If you didn’t happen to make it to our blog meet-up last night at the Columbia City Alehouse, you missed out. First of all, going to a bar in Columbia City is a great excuse to ride our light rail line. Second, you missed great presentations from various politicos.
First up was Dow Constantine’s chief of staff, Chris Arkills. Dow’s running for Executive of King County and had planned to attend our meet-up, but the League of Women Voters failed to consult us when scheduling their candidate forum… So, instead, Dow sent a trusted adviser (and a fan of the blog) our way to talk about the West Seattle Water Taxi, Metro’s funding gap, and light rail. We’ll be endorsing for the executive race tomorrow.
Next up is Mike O’Brien, who’s running for Seattle city council, position 8. Just yesterday, we endorsed O’Brien and it was great to hear him speak. He is a very charismatic vote for land use, density, and transit. He speaks in depth about improving bus service in particular but within the confines of the abilities of the council job. Our one reservation was his hesitance to support streetcar expansion — he said he’d generally err on the side of more bus hours. For a corridor like 1st Ave in Seattle, this blog has maintained that a streetcar simply provides more efficient and better service than a bus where the density supports it. 1st Ave has that density, and we hope O’Brien comes around at least on this proposed line. O’Brien passion against the tunnel is unparalleled — well, except for one other guy…
Last up was Mike McGinn, candidate for Mayor of Seattle. He spoke defiantly and eloquently against the SR-99 tunnel and pledged to prevent the tunnel from being built in this city. Obviously a proponent of the surface/transit option, McGinn used various questions to draw attention back to the tunnel and the resources it’ll require to build. Within a few minutes, the tunnel was compared to the monorail, Hillary Clinton, and RTID. Like O’Brien, McGinn has qualms about streetcar expansion and particularly finding a funding source for it. However, on most issues and especially land use, McGinn was convincing and earnest. We’ll be endorsing a candidate for Mayor on Monday.
After a lengthy Q&A, the Transportation Choice Coalition pub crawl met up with us and brought Jesse Israel along. We endorsed Israel for Seattle city council as well, and go to hear more of her thoughts. (She’s definitely a streetcar supporter!)
For a bit more depth, you can follow our Twittering of the meet-up. Thanks to all of you who showed up, especially the politicos who gave us their time.