Inauguration in Seattle has usually been a low-key affair. But not this year.
Hundreds packed the lobby of Seattle City Hall on Monday. Some came to see Ed Murray, the city’s first openly gay mayor, take the oath of office. But many more came to catch a glimpse of Kshama Sawant, Seattle’s first Socialist City Council member who has attracted international attention.
At a press conference on Thursday, Seattle Mayor-elect Ed Murray said Seattle must figure out ways to help low-wage workers, or it risks becoming a city of the rich. He has appointed a task force to study “income inequality,” but no one expects the process to be easy.
Ross Reynolds talks with Faye Garneau, the woman who started working on a reform to elect Seattle City Council members by neighborhood districts in 1995 and didn’t give up until voters approved it this year.
Kshama Sawant remains ahead of Seattle City Councilmember Richard Conlin by 1,148. On Wednesday, Sawant was ahead by 402 votes. If she maintains this lead, the race will not be eligible for a recount, although Conlin could contest the vote count and pay for a recount.
Seattle voters may have just voted for several city council races, but they’ll do it again in 2015.
That’s because Charter Amendment 19 calls for the city to be divided into seven districts, with one city council representative from each. But some advocacy groups worry the new system of districts may harm minorities and the poor.
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn conceded the race to his challenger Ed Murray on Thursday. Meanwhile Murray said he wants to resign his state senate seat as soon as possible so he can focus on his transition to City Hall.