Amazon's Spent $450,000 on Seattle Elections This Year, Alex Pedersen Corrects the Record on Upzones, and More Election News

Comments

1

Last night there was a cyclist hit by a car on Aurora Ave N (no deets), so I had to get off the express bus heading S halfway along the Zoo, and walked thru my old neighborhood, where I saw there is a 5 story MFH building being built soon in that mostly SFH neighborhood just S of the Zoo.

Excellent!

Now, rezone Seattle back to 6 story MFH everywhere we have SFH zoning, restoring it to the original pre-racist zoning in 1933, and get on with it.

And upzone all the wealthy neighborhoods to 24 story MFH with zero parking set-asides.

2

“...when it comes to buying a council that won't force his company to pay for the housing and homelessness crisis they are largely responsible for.”

For years, surveys of Seattle’s homeless have shown the majority arrived here already homeless, use alcohol and other drugs, and may have mental-health issues. Apparently Amazon was importing them, or something.

(Or, the actual “housing crisis” roiling writers at The Stranger is our city’s outrageous and unconscionable lack of 1bd/1br apartments in Pike/Pine for $500/mo. Now, Amazon is somewhat responsible for that!)

3

More high superbox MFH, far less sunlight, more suicides, alcoholism, despair and crime.

4

@2 tensor, tensor. The primaries happened. The narrative is dead. Hobo-hatred will not create a populist wave to sweep the loathsome liberals out of office.

The people of this city want progressive leadership. You are going to have to accept this. Your narrative died, and it is time to let go of the corpse now.

5

@3 Kinda weird, then, that the suicide and opioid epidemics are both concentrated in small-town and rural America, far away from the sunlight-devouring towers of the Big City. What's up with that?

6

There's still SFH in Queens for goodness sake.

7

@1, What, you want our population to triple or more?

8

"She gave election-related interviews to Crosscut and KUOW, but the most I could get out of her was 45 seconds at a press conference before her staff cut me off."

Maybe she knows a cheap shot artist when she sees one, Lester?

Or, maybe, she just despises manbuns.

9

The Stranger's writers do like to flog themselves a dead narrative:

"Right, because people who have been forced onto the streets because of rapidly rising housing costs and income inequality are really just playing too many video games and smoking too much pot."

From the city's homeless survey of 2016, reported by The Stranger (https://www.thestranger.com/slog/2017/03/03/24967599/new-survey-finds-most-people-experiencing-homelessness-in-seattle-were-already-here-when-they-became-homeless):

"When asked what caused their homelessness, 25 percent said a lost job, 13 percent said alcohol or drug use, and 11 percent said they couldn't afford a rent increase. Twenty-nine percent of respondents said they use alcohol, 35 percent said they use hard drugs like meth, heroin, and crack, 42 percent said they have depression, and 31 percent said they have post-traumatic stress disorder."

So, the homeless themselves said "rent increase" was the LEAST common reason for their condition, while alcohol and harder drug use was common. Given the strong bias to report the exact opposite results -- you know, the results that would support, not contradict, the narrative repeatedly claimed in this post? -- they chose to admit that rental costs were the least of their problems.

Despite all of this clear evidence, our current City Council insisted housing affordability was the root of our homeless problem, and spent tens of millions of dollars a year on the wrong solutions. This fed a truly parasitic homeless-industrial complex, led by "homeless advocates" with six-figure salaries, all of which burgeoned even as an obviously drug-addled homeless population proliferated across the city. Taxing our jobs to feed this beast prompted a citizen revolt the Council and sycophants never saw coming, and they still can't believe they have lost that civic debate for good.

One of the chief architects of our failed policy, CM O'Brien, was told by his own closest political allies not to bother running for re-election, and the prime blamer of Amazon, CM Sawant, had to spend gobs of not-from-Seattle money to buy a truly sad showing in the recent primary election. This is what blatantly lying to voters, scapegoating an innocent local employer, and basing legislation on ideology instead of reality has done so far to our Council.

Let's hope we voters continue to clean house in November and beyond.

10

@9 I see you still haven't made up your mind about the Poppe report. Were its recommendations correct? Is the city carrying out those recommendations?

Do you just switch your position depending on what's convenient for the phrase you're currently writing, or do you have a schedule of some sort?

11

It bemuses me when people try to say there is not a problem here because it is far worse somewhere else. Do we actually want it to get that bad before it is "a problem?"

12

@4: If you want to quote my claim that “...Hobo-hatred will create a populist wave to sweep the loathsome liberals out of office” please go right ahead. With a godlike perspicacity which you can never possibly hope to understand, I shall boldly predict you’ll do nothing of the sort.

My actual explanation for why the current occupants of our City Council face difficulty can be found @9, and @10 we can see your refusal to engage that explanation.

13

@12 Yeah, you're right, that report is really complicated and hard to read. I should cut you some slack.

The corpse of your narrative is starting to stink, friend. You need help.

14

@13: Thank you for validating my prediction @12. It is rare to receive such a completely validating compliment from an erstwhile adversary.

Again, if you want to quote my statement(s) of this “narrative” you keep attributing to me, please go right ahead. Again, I shall predict your humiliating failure to do so.

Go ahead, prove me wrong. Quote my statements.

Good luck with that.

15

@14 Let go of it, tensor. Let go of the corpse. Your narrative is dead.

16

@15: Thanks again for validating my prediction.

(How many incumbents must lose in November before you admit there might actually be a connection between aggressively incompetent policymaking and voter dissatisfaction?)

17

@16:

Tensor FTW.

18

@4 I hope you're right and you may well be, but let's hold off on the victory declarations until Nov. 5. The amount of money Amazon and the Chamber are spending is inevitably going to have some effect, even if (as you obviously believe, and I'm inclined to agree) it ultimately won't be enough. But prematurely crowing over the likely result as though it's a sure thing only feeds the kind of voter complacency that might just lose it for us, as has happened far too many times in the past. There's much work to be done between now and Election Day.

19

@18: What about our current Council is worth keeping? That’s a serious question.

Although @4 (and later) tediously refuses to recognize this fact, a primary election where a majority of incumbents fail to earn 50 per cent of the vote shows deep voter dissatisfaction with our status quo. Whether that can overcome the inherent advantages of incumbency remains to be seen, but I’m dedicating at least half my Democracy Vouchers to retiring our remaining incumbents. I’m glad Amazon’s leaders have decided to fight back against the demonization of their company by our current Council. Maybe they can help us replace our current Council with inclusive leaders, rather than implacable dividers.

20

@19 The current council does leave a lot to be desired, but at least they have moved city policy somewhat away from the idea that homelessness and drug addiction are problems best dealt with primarily through law enforcement. Decades of experience have shown that Seattle can never be made an unattractive destination for transient poverty as long as its outdoor climate is generally survivable both summer and winter (which only a handful of other large cities can claim, virtually all of them on the West Coast). The growth in visibly unhoused people here is reflective not of excessive generosity but of growing poverty and homelessness nationwide. However distasteful this may sound to some who (like me) remember city life in the days before the federal government under Reagan abandoned its commitment to housing for all, we have to find ways of accepting and integrating these people into civic society rather than "othering" them and trying to make them as miserable as possible in the futile hope of pushing them elsewhere. The Amazon/Chamber funded candidates, to varying degrees, essentially want city policy to move back in that direction. Preventing this mindset from retaking the council majority through sheer force of money is the highest priority for progressives in this particular election. I sincerely wish we could focus on other, more constructive tasks.

21

@20: I'd seriously like examples of all the generalities you just mentioned:

"The current council does leave a lot to be desired, but at least they have moved city policy somewhat away from the idea that homelessness and drug addiction are problems best dealt with primarily through law enforcement."

We, Seattle's citizen voters, de-criminalized cannabis before we, the state's voters did so. Most crimes of the type you describe are prosecuted by King County. What exactly did our Council do towards this claim you've made?

"Decades of experience have shown that Seattle can never be made an unattractive destination for transient poverty as long as its outdoor climate is generally survivable both summer and winter (which only a handful of other large cities can claim, virtually all of them on the West Coast)."

There actually used to be many more encampments in my neighborhood until Mayor Durkan started aggressively having them swept. Yes, there have been homeless persons in Seattle ever since it was founded, but is the next generality you mention really the whole story?

"The Amazon/Chamber funded candidates, to varying degrees, essentially want city policy to move back in that direction."

I'm not seeing that. What I am seeing is persons who want Council Members who can actually listen to constituents, instead of getting us sued over the Showbox.

22

When has the property tax rate gone down? If this argument were correct, we should be seeing rates dropping like a stone. Instead, valuations go up and total bills do too. The increases are certainly going to be passed on to tenants (at least to the extent the market will bear). I am not saying that the tax money collected is not needed, but the argument that more housing construction will ever cause rates to fall is at best disingenuous.