Q: Why Should Ed Murray Resign? A: Gentrification

And the deer remained caught in the headlights until the bitter end of its absurd municipal tenure.
Alan Berner / The Seattle Times file, 2016

Which recent Seattle City Hall scandal would best justify Ed Murray’s resignation from the Seattle mayor’s office: his alleged erstwhile sexual peccadillos, or his actual complicity in the rampant gentrification that presently threatens to transform our historically glorious countercultural sanctuary city into the exclusive domain of the vapidly affluent?

What a shame, indeed, that Murray’s present potential for world-class pariah status within the infamously wily world of Seattle’s political cognoscenti revolves within the possible weakness of his flesh rather than his obvious lack of genuine passion for local economic justice.

As a proud Seattle native and longtime resident, I brazenly couldn’t care less concerning the salacious geography of our present mayor’s amorous anatomy. Rather, it’s the plethora of glass-and-steel phalli presently being erected throughout our formerly working-class municipality that makes my Dionysianly timid spirit queasy. Consider last week’s revelation, reported on yesterday’s front page of The Seattle Times, that our city government — under Ed Murray’s watch — sleazily failed to collect $3.4 million in affordable housing contributions from the developer of a pair of appallingly aspirational glass palaces for assholes (a.k.a. the Insignia Towers condo project) recently constructed downtown. That’s the sort of scandal that should ultimately determine the results of the 2017 Seattle municipal elections. Consider it the telltale genital mole of the longtime municipal plague of gentrification, displacement, and homelessness that has metastasized here during Ed Murray’s absurd mayoral tenure.

Yet another potential Seattle City Hall scandal involves the paltry penance that we’ve been apparently begging for from the real-estate developer dragons: a mere two percent of new housing units dedicated as apocryphally affordable.

Someone should kindly inform our city’s political establishment that Seattle has what developers want: a famously livable city surrounded by an environmentally lavish geographical region. We the people of Seattle should therefore be demanding much more from developers than our establishment-addled city government currently does — as current progressive city council members Kshama Sawant, Lisa Herbold, and Mike O’Brien (who discovered the $3.4M discrepancy) have rightly argued. Meanwhile, Ed Murray remains in profoundly improper thrall to the dragons — all charitable campaign rhetoric and/or salacious bedroom entanglements notwithstanding.

Let the local scandal sheets now brazenly bray that gentrification — not genitalia — is the only scandal that matters in Seattle City Hall circa 2017. See you in November.

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