Pike/Pine preservationist and Neumos founder Jerry Everard has a message for the group of nightlife leaders that last week endorsed mayoral challenger Sen. Ed Murray: You don’t speak for everyone.
In an open letter primarily directed at friend Dave Meinert, who owns Big Mario’s and Lost Lake Cafe, Everard said he wanted to make clear that no group speaks for the entire nightlife community. While Everard hasn’t endorsed either candidate, he voiced strong support for incumbent mayor Mike McGinn, saying for the first time in recent history the City of Seattle is on the side of music and nightlife venues. Here’s Everard’s letter:
As someone who has had to work in the trenches of the music business at the club/venue level for 20 years I need to remind everyone (and Dave in particular, as someone who has only owned nightlife businesses under this Mayor) that under McGinn’s administration, for the first time we are able to operate music venues with respect and without the constant threat and fear of being shut down by what has historically been an antagonistic and hostile city government.
Is the music community better off now than it was before McGinn took office? The answer is a resounding Hell Yes!! Dave is simply choosing to ignore the facts when he says that McGinn has not been a leader and a damn effective leader in supporting and promoting the music community. Different people in the community will support different candidates since they both support music and arts but it is wrong to bash Mayor McGinn after he has been our friend and advocate; I don’t believe the music community would do that or that it supports those attacks.
Curiously, Everard has donated to the Murray campaign but not to McGinn’s. Everard has donated $700 in cash contributions to the McGinn campaign according to state Public Disclosure Commission numbers, and $250 to Murray’s camp according to the City of Seattle database. Everard’s letter comes less than a week after an impressive bunch of Seattle music and nightlife leaders gathered at the Crocodile to endorse Murray for mayor. In addition to Meinert, Mike Meckling — current owner of Neumos, Barboza, and Moe Bar — was among the Murray supporters.
The bar and club owners at the Murray press conference did say several times that they appreciated the mayor’s (unsuccessful) efforts to extend bar hours. Meinert told CHS the Murray endorsement hinged on several factors, including Murray’s work towards temporarily repealing the “dance tax” and his expertise working in Olympia. Meinert also manages bands Hey Marseilles and the Lumineers, and has stakes in two 24-hour cafes — the 5 Point Cafe and CHS advertiser Lost Lake Cafe.
In September CHS sat down with Everard to discuss his role as one of the fathers of building preservation for modern indie bars and restaurants in Capitol Hill. Politics wasn’t on the agenda, but Everard did discuss his ideas for his latest effort to push the Pike/Pine frontier at the Central Agency Building.
So who’s really the best candidate for Capitol Hill? On Friday McGinn and Murray took to the Barboza stage for the Capitol Hill Mayor’s Forum to hash it out, so make up your own mind by checking out CHS post-forum coverage, along with highlight and uncut videos of the night.
Following the forum, we asked CHS readers which candidate they believed was best for Capitol Hill — and which candidate they believe will win come November. 52% of respondents said McGinn would be the better candidate for the Hill, but 67% said Murray was more likely to win. Murray’s perceived edge in the race is, in part, likely due to a recent poll that put him over McGinn, 52 to 30%.