Last year my predictions revolved around Seattle's new mayor, Mike McGinn. McGinn was the outsider urban density lobbyist change agent (not much really changed).
It can be difficult to predict likely outcomes of a strong willed individual transitioning from random populist ideas to the cold reality of having to be the mayor of an entire city. As entertaining as it was, the world and my 2011 predictions will not revolve around the Mayor (you're welcome).
Feel free to review my 2010 Predictions.
2011 will be the Year of the Hollow Victory
I'll work my way from the outside in to Seattle.
1.a. Congressional Republicans will back their way into championing a Public Option and Universal Healthcare, thinking Medicare will become privatized at the state level.
1.b. Congressional Democrats will champion state's rights.
2. King County will represent those that "have" in Olympia, and they will gain control of what the state will stop doing. Yes, this is the year an arts bill passes in Olympia.
The state will stop spending $6 million dollars a year on arts programs, passing the responsibility to counties.
The Washington State Legislators will get out of the business of "One Washington" politics, where everyone either gets or is denied what somebody else in the state either gets or is denied. You don't want to be taxed so you don't want the mean old state to force services on you, good luck to the "red" counties. (not really a prediction, but a point of fact).
3. The state will take all municipalities "off the hook" for paying for state roads.
Mike McGinn gets his way, sort of.
4. The deep bore tunnel starts, Mike McGinn supporters go looking for a new mayoral candidate.
5. The state will grant counties the power and authority to raise taxes to pay for transit by popular vote, adding an increase to the Motor Vehicle Excise Tax limit counties and cities can have.
6. Seattle will lead the vote on increased MVET taxes in King County.
7. I predict a more practical challenge for one of 5 Seattle City Council seats will be from somebody not so identified with the tunnel, will have name recognition, and champion the lessor Seattle themes and memes. It looks like tunnel opposition, without the stink of losing that argument.
8. Bellevue will reveal a major public works proposal for a regional center, with a public/private proposal that only missing one thing, public money.
9. King County will revisit the plans for the expansion of the Washington State Convention Center (now a Public Facilities District), with a public/private proposal that is only missing one thing, the private business.
10. Seattle Center's Key Arena will become the worlds largest planter, much like people sometimes do with old boots, or toilets, as they prepare to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the World's Fair with a ferris wheel and urban blight.
11. Oil prices will rise (not that kind of oil). This will be a record harvest for Washington State high quality mint oil.
12. The redistricting will split the 8th Congressional District, causing a major shift in King County Democrats from Olympia Washington to Washington D.C.