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

One year in, what’s your Jenny Durkan Capitol Hill approval rating?

During Seattle’s annual “Kitty Hall,” Durkan faced what was *probably* the easiest decisions of her first year in office (Image: City of Seattle)

Last year around this time, newly sworn-in Mayor Jenny Durkan stopped through Capitol Hill and was met by a disruptive protest as she kicked-off her administration. It was the start of a sometimes rocky year for Mayor Durkan — and Seattle including an ugly fight over the Amazon head tax and the slogged out final miles of the police union contract. Monday, with her new $5.9 billion city budget in hand, Mayor Durkan returns to the neighborhood to start her second year with a “Capitol Hill Community Celebration,” part of a week “crisscrossing Seattle,” “listening to community members,” and attending “nearly a dozen community events and roundtables in all seven Council districts, from Northgate to West Seattle to New Holly to Ballard.”

Take the Durkan Approval Survey
View latest results

Monday’s Capitol Hill event is mostly a social calling. Taking place at 12th Ave’s Rachel’s Ginger Beer starting at 4:30 PM, the Capitol Hill gathering will be short and sweet. The mayor’s people only gave her 90 minutes to enjoy a Moscow Mule and make it through Seattle traffic to a second celebration scheduled in Ballard. If only it were the late 2030s, she could take the train. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Art Walk features a night for Washington reproductive rights at Generations

A work by Mari Shibuya

Capitol Hill’s monthly art walk brings a dose of political action in May. Tonight from 6 to 9 PM at E Mercer’s Generations gallery, NARAL Pro Choice Washington will host an event with artist Mari Shibuya and State Rep. Nicole Macri.

“I’m doing this event with NARAL to promote access to reproductive health care, and I am very glad to support them,” Macri said. “What they’re aiming to do at this event is to make sure we keep and elect legislators both in the House and the Senate in Olympia who will be strong pro choice voices.” Continue reading

CHS Pics | Hillary Clinton draws a crowd — and cookies, capes, and cheers — on Seattle’s Capitol Hill

Bigly loser Hillary Clinton still has lots of fans on Capitol Hill. Readers carrying her new book, What Happened, lined up on a chilly Tuesday outside 10th Ave’s Elliott Bay Book Company where the politician who nearly became the nation’s first woman president made a signing appearance.

Plenty of Capitol Hill luminaries found a place in line. Some like Linda Derschang whose Little Oddfellows operates inside the bookstore, came armed with gifts like HRC cookies. Others let their Hillary Clinton super capes do the talking.

Continue reading

Durkan sworn in as Seattle’s 54th 55th 56th mayor

Jenny Durkan, Seattle’s first woman to serve as mayor since 1926 — and the Pacific Northwest metropolis’s first out lesbian mayor, ever — was sworn in at the start of a five-stop tour from the south of the city to its north Tuesday afternoon. Fittingly, the whole thing was planned to come to end Tuesday night with a beer — Lake City Way’s Elliott Bay Public House marked the final stop.

Any Seattle voter who chose Durkan because she seemed like she might be a tough ally in the seeming culture war underway in the country probably liked what they heard Tuesday.

“We will not be bullied and will not be told what to do,” Durkan said. “We’re not spoiling for a fight but we will not back down from what we know is right.” Continue reading

‘Java with Jayapal’ in a Broadway cafe: Trump, GOP banking on resistance fatigue

(Images: Alex Garland)


Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) met up with the Capitol Hill community Wednesday morning for some intimate updates and Q&A. The session inside Broadway’s Espresso Vivace showed the representative is busy doing the best she can to block Trump-esque bills with little time to push her own agenda through Congress.

“I mean, in reality, on the floor, our game is unfortunately a lot of opposition,” Jayapal said Wednesday. “We don’t get the opportunity to put bills forward the way they should be, or even craft them. There used to be hearings where you could offer amendments and reasonable people on both sides of the aisle would support a sensible amendment. That really happens hardly at all.”

As a result, Jayapal says she puts her priorities elsewhere. She explained to the gathered group that her focus remains on constituent services, getting more people involved, changing the makeup of who is involved, and being present in communities.

Jayapal is still able to find a way to move some efforts forward. Continue reading

O’Brien and Harris-Talley: Tax Seattle businesses for homelessness

In a press conference Thursday morning, Seattle City Council members Mike O’Brien and Kirsten Harris-Talley announced the core of a new proposed budget for the city: making the top 10% grossing businesses pay a tax of less than five cents per hour per full-time employee. The H.O.M.E.S. proposal — Housing, Outreach and Mass-Entry Shelter — would gather $20 to $25 million every year which to be applied to homelessness services, permanent housing, and vouchers.

“I’m afraid our current budget sets us up for failure,” O’Brien said. “This is not enough to solve the crisis. We will be asking the new mayor, whoever she is, to come up with a new plan in the first few months.” Continue reading