News Aug 4, 2022 at 11:45 am

Splitting “Historically Important” Magnolia Could Weaken Conservative Political Power

We are pretty sure this is Magnolia. If not, you get the idea. Lester Black

Comments

1

District 4 is shitty and about to get shittier. Expect Alex Pedersen to be Councilmember for Life.

2

The current council is majority female and majority BIPOC so what exactly is the problem they are trying to solve here?

3

The photo and caption are scintillating journalism. On a par with the author, who it is critical to note is a Libra.

4

Lots of people in Magnolia "live inland," whatever that means. I used to be one of them, when I was a renter.

5

@1: Sorry you hate Seattle.

6

"The community-made map inspired somewhere between 50 and 100 people to tell the commission to adopt its map in full, Hong estimated."

What a wishy wshy statement, couldn't be bothered to quantify in what is ultimately a numbers game.

"Some people are saying..."

7

"In the 2021 mayoral election, Magnolia overwhelmingly voted for the conservative candidates . . . ."

I don't recall one true conservative in this race. Any idea what was meant by this statement?

8

Seattle went to sh*t when it switched to district elections. We need an initiative to go back to electing council members citywide.

9

Gerrymandering is bullish*t. Let a computer draw the maps without bias and lobbying.

10

@7 the ones not endorsed by The Stranger

11

@10 Yeah, that's pretty much what I figured. Thanks for the laugh!

12

While I'm not a citizen of Seattle, I'm all for weakening "conservative political power" as much as humanly possible. Bring on the death of the GOP!

14

The voters decided for representation by districts by about a 2-1 margin. This city is never going back to an at-large City Council. Those who wish for it might as well be barking at the moon.

15

Magnolia residents saying where they live is "historically important" sounds eerily close to the people in the South concerned about their "heritage"

16

@15 - History is regularly invoked by black residents of the CD, why decry the diversification of the area, labeled by them and others as gentrification. Notwithstanding the prior Jewish and Japanese Americans who lived there before black families moved in. I assume you will therefore be critical of their claims on a heritage entitlement to the CD?

18

@16, personally I'm not a fan of anyone clinging to a past in which they did not exist, but that is easy for me to say as a white person.

I can also understand why it is important for people of color and other minorities like Jewish people to maintain a shared understanding of their past and a desire to cultivate a community because of that. if you can't understand why that is, I can't help you.

20

@18: I think it's important for people of white to maintain a shared understanding of their past and a desire to cultivate a community as well, along with people of color, people of jewish, people of christian, people of islam, and people of etc.

Let's not draw a line anywhere.

21

@19, "that splat was nothing more than progressive white self induced guilt gobbly goop."

shrugs That's pretty much all I've got in the tank.

23

@20 the past of "white" is separate from the past of the various actual ethnicities and cultures people in that artificial group belong to, and mostly involves excluding people outside that group from access to land and capital to maintain an unequal balance of power (e.g. the redlining and racial covenants that informed the composition of many of Seattle's neighborhoods at their inception). So they literally drew lines that are curiously consistent with where you see the strongest modern resistance to more affordable housing being built or made easier to access via city government policy/politicians...

https://www.historylink.org/File/21296

In this way, keeping magnolia whole at the expense of the voting power of multiple historically underrepresented groups/communities is actually right on brand with the "white" history.

24

Districts were designed to increase (or at the very least retain) the power of those who live in single family neighborhoods. The people behind it were anti-urbanists. They feared an increase in apartments city-wide. They figured they could "pack" a district or two full of apartments, and let areas that are mostly houses retain their power. The districts that add a lot of apartments grow in population, so they must shrink in size. This reduces the power of those who pushed for more apartments (they might find the new district no longer includes them, forcing them to run against another incumbent). I don't think it worked out that way, but that was the goal.

Thus is it ironic that Magnolia finds itself on the other end of this equation. Western Magnolia is almost entirely single family houses. Central Magnolia has a small area with apartments, but is mostly houses as well. Most of the apartments in Magnolia are found on the east side of it (closer to Interbay). But none of that concerns Magnolia residents. What they are worried about is their bridges. They need someone to champion the very expensive push for a full replacement of the Magnolia Bridge. This would be extremely expensive and a big waste of money. Even many of the alternatives are way too expensive for what they offer. Splitting the area weakens what is already a pretty weak hand.

25

@2: This blatant gerrymandering is to dilute the power of voters in majority-white neighborhoods like Magnolia, because targeting voters by race is totally not the very definition of racism at all!

@24: The main reason for going to districts (whilst retaining two at-large seats) came primarily from concerns about equity. For example, if no incumbent lived in the CD, then no one on the Council would feel obligated to fight for that neighborhood's interests. (So went the logic, anyway.)

Speaking as someone who lived his last year in Seattle behind the broken West Seattle Bridge, not replacing the Magnolia Bridge is just bonkers. Minus the bridge, Magnolia becomes little more than an island in the Sound. Citizens who live there don't need strong representation on the Council, because they are more than wealthy enough to fund the lawsuit(s) which would force the city to replace their bridge.


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