German-language Talk: Democracy in Germany, 30 Years after the Mauerfall

PLEASE NOTE: TALK & DISCUSSION WILL BE HELD IN GERMAN.

Prof. Dr. Karl-Rudolf Korte, who is visiting the Goethe Pop Up Seattle from Germany, will discuss his recent publication Gesichter der Macht, a study of the role of the federal president, and the elections in the federal states of Brandenburg, Thuringia, and Saxony. He is joined in conversation by Prof. Niko Switek.

At the center of the talk stands the following question: How does democracy narrate itself? The federal president disposes of an enormous potential for political creative power – apart from formal arrangements and decrees. Especially today, when in terms of elite, cosmopolitan liberalism on the one hand and new radical, national authoritarianism on the other powerful stories of minimal consensus of our democracy must be told. What story will be told this fall in Germany if the elections in Brandenburg, Saxony, and Thuringia will strengthen the AfD?

About the speakers:

Prof. Dr. Karl-Rudolf Korte received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Mainz in 1988 and his Dr. rer. pol. habil. from the Ludwig Maximillian University Munich. Korte has been teaching at the University Duisburg-Essen since 2003. He has been holding the position of director of the NRW School of Governance since 2006. For almost 20 years, he has also been accompanying the televised election shows of ZDF as election researcher. His recent monograph, Gesichter der MachtÜber die Gestaltungspotentiale der BundespräsidentenEin Essay was published in 2019.

Niko Switek currently holds a DAAD Visiting Assistant Professorship for German Studies at the Henry M. Jackson School for International Studies and the Department of Political Science at the University of Washington, Seattle.

District 3 City Council Candidate Forum

The 43rd District Dems would like to cordially invite you to our OFFICIAL District 3 City Council forum! ✨

Please register here: https://www.facebook.com/events/390297181810254/

We’ll be asking candidates about their plans to address District 3’s most pressing issues including housing affordability, homelessness, and transportation.

Candidates confirmed attending:
Kshama Sawant
Logan Bowers
Egan Orion
Ami Nguyen
Pat Murakami
Asukaa Jaxx
Zachary DeWolf

The Riveter is located within walking distance of the Capitol Hill Light Rail Station, the First Hill Street Car, and bus routes 2, 8, 10, 11, 12, 43, and 49.

Seattle’s District 3 is comprised of the following neighborhoods: 15th Ave E / Volunteer Park, Broadmoor, Broadway, Capitol Hill, Central Area, Colman, Denny Blaine, First Hill, Garfield, Harborview, Jackson Place, Judkins, Leschi, Little Saigon (both 2 & 3), Madison Park, Madrona, Miller, Montlake, Mount Baker (both 2 & 3), North Beacon Hill (both 2 & 3), Pike/Pine, South Lake Union (both 3 & 7), Squire Park, Yesler Terrace

The 43rd District Democrats is a volunteer organization committed to increasing political participation and civic engagement, educating voters, and advancing Democratic values. Find out more at our website https://www.43rddemocrats.org/

Stacey Abrams on our Capitol Hill: ‘I didn’t say I wouldn’t run, I just said I wasn’t announcing anything’

Stacey Abrams first set the goal of running for the presidency 25 years ago.

After breaking up with a boyfriend, Abrams, who acknowledges she is “bad at dating,” says she created a spreadsheet laying out her goals, including being Atlanta mayor — the ceiling for black people, she thought at the time — a millionaire, and an author.

In about 1994, one of her friends, a white Republican man from South Carolina who she worked in the Clinton White House through a fellowship asked her the shocking question: “Stacey, when are you running for president?”

“President of what?” she recounted asking in response.

He reassured her that she could do it.

“What shames me to this day is that I did not believe him,” Abrams said at a sold-out Town Hall Seattle event Thursday night at Capitol Hill’s Temple De Hirsch Sinai.

“This moment where this person who was becoming my friend saw possibility in me, I immediately rejected it because there had never been a black man, a black woman, a woman ever to be a viable candidate.”

After that conversation, she went home and updated the spreadsheet to say that she would run for president of the United States. Continue reading

Would you vote for solar-powered presidential candidate Inslee?

Gov. Inslee on light rail for the opening of Capitol Hill Station in 2016

On Capitol Hill, we’ve seen a lot of the latest Democratic candidate to toss their hat into the ring for the 2020 presidential election. This time, we probably won’t find him canvassing for votes while talking about potatoes and jobs at the Capitol Hill Farmers Market. But we might see him hanging around E Madison’s Bullitt Center, the sun-powered, super green office building he helped cut the ribbon on when it debuted in 2013.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced his bid for the presidency Friday in a Youtube video and a speech at South Seattle photovoltaic installation firm A&R Solar. “I’m running for president because I am the only candidate who will make defeating climate change our nation’s number one priority,” Inslee says in the video. While Inslee has poor name recognition beyond the Pacific Northwest, his climate change message has attracted powerful backers including billionaire investor and Democratic activist Tom Steyer who Friday called Inslee a “climate champion.”

Inslee isn’t the only prospective Washington State candidate. Former Starbucks CEO and longtime Madison Park lakefront mansion resident Howard Schultz has been kicking the tires on in independent run for president. Would you consider voting for either of them? Let us know in our 2020 candidate ranking survey:


View latest results here
Continue reading

Hundreds in Volunteer Park rally against Trump’s immigration emergency, another protest on Capitol Hill coming this week

With hippie era protest songs and candles, a Presidents Day crowd of hundreds gathered in Capitol Hill’s Volunteer Park to protest Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency over immigration at the southern border. A rowdier protest is expected on Broadway later this week.

Monday at Seattle’s gathering part of protests organized in cities across the county, the message was about fighting back, hope, and politics.

“We know that there is no national emergency,” Governor Jay Inslee said in front of the chilled crowd that gathered around the Black Hole Sun statue in the ice-cleared park. “There is only a political emergency because Donald Trump’s abusive, hate filled rhetoric has been rejected by the American people.” Continue reading

In race for District 3, Bowers puts housing first

Bowers says it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand Seattle’s lack of affordable housing (Image: Vote for Logan)

Covering an election as if it were a horse race is frowned upon when it comes to journalism ethics. It puts the focus on things like polling data and popularity — not policy. So, how about a Solowheel race?

It’s true. Logan Bowers rides an “electric unicycle” — he Solowheeled to our meeting with the candidate around the holidays at 15th Ave E’s Victrola. But while he was rolling across Capitol Hill, he was thinking about housing — housing policy.

“I think the thing to remember is that we had a huge win when we got $15 an hour minimum wage, but all of the gains from that wage — or nearly all of them have been eaten up by rent,” Bowers said. “So folks aren’t better off if we can’t control the price of housing.” Continue reading

Madison Park resident considers ‘centrist independent’ run for president

Schultz inside the 23rd and Jackson Starbucks for a 2015 forum on race and policing (Image: Casey Jaywork for CHS)

Could America elect a president who probably couldn’t even win a race for his own district’s City Council seat?

Probably not.

But former Starbucks CEO and longtime Madison Park lakefront mansion resident Howard Schultz is apparently passing up his opportunity to challenge socialist incumbent Kshama Sawant for her seat representing his District 3 on the Seattle City Council in 2019 and, instead, gearing up for a “centrist independent” run for president in 2020. Continue reading

Sawant, D3 candidates respond to reports on Socialist Alternative influence at Seattle City Hall

District 3 representative Kshama Sawant has responded to reports on the control the Socialist Alternative party has over her Seattle City Council office.

Meanwhile, her possible opponents in a race for the D3 seat have weighed in with harsh criticism.

In her statement, Sawant does not refute that she is “democratically accountable” to Socialist Alternative.

“I was elected and then reelected to the Seattle City Council on the basis of my pledge to unwaveringly use my office to help build movements to win victories for ordinary working people,” Sawant’s statement on the reports reads. “A recent article from SCC Insight, now happily picked up by the corporate conservative media, argues that pledge is somehow at odds with my long-standing and publicly declared commitment to remain democratically accountable to the members of my organization, Socialist Alternative.”

Her full statement is here.

Seattle City Council Insight reported this week on findings from a trove of internal Socialist Alternative documents and communications that showed the extent to which Sawant “has handed over her Council responsibilities to Socialist Alternative.”

CHS examined the documents and reported how the Socialist Alternative structure determined Sawant’s votes on City Council actions like the confirmation of Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best.

The documents and letters show that not only is Sawant beholden to the tenets and causes of Socialist Alternative but that the political organization is also calling the shots in Sawant’s City Hall office, setting her policies including how the veteran council member votes, what she will say about her decision in the council chambers, and who works on her city payrolled staff. Continue reading

‘Beto for Seattle’ — from Capitol Hill’s little pink house to a run for City Hall

Beto Yarce announced his candidacy with supporters and partner Phil Smith at his side

When he first arrived on Capitol Hill in the early 2000s, Beto Yarce’s living arrangements were pretty typical for a young, gay person in their 20s. You may have seen his home — it was hard to miss the little pink house on John just above Broadway.

“I lived with three drag queens and two of my friends were women from Mexico and that’s how it really started, my journey here, you know,” Yarce tells CHS. “I’m seeing the different components of the CD and Capitol Hill and the complex diversity and, now, the needs of having this movement today.”

Yarce talked with CHS Thursday after coming to Capitol Hill for his big announcement — and the start of this movement he’s talking about. He is running for the District 3 seat on the Seattle City Council currently held by Socialist Alternative leader Kshama Sawant.

Back in his early days in Seattle, Yarce wasn’t thinking about public office. Working as a busser, and then a waiter, and, then, eventually the manager at Broadway’s dearly departed Mexican restaurant and lounge Galerias, Yarce began his life in America as an undocumented immigrant from Guadalajara.

“Today, you see me wearing a jacket — but it was not like this all the time,” he told CHS Thursday. “I lived here, I struggled. I worked as a busser. I worked 12 hour days.” Continue reading

In search of a District 3 candidate at mayor’s Capitol Hill ‘community celebration’ — UPDATE: Yarce is in

Mayor Durkan chats with Rachel’s Ginger Beer owner Rachel Marshall during Monday’s “Capitol Hill community celebration” (Image: CHS)

If there was a prospective District 3 candidate inside Rachel’s Ginger Beer on 12th Ave Monday night at the mayor’s Capitol Hill stop on her “community celebration” tour to mark her first year of office, they weren’t talking.

Neither was Mayor Jenny Durkan.

“I can’t get distracted by that,” Durkan said. “We proved this year and in the budget that Seattle gets things done when we work together.”

Ok, Mayor Durkan, but what about the lone council member who voted against your $5.9 billion budget package? Surely, you have to be thinking about District 3 in 2019.

“Every city needs different voices,” Durkan said. Alas, the mayor wasn’t on Capitol Hill Monday night to back a horse in a race for the seat currently held by Socialist Alternative leader Kshama Sawant. Continue reading