Good for her for recognizing that she's not cut out for the job. There's still a long time left in her term, though, so she should still resign.
How hard is it to ask the police not to attack people with guns, tear gas, and other weapons of war?
Too hard, apparently.
Mayors and chiefs of police used to at least pay lip service to having good relationships with the community. Durkan and Best burned it to the ground.
They had to obliterate the village in order to save it.
I'm still waiting for an accounting of the East Precinct abandonment. The East Precinct staff knows, but I guess they aren't telling.
Why would she want to run again when she is so obviously hated? Seattle sure has a problem with mayors.
I’m sure I’m in the minority within this commentariat, but I think Durkan navigated the shitshow of 2020 about as well as any mayor could. Which is to say: she never really had a chance.
During the protests, a no-win situation for her, she equally pissed off both the left and the right, which means that she found the only appropriate balance. But her only rewards were anger and ridicule. On the virus front, she annoyed me by not cutting through more red tape to loosen outdoor dining/cocktail distribution restrictions in place, but that’s a huge lift in this process-crazy town, and she did manage to eventually get a lot of restrictions removed.
Much of what came her way, like the West Seattle bridge closure, was absolutely not her fault and actually more an indictment of her predecessors. Did she fuck up? Yes. She absolutely botched, for instance, the streetcar situation in the ID/Pioneer Square through her inaction and indecisiveness. But again, that was a mess not of her creation, and/or a result of the bad stewardship which proceeded her.
I think she’s a good person who did what she thought was right and honestly tried to do the least amount of harm. I thank her for her efforts. Now let’s go elect a superstar bad ass, because the current state of the city demands nothing less.
Who will preside next over the deterioration of Seattle?
She is resigning to let Gonzales or whichever stooge from SCC that undoubtedly lands the job stew in the shit-soup they've (SCC) created.
@2: Oh really? And which delusional cry-baby should fill in as interim mayor until the next election?
schmacky @7, fabulous comment. And covering a number of no-win situations--not just CHOP and the BLM protests. Speaking here as someone who's never been a Durkan fan.
I think another headwind she was facing is the lack of wisdom and leadership in the City Council. I'm inclined to trace that circumstance to the ill-advised move to district council elections that a notorious conservative activist in Magnolia finally managed to sell a short-memoried electorate on. But it the decline of the City Council could just as well be a broader America in 2020 thing.
It doesn't speak well for Seattle that we are a city that is notorious for one-term mayors. And if things really get ungovernable, that's when demagogues have a chance to step into the void. I'm fearful now of who our next mayor might be.
I would like you to nominate yourself, Karen.
durkan did what she was always going to do, which is maintain the status quo no matter how much people want change. She knows there are plenty of other stooges that amazon can install who will continue down this same, stupid path where the middle class votes against their best interest out of fear over the poor people while the wealthy watch on in glee from their ivory towers.
@14 Right. But there needs to be an accounting. Something official. We need to at least aspire to expect more than petulant fuckery from our "police" even if those feckless degenerates let us down over and over.
No. That’s like saying there’s no way to save up for car repairs because surprise bills keep coming due. At some point, one has to start planning for the surprises. I haven’t heard of a mayor in America that everyone’s just thrilled with over how they’ve handled police brutality, the pandemic, or the economic collapse, but Durkan, as a law enforcement/corporate centrist, has managed this particularly poorly. Stating that she didn’t make anyone happy means that she made the right choices is self-evidently ridiculous.
The problem is that Plantation America’s system of governance via oligarchy, racist hatred, and state-sponsored terrorism is coming crashing down. People have reached the breaking point. I don’t have the answers, I wish that I did, but a society that fails everyone except the rich isn’t one that’s gonna be around much longer. We need alternatives pronto.
This announcement is not surprising in the least and I would echo the comments of those who say Durkin did the best she could with that hand she was dealt. This is now the third consecutive one-term mayor for Seattle and none of them have left the city on good terms. I truly wonder who can succeed in this city and what that administration would look like.
I would guess the front runner is now Mosqueda and I would expect she'll announce she is running soon. People continually talk about a candidate stepping up to balance the leftward tilt of the council and the demands of the various activist groups but who is that person. It's hard to envision a scenario where Seattle does not veer farther to the left. It sure is going to make for an interesting year in Seattle politics.
2 Ditto that.
Durkan landed way over her level of incompetence with this job. If she has "imposter syndrome" it is well-earned.
Durkan spent (whose & how much?) money in court to keep herself off a recall ballot. Hardly a measure of accomplishment.
And then there's "duck & hide" policy during times of crises which needs explaining from her.
Mayor Durkin simply does not want to be at the helm when the Titanic sinks. (Poor Captain Smith, that is all he is ever remembered for.) Good news for the SPD detractors; no need to defund the police department once Mayor Moon, or Mayor Oliver, is sworn in. The department will cease to exist, after serving the City of Seattle, professionally for the most part, for 151 years.
Look, she has nothing to show for her time in office. That, in itself, says something.
You don't run to be Mayor if you think it's a job where you represent corporate interests, or suburban interests.
You run to represent the citizens of the city you will be Mayor of.
She never understood that part.
No matter what you do, there will be complaining, most of it from people who aren't citizens of the city you're Mayor of - her mistake was to listen mostly to people who represented the interests of those who aren't actually Seattle citizens.
At the end of the day, when you fail to get who you work for - the citizens - we toss you out or you leave of your own volition.
Get out, before you're driven out.
Careful...Raindrop Karen is going to speak to the manager about you.
I predict that a Sawant-esque nut job will capture the imagination of the left and receive a nomination, but that a crypto-Republican will emerge who will win, because people will be afraid of the Sawant-esque nut job, and tired of the same old song-and-dance.
Really, all that candidate would have to do is be presentable and keep their fascist tendencies to themselves.
It can happen here.
Durkan could have governed Seattle for the 99%- she chose to govern solely for the 1%(Amazon, Big Mermaid, the banks).
And @14 has it right: it was the police's fault that they lost the East Precinct. Their brutality made it happen, and there was no decent way they could have stayed there after the unprovoked repression they inflicted on the nonviolent afternoon protests.
It would have served no one but the rich for the SPD to go in, Mayor Daley/Frank Rizzo/Rudy/Trump style and "preserve disorder" through massive brutality.
What possible good could have come of them storming in, possibly killing dozens, perhaps hundreds of people- we can already assume they would have deployed lethal violence with no restraints whatsoever- and reimposing their presence in a way the neighborhood would never have recovered from, in a way that would have destroyed everything creative, positive and hopeful on those streets for decades to come?
What greater good could possibly have been served by that?
Certainly not the fight against police racism.
Certainly not the work of making Seattle a city in which all who live there are equally welcome, respected, and protected from want or fear,
Certainly not public order or safety in any recognizable sense
Who would even have wanted to live in a neighborhood where the law and order savagery needed to retake the Precinct by force happened?
What could there have been to live FOR in a neighborhood like that?
At that stage, the only thing to do would have been to turn it all into a soulless, lifeless gated community.
And before anyone dredges this up again, yes it was wrong that two people died, and nobody has defended that.
But their loss, tragic as it was, doesn't outweigh the good that the ideas associated with CHAZ and CHOP embody. Those ideas are still valid and the city would be transformed for the massi vely better if they were implemented throughout Seattle.
We need autonomous zones.
We need as many community gardens as possible.
We need creativity and poetry as much as we need "commerce"- if not more.
Why couldn't Durkan admit that what had happened at CHAZ/CHOP and the issues of massive violent police racism meant that it was finally time for real negotiations between the police and the victims of violent police racism? Why couldn't she have the guts to tell the Police Guild to fuck off?
The fundamental issue for me is when Seattle has had the option of someone who is actually progressive, or someone like Durkan who pretends to be progressive in their statements, and then spends most of their actual political effort watering down and killing the legislation that accomplishes the things they pretended to support, we choose the faker.
I am not sure if the Seattle electorate demands to be lied to, but that apparently is what the big money consultants tell their clients. I personally would prefer an honest moderate, that actually levels with Seattle about what it will take to fix our current accumulating problems, or even honestly says they have no interest in fixing them.
This was always clearly a stepping stone for Durkan, she was only interested in governing Seattle as a means to her own end. Good riddance.
sigh. she wasn't great but i fear a waaaaay left nutter may win, like "lil freckles" oliver, or worse, one of the waaay left nutters on the city council.
I know many will be glad she's not running.
But who will replace her?
I wonder that Seattle is becoming ungovernable.
Oh for the placid days of Norm Rice!
Bring back McGinn. Maybe Seattle has realized what they had and lost.
I've been here since the late 90s. She's close being a Mayor Schell, but she definitely should've and probably could've reigned in the SPD long before the protests started. She won't be missed after her terms ends.
Let the Mayoral Hunger Games begin.
Hopefully we will elect someone who actually is capable of doing the job, instead of hoping (once again) that they are quick learners. Norm Rice was the last person who came from the city council. He is also the last decent mayor, in my opinion. Ever since then, we've elected people with little or no experience in city government. Here are the mayors since Rice:
Paul Schell -- Port commissioner.
Greg Nickels -- King County representative and assistant to city council member Norm Rice (the most qualified of this group).
Mike McGinn -- Head of the local Sierra Club.
Ed Murray -- State legislator.
Jenny Durkan -- U. S. Attorney
I'm not counting the people who took over temporarily. Basically, the only mayors to get reelected in the last 30 years were people who had some sort of experience in city government before taking over. I don't want a demagogue. I want someone who knows how to do the fucking job.
So yeah, Mosqueda or Gonzalez would be fine. Excellent really. Gonzalez is the obvious choice, as she is the council president.
Nobody is a front-runner. Mosqueda is certainly not. Nobody has declared. Stranger readers speak for themselves and not the community. We might just about be ready for a person to run who is a grown up, who understands when children need to have limits set on them, including enforcing laws of civility and minor matters like repeated theft, and trespass. Who will pull the welcome mat of our city that has led to it being a destination for vagrants from the nation (3rd largest homeless population while we are 18th overall population. And one who won't be cowed by those throwing around terms like "crypto-fascist" whatever that means, as an earlier comment said.
Now the challenge is for an electable and credible centrist with thick skin to run, and for those who sit on their asses and write notes in the Stranger or Seattle Times (two of the only publications allowing comments) to actually open their check-books and support candidates who do not have the blessings of the hard left. If those who want alternatives to the current council and mayor to prevail, they have to engage and not worry about being liked by the usual suspects. See how well that has served us as a city. Oh, don't forget we need a new city attorney. There are lots of well trained attorneys, some of whom may have the talent and experience to provide an alternative, you know someone who actually takes on cases and prosecutes people who commit crimes, leaving the social engineering to others.
Unfortunately there are very few people with the skills and resume to take the job of Mayor of Seattle.
Tim Burgess would be interesting, but at 71 years-old he should enjoy his retirement and not have to deal with the adolescents on the Seattle City Council.
Carmen Best would also be an interesting choice. She's an accomplished and experienced African-American woman. Unfortunately she evidently doesn't live in Seattle.
Bruce Harrell is still a young 61. He understands the city and the council though it doesn't seem he has experience as the executive of a large organization.
Of the three Best is the only one with executive experience.
Thanks to the idiocy of the top-two primary there will probably be three dozen candidates on the ballot. Most of those will be from the "Prefers Image over Substance Party." Hopefully the "Prefers Competence over Ideology Party" can rally around a single candidate. Otherwise we might see GoodspaceGuy facing Nikkita Oliver in the general.
A very nice professionally produced video, good use of ambient light in a neighborhood she would never live in, moving camera, wonderful stills of a happy Seattle during a pandemic and beautiful licenced swan song background music. Very professional. Glad her campaign paid for it instead of Taxpayers.
This is something a Diva would do. Even Presidents use a press conference to say they aren't running and that's enough. The expense of a professional video for her supporters (?) when a simple press conference would do, yeah I know she did that too. She should of spent that money on downtown businesses. I was downtown today and nobody is there and it's Christmas. I can only imagine what will happen when she really focuses on Seattle as she promises next year.
She can't wait to retire on her 70 Acre plus home on Whidbey Island, largest privately owned acreage there no less. Patty Murray is up there too with her water front property.
Exactly. "Dune" release delayed. Last season of "Better Call Saul" - who knows when that will be released? We are looking at a huge Show Hole due to covid-19. The Seattle Mayoral Shit Show is going to be fabulous entertainment, filling the void.
@6 -- Yeah, maybe Seattle has a problem with mayors.
Or maybe, just maybe, Seattle has a problem with haters.
@7 & @27 Good, insightful comments. Thank you. While surprises could well be in store, I suspect if Mosqueda runs (and Carmen Best does not) she will be the front-runner and eventual victor. IF she runs. The Stranger's snarky glee about Durkan aside, many people in Seattle want a consensus builder, not a sanctimonious scold. Mosqueda has served as that kind of consensus-builder on the council. She has credibility with the left but is not so far left that she would automatically alienate the center. That is why she beat Jon Grant several years back, and she has burnished her reputation since. But... eleven months is a long, long time. Don't think so? Remember how the world looked in January of THIS year? Seems like a decade ago. So, we'll see... Meanwhile, some good comments on this thread. Thanks.
@31: All, right...I apologize for getting the numbers wrong.
I can see that that can read as disrespect for those who died, and I should have been better than that.
But what happened there was solely the responsibility of whichever individuals fired the weapons. There is no way you can justify blaming everyone involved in CHAZ/CHOP for those tragic events discredits everything else that happened.
There was a lot of good in it.
It was good that a culture of mutual aid and creativity existed there.
It was good that people showed that it was possible to run society without arrogant elitist "authority figures".
The people running CHAZ/CHOP made mistakes- among other things, they should have made a clear set of demands in exchange for at least partially standing down- they should have had an "exit strategy".
But clearly, nothing would have been better if they hadn't set up the CHAZ at all. They could have done some things differently and I think most of the people who were involved in it acknowledge it
But we can't assume the killings wouldn't have happened if it hadn't been for CHAZ/CHOP- they were most likely some sort of personal "beef" and would simply have happened at some point anyway and it's just as likely that they would have happened if the Precinct had still been in place. It's not as though police prevent every possible violent act occurring anywhere near them.
Killings happen all over Seattle- and they are just as likely to occur in places where police are present.
And if you're going to say that these killings discredit CHAZ/CHOP, you'd have to also concede that the numerous incidence of unjustified police killings of black and brown people discredit the SPD and would justify disbanding it and replacing it with something better- with a law enforcement structure based on de-escalating situations and keeping everyone alive, rather than the pointless and useless objective of demanding that everyone obey the police for the SAKE of obeying the police.
And if you're going to act as though the killings-those indefensible yet unstoppable and individual acts, acts no one at all has defended- are the only thing that matter about CHAZ/CHOP, you'd also, I think have to be willing to consider this question: given the numerous incidents of racist police killings of people of color, why should ANYONE obey the police?
Why should the police have the right to intimidate everyone they wish to intimidate? Why should they be allowed to ignore it when people around them are telling them that the person they are brutally arresting is dying and has been so badly injured by them that she or he cannot possibly still be capable of resisting and should be let out of the chokehold or the foot on the neck?
Why should they have any of the power over us that they currently have, especially since they are clearly not on the side of the community as a whole, have no fellow feeling or positive vision of the community they police?
Why shouldn't they be required to actually LIVE in that community, rather than in right-wing enclaves of hatred and fear in the far suburbs where all they get is encouragement to be as rigid and brutal as possible?
Why should they be allowed to act as they currently do when they clearly no longer care about anything in the community they police other than wealthy, irrationally fearful white conservative, and treat as an enemies and threats virtually everyone in the community who is black, brown, Indigenous, Muslim, (and, once again Jewish), immigrant or LGBTQ?
Why should this institution be left as it is- as you clearly want it to be- or allowed to become even MORE rigid, bigoted, and gratuituously violent, when it is clear that the police, as currently constituted, will NEVER agree to any substantive change, will never listen to those who protest their actions, will never let go of their absurd, elitist, paranoid vision of themselves as something soldiers in a municipal army, in a world where every day is a war in which the enemy is everybody other than straight white Republican "Christians"?
Why not admit that what we have now in policing is an irredeemable failure and that the whole Daley/Wallace/Nixon/Rizzo/Reagan/Trump conception of "law and order" needs to be scrapped and replace with a notion of public safety that includes and respects us all?
You heard it here first- Alex Pedersen.
Jenny Durkin was the wrong person at the wrong time in Seattle.
If Seattle wants to get serious about holding violent, unaccountable police accountable they will need to stop electing prosecutors to higher office. Their entire job is to make excuses for and defend big business and corrupt cops.
The idea that anyone coming out of a prosecutor's office is in a position to hold corrupt police accountable is to misunderstand the relationship between prosecutors the police.
Let me add to my trip downtown this morning. Going by the big bus stop by the Medical Dental Building near the bordered up Bartell Drugs there were only two people sitting there. One with multiple blankets completely covering themselves and a black woman with an equally head slumped forward with just adequate clothing. She didn't have shoes just slippers, slippins, the kind that don't have upper heal coverings. Both of her heals were deeply callous dry and purple and one with a open crack that went all the way across her heal shaped like wide open smile and looked red inside. Her other heal as far as I could see was just purple.
@47: Then you oppose Kamala Harris as the next vice president?
Keep it Local - no carpet baggers! (Re)-Elect Bruce Harrell for mayor! Experience and PoC!
49: That's settled already. It's too late to stop Biden and Harris from being sworn in.
@49: Not that either politician is in this category, but during WWII you could be against Stalin AND Hitler as about 30% of American's were. It's sad that people like you must support stalags because you are against gulags.
Kamala Harris was a typical prosecutor. She incarcerated the poor parents for children who did not attend school, she defended prosecutors who hid evidence that would exonerate the innocent from death row, she defended cops who raped an underage sexual assault victim that passed her around in the Oakland police department in the name of "fighting sex trafficking," she knowingly incarcerated innocent men and fought to keep them incarcerated when DNA evidence proved they were innocent and a judge demanded their release on the grounds that the innocent filed their appeal past the deadline. She criminalized weed and sex work while laughing later about smoking weed herself and worked her way up in California politics by having a sexual relationship with powerful politician Willie Brown. When California took up mandatory sentence reform, she opposed it on the grounds the state could not afford to lose the free slave labor from the prison.
This is not to single out Kamala Harris. If you look at the track record of almost all prosecutors in Washington it's about the same and I would not promote them to any office that requires humanity such as mayor. Perhaps if we bring back the death penalty they are the most emotionally qualified to be the one who pulls the switch.
Her entire argument for being vice president, and it was a strong one, was that she was not a sleazy grifter like Donald Trump. That does not make her qualified to be mayor, or anything else.
@51: Obviously. Should have said 'approve of'
@52: Thanks for your response.
@54 - Where's Mark Sidran when you need him?
And yes, Trump/Pence in jail 2024!
Didn't Moon lose by like 20% points?
@54 You don't ever give up, do you?
I think I saw a Bush / Quayle bumper sticker on that rusted out pickup truck of yours.
And re-runs of the late Rush Limbaugh were blaring on the AM radio, with the volume turned up to 11.
But then, you were in favor of King George III, too.
@60: Rush is not dead.
@18 and @20 - I'm with you. In October, 2018, The City Council passed a resolution, 9-0, that certain community service centers, including Greenwood Senior Center, Byrd-Barr Place, and the Central Area Senior center (CASC), should become non-profits that would be independent of city control. As a 5-year member of CASC, I was directly involved in the battle with the Mayor's office that emerged after that City Council vote. And it felt like a war of attrition - we knew the Senior Center was sitting on some very valuable view property, and many members felt that the Mayor wanted to push all the users out and open the property to development. Every two months the Mayor and her minions in Finance would find new reasons, new details that needed to be satisfied and present them to the Directors and Boards.
In terms of the institutions located in the Central Area (all but the Greenwood Senior Center), it felt like a vote to continue institutionalized racism from Mayor Durkan's office. I can never forget the arrogant and condescending way that her office treated our director and Board.
And this from someone who, as a candidate, met with important members of the Black community before her election, where she committed to supporting and securing the future of Seattle's African American institutions. See how that went out the window after the election?
Throughout this turmoil CASC had broad community support, including from the Central Area Neighborhood Association and the Madison Park Times. A fundraiser to assist us in meeting one of Mayor Durkan's new criteria netted over $100K in three weeks.
We wrote letters to Durkan, emailed her every week, and at one point were able to get +45 members into cars and vans to testify at the City Council.
After TWO YEARS, in October the Mayor finally gave up her quest to control the destiny of Byrd-Barr Place, CASC, Africatown, and one other Central Area building, and called everyone in within 24 hours to begin the paperwork for the transfer of the buildings, which were signed off on November 10th. The CASC Director believes that not only our hard work, but also the summer of BLM Seattle protests led to this resolution.
I'm glad Mayor Durkan is going, because this is personal for me. The Central Area Senior Center had been serving area seniors for 50 years, and is highly respected for its community services. The CASC has been, and remains, an important touchstone in the Black community, a community that lifts it up every day, as they enrich the lives of our diverse city.
I'm not surprised in the least that Mayor Durkan isn't seeking a second term. Seattle's loony left has made politics in this town vicious and personal. It's bad enough having to attend boring public meetings and pretending to be interested in the bleatings of the Activist Class, but when you have Komrade Kshama the Broadway Bolshevik leading her Peasant's Crusade of howling blockheads to your waterfront manse, I think that was the real game-changer. Durkan's partner is the one with the REAL money and is notoriously publicity-shy; I'm guessing having peasants revolting (or is it revolting peasants?) at her gate was the last straw. It wouldn't surprise me if she put her foot down and told Jenny to choose her or the Mayor's Office. I'm guessing you don't get a very good night's sleep on the couch in the latter.
So what comes next? You're probably not going to see another moderate, even by Seattle standards. Forget a Mark Sidranesque moderate-conservative. You've a better chance of seeing Bigfoot giving Kurt Cobain a blowjob on the corner of 3rd & Pine than seeing a conservative, or for that matter ANY white CISgender male in that office anytime soon.
What you'll probably get is someone who's some combination of female, BIPOC, or LGBTQ+XYZDoReMiWhatever (or all of the above), who can put the words 'DiversityEquityInclusion' into every other sentence they utter.
I also predict you see the end of the coalition of Socialist Alliance, BLM Inc., and the Homeless-Industrial Complex. That will dissolve spectacularly in a scrum for power, influence and tax money that will make "Game of Thrones" look like a particularly boring episode of "Downton Abbey".
I would be popping the corn and settling in for the show except for the creeping sense of inescapable dread I feel, knowing that as Seattle continues to lurch uncontrollably to the left, what has been an slow drift towards becoming 'Baltimore West' is about to become a vertical plunge.
@52 I'm not actually a fan of Harris- and I take your point on the Stalin-Hitler thing(although in that choice, I would not have backed Hitler).
I'm just saying that it's not as if she can still be stopped from becoming vice president.
@61. He will be, soon. And most of the country will not miss him. I mean, this is a guy who is so committed to preserving and expanding white supremacism that he got himself fired from a job as a commentator on NFL games by insisting there should never be black quarterbacks.
Thank you, Mayor Durkan, for providing leadership. No one will ever agree with every decision you made, but dealing with the whiny, spoiled children on our City Council would try the patience of any leader. After we voters failed to elect actual adults last year, your departure was merely a matter of time. Good luck in your future endeavors.
@66: by "actual adults", tensor means people who treat the rich and the police as the natural rulers of the earth, and who believe there's no problem that can't be solved with beatings, pepper spray, mass arrests and eviction notices in the dead of winter.
@45: All of that, and you can't even use the word "murder" to describe what happened. You had two chances, and excellent instruction on how to @31, and you still couldn't do it. Instead, you wrote this piece of fatuous speculation:
'But we can't assume the killings wouldn't have happened if it hadn't been for CHAZ/CHOP- they were most likely some sort of personal "beef" and would simply have happened at some point anyway...'
The dead had it coming to them! They would have died anyway, so who cares?
Isn't that what defenders of police killings say about young, dead Black men?
Yes, yes it is.
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