Critics of Washington’s new $300 million data center complex have been saying for years that it was overbuilt. Now, the state acknowledges as much. In a new report, Washington’s Chief Information Officer concludes two of the four data halls will not be needed.
Richard Conlin is the incumbent in Position 2 of the Seattle City Council. He's being challenged in the primary by Socialist Alternative candidate Kshama Sawant and Amazon manager Brian Carver.
Conlin was first elected to the council in 1997. He served as council president in 2008-2009 and had a public dust-up with Mayor Mike McGinn over the building of the downtown tunnel.
Recently, Conlin presided over a massive re-zoning of the city's South Lake Union neighborhood, he led the effort to pass a $123 million library levy, and he spearheaded the city's "Happiness Initiative." Conlin cast the sole vote against an ordinance requiring employers to provide paid sick leave to their workers. He was one of two members who voted against using city funds to build a basketball and hockey arena in SODO.
Kshama Sawant is a Socialist Alternative Party candidate who is challenging incumbent Richard Conlin for Seattle City Council Position 2. The other candidate in the race is Amazon employee Brian Carver.
Sawant teaches economics at Seattle Central Community College. She has been active in the Occupy Seattle Movement. Last year, she ran for state House of Representatives against Democrat and long-time House Majority Leader Frank Chopp. She received 29 percent of the vote, which her campaign touted as the highest vote for a socialist candidate in decades.
Sawant is calling for a $15 minimum wage (it's currently $9.19 in Washington state) and a "millionaires' tax" to raise money for transit, education and social services.
David Ishii is a retired postal worker who makes his living as an artist and street performer. In his first run for office, he is challenging Mike O'Brien in Seattle City Council Position 8.
Ishii had originally declared his intention to run for mayor, but then switched to the council race because the mayor's race was "too crowded," he said.
Ishii believes that the city could solve its fiscal problems by developing its own google-like search engine. "That would be worth gadzillions of dollars," he said. Fighting corruption at City Hall would be his main focus in office.
Ishii said he would not take a salary if elected to office, but instead would donate it to "The First Tee," a program which teaches golf to city kids.
Mike O'Brien is running for re-election to Position 8 of the Seattle City Council. He is currently serving his first term.
Prior to joining the council, O'Brien served as CFO of the downtown law firm Stokes Lawrence. He has a degree in economics from Duke University and an MBA from the University of Washington.
O'Brien is a close friend of Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, who also took office in 2009. The two men joined forces to oppose the building of the deep-bore tunnel through the city's downtown, a battle which they lost. O'Brien championed a ban on plastic bags in the city, an opt-out registry for telephone books, and is now pushing for campaign finance reform. He is widely regarded as one of the more progressive members of the City Council.
Albert Shen is one of two people challenging first-term incumbent Mike O'Brien for Seattle City Council Position 8. The other candidate is artist David Ishii.
Shen is the owner of Shen Consulting Inc., a transportation and environmental consulting firm. He graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in environmental science.
Shen says he wants to bring a small business person's perspective to the council. He has been endorsed by CASE, the downtown business association. A large number of supporters to his campaign are Asian Americans, and he's the only candidate in the race who has a Chinese language page on his website.