My homies over at at Seattlish recently did a ballot guide. And, as they note, it is super easy for folks to do their own damn ballot guides instead of bitching about how other people's are wrong. They also use gifs. I can't figure out how to embed a gif in Squarespace, so I'm going to lead off with a picture:
SO, for fun, I'm going to do one in their fashion! There are areas wherein we agree, areas where we don't, and blah blah blah. So, the #Hashtag #Seattlish Style Ballot Guide:
YES - Cary Moon, Jessyn Farrell, Mike McGinn, Nikkita Oliver
NO - Jenny Durkan
MEH - Bob Hasegawa
Cary Moon - As I've written previously, Cary is by far one of the smartest people running for mayor. She brings some of the most detailed plans to the table, and has an equity lens that is awesome. My concerns: as a rule, I am growing to dislike self-funded campaigns, and a lack of elective or significant managerial experience gives me pause. But she'd still be super dope as Mayor, and I think she would bring on staff people who know what's what.
Jessyn Farrell - I think I endorsed Jessyn (at least I'm listed on her website as such). Jessyn is badass, wicked smart, and a policy nerd on a lot of municipal issues. That's a good thing. She has elective experience (YAY!), but no managerial experience or high-level leadership in the House Democratic Caucus. But, she's showing she can raise money and be a solid progressive mayor. She's pretty much fantastic.
Mike McGinn - I'm generally on team #BanAllMen. And I don't care for anything that even appears as pandering to groups I don't care for. But every fucking candidate is doing it, so I can't complain too much. Mike had a rough first go as Mayor, but really grew over time. He's since continued to be engaged in civic policy, and in supporting young progressive candidates. I'm pretty sure I endorsed him this go-around, as well, so there's that. He's good on the environment, good on transit and transportation, and I think would do much better this time around if elected.
Nikkita Oliver - Nikkita and I had some back and forth earlier this year. She said something, I commented on what she said, she said she didn't say it, so I pointed to the two different places she said it in the transcript she said showed she didn't say what she said. That really annoyed the shit out of me. She also made a comment during a forum that we need to "protect the culture" in places like Ballard. I'm not convinced that white culture should be a top priority for protection in Seattle. But, she comes at this public service thing with a vision that seeks to elevate voices historically ignored. Her take on community councils (reinstating them, but with conditions on membership, and not with more power than other community groups) is spot on, and every candidate should be concerned about displacement and elimination of black communities in Seattle. She's a good candidate, and a good choice.
Jenny Durkan. - Not a fan. The Seattle Times calls her a "civil rights leader" because she's LGBTQ and was the first LGTBQ U.S. Attorney. But she used that to clamp down on civil liberties and pooh pooh marijuana legalization, has been pretty much awful on poverty issues in her campaign speeches, has no campaign platform or issues on her website (or didn't last I checked on June 30), and proves that just because you're LGBTQ doesn't mean your lefty. Her version of more progressive taxation: lower the B&O tax (not even reform - just lower). Seattle can do better.
Bob Hasegawa - I really, really want to like Bob. But on policy after policy, he's either inconsistent, not informed, or just bad. Areas where he's solid: more homeownership opportunities through more housing types in all parts of the city; municipal bank; no more sweeps. Areas where he's less than good: prioritizing cars over bikes and pedestrians; giving power back to community councils without reform; waiting for a municipal bank to pay for the things we need (like more public housing, services for very low income folks, etc.). I'd pick him over Durkan, but he hasn't shown that he is prepared to take up some of the major issues facing our city.
The other candidates for mayor are basically trash. Some mean well, but their policies and proposals would do nothing but harm the very low income in Seattle, or slash programs that keep our parks clean and our transit moving.
SEATTLE CITY COUNCIL, POS. 8
YES - Teresa Mosqueda, Hisam Goueli
NO - Charlene Strong, Sara Nelson, Jon Grant
MEH - Sheley Secrest
Teresa Mosqueda - Anyone who follows me on the Twitter or the Facebook knows that I am a big fan. Teresa is wicked smart, has a solid background (Labor and Public Health), and views public policy through a community lens, not a "I have the best ideas" lens. That's probably why she's scored endorsements from all of the LDs, the YDs, KCDCC, a shit ton of Labor, community leaders, affordable housing and tenant rights advocates, environmentalists, so on and so on. It's rare we get a chance to elect someone this phenomenal to the City Council, and I just hope Seattle doesn't fuck up this chance.
Hisam Goueli - I really really want to hate Hisam. It's an open secret that if/when Frank Chopp retires, I want to run for that seat. There's a lot of policy issues that I believe I could be a strong champion for in Olympia. And Hisam is so fucking smart, engaging, and likable, that a part of me views him as a threat. But goddamn we are lucky to have him in this race and in our city. His approach to public policy from the perspective of ensuring all residents - regardless of income or status - have access to safe housing and services to meet their needs is so important. That level of empathy is not one we find often in politics, and I just hope that if he is unsuccessful this time around, he stays involved on the political side so he can spring into public policy making next time around. Even if that means kicking my ass.
Charlene Strong - Nope. On the rare occasion she actually talks about public policy, it's anti-worker, anti-homeless, pro-SF zoning. Nope nope nope.
Sara Nelson - I actually really like Sara, and have enjoyed many a time talking with her. But her opposition to secure scheduling, sick and safe leave, and view that businesses are what make our city great (missing that it's workers that make businesses work) is troubling. She's great on the environment and urbanist issues, but if we sacrifice worker protections, none of it matters.
Jon Grant - Recently the Stranger ran a profile on the candidates in P8. Of note: "The toxic environment bred by an executive director who lacked leadership and accountability and by staff who refused to acknowledge their white privilege has made for a traumatic work experience." I can't talk about the specifics of anything, but here's the letter that's from (which is part of public record from an Office of Civil Rights Complaint). While some of Jon's defenders jump at this and say it's simply "office politics," I would note that Jon himself felt that Ed Murray should resign as mayor for statements he made that were victim-blaming and shaming in nature. Yet just a couple of years ago, Jon appears to have created a "traumatic work experience" for "members of...marginalized communities." Seattle deserves better.
Sheley Secrest - Sheley is really cool. She has a perspective that would be nice on council, but, in her now fourth campaign, I haven't seen a serious campaign being run. That's why I'm editing this to add her - I honestly forgot she was in the race (and I gave her money! at least I pledged. Now I have to check to make sure I followed through). If she's unsuccessful this go-around, I hope she stays active and engaged, and builds up for State House, or D2 of the City Council in 2019.
SEATTLE CITY COUNCIL, POS. 9
YES - M. Lorena Gonzalez
NO - Anyone else
Lorena Gonzalez - Lorena has already shown herself to be a powerhouse on the City Council - police reform, LGBTQ protections, affordable housing, etc. etc. And that's just in a year and half. A full term will clearly bring more amazing work from her office, and she has earned that term.
Anyone Else - The main competitor to CM Gonzalez is Pat Murakami. I don't know Pat personally, but I do know from reading up on her that she has been a proponent of sweeps, opponent of safe consumption sites, and wants to give power for all decision making to neighborhood groups (that are dominated by older white folks). Her Campaign Manager appeared before the 43rd to talk about her desire for more diversity on the City Council - which I suppose is why Pat (a white lady) is running against a woman of color who has been pretty gd effective at getting shit done, and not for the open seat. To each their own, I guess.
SEATTLE CITY ATTORNEY........
Wait...this isn't on your primary ballot. I have a trial starting Monday, so I'm going to skip this and King County Sheriff for now. I'm also going to skip the Port of Seattle races and King County Executive, because Seattle School Board is far more important.
SEATTLE SCHOOL BOARD, Dist. 4
YES - Eden Mack
NO - Anyone else
Eden Mack - Eden is intense. She knows the ins and outs of public education and the John Stanford Center, and has no qualms about doing her own research, not relying solely on what District staff says before making a decision. She's a co-founder of Washington's Paramount Duty, and her history of support for children and educators shows she'll be a strong advocate on the School Board.
Anyone Else - I don't even know who else is running. But I do know they don't hold a candle to Eden.
SEATTLE SCHOOL BOARD, Dist. 5
YES - Zachary Pullin DeWolf, Andre Helmstetter
NO - Omar Vasquez
MEH - Alec something or other
Zachary Pullin DeWolf - Zach is a good dude, and comes at public policy with a social equity lens. If elected, he would be the first out LGBTQ member of the School Board (Seattlish got this wrong - Cheryl Chow was the first known LGBTQ member of the School Board, just not out at the time EDIT: They got it right, I just missed the word "out"), and understands the challenges facing students who are, as part of a family, renters in Seattle. His long list of civic involvement informs me that he'll be an engaged and thoughtful member of the Board, and we will be lucky to have him.
Andre Helmstetter - In 2009, Mary Bass was running for re-election for a third term. She was actually a pretty horrible School Board member, but had always managed to avoid the "throw the bums out" mentality. Kay Smith-Blum ultimately won that race, but in the primary, I initially supported Andre. Since 2009, he's only gotten better on policy as it impacts our schools, and would be a phenomenal Board member. I just wish I didn't have to pick between him and Zach. It's a tough choice, but either one will be a great addition to the board, and an improvement over the incumbent (who started with such promise, and just sputtered out).
Omar Vasquez - I mean, this guy told one group that he supported Charter Schools, and another that he didn't. The guy lies, and when he's called out or criticized, shows a temperament that does not lend itself as evidence that he could be a good school board member. Blatant lying, shitty temperament, and support for Charter Schools? HARD PASS.
Alec ??? - I forget this guy's last name. This might not even be his first name. We had a great chat at the KCYD Endorsements Meeting. He'd be fine (better than fine?), but his campaign doesn't seem to exist. Update: His name is Alec Cooper, and he emailed me to let me know his campaign does exist, but has opted not to participate in the LDs and is otherwise focused on other groups. I believe this means readership of #Hashtag is up to 14. Also, I heard a rumor that Kay Smith-Blum likes him, so he gets elevated to "Meh+".
SEATTLE SCHOOL BOARD, Dist. 7
YES - Betty Patu
NO - Chelsea Byers
Betty Patu - I <3 my homies at Seattlish, but here they really screwed the pooch. Betty Patu shows up every day for kids in Seattle, in particular kids in the parts of the city we have shit on for generations. The only woman of color on the School Board, with experience as a counselor in SE Seattle Schools (focusing on de-escalation over calling cops on black and brown kids), she brings a perspective that is so needed at John Stanford Center. Her life experience lends credence to her positions and understanding of immigrant communities, educators, students - she is exactly the type of Board member we want, and has served very well over the last eight years. She doesn't have a primary in the same way as other candidates, and is smartly waiting on the general to really push her campaign - and spending the interim focusing on her job.
Chelsea Byers - I hear she supports Charter Schools, and she talks a lot about how we should make Seattle Public Schools focus education on tech jobs. STEM sounds great, but we need arts programs and support for families in low-income parts of the district. "Ed reform" in Seattle has historically left marginalized communities behind, and we can do better. In fact, in District 7, we have done better - we elected Betty Patu, and should do it again.