Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant supports rent control.
Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant supports rent control. City of Seattle

Because we are all destined to repeat certain debates over and over until we die alone, you can once again watch Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant debate the merits of rent control with local developer lobbyist Roger Valdez.

Two and a half years ago, Sawant and Valdez had this debate before a packed house at Town Hall. At that time, the Seattle City Council was considering a resolution expressing its support for lifting the state ban on rent control. This year, State Representative Nicole Macri, a Democrat who represents Capitol Hill, has introduced a bill in the state legislature to repeal the ban. The bill is a long-shot (even that characterization may be too generous), but it has reignited the local debate about rent control. So, Sawant and Valdez debated the issue again, this time on Seattle Channel.

While many economists say rent control doesn't work, Sawant blames developer and landlord lobbyists for "loopholes" in American rent control measures. Valdez makes a supply-and-demand case and bemoans new "per-square foot taxes," by which he presumably means affordability requirements.

Watch the full debate, made newly available a few days ago, here: