Taking the Initiative
While Seattle City Council Member Heidi Wills has reportedly raised some eyebrows for using public office to campaign against I-745 (the stupid initiative that will dedicate 90 percent of transportation dollars to roads), we think it's cool that she's taking a stand.
Here's the deal: Wills has spoken out against the initiative in council meetings, and just last week, she handed out anti-I-745 fundraiser invitations to her council cohorts. City code prohibits the use of public office facilities to promote or oppose political campaigns.
However, Seattle Ethics and Election Director Carol Van Noy says Wills' anti-745 rant was A-okay, because the code makes exceptions for "activities that are part of the normal and regular conduct of the office...." Wills, appropriately, blasted I-745 during a council discussion on ballot initiatives. As for handing out invitations, the ethics office was unable to comment, but clearly the move didn't seem to raise any red flags for them. And it shouldn't.
It would be one thing if Wills was doing a mailing on the public dime, but she's not. She's using her status as an elected politician to influence her colleagues. And as we understand it, that's her fricking job. JOSH FEIT
When your city council members destroyed the monorail last July by voting to dismantle the Elevated Transportation Company, they did offer up one concession. The city council mandated that at least five members of the ETC be appointed to a new monorail "advisory" group. However, only one member of the original ETC is willing to play along with this chicanery and join the sham group. You can put the final kibosh on the council's monorail misdeeds this November by voting for I-53, which will reconstitute the real ETC. JOSH FEIT
Power in Numbers
While they should be comrades, the left-wing Tenants Union and the class-conscious Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) have been separately organizing the same turf for months. Until last week, the two groups have been clinging to their own philosophies while missing a basic tenant of organizing--there's power in numbers. Last Friday at 11:00 a.m., they had a rendezvous at Lottie Motts Coffee Shop in Rainier Valley. The groups haven't made any major commitments to each other, but they've agreed to "mobilize our respective memberships," says Tenants Union organizer Aline Carton. This could add up to 1,500 residents out for justice. ALLIE HOLLY-GOTTLIEB