Cary Moon Is Running for Mayor of Seattle: An Interview With the Brand-Newest Murray Challenger

Comments

1
Hahahahahaha, brilliant! A kinder, gentler, more collaborative McGinn. She just sunk that blowhard's little toy boat.
2
surprised Heidi Groover didn't write this.
3
I don't know what strikes me as stranger: that Eli Sanders didn't ask about our homelessness "crisis," or that Cary Moon didn't bring it up. Anyone who thinks that it's just a matter of affordable housing is delusional.
4
@1 Plus, she hasn't been diddling gay street boys that we know of.
5
They are all the same, depressing. Blah, blah, blah. For those of us that drive and live a quasi single family neighborhood we have become pariahs in Seattle. She is a downtown 1%'er so I'm not sure she gets my life.
6
I like McGinn's apparent commitment to a Seattle income tax, and she ought to get on board. If her solutions are going to take a lot of money - and she seems to be pretty clear about that and the need to get that money from other sources than more property tax.

By the way, the Nikkita Oliver "idea" about "pause on development" is pure myth. That was something that came out of her mouth in a Q&A, but it wasn't what the article she ascribed it to said, it wasn't a position that she or anyone else has taken anywhere, and no one in the room at the time appeared to take it literally. Ask her, but taken literally, it's a myth. She, and Moon and everyone else, need to develop their positions before we have anything to go on.
7
@6 for the Seattle win
8
Yes, no mention of two big issues - homeless crisis and gun violence in this city. And not much detail on the transportation issues.
9
@5: moon is not a "downtown 1%-er". no design professional is a 1%-er.

good god you're a fucking whinger.
10
YES.
@3 her stance on homelessness is on her website. also, seriously, gun violence is one of seattle's biggest concerns? if you say so, i guess.....

Also The Stranger, please ask her about education? Nikkita has her beat there (naturally, being an educator) and Cary sends her kids to private school. There is meat here you should dig into.

11
Whoops, I meant to @8 on that first one, though MitS did mention homelessness
12
@6 "I like McGinn's apparent commitment to a Seattle income tax"

He's pandering. It's going to be struck down by the courts and he knows it. When politicians make plans they can't do, and know they can't do, central to their platform, you should be offended that they're taking you for such an easy mark. (See also Sawant, Grant, et al on rent control.)
13
and this

By the way, the Nikkita Oliver "idea" about "pause on development" is pure myth. That was something that came out of her mouth in a Q&A, but it wasn't what the article she ascribed it to said, it wasn't a position that she or anyone else has taken anywhere, and no one in the room at the time appeared to take it literally. Ask her, but taken literally, it's a myth.

is utter nonsense. I certainly grant you it's less troubling that it was made as an off the cuff remark and not part of her platform, but that doesn't mean it's not troubling at all--it reveals a deeply impoverished understanding of the dynamics of the affordability crisis--sufficiently impoverished that people who care about that have very good reason to be concerned.

She could put those concerns to rest by disavowing them, and making a clear statement that demonstrates she understands that solving a housing shortage by making the shortage more acute is deeply foolish. Until she does that, it's not a "myth" that she said it, and that voters who care about housing affordability are right to be troubled by it.
14
Attached is an article featuring Cary Moon from years' back: http://www.solaripedia.com/files/530.pdf
15
@12 He isn't making it up, there's a serious effort under way with council members like Johnson cheerleading for it. The conclusion that the state constitution forbids a (graduated) income tax is based on the somewhat bizarre notion that an income tax is a property tax, and I believe the last time it was seriously challenged was in the McCarthy era. State law forbids Seattle to impose an income tax, which would need a legislative fix and that would probably be most of the work (but I'm not involved in this effort and don't know all the details.)
16
@13 If you're with Murray and the council on housing and land use policy, then indeed you have reason to be concerned. But distorted portrayal of what she said isn't the way to cope with that. The phrase was used to describe the position taken in a Times editorial, which she brought up to say that she found some points of agreement. The editorial never said "pause on development", and no one at the time bothered to ask her what that meant - because they knew it wasn't what she meant.
17
@15 every analysis I've seen confident of the constitutionality comes from a backer who's spoiling for a legal fight. Maybe they think they have a chance with the court, but I think they're more realistic about that privately than publicly.

The issues are complicated, but the notion that the only precedent is recent is simply wrong--it's been upheld and treated as good, binding precedent many times, including in the 21st century. Here's a good rundown of the legal question from the 1098 days

https://www.seattlemet.com/articles/2010…

My sense is that people who support the tax (as I do!) strategically overstate the constitutional case to keep it politically alive, and are privately more skeptical it would pass muster under current constitutional law. The court striking it down would be one step in a long political battle--one I expect they'll lose, even if the Democrats win big statewide in 18 and 20. I'm deeply pessimistic the state Democratic party is ever going to get serious about progressive tax reform at the state level. Reuven Carlyle is sadly quite lonely in his commitments on this issue.

@16 To read her statement as not endorsing a development pause (while we "go back to the neighborhoods" and "think strategically") requires a very lawyerly approach. The implication is perfectly clear and straightforward.

And so, I think—so, the Seattle Times put up a really great article today—I don’t say that often, but they did today—they were talking about the need to maybe put a pause on development and reassess. And I think what needs to happen is going back into communities and having conversations about what does Seattle actually want and who do we actually want to be.
.....

And I don’t think we’re going to get to the answer easy because there are people who want hella density. Some of y’all are in this room. If we get more density but not better transportation, then we’re screwed. If we get more density and it still pushes black and brown folks out, we’re screwed. So, I think we have to put a pause and really think strategically. And there’s nothing wrong with thinking strategically.


The context here is perfectly obvious. If she didn't mean what the context straightforwardly implies, she should say so. To my knowledge, she hasn't.
18
Another Murray, McGinn clone. And the word is profiting, not profiteering. Respect the language please. Can't we have a candidate who understands economics. I guess we could have Cleveland or Detroit, where developers lose money and nobody wants to live there. Or we can have a robust city that has demands for housing due to all the people moving in; where anyone who sells at a profit, or wishes to not lose money by investing is profiting, or per Moon "profiteering". And let's not forget to eat the rich, another requirement of every candidate so far. I am waiting for someone to show up with an original thought.
19
@17 Yes, she was talking about a pause, but lawyerly or not, it wasn't a "pause on development." You know that, and the Stranger reporters know it but whether out of malice or just sloppiness keep pulling that one up. What does "pause on development" mean? Construction workers sent home, architects talk on the phone and tidy up their offices, etc.? It's ridiculous. The context is that Times editorial, which said no such thing.
20
it wasn't a "pause on development."

The context of her words provide no other suggestion about what she could possibly be talking about "pausing." That you don't even offer an alternative interpretation is quite revealing--there's nothing else in the context of her remarks she could possibly be talking about "pausing."

21
The State and City have revenues flowing in at record rates and all these candidates talk about is new taxes.
22
The context, for the third time, is the Times editorial. You have only to read to the 3rd sentence in that editorial to know that it calls for a pause before proceeding with (MHA) upzones. Not a pause in the record-breaking pace of development that has been going on without those upzones; not a pause in development that would be unimaginably weird to implement.
23
Once again, why has The Stranger buried this story? Not in line with their editorial view that Ed Murray can do no wrong because he's gay? Well, I'm gay. I don't fuck little boys.
24
@Eli Sanders -- I believe your link to "Missing Middle" is wrong. Either that, or you misinterpreted what she was saying. The question was about building heights, and she started by saying she wanted to take a step back and look at housing development in general. The phrase "missing middle" is short for "missing middle housing" , basically small apartments and ADUs. Essentially anything that adds density without being bigger than nearby houses (converting a house to an apartment would qualify).

Since roughly 2/3 of the housing in Seattle doesn't allow that sort of development, it is pretty easy to argue that this is the most important change to housing that could occur. Change the rules and lots of cheap apartments are built, which not only leads to cheaper market housing (all other things being equal) but allows the city to provide a lot more publicly subsidized apartments. This certainly wouldn't solve the homelessness problem, but it would definitely help.
25
Take off your blinders! That whole paragraph is about the things that we need to do, to address problems that adding more density has not addressed and is not going to. Missing middle is one of them - the households with enough resources that they don't qualify for any support, but who aren't affluent enough for ANY market rate housing. You're entitled to your fantasies, like "change the rules and lots of cheap apartments" (cheap to build, OK, but market rates are market rates.) But in terms of where we are actually going despite a record pace of construction of new units, Moon, and Sanders, are talking about exactly that missing middle.
26
@25 -- You may have posted your comment before mine was added. The term "missing middle" when applied to housing is not really about the market, but about the type of housing. Basement apartments, apartment conversions, duplexes, townhouses and even small apartments could be considered "missing middle" housing. In contrast, single family homes on big lots or big apartment buildings form the edges of the spectrum. The website has more details.

Of course one can argue that one big reason why the rent is so damn high ( to paraphrase the book by the same name) is because of zoning. Market rate housing is artificially high because the supply is held low by an artificial (if unintended) cartel.

The effect of zoning on this missing middle is pronounced, and there is a decent amount of evidence that not only is it held back considerably by regulations, but that overall, the missing middle can provide the cheapest housing. This stands to reason, when you consider that this type of housing is relatively cheap to create. Even when rents are low, it makes sense to add a basement apartment, whereas tearing down a house and building a new apartment does not.

You are correct, in that there are people who simply can not afford any market rate housing anywhere. Not in Seattle, not in Yakima, not in Detroit. For people in that situation, public subsidies are essential. But such subsidies are most effective if market rate housing is cheaper, and changing the regulations does precisely that.