990.

But don't let that stop you whiney pussies from blockading your basement apartment doors out there in Snohomish or wherever the shit holes you cower within exist.


“20 years of corporate driven massive growth leading directly to cost of living inflation

Yes, because if it wasn’t for Amazon in Seattle, plus a $2000 month heroin habit, all the out of town junkies camping across Seattle would have sweet one bedroom studios in Ballard.



GTFO with your revisionist history BS. There was and is no "internal dispute for the Vietnamese community" as you allege. The Vietnamese in America are unanimous in their support for the South Vietnamese flag. Take a drive though Burien, Rainier, Kent or Tukwilla, and you will see countless yellow and red RVN flags. Not once will you see the current flag of Vietnam, and not once will you hear anyone refer to Saigon as HCMC. There is no debate of which flag to honor.

The whole reason they came here as refugees in the 70's and 80's was to escape the systematic persecution at the hands of the Northern Communists. A group Sawant is obviously cozy with, based on her rhetoric.

The fact that you are even defending racist Sawant on this issue is abhorrent, and is a slap in the face to the Vietnamese who sacrificed so much to start a new life in America.


@85 HAHAHAA. Nice try dude.


Re Alex Perderson:

"sweeping little old ladies off their feet and winning the single-family vote with a promise of accountability and trust. Hard pass on that guy."

Ahem - That's a hard YES on that guy from this LOL!


@84 well dipshit, that would be mostly due to the "growth" part of that ( 18.7 in 2017). That and the opiate crisis mostly exacerbated by big pharma and of course the US support of all those sweet Northern Alliance warlords growing poppies in Afghanistan. Big cities get big problems. And big cities in the middle of an opiate crisis get big opiate problems.

And they STILL are not CLOSE to problems we had in the 1980's and 1990's. Back in the good old days. Before them dirty commies got in control.

Anyway. Facts have a notorious liberal bias.

You can't have it both ways. You can't have this idea that Amazon has made Seattle a capitalist paradise — AND — the "oh-muh-gerd-eeeee-bil socialists" have ruined Seattle.

Not when it was unbridled growth that inflated the cost of living. Hellholes don't attract unprecedented growth every year on year.

And THAT's THE ISSUE. Not "crime."

You can keep sewing your paranoid little fantasies about how Seattle is this crime ridden hellhole and how terrified you are. I'm sure you find it oddly comforting. Like watching the Walking Dead or something. You have heroic fantasies about fighting junkie zombies. And you'll have a ready made audience of fellow cowards out there to huddle with in your basement.

But it's still bullshit.


@72 registers as a Stranger user today and backs up Westbrook, no other comments ever. Seems totally legit.


@60: Nice try, I didn't admit it was a "tax on employment". I simply used the word because of the acronym involved with the tax's name. It was an attempted tax on Bezos, a person SHOULD be taxed, since there's no valid reason for him to live a tax-free existence, especially in the city which created his wealth by handing him endless giveaways on infrastructure when it used to be that corporations built their infrastructure solely on their own dime. It was a way to do a wealth tax within the bans on the wealth tax and income tax that the early robber baron types who put unjustified bans on both in the state constitution. Now that the courts have ruled that a municipal income tax is permissible, there are other approaches. It was never "a tax on jobs" and nobody would have lost their jobs if Bezos had done the decent thing and just paid it, so the corporate-orchestrated ragestorm was a massively big deal over nothing.

And as to the vote in August...that's just the primary, ace. Nothing is decided in the primary. It the fall campaign was Sawant vs. Orion, you can't assume that the DeWolf voters would vote Orion.

Basically, you're just wishing for an anti-left sweep. That's all that's behind your posts here.

It's by no means a safe assumption that the voters of Seattle are going to buy into the argument that the left or liberal incumbents MUST be sacrificed to appease the God-Emperor of Amazon.


@90 Amazon paid $250 million in state and local taxes in 2018. Not sure how Bezos is not being taxed since AMZN is a publicly traded company, and Bezos’s income at Amazon last year was $89,000.

But keep flapping your lips ignoramus.


@89 Glad to see I take up real estate in your brain. No real life, huh?


@92, ditto


It's good to see the list of candidates you can vote for if endless streams of drug addled homeless shitting on the streets and leaving dirty needles in your local playground is what you hope for out of city leadership. If that's what you want vote for this list of clowns.


What a dumpster fire of dipshit ideologues.


Solid picks, BUT Woodland Park Zoo is not a park, it's a zoo and shouldn't be included in prop 1.
Have you forgotten how they put profit before animal welfare in the case of the elephants? So I have to vote no.


Debora Juarez who was arrested for DUI at 3:08AM on Northgate Way poses with a Jim Beam bottle on her desk. Wow.


@90: ‘Nice try, I didn't admit it was a "tax on employment"’.

Actually, you did, it just wasn’t your fault you told the truth:

“I simply used the word because of the acronym involved with the tax's name.”

So, the Council Members who drafted the tax had already admitted — right there in the name! — that it was a tax on employment. You still won’t willingly admit it, though.

“It was an attempted tax on Bezos...”

Look, I know you need a face to get your Two Minutes Hate on, but neither Bezos nor any other employee of the hundreds of taxed companies would have paid a dime (as you later admit). Their employers would have paid this tax on their jobs.

“...and nobody would have lost their jobs....”

There was actually quite a bit of testimony to the opposite during the run-up to pass the tax; CM Sawant ignored this testimony (other than to insult the witnesses who brought it).

“...was a massively big deal over nothing.”

Tell that to the tens of thousands of Seattle’s citizens, who signed the Referendum petitions to recall the tax.

“Nothing is decided in the primary.”

Three-quarters of the current candidates will be eliminated in said election. That sounds like something to me.

“...Sawant vs. Orion, you can't assume that the DeWolf voters would vote Orion.”

What if it’s Bowers vs. DeWolf?


As a political Red, I say vote for Dennison of the Socialist Workers Party; Kshama Sawant of the Socialist Alternative; Shaun Scott of the Democratic Socialists of America; Mendez in the 5th might be okay ( so long as there's no "D" after his familial name . . . . -- ).


Thanks for the advice...I'm voting for anyone you have not endorsed. This city is so fucked up and I'm tired of placating the homeless advocates and pouring money down their constant shithole of needs. Fuck them. Time to clean house.


Just want to thank you for writing up these endorsements election after election. It is my go to, my springboard before every vote, and I appreciate someone taking the time to (1) do this (2) add commentary vs a simple vote for this person (3) being open to why you may have changed from preferring one candidate to another as a more current election comes up....because our needs change in this city over time, too. THANK YOU.


After 25 years in Seattle I have relocated to Edmonds, and I am really missing reading local endorsements there. Any suggestions for well researched progressive endorsements just north of Seattle?


Hard pass. You can be both progressive and effective.


thanks! now I know who NOT to vote for this year`


99 There's no reason to simply assume that Sawant will be eliminated in the primary. If that was likely, if there was polling to suggest that, those of you on the hard right would be trumpeting it. Orion has no popularity in Sawant's would be totally unrepresentative of that district for it to be represented by a Log Cabin Republican, or to assume that voters in that district would be outraged about the rich finally being asked to pay their fair share of taxes, or to think that that district would believe that violent police sweeps of homeless encampments can make any real difference in the homelessness issue.

And it wasn't a tax on jobs, it was a tax on Bezos. Sawant and the rest of the large contingent of Seattleites who think Bezos SHOULD finally pay his fair share of taxes wanted to do a wealth tax or a municipal income tax, but weren't able to do so because of the outdates and unjustified bans on income tax or wealth tax in the state constitution. Are you willing to do the right thing and support getting rid of those bans, so that those who've become wealthy off of the labor of Seattle and Washington state workers should finally pay what they owe to the people?

And in response to the poster who said that Bezos only gets a "salary" of $89,000 a year...uh, you do realize that there are many OTHER ways to compensate a CEO besides an official paycheck, do you not?

It's almost charming that you think Bezos actually lives on nothing but that "salary".

BTW, the only workers who had an issue with the Amazon tax were the building anybody who's spent any time in or near the labor movement can tell you, the building trades are always the most right-wing unions of was the building trades which provided the "hard had" types who beat up black and brown people, gay people, hippies, peace activists and leftists for Nixon. They've been the embodiment of the "Mr. Block" type of deluded bootlickers ever since the Mr. Block comics were created in the 1900s.


As to a Bowers v DeWolf race-which is unlikely, since Bowers has no real popularity with anybody but stoned libertarians-it would all come down to whether or not Bowers' supporters were too baked to mail in their ballots.

BTW, nobody's against "cleaning up" for the homeless, it's just that camp sweeps are an ineffective way to do it. It's not a decent choice to drive the homeless out of town as if they were vermin, and nothing the cops do gets people off of drugs.


And again, as to drugs, the way to deal with that is to 1)Legalize drugs 2)Treat addiction as a public health issue-an approach which has been shown to work, over and over-instead of as a criminal justice issue-an approach which never works-while once again setting up neighborhood walk-in treatment centers so people can get help with their addictions without risking arrest. None of that is rocket science, just a simple acceptance of reality; The War on Drugs was and is the domestic equivalent of the war against Vietnam; a pointless, unwinnable approach in which huge numbers of innocent people died because none of our leaders would admit it was wrong.

People with substance abuse issues are people, in the vast majority of cases, in deep psychic pain. It's not as if they all woke up one morning and decided "I'm going to trash my life and disappoint everybody in my life just for shits and giggles". And most of the pain people with substance abuse issues feel-with the exception of those who feel LITERAL physical pain and turn to street drugs because the healthcare system in this country can't make a profit from freeing them of their agony and because no doctor will ever get famous for ending chronic pain-are people who have been discarded by life, people who have been made to feel as though they are of no value. The best way to create a society where nobody uses drugs is to create a system which doesn't devalue or exclude or write off anybody. None of this is rocket science; it's just that our political and economic leaders don't want us to have a society like that-a society in which all of us are treated with respect and where we are simply accepted as having the RIGHT to live our best, most meaningful life, rather than most of us simply being forced to do that which is most likely to make rich people richer.


@107 & @108: “There's no reason to simply assume that Sawant will be eliminated in the primary.”

Which is why I made no such assumption. I was merely responding to your repeated assumption that she won’t be. Watching you flail around, desperately trying to justify that assumption, was really entertaining:

“...if there was polling to suggest that,”

Two years ago, polling was clear: Mike McGinn was front-runner for Mayor. (The same poll showed Ed Murray would have been the leader, had he been in the race.) In the actual primary election, McGinn finished behind four female candidates, three of whom had never held elective office. So, polling data in a local, many-candidate race may not be a useful predictor of election results.

“...would be trumpeting it.”

Why would we want to alert her? Why should anyone do her that favor?

“And it wasn't a tax on jobs, it was a tax on Bezos.”

Your Two Minutes are over. Seriously, do you just not know what the EHT would have done? Are you not able to read it for yourself? Can you do anything other than just keep on regurgitating the propaganda you’ve swallowed?

Perhaps not:

“Orion has no popularity in Sawant's district...”

I’m sorry, which poll said that?

“...the large contingent of Seattleites...”

I’m sorry, which poll said that?

“...the only workers who had an issue with the Amazon tax were the building trades.”

I’m sorry, which poll said that?

“Bowers has no real popularity....”

I’m sorry, which poll said that?

Finally, are you a teenager — in the ‘90s?

“...Bowers' supporters were too baked to mail in their ballots.”

“...a Log Cabin Republican,”


@109: Of course drugs should be legal. I’ve voted for legalization my entire adult life.

Even if drugs are legal, they’re not free, and the very nature of addiction means the hardcore addict will feed his addiction before he feeds himself. Or clothes himself. Or does anything else needed to hold down a job. So, he steals.

What would you do with an addict who is functional enough to steal, who denies his addiction, and therefore refuses treatment? Do we just keep throwing him in jail for property crimes, ignoring the obvious reason he steals? Do we mandate the treatment he refuses? Or do we allow him to live without sanitation, shooting up in a tent, after stealing enough bicycles from children to pay for his drugs?

Because that last is the policy Sawant et. al. were actually pushing (pun intended) with the EHT. Yet you still seem confused as to why it got so swiftly repealed.

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