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Seattle City Council

Seattle's District 4 Candidates Are Becoming BFFs

Oct 14, 2015
Seattle City Council District 4 candidates Michael Maddux and Rob Johnson.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Outside the radio booth, Seattle City Council candidates Michael Maddux and Rob Johnson look like they could be brothers.

Easy smiles. Blue tops. Johnson rides the bus; Maddux rides his bike. They joke that that their main difference is crew necks versus V-necks.

The most-funded item on Seattle’s November ballot isn’t a candidate. It’s a ballot measure called Honest Elections, and almost all its funding comes from a few East Coast donors.

Under the Honest Elections plan, every voter would be a donor. Before a city election, voters would receive four $25 vouchers in the mail. Voters pick their favorite candidates and mail in their vouchers.

Rob Johnson (center in light shirt and tie) and campaign supporters watch election results Tuesday night at The Pub at Third Place. Johnson was leading in District 4, ahead of Michael Maddux and incumbent Jean Godden.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Your votes are in and here's what we know about the primary election for Seattle's new City Council districts: It was pretty good for incumbents.

Except one. 

Take us somewhere special. 

That’s what we asked the 47 candidates running for the new City Council districts in Seattle.

A pedestrian crosses Lake City Way near Northeast 125th Street in Seattle's City Council District 5.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

A Seattle City Council committee has given the green light to the mayor’s proposed $930 million transportation levy.

The Select Committee on Transportation Funding rejected a proposal from Councilmembers Nick Licata and Kshama Sawant to shrink the property tax levy to $600 million and use an employee hours tax and a commercial parking tax to make up much of the difference.

Terrell Jackson reopened his family's Catfish Corner restaurant in Rainier Beach, closer to old customers.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

If you want to track displacement from Seattle’s Central Area, just follow the restaurants. Jackson’s Catfish Corner in Rainier Beach started on East Cherry Street. That former restaurant, a neighborhood mainstay, was sold last year and is now boarded up.

A view of Mount Rainier from West Seattle, Seattle's new District 1.
Flickr Photo/Chas Redmond (CC by 2.0)

People in West Seattle often complain that no one comes to visit. They say this with some disbelief, because as far as they’re concerned, they live in the best part of the city – and possibly Earth. 

A bus moves into traffic on Delridge Way in West Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Ross Reynolds speaks with Seattle City Councilmember Nick Licata about his alternative transportation levy proposal. The mayor's transportation levy aims to raise $930 million over nine years through property taxes. Licata says that's not the way to go. 

Ross Reynolds speaks with Tim Burgess, president of the Seattle City Council, about one piece of legislation which could help preserve existing affordable housing in the city.

Bill Radke, Knute Berger, Chris Vance and Sen. Pramila Jayapal on stage at the Columbia City Theater on Friday, June 5, 2015.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Is it time for Washington state to abolish the death penalty? Should Seattle Mayor Ed Murray think twice about a trip to Israel? Is Southeast Seattle the next Ballard? And what is up with Republicans and golf?

Bill Radke debates these stories and more of the week's news with Crosscut's Knute Berger, state Sen. Pramila Jayapal and former Washington state GOP chair Chris Vance.

Seattle City Hall
Flickr Photo/Daniel X. O'Neil (CC-BY-NC-ND)/

Marcie Sillman speaks with Seattle journalist and The C is For Crank blogger Erica C. Barnett about a recent report on gender pay equity for City of Seattle employees.

Socialist Kshama Sawant and campaign staff at King County Elections office Monday. She submitted more than 3,000 signatures to qualify for the ballot in her re-election bid for Seattle City Council
KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

In Seattle, Democratic Party activists have held enormous sway over the outcome of local elections.

But now, as campaign season begins, a non-Democrat is causing a rift in one corner of the party.

Police officers pause next to a sign outside a restaurant as they observe a May Day anti-capitalism march, Friday, May 1, 2015 in Seattle.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Seattle City Council members grilled police officials on Wednesday about their use of force during recent May Day protests. Bruce Harrell, who heads the council’s public safety committee, called some police actions “idiotic" and "not the smartest...or wisest way to go".

He questioned if officers chose the right approach to deescalate the protests on Friday. He said he saw marchers just marching – and then police officers on on bikes ramming them from behind.

Baltimore protest, 4/28/2015, Freddie Gray
Flickr Photo/Arash Azizzada

Is a property damage as protest ever justifiable? Did Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant cross the line in criticizing a colleague? What will the Shell Arctic drilling protests accomplish? Bonus: Should Seattle PBS station KCTS pull its own plug?

Bill Radke discusses the week’s news with Tonya Mosley, Eli Sanders and Chris Vance. 

KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

There's a new face on the Seattle City Council, despite objections from one of his new colleagues.

At least for a short time, John Okamoto will fill the seat of exiting council member Sally Clark, who stepped down to take a job at the University of Washington.

Who'll replace former Seattle City Council member Sally Clark?
Flickr Photo/WSDOT (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman speaks with political analyst C.R. Douglas about the eight finalists for a short-term Seattle City Council seat. (The full list, in alphabetical order: Jan Drago, Noel Frame, Sharon Lee, John Okomoto, Sharon Maeda, David Moseley, Sheley Secrest and Alec Stephens.) One will be appointed April 27.

Who'll replace former Seattle City Council member Sally Clark?
Flickr Photo/WSDOT (CC-BY-NC-ND)

  Marcie Sillman talks with nine-year Seattle City Council veteran Sally Clark, who is leaving government for a job at the University of Washington.

Seattle City Council
Courtesy of Seattle City Council

Marcie Sillman talks with KCPQ political analyst C.R. Douglas about how the Seattle City Council will fill the open seat created by outgoing Councilmember Sally Clark.

A homeless camp beneath an Interstate 5 off-ramp in Seattle's SODO district.
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

Bill Radke talks with Seattle City Councilmember Mike O'Brien about a proposal to expand and regulate homeless encampments in Seattle.

Ross Reynolds talks with outgoing Seattle City Councilmembers Nick Licata, Sally Clark and Tom Rasmussen about how district elections will change our city.

Also, Marcie Sillman hears from UCLA political scientist Chris Tausanovitch on the subject.

Newborn baby with big brother and mom.
Flickr Photo/Sheila Dee (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The City of Seattle may soon offer its employees four weeks paid leave to take care of a new child. Mayor Ed Murray and City Council Member Jean Godden laid out the details Monday at a news conference.

Godden said paid parental leave helps reduce the gender wage gap and that women who work and have kids will be better supported.

Demonstrators in Seattle form a human chain around City Hall in support of a $15 minimum wage in April 2014.
KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Marcie Sillman talks with Seattle City Councilmember Mike O'Brien about the potential impact of the $15 minimum wage on Seattle's manufacturing sector.

Seattle City Hall: '31 Shades Of Liberal'

Jan 26, 2015
Seattle City Council
Courtesy of Seattle City Council

Marcie Sillman talks with news analyst and KCTS contributor Joni Balter about the upcoming departure of two longtime City Council members and what that means for the future of Seattle. 

Seattle City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen says he won't slack off in his last year: "Call me if you need a stop sign put in."
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Another longtime Seattle City Council member has announced he will not seek reelection this year. Tom Rasmussen said he’ll retire from the council after twelve years. His announcement follows Nick Licata’s similar news last Thursday.

A line of Car2Gos in the South Lake Union district of Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Jeannie Yandel speaks with Susan Shaheen, co-director of the Transportation Sustainability Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley, about the expansion of car sharing services like Car2Go in Seattle. The City Council has voted to bump the number of permits for short term rental cars from 500 to 3,000. 

construction crane
Flickr Photo/sea turtle (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with Seattle City Councilmember Sally Clark about a proposal that would require public construction projects to give priority to workers who live in disadvantaged parts of Seattle and King County.

Marcie Sillman talks to Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes about the City Council's consideration of changing the name of the crime "patronizing a prostitute" to "sexual exploitation."

Also, Dr. Melinda Chateauvert, author of "Sex Workers Unite: A History Of The Movement From Stonewall to SlutWalk," explains why she believes the use of the term "sexual exploitation" to describe the crime is wrong. 

A transport vehicle carries the new front end of the bearing block for Bertha. First though, the machine has to be dug out from beneath Pioneer Square.
Flickr Photo/WSDOT (CC-BY-NC-ND)

They were not reassuring words.

Engineers hired to rescue Bertha, the deep boring machine stalled under downtown Seattle, wrote to state officials: “If we continue the current ‘repair as we go’ method of excavation, we significantly increase the risk of a catastrophic failure.”

Seattle City Councilmember Mike O'Brien, longtime opponent of the waterfront tunnel, has been pushing Washington State Department of Transportation officials to be more transparent.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Pioneer Square sank more than an inch, and Bertha the giant tunnel boring machine is still stuck, but state officials are putting on a happy face.

Washington State Department of Transportation officials returned to the Seattle City Council Monday to discuss worst-case scenarios for the waterfront tunnel project. Bertha, stuck under downtown Seattle for nearly a year, was mid-rescue when officials realized that buildings were settling deeper into the ground.


Flickr Photo/megawatts86 (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with Gwendolyn Hallsmith, executive director of the Public Banking Institute, about the benefits of creating a public bank in Seattle.