With ballots in the mail next week, 7th District underdog Walkinshaw faces Jayapal in library debate

In some races this November, the choice will be easy. Do you want to elect a hugely qualified former Senator and Secretary of State to lead the country or would you prefer to push the nation further into the mire of fascism? In others, because you live in Seattle, you will be choosing between two qualified progressives. One of your last chances to see the candidates to replace retiring 7th District Rep. Jim McDermott talk about their campaigns in person comes Thursday night at the downtown library:

This year the residents of the 7th Congressional District will vote to replace Rep Jim McDermott, who has held his seat since 1989. This will be a hotly contested race between Pramila Jayapal and Brady Walkinshaw, and one which will have a lasting impact on our region.

This debate is free and open to all. To submit a question for Jayapal and/or Walkinshaw click here.

Moderated by: C.R. Douglas (Q13 FOX News) and Essex Porter (KIRO 7 News)

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How Seattle’s at-large candidates are filling out their ballots

If you’re looking for some guidance before you bubble in your ballot dots, here’s a look at how the at-large candidates will be voting as gleaned from recent forum appearances.

  • Council president and Position 8 candidate Tim Burgess has made his City Council picks crystal clear. He’s endorsed fellow Council member Sally Bagshaw in District 7 and Lorena Gonzalez for Position 9. Gonzalez has made no endorsements, but in all likelihood will be returning the favor to Burgess as the two recently held a joint-fundraiser. As a West Seattle resident, Gonzalez will also have a vote on District 1, but she hasn’t made any indication who she’s supporting.
  • As the only at-large candidate residing in District 3, Bill Bradburd will have the chance to weigh in on Capitol Hill’s next representative. While he’s typically left out of progressive dream team lineups, Bradburd says he’s supporting any candidate not backed by the Seattle Chamber of Commerce. If that’s the case, the clear choices will be Sawant and Position 8 candidate Jon Grant. Continue reading

Vote: 5 last questions for Sawant and Banks

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 2.49.06 PMFor the primary, CHS readers voted on a set of questions to ask the District 3 candidates ranging from Q1: How will you promote an inclusive neighborhood and what steps will you take to end LGBT hate crimes in Capitol Hill? to Q11: How will you capture and respond to (in a timely manner) the challenges, complaints, issues of the citizens in your district?

Here’s your chance to get specific with last questions for Kshama Sawant and Pamela Banks.

It’s a tight turnaround — we’ll grab the five best questions Friday at noon and post the candidate answers as soon as possible. You can find the latest CHS election coverage here.
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Final tally shows District 3 turnout highest in Seattle

Nice work, District 3. You turned in the highest turnout of any district in Seattle in the now-certified August Primary. It helped, of course, to have what is, perhaps, the most compelling City Council race in the city’s history playing out from Capitol Hill to First Hill to the Central District.

On that front, the incumbent stretched her final victory from her 49.9% Primary Election Night tally.Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 5.34.54 PM

You can view all of the primary results here.

Sawant and challenger Banks now move on to November in a race that has so far been the center of attention and campaign spending.

Meanwhile, King County Elections reports some 11,000 ballots were returned as “undeliverable” in the primary. Make sure your address is up to date.

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. Continue reading

In a nod to neighborhoods and sidewalks, revised Seattle transportation levy plan bulks up another 3%

We’re going to need about 3% more. After gathering feedback — and crunching a few more numbers — Mayor Ed Murray announced a revised proposal for a new transportation levy to fund projects across Seattle.

In March, Murray and city officials gathered in front of the Bullitt Center to announce the original $900 million Move Seattle levy proposal as E Madison traffic roared by in the background. That street’s BRT plan will be one of a giant roster of Seattle transit projects planned to be powered by the funding.

Wednesday, officials said the revised plan about to be sent to City Council for approval before it goes to November’s ballot would now weigh in around $930 million. It also has some new priorities stuffed in including more money for street safety and, in a nod to the future demands to be placed on the coming district-based City Council, more money for “neighborhood priority projects.” Continue reading

Rise of the renter? Tenants Union director Jon Grant makes bid for Seattle City Council

City Council candidate Jon Grant (Image: Casey Jaywork)

City Council candidate Jon Grant (Image: Casey Jaywork)

Housing: after food, air and water, a safe place to lay your head may be the most basic of human needs. But with the fastest-growing rents in the country and a ballooning homeless population, Seattle is becoming home to fewer and fewer homes for the poor and working class.

Jon Grant aims to change that. Campaigning for city council on a three-plank platform of affordable housing, police reform, and public campaign financing, the executive director of the WA Tenants Union presents himself as a scrappy underdog taking on the city’s complacent status quo.

“It would be one thing if the incumbents were do-nothing,” Grant told CHS shortly after declaring his candidacy. “[But] they’re actively aiding and abetting developers in getting out of paying into affordable housing.” Continue reading

A Capitol Hill example of a gun loophole I-594 would close

The 2013 death of Joel Reuter, the 28-year-old mentally ill man who was killed by police snipers after an 8-hour standoff on Capitol Hill, provides a real world example of how I-594 might be put to use.

CHS previously looked at some of the Capitol Hill donors and endorsements supporting the I-594 cause. We also featured an essay from former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels about his support for the initiative as a “first step” in improving gun control in the state.

Following Reuter’s 2013 death, detectives conducted an investigation into the gun Reuter brandished during the incident. According to police reports, the last registered owner of the gun was not Reuter, but a Seattle University law student living in Bellevue. When detectives visited the man’s house, he identified the gun as one he had previously owned, but told detectives he sold it on Armslist.com — a popular firearms classifieds website. The Bellevue man was not a licensed firearms dealer, according to the investigation report.

Two months before Reuter’s death, the man arranged to meet the Armslist buyer at a Dairy Queen parking lot to make the transaction. When detectives showed the man a picture of Reuter, he said Reuter was definitely not the buyer.

It turns out the buyer’s Bonney Lake lake address and “Justice Lawman” name were both fakes. And that’s where the trail goes cold. The Bellevue man told investigators he “usually” asks to see a buyer’s drivers license and concealed carry permit before selling a gun, but it appears he never asked this particular buyer. Two months later, Reuter was shot to death while holding the Glock 26. It is not known how he obtained it.

Under I-594, background checks by licensed firearm dealers would be required for such online transactions. I-594 would not have prevented Reuter from obtaining a gun, but the investigation does show some of the gaps I-594 supporters are trying to close. I-591 is also on the November 4th ballot and would prevent universal background checks in the state that are stricter than the national standard, effectively preventing anything like I-594. Meanwhile, Joel’s Law, a legislative effort supported by Reuter’s parent that would make it easier to have family members committed for mental health treatment, faces continued delay in Olympia.