Politics

Our 2019 City Council Endorsements

“Once upon a time / There was a garden . . .”
Jean-Louis Atlan / Paris Match via Getty Images

Welcome to The Seattle Star‘s endorsements for the November 5, 2019, Seattle City Council general elections — and welcome to the city whose historically peculiar local politics recently received the national attention of Time magazine, which on October 10 ran a substantial feature article in its online edition concerning how Seattle has evidently become once again a national petri dish for genuinely progressive government policies as we collectively slouch together towards the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

Wonder not, then, why our city council has been under constant conservative attack during this past year from within and without by acolytes of the civically superstupid “vote them all out” dog-whistle trope — including and especially the execrable participants of the deceptively-named online anti-homeless hate group Safe Seattle.

And then there’s the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and their political action committee the Civic Alliance for a Sound Economy (CASE), who nakedly intend to buy our 2019 elections with sinister assistance from Amazon, which gifted an appalling $1 million to CASE on October 15, exactly three weeks from Election Day.

We longtime Seattleites who gleefully protested the WTO twenty long years ago and haven’t yet forgotten why are not pleased about the impending possibility of our jewel of an historically fair-labor city getting hijacked at the snail-mail ballot box by such genuinely regressive troglodytes and/or their corporatist benefactors — whence the following presentation of our progressively biased choices for this year’s grungeoid municipal smackdown.

Onward once again we go. As always, our endorsements are inevitably subjective. Do your own research, make up your own mind, cast your own ballot — and remember to scarf down a scrumptious non-corporate, non-bologna sandwich whilst you vote.

DISTRICT 1: Lisa Herbold

When Lisa Herbold first ran for council in 2015, she was arguably the most qualified council candidate in Seattle’s municipal history, having previously worked in Seattle City Hall for nearly two decades as a legislative aide to genuinely progressive councilmensch Nick Licata.

Circa 2019, Herbold’s longtime legislative savvy’s gifted our city with undeniable results, including renters’ rights protections, secure-scheduling legislation, and paid sick leave for city workers. Four more years, please! Herbold’s 2019 opponent is a know-nothing NIMBY, Trump-style serial failed businessdude, and former cop not worth naming here. Vote Herbold.


DISTRICT 2: Tammy Morales

When Tammy Morales ran in 2015 as a local political unknown to unseat the absurd establishment incumbent Bruce Harrell — and almost won — we eagerly endorsed the longtime District 2 resident and community organizer. What we said then still stands true today:

Among her priorities on the council will be increasing community policing and police accountability, a profoundly volatile topic for District 2, where people of color have long borne the brutal brunt of the Seattle Police Department’s nationally notorious dysfunctionality. Morales is also a sustainable food activist, which bodes well for Beacon Hill’s potential to become a national neighborhood leader in the burgeoning urban farming movement, given the recent establishment of the Beacon Hill Food Forest.

Given Morales’s considerable support from her kindred District 2 grassroots activists and her strong showing in the August primary election, she’s a likely November winner this year — but let’s make sure. Just so you know, her mediocre 2019 opponent is yet another candidate cop. See a pattern emerging? Vote Morales.


DISTRICT 3: Kshama Sawant

Kshama Sawant is the best thing to happen to Seattle City Council since Nick Licata’s 1997 election. When Sawant first ran for council in 2013 with vanguard name recognition from her grassroots leadership during Occupy Seattle in 2011, her brazenly honest leftism was a desperately needed pushback against the creeping urban conservatism cleverly masquerading as progressivism that first began to plague the council during the 1990s, worst exemplified by politely crummy incumbent Richard Conlin — also first elected in 1997 — whom Sawant defeated in 2013.

Sawant’s 2019 opponent, Lyin’ Egan Orion, is an exemplary poster boy for disingenuousness. Among myriad other campaign jive crimes, Orion has plastered Capitol Hill with posters condemning PAC donations whilst being the primary recipient of such donations this year from shady groups like CASE and People for Seattle. Apparently, CASE coulda had filet mignon, but instead they ordered a bologna sandwich. Just say no to corporate bologna. Vote Sawant.


DISTRICT 4: Shaun Scott

Shaun Scott is the most inspiring Seattle City Council candidate since, well, since Kshama Sawant first ran in 2013. Scott supports myriad municipal causes of genuinely progressive pedigree, including municipal broadband, public housing, and — last but not least — the proposed Seattle Green New Deal. He’s also keen on the nascent proposal to convert University Way Northeast, a.k.a. The Ave, into a pedestrian-only thoroughfare. As longtime Ave acolytes, we’re thus keen on Scott.

While Scott’s opponent Alex Pedersen can credibly claim previous experience in Seattle City Hall as a legislative aide to former councilmember Tim Burgess, that shady association makes us municipally queasy, since Burgess is the ultimate conservative archnemesis of all that’s been genuinely progressive about Seattle during the past decade, and his deceptively-named PAC, People for Seattle, has spent more than $20,000 so far to back Pedersen. Burgess has also donated directly to Pedersen’s campaign. Got PAC, man? Vote Scott.


DISTRICT 5: Louise Olivereau

When we endorsed attorney Debora Juarez for council in 2015, we did so based on her obviously exceptional intelligence and linguistic prowess, as well as her formidable public-service résumé. As has happened all too often during the past three decades’ worth of Seattle City Council electoral victories, a promising apparent progressive has become yet another legislatively namby-pamby PAC-money-loving incumbent. Yet fear ye not her fate: Juarez’s 2019 opponent is a Safe Seattle-adulated crackpot whose proposed solution to the city’s ongoing homelessness crisis is to round up all the scary, scary hobos and cram them into an abandoned Aurora Avenue Sam’s Club. Juarez will win re-election this year — guaranteed. What a great opportunity for a progressive protest vote! You say you want a genuine leftist on council who’ll truly make all of Magnolia collectively crap its creepy-NIMBY Kimbies™? Olivereau’s her name — and sedition’s her game!

Louise Olivereau (1884-1963) was a Seattle schoolteacher, poet, and self-described anarchist who was arrested, tried, and sentenced to prison for the charge of sedition during World War I for mailing anti-conscription literature to young men throughout the Pacific Northwest. As the good ol’ WTO folk song says: If you’ve been to jail for justice, you’re in good company! Vote Olivereau.


DISTRICT 6: Dan Strauss

We’ll say one good thing about Heidi Wills: when she was president of the Associated Students of the University of Washington circa 1990, she helped goad the reluctant UW administration into finally establishing a campus-wide recycling program after 20 long years of campus-hippie pressure. That was then and this is now: here circa 2019, the middle-aged Wills is yet another namby-pamby NIMBY-pandering vocal supporter of homeless-encampment sweeps — and just because GoodFellas is our favorite film doesn’t mean we now forgive her for Strippergate.

Dan Strauss is a fresh-faced millennial poli-sci geek who’s been chief policy adviser to retiring council member Sally Bagshaw and a legislative aide to state senator David Frockt, and he opposes homeless-encampment sweeps, among other stand-up-dude genuinely progressive policy positions. Got policy wonk? Vote Strauss.


DISTRICT 7: Andrew J. Lewis

Wayward friends and neighbors, have you heard the Good News about The Lesser of Two Evils?

Just kidding. Andrew J. Lewis, who probably ran for class president in preschool, is actually a serious longtime known quality among young-circa-2019 Seattle progressives with an impressive local-political résumé, and likely thus will hit the ground running upon election. He, too, opposes homeless-encampment sweeps, and was an early supporter of the Fort Lawton housing project.

As for Lewis’s opponent: What’s up with the Seattle cop clown car tryna hijack our city council this year? Vote Lewis.