Once again, the STB editorial board is considering its endorsements for the November election. If you have any recommendations in non-obvious races or ballot measures anywhere in the Puget Sound region, please share them in the comments.

As always, the board only evaluates the candidates’ positions on transit and land use, so limit your comments to those issues. Furthermore, links go much farther than unsubstantiated assertions.

28 Replies to “Call for Endorsements”

  1. You should endorse the monorail. I mean, it’d at least give us heaps to talk about here.

    1. Main problem would be, Andrew, finding a single thing on this subject that wasn’t said at the top of somebody’s lungs nine years ago. And considering general handling of a certain project, topic likely not kept under refrigeration.

      One event that would change the equation: a carefully targeted Magnitude Ten that put whole proposed line where pilings could be set in something that didn’t require pontoons.

      Or: a final requirement being ballot language requiring that every petition signer be required to promise they’d help finance the entire project via a private corporation paid for jointly by themselves and their estates.

      Now THAT would be a subject, or at least a pile of the organic material the Masai tribesmen use to construct their huts, big enough to hold all the pillars when it dries.

      That would be a GREAT

  2. I’m going to have my own endorsement list – going out Friday.

    On it will be:

    *Rick Hannold for Island County Commissioner (You’ll have to read why)
    *Rep. Jaime Herrera Butler (HINT: She helped stop a massive boondoggle that would have ripped funds from transit.)
    *Charlies Jensen seeking a 39th District Rep seat and a Democrat (his opponent is far-right and needs to be fired before she gets too much seniority to do the far right’s bidding.)
    *I-591 NO, I-594 YES (I’ll get into why and trust me, it’s transit related)
    *Congressional District 2, Rick Larsen
    *Washington State Representative, District 10, Incumbents Norma Smith and Dave Hayes

    So far no State Senators. Not a one. One guy I’m researching wants to – and I quote from his webpage, “Use Public/Private Partnerships to fund transportation infrastructure; end inefficient public transit monopolies by allowing private companies to bid for services”. How is that supposed to work, exactly?

      1. Nope Andy never did. Very disappointed he treats fellow Republicans this way, what happens to him happens to him.


    1. I imagine a public/private partnership to fund transit would work similarly to how the SLU streetcar got stations built for Amazon and Fred Hutch? (I really have no idea if that’s how that worked, but it seems plausible)

      1. I’m not sure how SLU got built, but this is how it worked for MAX red line:

        The land was owned by the Port of Portland but wasn’t hugely useful for the airport itself due to its location. There was a more pressing need for public transit to the airport other than the long, slow, awful route 12 bus. So, Bechtel offered to build the light rail line in exchange for land development rights.

        The particular model used here only works if you have a significant amount of land that is publicly owned, and various parties with very large amounts of money willing to trade construction of a light rail line for rights to develop the land.

    2. We actually have some public-private partnerships… for example, SoundTransit contracts Sunday service that’s operated by Community Transit the other six days of the week to private operator First Transit. ST still sets schedules and policies and provides the vehicles. In this case the reason is that CT closes shop on Sunday. The “inefficiencies” you’d be trying to correct by expanding this sort of thing are essentially public sector unions, so calibrate your opinion accordingly.

      Deeper public-private partnerships for transit operations have been tried in the UK. I don’t know the exact mechanics, but in some way, various private operators could receive subsidies for operating service in their own vehicles, by their own patterns and rules. The idea there is that centrally-planned government inefficiency goes beyond labor politics and extends into service planning. The weakness of these systems was that, because the private operators were prohibited from collaborating at all, they couldn’t really coalesce into a coherent network. There could be something there for commuter service (picture MS Connector-ish operations shared by downtown employers), but providing a useful network of services you can rely upon… is exactly where some central planning (read: “system thinking”, if you’re looking for a framing consistent with a neoliberal mindset) is called for.

      1. Thanks Al, I’m getting quite the education. I didn’t know squat about this “First Transit” thing until now.

    3. The person whose site you quoted is…creative. Some of his other ideas: “End the practice of the state charging itself sales tax for transportation projects. … Review permitting and regulatory mandates on transportation projects in order to reduce costs and shorten planning and construction time. … We need to prioritize Washington’s infrastructure needs. Traffic relief should be a priority as it contributes to pollution, among other problems. … Transportation spending should consider consumer demand.”

      Because, remember folks, if it’s not getting pavement quickly poured for SOVs to drive on, it’s not worth it.

      I’m surprised his copyeditors remembered to delete the portion about shafting Sound Transit since it looks like they just copy/pasted from the legislative analysis of the last transportation omnibus bill to come out of the “MCC.”

      1. lakecityrider, may I please have some idea where to find this transportation omnibus bill… interesting.

    4. It depends on the level of partnership. It Metro sets the fares and minimum level of service and just outsources operations like CT does (I understand CT outsources all its operations to First Transit), then the only losers are union wages and possibly lower-quality drivers. But if the operator charges $7 fares or serves only the wealthy neighborhoods, then we’ve fundamentally lost our transit network.

      1. I agree Mike. The network has to be fiscally responsible and also serve those in need.

  3. Not sure how far out of the way we have to get for “non-obvious.” But I have one suggestion, in the 37th District Senate race between two Democrats. Pramila Jayapal is much more density- and transit-friendly than her anti-upzone opponent Louis Watanabe.

    1. I live in the 37th (contrary to my name, got tired of changing it as I moved around the area) and have already heard a customer at a local proprietor of chicken complaining that “she [I presume Pramila Jayapal] wants to build for all the yuppies.” On the other hand, she flattened all of her opponents in August (her 54% to Louis Watanabe’s 17%) so maybe the yuppies do vote.

  4. Matt Isenhower for State Senate 45th district. He has publicly committed to supporting funding for an ST3 package. As detailed in my page 2 post: https://seattletransitblog.com/2014/08/13/want-st3-funding-authority-support-matt-isenhower/

    Tami Green is the other State Senate candidate NextGen Climate Action Committee is supporting. She is also endorsed by the ATU and has been very supportive of transit down in Lakewood (particularly Sounder).


    1. Matt’s opponent never got back to me, BTW. Sadly some Republicans want to risk the slim majority by opposing what working people want & need.

  5. Derek Young for Pierce County Council District 7. http://www.derekmyoung.com/issues.html

    He served on the Pierce Transit Board and was a key player behind the Gig Harbor trolley service. He’s in a tight race against Stan Flemming. Derek has a respectable record on transportation and land use. The Republican majority there has been pretty awful for adherence to the intent of the GMA.

  6. I was looking through Denny Heck’s material on his web site.
    Nothing about transit in his policies.

    His voting record at least opposes the various obstacle measures that were raised in the last congress:
    but no real standouts in terms of transportation and urban development positions.

    His opponent is Joyce McDonald, and she says very little about what position she holds on any sort of transportation. Lots of standard issue statements on pretty much everything else. Pro- common sense spending (who doesn’t have that claim?), pro-family (has anyone ever run an anti-family campaign?), etc. On the state level she did vote to pass renewable fuels legislation and the new Washington State Ferries vessels:

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