Constantine Advances 3 Names for Council Seat

Will Hall

To fill the seat vacated by Bob Ferguson as he ascends to the office of the Attorney General, Executive Constantine nominated three candidates, from which the Council will pick its next member.

The nominees are real estate attorney and Democratic Party insider Rod Dembowski, Shoreline Councilman Will Hall, and State Rep. Cindy Ryu. STB endorsed Hall for the position and gave Dembowski an honorable mention, so it appears Mr. Constantine couldn’t have done any better from our perspective.

The Council is required to act by March 17th. It never hurts to let your Councilmember know how you want them to vote, as the County is probably the most important level of government for transit issues.

Comments

  1. David L says

    Too bad I live *in* the 1st District, so I get no input. An unfortunate quirk of the process.

    • Transit Guy says

      David, it’s really OK to also communicate with other councilmembers. They won’t bite you.

      The decision not only affects the First District but also the entire county. Make your voice heard.

      • David L says

        Being married to a former legislative aide, I know just how much weight (none) legislators give to opinions expressed by non-constituents.

        I’ll write emails to the Seattle councilmembers, but I don’t expect them to mean much. And why should they? I can’t vote for those members.

      • Brent says

        My experience is that elected officials follow their caucus’s position unless constituent contacts on an issue are overwhelmingly one-sided. It was rare that my outgoing state senator responded to me, and never once did she vote the way I asked her to. My incoming senator has bucked the caucus a few times, when the caucus was taking a non-progressive position. I don’t think that was his constituents so much as his personal values, with which I happen to have a lot of agreement.

      • David L says

        Brent, that’s true to varying degrees. Most legislators have some issues in which they specialize, and on those issues, they tend to develop their own independent positions with some sophistication. Those positions are probably in line with the caucus some or most of the time, but not all of it. In areas where a legislator has no expertise (we can’t all know everything about everything), they tend to follow the caucus or the general sense of political momentum.

        On a small and diverse legislative body like the council, where you have caucuses with only a few members representing hugely different constituencies (compare those of, say, Larry Phillips and Julia Patterson), caucus unity shrinks further. One constituent letter won’t affect decisions much, but a reasonable number of non-form letters most definitely can. Legislators are more responsive to their constituencies than you’d think.

    • Brent says

      I guess a more important question to ask is what process you would prefer. Should county council seats remain vacant until a special election can be held to fill them?

  2. Ryan on Summit says

    Do you think councilmembers really check the addresses of people emailing them to make sure they are in their district before listening to them?

    • David L says

      Yes, they most definitely do. Depending on how busy the staff are, mail from non-constituents may not even get read.

    • Mike Orr says

      So I don’t have to write, “My name is X, I live in Y neighborhood in your district.” ?

      • David L says

        You probably should, unless you’re also including your address with the email. (Not sure how the County Council email system works… the one for Congress requires you to input your address.)

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