CHS hasn’t reported a lot of good things about District 3 candidate Pat Murakami, the Beacon Hill small business owner and slow growth-style neighborhood activist. She got tied up in a weird North Capitol Hill neighborhood Valpak campaign and some of the things she has said during the campaign so far have been disappointing and sometimes a little bizarre — in May, Murakami told the crowd at a candidates transportation forum held in the Central District that she had to drive to the event because of concerns for her “personal safety” and this spring called for a used cruise ship to be commissioned to house the city’s unsheltered population.
But depending on how you feel about crime, safety, homelessness, and “street disorder” in Seattle, you might take note that Murakami received the highest rating among D3 candidates from the pro-policing, anti-crime, slow-growth group, Speak Out Seattle:
First Place: Pat Murakami is a small business owner (tech) and longtime community advocate for public safety. She has been president of the South Seattle Crime Prevention Council for many years. Murakami is fully aligned with SOS’ positions on crime, homelessness and addiction/mental illness solutions. She is data-oriented and will be a strong advocate for improved public safety across the city.
SOS dubbed Egan Orion, PrideFest organizer and formerly the director of the now shuttered Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce, as its second pick. Orion, meanwhile, beat out Murakami for support from the Vulcan, Amazon, and Expedia-powered CASE, the political arm of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.
SOS’s lowest rating in the D3 race didn’t go to the candidate you might expect, by the way. Instead SOS saved its harshest criticism for school board member Zachary DeWolf. “DeWolf opposes most SOS advocacy positions and does not appear to be focused on data or good governance,” the SOS voter guide spits.
CHS reported on the conservative group’s inroads into Seattle politics in May as SOS hosted a D3 candidates forum attended by each of the contestants in the race. The local organization has opposed drug-consumption sites, the head tax, tiny house villages, and encampments, and come under scrutiny for its views and some shared early connections with Safe Seattle, an online group that has mapped where homeless people live, spread fake news about a beheading in a homeless encampment and posted videos of people in crisis.
UPDATE 10:15 AM: A representative for SOS tells CHS the group is not “slow growth” —
Most importantly, SOS takes positions on public safety, homelessness and addiction/mental health issues. It has never taken any position on density, HALA or zoning. The inclusion of the term “slow-growth” appears to be an assumption and should be removed. It is not supported by the facts. On a side note, most of SOS’ leadership do support density in their individual capacities and most live within the city’s urban village zones.
“Secondly, SOS is not conservative,” the representative writes. “That is a dog whistle.” —
SOS is a moderate group that is nonpartisan and focused on solutions to issues, not political parties. Co-chair John Wisdom was a delegate for Bernie Sanders and most of SOS’ leadership have never been active in politics before, only becoming involved in the past few years.
Murakami has challenged for a seat on the council before. She was defeated in her 2017 run against Lorena González for the council’s Position 9 citywide seat, The D3 area south of I-90 is Murakami’s home turf. Described as a “neighborhood activist,” Murakami’s neighborhood focus and small business won her the Seattle Times endorsement in her 2017 race against González. She has also opposed the city’s Mandatory Housing Affordability zoning changes.
Of the D3 candidates, Murakami had injected the most personal money into the campaign when we checked in late June.
You can view all of CHS’s Election 2019 coverage here.
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