Wednesday, November 20, 2013

What the Seattle City Council Districts are, and are not

Districts are made of neighborhoods, the department of neighborhoods needs to be aligned by district and provide as a shared resource between legislative and administrative groups a facilitation focal point.

A responsibility would be to ensure continuity in communication of long term plans and short term goals that would likely extend beyond the time of a single term of a councilmember.

It is not in the nature of the way council gains and loses the job to sustain programs that could take a couple decades to fully realize (like the PSRC 2040 vision).
That's one item.

Department of Neighborhoods needs to align ASAP , and not in 2015. That's way too late for us [in district 5]

District offices are not political boutiques, they are direct service center points for the citizens of the given district.

We have been waiting on a decade long study to move the north precinct from a wetland to some place else.

How about the new north precinct move into a space large enough to accommodate the cop shop, the a department of neighborhood satellite office, and the city council satellite office.

Or, maybe use a much lighter footprint, and utilize the existing rooms at local libraries and community centers. Most are served by transit.

Back to the issue of the city council offices out in districts.
What these offices are not, they are not:
Campaign offices;
State, county, federal, legislative offices;
Private political party offices.

There has been a real rush my the local private political parties the latch on and gain control of these offices as part of their empire. The fact of the matter is that these districts are different than the politically (private party) controlled district seats (public positions) .

When redistributing happens there be no effort allowed by two majorly political parties the carve up the city to benefit their private party and an incumbent politician.

Washingtonians are so proud of the recent state redistricting map, it was so balanced, dividing the state that best serves the political parties.

It will by my goal to ensure that district independence remains free from the "party first" influence that plagues much of out state today.

Mike Baker,
Seattle City Council District 5 Citizen

Thursday, November 7, 2013

McGinn describes why more people voted against him

The either/or false proposition that dictates a divisive approach. In opposition, you don't always have to be an a-hole. And sometimes, sometimes, people need actual facts to go along with an opinion (it's true).
McGinn, the land-hermit crab, emerges from his shell -

"I ran on change," McGinn said, and "the fundamental choice was, do I stand up for what I think is right ... or do I do the politically expedient thing? And if I did that, I would become like all of the politicians that drove me crazy as a voter and as a neighborhood guy. ... At the end of four years, I had to be able to live with myself." -

Unfortunately for Mike, Seattle couldn't live with him, even if he could live with himself.

Read the Seattle Met story here:

It's time for Seattle to move on from that mentality.

Best of luck to Ed Murray, Mayor-elect of Seattle.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Tom Rasmussen fears Seattle is too selfish to have city council members elected by districts

This, in a nutshell, is what's wrong with the current thinking of the Seattle City Council voted into office in at-large races.

They assume that ordinary citizens are incapable of caring about other citizens of Seattle if they do not happen to live in their district, and would only elect people that were equally narrow minded.
THAT is just one reason to break up the at-large groupthink going on downtown, at the Seattle City Council.

The charter amendment also could attract more community activists who are well-known in their district or some current state legislators who might want a larger salary without the long commute to Olympia, said Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, one of three current City Council members to be the sole occupant of one of the new council districts.

But Rasmussen, a West Seattle resident, also sees drawbacks. He said the change puts the burden on council members to deliver for their own district rather than prioritizing projects and initiatives based on their importance citywide, such as mass transit and environmental sustainability.

"There may be very compelling needs throughout the city, but if those folks don't vote for you, you're not going to spend time on those issues," he said.

Rasmussen speculated that every district council member would want an accounting from each city department of how many resources are going to their district, from human services to parks to transportation to police. And he questioned whether there would be any incentive for other council members to support a West Seattle project, such as a new senior center.

"Why would the eight others care?" he asked.

Tom, I don't know about you, but I do care about the entire city. I manage to do so even though I am a lowly citizen.

Read the Seattle Times story here: