Today is the Ides of March which means we are two months away from the May 15 filing deadline to run for City Council. So far 52 people have decided to run for our city’s legislative body. What have all these folks been up to? Let’s do the City Council election news…
Ari Hoffman shares fake beheading news: Ari Hoffman, a candidate in South Seattle's District 2, helped spread some fake news put out by the Facebook group Safe Seattle earlier this week. A Saturday night post on the popular Facebook group claimed that a person had been beheaded at a North Beacon Hill homeless encampment and was subsequently covered up by the Seattle Police Department. SPD clarified on Monday that they had not seen any evidence of the beheading, but that wasn’t before Hoffman shared the Facebook post from his campaign.
This is Safe Seattle's city council candidate, Ari Hoffman, trying to bolster his campaign by spreading a completely false story about a homeless, drug addicted, axe murderer cutting off people's heads. This is disqualifying, and Hoffman should end his campaign immediately. pic.twitter.com/6vylPgK63M
— Spek (@spekulation) March 11, 2019
Here’s how Neal McNamara of Patch summarized the connection between this bit of fake news and the Safe Seattle facebook group.
“The gruesome murder story fits with the theme of the Safe Seattle Facebook page: titillating people with tales of homeless people run amok at all costs.”
Speaking of Safe Seattle: A second group called SPEAK OUT Seattle, which appears to be at least somewhat connected to Safe Seattle, is getting exceedingly involved in this year’s City Council races. The group is hosting candidate forums and social gatherings in nearly every council race.
Speaking of SPEAK OUT Seattle: Emily Myers, a candidate in District 4, announced Friday that she would not take part in any events with SPEAK OUT Seattle or Safe Seattle.
“Groups that simplify the causes of this crisis, advocate for criminalizing homelessness, or divide our communities against people who are living unsheltered take our city backwards rather than helping address this public health crisis,” Myers said in a press release.
Myers is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Washington.
Shaun Scott Joins The Kids: Youth from around the world went on strike today to protest inaction over climate change and our Slog AM intern Timothy Kenney snagged some great photos and ran into Shaun Scott at Seattle's outpost of the strike. Scott, who is running in District 4, gave a "short, but eloquent speech" about "intersectional ways to address climate change that work for all people," according to Kenney.
Andrew Lewis wants you to learn about lumber: City Council candidate Andrew Lewis penned an editorial for The Urbanist about the environmental benefits of building new construction out of cross-laminated timber. The material, referred to as CLT, is more environmentally friendly than other building techniques but has pretty strict requirements on how it can be used in buildings. Lewis, who is an assistant city attorney for the city, said he wants to increase the height of buildings that CLT can be built with.
Jeanne Kohl-Welles isn’t finished: King County Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles told David Gutman at the Times yesterday that she will seek reelection to the council. When I asked her last month if she was running for reelection she said she would announce her intentions by “mid-to-late March.” Kohl-Welles already has one serious opponent, Abigail Doerr, a pro-environment and pro-transit organizer that has worked on a long list of initiative campaigns despite being only 29 years old.
Today in Seattle municipal history: What happened on the Ides of March in Seattle in years past? HistoryLink has us covered: In 1924, King County Sheriff’s deputies found 30 gallons of sake at 917 Weller Street in the International District; The Fanny Morgan Phelps Company gave Seattle its first Shakespeare performance with a production of “The Taming of the Shrew” at Yesler Hall in 1875; and Gov. Clarence D. Martin made dance marathons illegal statewide in 1937 (the backstory on this law is crazy, read the HistoryLink article).