Monday, 4 November 2013

If she wins, I hope she just drops the mic and walks away.

I sat outside Rudy's barbershop and filled out my King County/City of Seattle ballot. I had a hard time mustering too much enthusiasm for many of the issues at hand, but did fill out the ballot (yes to food labeling, don't see what's so hard about that, no to anything that smacks of Eyman's NIMBY, aristocraticonservatism) and as informed of votes as possible regarding the specific candidates who'll be leading this pretty-good to greatish city into the future.

For mayor, I went with Mike McGinn. Sort of a devil-you-know approach, I suppose, as I was not impressed with his handling of Seattle's well-documented culture of police brutality. When the Feds tell you "yeah, you guys are too racist and violent," that's a fucking problem, and McGinn didn't seem to know what to do with it. That said, his opponent, Ed Murray, seems to be of the "OH MY GOSH THIS CITY IS SO DANGEROUS WE NEED TO HIRE MORE COPS ALL THE TIME .. . . but ah, no, they won't be the racist type. Trust me."
Frankly, one thing I'd like to see done on this issue (as a first, and not only) step would be to require that police officers who work in, and for, the City of Seattle, actually live there.
Or within a very close radius.
Plus, McGinn is really strong on issues like Transit, which is pretty close to my heart/ability to live and work in town.

The other interesting thing to watch has been how the Seattle Times has been outright campaigning for Murray; reason alone to distrust him. ST is as close to a republican rag as you can get in Seattle, and as it tends to service the greater Puget Sound area (you can get it as far north as Bellingham, no problem) it also caters quite a bit to Eastside interests and concerns. Which are not, in and of themselves evil, or wrong, but Bellevue is not Seattle. It has spent the last sixty years trying to play an image of both Northwest-hominess and incredible opulence. In the last twenty, it's asserted itself as a business center and constructed Washington State's second densest skyline (I think; Tacoma may give it a run), creating the sense of a City without the culture, vibrancy, or diversity*, and as such, shouldn't try to influence what Seattle does or wants. So the fact that Murray sometimes acts like he's running for the Mayor of Seattle Met, Meet Me in Kirkland For Martinis Later doesn't sit well with me.**

Also, I voted for Kshama Sawant. I'm not a socialist in any sort of large-scale way*** but we need a real lefty on the council. Someone who'll advocate for the poor and the working to big businesses, not the other way around. Someone who'll advocate for affordable housing in the quickest-rising rent (disproportionate to income, btw) in the nation. If she gets elected, will she be able to push all her talking points through? No. No one ever does. But I'm pretty stoked that I get to vote for a candidate I believe actually gives a shit about anyone making under $80,000 a year.

*This is changing. Bellevue in 2013 is different than it was, and it will continue to change, both due to abstract, inevitable forces of growth, and also because recently the Bellevue city council has been shaking the grip of some of it's most backwards-asshole influences.
** Ed Murray, if polls are to be believed, will probably win. I do not believe he'd be the unmitigated disaster that Bruce Harrell or Tim Burgess or Peter Steinbrueck would have, but I'd still have a bit of an "ugh."
***Though by any red-state standards, I'd probably be considered a Maoist. I think in the American Debate we've gone far enough to the right as of late that I'd like to see more unabashed Socialists coming out to pull this country's head out of its ass, and that can happen on a city level as well.

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