Post navigation

Prev: (08/13/15) | Next: (08/13/15)

District 3 neighborhoods sharply divided on Sawant and Banks going into November election

Screen-Shot-2013-09-28-at-1.48.42-PMWe’ll have wait to see if Seattle’s new district-based City Council will become gridlocked in ward politics, but the competing interests within the districts themselves, especially in District 3, could prove to be an even more influential dynamic.

Following last week’s primary election, it’s clear there are some deep divisions between District 3 neighborhoods over socialist City Council member Kshama Sawant and Democrat Pamela Banks.

Political consultant Benjamin Anderstone dug into the the raw election data for Crosscut to see how Sawant and Banks faired at the neighborhood level. Not surprising, Sawant dominated Capitol Hill and the Central District, but she was clobbered by Banks in the more affluent precincts along Lake Washington.

(Sawant) did well this time around in urban Capitol Hill (61 percent) and the Central District (64 percent). Support is much thinner on the ground in the affluent neighborhoods of Madison Park and Washington Park, where Sawant placed third with 16 percent each. At the Broadmoor Golf Club, Seattle’s only Republican precinct, she polled at only 6 percent.

Sawant’s main opponent, Pamela Banks, unsurprisingly fared best in these neighborhoods – 60 percent at Madison Park and 63 percent at Washington Park. These are unequivocal results. Primary results suggest Sawant could be on track for a strong showing, but it certainly won’t be a unanimous one.

Sawant has picked up two points in the district-wide ballot count since the first drop on August 4th, extending her lead to 52% of the vote to Banks’ 34%. Some were anticipating a bigger showing from Sawant. In 2013 she won 58% of the vote in District 3 precincts and did even better on Capitol Hill. Then-incumbent Richard Conlin has backed Banks, along with six other sitting City Council members.

Screen-Shot-2013-08-27-at-9-1.48.27-AM-400x534The District 3 split is not new. CHS previously broke down the Mike McGinn-Ed Murray border war after the 2013 mayoral election.

Sawant’s energetic campaign machine will undoubtedly kick into high gear in the coming months to get more younger voters to turn out in the general election. CHS previously took a look at Socialist Alternative, the political party and activist group that helped launch Sawant into elected office. We also examined how Banks was shaped by the City of Seattle, where she worked for two decades.

Since the primary, both Banks and Sawant have taken a breather from major campaign activities. On primary night, Banks told CHS she planed to celebrate by retreating into a “small cabin” for a few days to rest before what comes next — a likely bruising battle with a strong incumbent opponent.

The recent controversy over Black Lives Matter Seattle activists disrupting presidential candidate Bernie Sanders did provide one opportunity for some to scrutinize the City Council candidates. Sawant, who is backing Sanders and spoke at the Westlake Park event, stayed mum on the direct action that has caused a lot of hand wringing on the left. Speaking to Publicola, Banks applauded Marissa Johnson and Mara Willaford for their actions saying “change has come too slowly.”

Here’s a look at some of the other analysis of the District 3 race.

  • Both Sawant and Banks spent nearly $20 per vote they received in campaign expenditures, according to Heidi Groover’s analysis on Slog.
  • Publicola used eight snap metrics to analyze each City Council race, including what it means for Mayor Ed Murray. The analysis on District 3 points out that “A race that pits two left-wing women of color against each other for a seat on a predominately white council is an unfortunate expenditure of time and energy.”
  • Comedian Brett Hamil reports on Sawant’s controversial kitten rescue and Banks’ call to save baby squirrels trapped in District 3 storm drains.

Three candidates won’t be continuing on to the general election. Morgan Beach will be turning her focus back to her full-time job in corporate donations at the Red Cross. But keep a look out for her on Seatte’s civic scene. “I will continue to push for paid parental leave, small business assistance, culturally relevant healthcare and access to childcare,” Beach said in a statement.

Rod Hearne kept things similarly upbeat about his continued work in politics. “I’m looking forward to staying involved in the life of Seattle through its community organizations, its arts organizations and, of course through its politics,” Hearn said in a statement.

And while CHS hasn’t reached him, we suspect Lee Carter will getting around to enjoying retirement, which he planed to do just before entering the race earlier this year.

Subscribe and support CHS Contributors -- $1/$5/$10 per month

30 thoughts on “District 3 neighborhoods sharply divided on Sawant and Banks going into November election

  1. In her primary night speech she praised him and urged people to support the campaign. Backing doesn’t necessarily mean supporting financially.

    • “I have one more immediate ask of you. Bernie Sanders is coming to Seattle this Saturday. Who here is planning on being there with us this Saturday? Bernie’s campaign is calling for a national 15$ minimum wage, free college tuition, and for a political revolution against the Billionaire Class. I think as I told him personally that he should have run as an independent candidate, however there is no mistaking the electrifying effect his campaign is having on millions of working people at the idea of an alternative to corporate politics- people are hungry for this. And winning our reelection campaign here will help create enormous momentum for the idea nationally for building a completely new organized movement including a new party that takes no money from corporations and bases itself completely in the social power in the working people, a party which can truly launch a revolution against the billionaire class. I Hope you will consider joining Socialist Alternative to build toward that vision.”

      She asks people to come to the Social Security/Medicaid rally, and highlights how the ideas around which Sanders is building his campaign resonate with millions of regular people. She then immediately pivoted to asking people to work on her campaign and join Socialist Alternative, not to work on the Sanders campaign or get involved in the Democratic primaries.

    • I would agree. Backing implies endorsement, and that has not happened and likely will not happen as long as Sanders runs as a Democrat.

  2. So Banks’ main voter base is Republicans? Ouch, for a self-described progressive candidate, that’s got to make it hard to face yourself in the mirror each morning.

  3. This is an interesting race. Banks is hardly a Republican but virtually anybody would look conservative relative to Sawant, which is no compliment to her. Several variables that I hope the pundits analyze as we head into the general:

    – Which candidate is most likely to win the votes of those who voted for Hearne? Has he or will he endorse either?

    – The 25% or so voter turnout…Was this skewed towards one candidate or the other. If 100% turned out (not going to happen), how would the mix change if at all?

    – What game plan does Banks have in place to counter the rants and trash talk of Sawant? Will the gloves come off and should they? Sawant’s party platform speaks for itself. On the one hand high on platitudes and low on how to get there. And following a history and the footsteps of multiple socialist successes around the world if you will…North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Soviet Union, Albania. Don’t we all want to join that club. The housing crisis will resolve as jobs dissapear and the ability to pay rent by those overpaid capitalists flocking to Seattle.

    • I agree with most everything you say but I find this concept puzzling (not just your comment, but that I also hear it repeated frequently):
      “The housing crisis will resolve as jobs dissapear and the ability to pay rent by those overpaid capitalists flocking to Seattle.”

      In what strange future reality do people see this happening? The jobs Seattle has created are the future of employment: information-intensive, high paying, crucial to business, commerce, and even consumer goods with our increasing adoption of electronic gadgetry, now and forever. In what future do people envision us relying LESS on information, LESS on computers, FEWER electro-gadgets, LESS eCommerce, etc? People, that future is just not going to happen. I see this persistent whine of people complaining of the invasion of all these well-paid tech workers, rents are too high, seeming jealous of their considerable spending power. There’s this undercurrent of annoyance at their presence and a weird assumption that of COURSE, eventually, it will naturally all collapse and all these annoying techies will just go away and prices will fall for all us “regular” non-technical types who have always been here and we’ll all be able to afford it again. Meanwhile let’s just live in denial and decline to train ourselves for the REAL jobs for the present and future tech economy, and tax it out of the people who have it now, so it can remain affordable for “the rest” of everybody–till it finally, eventually all collapses. Yeah, that’s not gonna happen.

      • SA policies are not attractive to businesses. She’s openly called for nationalization of Starbucks, Amazon, Microsoft et al.

        The jobs dry up when companies build in markets with better policy. Build a small office in Seattle to get some talent that can’t move. Build big in Austin and other cities with similar talent pools.

      • Totally true. It’s all the more amazing anyone pays attention to this drivel (nationalizing businesses) because it stands absolutely no chance of happening. Allowing the business climate to become so adversarial as to drive away all these tech jobs would be a total failure on the part of our local gvt.– regardless of how much these proponents rail with their anti-business missives. If Seattle didn’t have all these tech jobs, what would we have to offer? Certainly not manufacturing on any great scale.

      • I was attempting to be sarcastic, or sardonic; if Socialism were to prevail in our country, history would suggest that the dynamic economy we have, fueled in large part by motivated and hard working people who are hoping to see an outsized payday, will fall on its face when one’s extraordinarily creative or profitable work is rewarded with the same loaf of bread that the peasant earns so to speak. Socialist ideology emphasizes redistribution of wealth. Taxes do that currently but I assume they would increase the rates on the wealthy to confiscatory levels that would cause many to go on vacation rather than continue to produce.

      • I am by no means an expert here, but I think you’re conflating Socialism with Marxism. A little Socialsm never hurt anybody (we have plenty of it now). Marxism is another story. I’ve read Socialist Alternative’s (SA) website and to me it reads way more Marxist than Socialist. (I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong here–by all means, be my guest). But they know better than to say “Marxist” because they know it’ll scare everybody away.

      • “Fueled in large part by motivated and hard working people who are hoping to see an outsized payday”

        That’s untrue. It’s fueled by labor and by people who want to work and want to survive. This cadre of “hard working people” you speak of, seeking an outsized payday aren’t very hard working at all. They’re rich 1 percenters who inherit than leverage their wealth. And for every person who’s bootstrapped their own way up, I’ll find you ten thousand who are getting fucked no matter how hard they work. That’s a terrible success rate.

        Your glorified, wonderous economy has fallen flat on its face many, many times, just in the last several decades. You don’t need that much to help people wake-up or demand a more socialist country; capitalism is doing a good job of that on its own.

    • Lowell, best quote ever: “And following a history and the footsteps of multiple socialist successes around the world if you will…North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Soviet Union, Albania. Don’t we all want to join that club.”

      That’s all we socialists want anyway, you know.

  4. I don’t know one African American personally who backs Sawant. Regardless, if the young white counterculture base elects her good luck to anybody getting a minute with her to talk about anything about the neighborhood if it doesn’t reflect rent control or $15 an hour.

    • You hit the nail right on the head! I’m as liberal as they come, but Sawant doesn’t speak of community one bit, so she didn’t get my vote. I voted for her last election, but it’s clear she is only out for one thing– her own political career. At least Banks talks about issues that directly concern the problems my neighborhood faces. I think the strong Sawant backers are the Cap Hill crowd; I wish they could have her all to themselves!

      • Again, you’re not as liberal as they come. And, Banks does not speak to issues. Help me locate her policy outline she’s putting forward to help solve all of these “issues” she’s speaking to.

        Did you read the post? The support isn’t all from Capitol Hill:
        (Sawant) did well this time around in urban Capitol Hill (61 percent) and the Central District (64 percent).

    • Yes, regardless whether or not you know any blacks in Seattle, and regardless of how many you actually know, and regardless of you yourself are black, if you think that 52% of a low-turnout primary election (especially considering that the strong lead was solidified in the early voting first count, which young liberals don’t normally turn out to participate in) doesn’t include any black people, you’re not thinking this through.

    • Lots of African Americans support Sawant that I know personally. Pamela Banks might “support” the disruption of Bernie Sanders, she also takes money from the Seattle Police Officers Guild, all the developers that are gentrifying the Central District and literally said in a statement, “Property Crimes Matter”. Only white people care about getting paid and being able to continue to afford to live in their neighborhoods?

    • Check out the finance site and see the average donation amount and the number of donors to Sawant’s campaign. It’s telling.

  5. When faced with a choice between someone who wants to take homes to house the poor, nationalize industries and trots out an army of militant supporters at each event its unsurprising which way non-communists vote. Banks takes anyone who isn’t bleeding red.

    When ever I think about this race I can’t help but hear “A New Argentina” in the background.

  6. FYI
    WHY WOULD RICH “WHITE” FOLKS ALONG THE “GOLD COAST” VOTE FOR A BROKE “NORTWEST MAMMY” WITH NO IDEAS OR IDEALS TO SOLVE ANY PROBLEM??? WHY IS THE “NORTHWEST MAMMY” ENDORSED BY THE NAZIFIED POLICE GUILD AND DOWNIOWN GENTRIFICATION / ETHNIC CLEANSING REAL ESTATE DEVELOPERS??? FORTUNATELY WE HAVE AN INTELLIGENT “SALT AND PEPPER” ELECTORATE ON CAPITOL HILL AND AFRICATOWN / CD.

    PAM “DOWNTOWN” BANKSTER AND THE URBAN LEAGUE LEECHES SHE REPRESENTS ARE A DANGER TO THEM SELVES AND THE KILLER COPS THAT LOVE HER STATUS QUO / ANTI-BLACK POLITICS??? YES REALITY IS STRANGER THAN FICTION??? PLEASE SEND MISSY BANKSTER BACK TO WASHING DISHES IN THE URBAN LEAGUE KITCHEN??? AND YES THE NORTHWEST AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSEUM (NAMM IS A SCAM) IS AN EMBARRASSMENT, SHAMEFUL, ANTI-YOUTH, UNPRODUCTIVE APARTMENT BUILDING??? YES BERNIE, BLACK LIVES MATTER TO “WHITES AND “BLACKS” ON CAPITOL HILL AND IN AFRICATOWN / CD INSPITE OF OUR SELF HATING UNCLE TOMS AND URBAN LEAGUE LYING “KITCHEN MAMMYS”???
    Omari Tahir-Garrett, VIETNAM VETERAN, WORLD TRAVELER, HISTORY TEACHER, URBAN LEAGUE EXPERT AND CANDIDATE FOR SEATTLE CITY COUNCIL

    WEBSITE: OMARIFORCITYCOUNCIL
    WEBSITE: AFRICATOWN / CHINATOWN NEWS DIGEST

    • Omari, did you miss the primary day? You lost. You won’t be on the ballot. Enough of this spewing racist garbage. Go home and take your Thorazine.

    • Omari, your racist rants would be soundly called out if you were a sane white man, who knew how to type and speak (screw your ALL CAPS!) – and referred to a candidate as a “MAMMY”.

      One of the blessings of a Democracy is that any idiot can run for office. Thus we have you.

  7. That PubliCola piece reads like a Banks campaign mailer—rhetoric with no substance. Can someone tell me how many Black Lives Matter protests and rallies Pamela Banks has attended? Or, did she pay-forward all her activism while she was working at the Urban League and for the city?

  8. AS A RESIDENT OF DISTRICT 3 FOR 69 YEARS IT IS VERY INTERESTING TO READ THESE POST ON THE DISTRICT 3 CANDIDATES??? PLEASE BACK UP AND GO TO THE WEBSITE “URBAN LEAGUE WATCH”??? JAMES “GUNSLINGER” KELLY IS NOW GUNSLINGING FOR THE CITY OF SEATTLE IN PAM ‘DOWNTOWN’ BANKSTER’S OLD CITY POSITION, WAS/IS PART OF SEATTLE’S DOWNTOWN ORGANIZED CRIME RICO-RACKETEERING GANG (PLEASE READ “ON THE TAKE BY” BY WILLIAM WEBSTER). ALSO GOOGLE SEATTLE URBAN LEAGUE SEATTLE SCHOOL DISTRICT SMALL BUSINESS SCANDAL???

    THE DOWNTOWN ORGANIZED CRIME MAGICIAN HAVE YOU LOOKING AT THE WRONG HAND IN THE WRONG DIRECTION??? THE URBAN LEAGUE’S FORMER BOARD MEMBERS NORM “DON’T GET SHOT AGAIN” RICE, BOB “WAMU VICE” FLOWERS, SEATTLE HOUSING AUTHORITY DIRECTOR ANDREW “VULCAN” LOFTON, AND SEATTLE HOUSING AUTHORITY LAWYER JAMES “THE WORM” FEARN , WERE/ARE DEEPLY INVOLVED IN THE RICO-RACKETEERING NORTHWEST AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSEUM (NAAM IS A SCAM) FRAUD. THEIR HANDLER AND MOB BOSS IS NONE OTHER THAN KERRY “KILLED WAMU” KILLINGER???

    PLEASE DO YOUR RESEARCH AND THEN DON’T LET THE FACTS BLIND YOU OR HURT YOUR FEELINGS??? WITH TODAYS INTERNET THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR BEING IGNORANT OR STUPID??? AS A SENIOR AFRICATOWN / CENTRAL DISTRICT / CAPITOL HILL / BROADMOOR / MADISON PARK / MADRONA / LESHI / SQUIRE PARK / JUDKINS REJECTED HISTORIAN, I ADVISE YOU TO RESEARCH ORGANIZED CRIME IN SEATTLE FROM SEATTLITE TEAMSTER PRESIDENT DAVE BECK TO WASHINGTON MUTUAL’S (WAMU) KERRY KILLINGER / BOB FLOWERS TO TOM “CORRUPT COP” BURGESS TO THE URBAN LEAGUE’S PAM “DOWNTOWN” BANKSTER???

    FINALLY WATCH OUT FOR THE CORPORATE BANKSTER’S MEDIA “TRUE AND BALANCED” / “BIG LIE” ELECTION CAMPAIGN COVERAGE??? Omari Tahir-Garrett, VIETNAM VETERAN, WORLD TRAVELER, HISTORY TEACHER AND CANDIDATE FOR SEATTLE CITY COUNCIL (2018)

    Website: OmariForCityCouncil
    Website: AFRICATOWN / CHINATOWN NEWS DIGEST

  9. Pamela Banks is a real miltant black radical who supports disrupting even Bernie Sanders for the cause because she’s just that hardcore like that. Except wait a minute she has the endorsement and a $700 contribution from the Seattle Police Officers Guild you say? She is funded by all the developers who want to gentrify and whitewash the Central District and make hundreds of millions of dollars? Her strongest base of support in the district is a gated country club?