The candidates for Seattle’s District 6 could not be more Seattle.
Catherine Weatbrook – she used to be a Tubs girl.
Tubs was a shady, windowless establishment in the University District that rented out hot tubs by the hour. It was rumored to be the best place in town to get a urinary tract infection.
Weatbrook’s job was to clean and scrub the tubs. She was 18 at the time, and she worked the night shift. She stayed four months.
Mike O’Brien, a sitting council member, solidified his Seattle cred when he shared with host David Hyde what he ate for breakfast: “Kale and chard from the garden with some eggs and avocado. And curtido, which is a fermented cabbage product that my wife makes.”
The two candidates are vying to represent one of Seattle’s most stridently liberal corners – this is where high percentages of parents don't vaccinate their children – that is also home to a Lenin statue, a Leif Erikson statue and this giant lawn robot.
On mic, Weatbrook and O’Brien disagreed on two issues: the $930 million Let's Move Seattle levy and a tent city for homeless people that is scheduled to go up on Market Street in Ballard.
Weatbrook said the levy is too expensive. “I look at those homeowners who are not wealthy, who are on a fixed income, and who still have to pay the property tax,” she said. “They’re being economically evicted.”
Other levies are coming down the line, she said – a preschool initiative, Sound Transit 3 and likely a low-income housing levy. “When it comes to all the levies, this one doesn’t come out in the top three,” Weatbrook said.
O’Brien agreed levies aren't ideal but said the city is hamstrung by strict state tax law.
Regarding the contentious tent city, Weatbrook said she didn’t like the process. O’Brien said the tent city was a Band-Aid.
“Unfortunately we live in a city that’s creating so much wealth but we haven’t figure out how to house everybody,” O'Brien said. “The Market Street site is one of the few sites that works. The city is fully invested.”
After the interview, O’Brien told us that he doesn’t drink caffeine. Asked if he has vices, he said beer. He likes IPAs, particularly those from the Fremont Brewing Company.
Weatbrook shared that she fosters dogs.
Both were born in Seattle: Weatbrook at Swedish, O’Brien at Northwest.
LISTEN: The full debate between the District 6 candidates moderated by David Hyde and produced by Allie Ferguson.