Mayoral candidates weigh in on Seattle’s May Day response

8706126456_207ca8bec8_bThe candidates in the race with incumbent Mike McGinn to go through to November’s mayoral election got their chance Thursday night to say how they would have handled Seattle’s May Day 2013 differently.

Hosted at Wallingford’s Hamilton International Middle School the 36th, 43rd (that’s us!), and 46th District Democrats sponsored the forum that fell just 24 hours after the violent end to the day’s rallies and protests.

Council member and former police officer Tim Burgess said the police response was a “vast improvement” over 2012, but that “in our society, I don’t know if we can absolutely stop [damage] from happening.”

“I do not accept the fact that every May Day we have to go through anarchy,” said Council member and chair of the public safety committee Bruce Harrell.

Candidate Kate Martin noted that Seattle should have a “zero tolerance” policy with people intent on causing property destruction, while state senator Ed Murray switched gears and focused on the larger problems around SPD. “It is a travesty that we are under a Department of Justice consent decree,” Murray said.

Mayor McGinn, meanwhile, described the positive points of the day –- especially the peaceful gathering of thousands that took place earlier in the day — but said he believed police responded appropriately to the disruptive evening protest.

Staadecker thanked Mayor McGinn for his handling of May Day before adding “the mayor needs to set clear expectations.” He said that lawful demonstrations should be protected, but not those where people are ready to destroy property.

Candidates also responded to how they would select a new police chief for Seattle.

Harrell said “I want passion in my police chief,” as well as setting clear expectations, and a transparent process of selection. Martin said, “We need someone who has a track record of no excessive force or racism,” noting public involvement is critical.

For how the candidates weighed in on Seattle’s public schools, here’s CHS coverage of the forum on education held earlier this week at Garfield High School.

8 thoughts on “Mayoral candidates weigh in on Seattle’s May Day response

  1. It was a debacle and disgrace. The police pushed the protesters up to Capitol Hill to get them away from downtown. They watched from their bikes while rocks and concrete were thrown through windows and garbage cans were overturned. Capitol Hill is the most tolerant neighborhood of bad behavior in the city. I’m disgusted.

  2. I disagree that “Capitol Hill” is tolerant of criminal/bad behavior. The vast majority of those who live in our neighborhood deplore the anarchist’s actions, and this is reflected in the many such comments made in this blog in reaction to the May Day rioting.

  3. I agree. It’s not that Capitol Hill residents are tolerant of it. The problem is that CapHill is just the preferred area the babies and “professional protestors” who do this shit prefer to live, play and hang out. Same reason why EVERY protest and demonstration comprised of this class of reject losers seems to begin at Seattle Central and then goes parading downtown, destroying as they go. They don’t wanna destroy Bellevue because there’s nowhere fun to sit and drink coffee and tall-boy PBR’s after they work up a thirst breaking things.

  4. Tim Burgess told the truth and should be applauded. Instead, he’ll no doubt be pilloried for it.

    The others all spouted vapid, self-serving soundbites and should be pelted with rotten vegetables. Instead, they’ll be rewarded for saying the bs that people like to hear.

    The truth is that we’re a violent, ignorant people whose favorite pastime is blowing sh*t up. We’re also a righteous, vain, deluded people who will hang any public figure who even comes close to telling the truth.

  5. I agree wholeheartedly with your second paragraph, Bryan. In fact, I believe this is the reason we end up with the milk-toast politicians (most especially, mayors) that we do. God forbid anybody should express an honest opinion or summation of a situation and DARE to be politically incorrect. As a consequence, we get all of these middle-of-the-roaders who try to appease the crowds on either/both sides of the street while actually satisfying nobody and accomplishing nothing of actual value.

  6. Why do the anarchists choose to spoil an otherwise fine day? The march always goes off without any violence and then afterwards the anarchists come in and ruin it. They come looking for trouble, looking for a conflict with police. It’s shameful behavior. They are disrespecting all the thousands of people who marched peacefully. I know they think they are so young and cool but they will end up with police records and unable to find employment. There is nothing cool about a thirty-something homeless wino living on the streets which is what I fear continuing their current trajectory many of them will become.

  7. Yeah, you really have to watch out for those flying tomatoes. People who take hyperbole so literally are actually much more dangerous than anything that is thrown.