11 Replies to “Podcast #48: An Interview with Cary Moon”

  1. I, for one, do not care to feel “more included” in neighborhood association meetings. I want to have to attend *fewer* neighborhood association meetings.

    I want my secret ballot, electing representatives who promise to build more housing, to be respected, without having to say it 1000 times in 1000 meetings.

    “Listening” is what happens in campaign season. Action, not more endless “listening”, is what should follow.

    1. Plus one to this. It’s incredibly frustrating to consistently vote for more housing, transit, and urbanism, consistently win those elections, and then get vetoed by the too-much-free-time set.

    2. There is an idealistic idea, which we saw from McGinn and now we’re seeing from Moon, that we can bring the parking-in-front-of-my-house-is-first-priority crowd around to urbanist goals if we’re only more patient and accommodating of them and keep meeting with them and talking to them..

      Not gonna happen.

      At some point, you have to make choices in the interest of long-term affordability and a healthy job market. Which means that crowd may sometimes have to park on the next block, or (horrors) in their garages. And they will oppose any such change, and that’s just how it will be.

      1. http://www.adkos.com/vehicle-storage-services.php

        David, wonder if there’s a generic name for this kind of service. Have read that it’s very popular in France. Where city-dwellers have never in history expected to own a car, let alone park one in front of their lodgings.

        Next decade or so, if we don’t have them already, I think increasing number of people will choose to park their car in places like in the ad, where it’ll be cared for rather than dented, broken into, or vandalized.

        And even better, where they won’t have to personally drive through traffic to get anywhere, with the car or without it. Also, very likely that upcoming generation will neither be able to afford a car in the city, or want to. From possible to definite as transit builds out.

        What’s taking down cars isn’t fuel or air quality. It’s that they don’t offer either freedom or fun anymore. But real task at hand from here on is how to de-sprawl places like Pierce County east of Tacoma, where people are ever more forced by their income to live.

        Like Europe, pattern we’re seeing now is that the rich, who can afford to live anywhere they want, want to live in dense cities, where they don’t either want or need a car parked nearby.

        Let alone if front of their house. Worth more than one posting. Anybody got any ideas?


      2. “What’s taking down cars isn’t fuel or air quality. It’s that they don’t offer either freedom or fun anymore.”

        Then why can’t Metro or Pierce Transit pass bus expansion measures?

      3. Yeah. Like McGinn, Moon spent some time on an unusually reasonable/functional neighborhood council group (or, if you want to be maximally charitable to McGinn/Moon, they were extraordinarily skilled at working with these groups in such a way as to move them toward decency), and as such see them through rose-colored glasses.

        In reality, they’re much more likely to continue to be an obstacle toward inclusive and sustainable policies, and they simply need to be defeated. This is probably the #1 reason I preferred Farrell to McGinn/Moon–I think she understands this, because she’s not naive or romantic about politics, she’s just good at it.

        (That said, there are many moments in this interview where I’m hearing Moon say things that make me very happy to vote for her. There are reasons to be optimistic she’ll be more effective than McGinn, with similar or possibly slightly better values and priorities.)

      4. “Then why can’t Metro or Pierce Transit pass bus expansion measures?” – it’s a generational thing. I find it compelling that one reason (among others) driving lower car ownership among younger people is that they would rather be on their smartphone during their commute than having to focus on driving. But the majority of the electorate is still older & has built their life (and their commutes) around driving, so better transit doesn’t enhance their life.

        Unless your home, your kids school, and your work are all along a major bus line, boosting transit service doesn’t help you, or anyone you know, get around on a daily basis. This is, partially, why P&Rs are important politically – they provide a way for a voter to think, “sure, I could see myself or people I know using this piece of infrastructure”

      5. Moon will be better working with the council than McGinn, because simple math. McGinn had to work with six members of a clique he had repeatedly denounced during his campaign. Moon has a whole bunch of newcomers to work with who are not tainted with involvement in the tunnel boondoggle, including O’Brien and Bagshaw (who both joined the council after the council made all its tunnel decisions). Harrell is the last survivor of the tunnel clique, and even he appears unlikely to go out of his way to undermine Moon the way some of his former co-workers did to McGinn.

        Durkan, on the other hand, is likely to butt heads with O’Brien, Sawant, and Herbold, at least.

        I can’t wait for the Democracy Voucher program to cover the mayor’s race. I just hope its legal defense doesn’t get sabotaged in the meantime. That is a non-transit/non-land-use concern that is weighing heavily on my vote for mayor and city attorney.

  2. I was very impressed with Moon from her first sentence to the middle of the housing discussion. She organized the waterfront coalition? I attended the early waterfront meetings and was glad to see them thinking through the possibilities but I never knew who organized it. Likewise with Pioneer Square, I saw the renovation but never knew who was behind the scenes. And with transit, she affirmed we need more Metro service but was willing to acknowledge what she didn’t know and needed to learn more about rather than making rash promises that would be maybe unrealistic. Although sometimes I felt like, “Isn’t this something you should be learning now, not waiting until after you get into office?”

    In the housing discussion she noted the difference between the locally-funded construction era and the Wall Street era starting in the 1980s, which I have been trying to publicize, and she drew some implications I hadn’t realized. We need to open up single-family lots for duplexes, row houses, small 4-8 unit apartments. Much of that land Wall Street won’t be interested in, and in any case it’s too much land for Wall Street money to absorb, and that will give opportunities for homeowners and local developers who can’t compete with Wall Street’s money. However, I’m also concerned about reestablishing neighborhood groups, and I agree 1000% with Brent above: why do we have to vote for pro-urban politicians and then have to fight extremely hard in neighborhood meetings and hearings just to get some scraps of what we voted for in the first place? Those who’ve experienced Metro and Seattle transit levies being watered down may notice some similarities.

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