These are Seattle Transit Blog’s endorsements for the November 7, 2017 elections outside Seattle. In Seattle, we endorsed Cary Moon for Mayor; and Teresa Mosqueda and Lorena González for City Council.

As always, we choose candidates entirely based on their positions and record on transit and land use.

45th Legislative District, Senate: Manka Dhingra supports the continued expansion of the regional transit network. Her opponent, Republican party operative Jinyoung Lee Englund, is focused on “skyrocketing car tabs” and familiar but ill-defined promises to reduce traffic congestion. Lee Englund is likely to continue the current Senate majority’s attacks on Sound Transit if elected.

King County Executive: Dow Constantine has a long list of accomplishments, including ST3, ORCA LIFT, the multi-agency U-Link restructure, the end of Metro’s 40/40/20 rule that kept it from rolling out new service in Seattle, getting ST into the transit-oriented development and affordable housing business, and the list goes on. Constantine’s opponent is running to oppose East Link.

Auburn Mayor: Nancy Backus is running for re-election. Sound Transit, Burlington Northern & Santa Fe, and the City of Auburn have been working together to build a third track in the BNSF right-of-way (on which Sounder runs) through the city. Regional commuters should be grateful Auburn has a leader at the helm who rolled out the red carpet for a third track instead of blocking it with red tape. Her opponent is opposed to ST3.

Bellevue City Council, Position 4: Karol Brown‘s top issue is expanding affordable housing. She wants to encourage the construction of affordable housing near transit hubs and create an affordable housing fund funded by developers. She also wants to consider if and where bus lanes and signal prioritization can move people faster and easier throughout Bellevue and other neighboring cities. Her opponent Jared Nieuwenhuis has less interest in transit and rather more interest in “eliminating traffic”.

Bellevue City Council, Position 2: Conrad Lee was one of those who quarreled with Sound Transit during the East Link planning, but has also been a supporter of Bellevue’s growth. His opponent, Randy Grein, would like to see the city slow growth, would put a hold on new commercial development, and decries the “loss of neighborhoods” to apartment buildings.

Bellevue City Council, Position 5: Janice Zahn prioritizes multimodal transportation and affordable housing. As chair of the city’s Transportation Commission, she took a leadership role in the city’s developing Vision Zero policy and the Pedestrian and Bicycle Implementation Initiative. Her opponent, Phil Yin, is more narrowly concerned with auto congestion.

Bellevue City Council Position 6: Lynne Robinson has been an effective advocate for affordable housing in Bellevue, including passage of their Multi-Family Tax Exemption program. She has also been involved in developing the bike and pedestrian trail system. Her opponent, Steve Fricke, is narrowly focused on opposing a men’s homeless shelter in the Eastgate area.

Bothell City Council Position 7: Aaron Moreau-Cook is Chair of the Safe Streets & Sidewalks Task Force, and has several proposals to expedite the construction of affordable housing.

Kenmore City Council Position 4: Nigel Herbig has pushed through miles of sidewalks and bike paths in this relatively small town, with more on the way.

Kirkland City Council, Position 1: Jay Arnold worked assiduously to improve the final ST3 package in Kirkland after the draft program underserved the city, and was an effective advocate for the ballot measure despite surrounding local acrimony. He has been the most enthusiastic transit advocate on Council, and has contributed positively in the continuing discussion around SR 520 service.

Kirkland City Council, Position 5: Amy Walen supports transit-oriented development in Kirkland and is a consistent advocate for the urbanization of Totem Lake. She has been a leader on development of the Cross-Kirkland Corridor, an example that is now being emulated along the entire ERC.

Kirkland City Council, Position 7: Jon Pascal has been a leader on transit issues while on Council since being appointed one year ago. He previously served on the city’s Transportation and Planning Commissions, and is principal of a transportation planning company. His opponent, Uzma Butte, laudably advocates for more affordable housing and transit-oriented development, but has been thin on detail. With complex transit implementations ahead, Pascal’s knowledge and experience will serve the city better.

Lake Forest Park City Council, Position 3: Benjamin Gonzalez O’Brien wants safer streets for pedestrians and cyclists, and a 10-year plan for affordable housing. The incumbent John Wright wants to protect the rural character of LFP.

Mukilteo Mayor: Jennifer Gregerson co-wrote the Snohomish County Voters’ Guide Statement for ST3 and chaired the successful campaign for Community Transit’s sales tax increase. She has a degree in urban planning and it reflects how she views transportation problems.

Redmond City Council, Position 2: Byron Shutz is sticking by the goal of a compact city while his challenger, Steve Fields, wants to give bikes and pedestrians better visual cues to keep them from slowing down traffic.

Redmond City Council, Position 7: Jeralee Anderson emphasizes making Redmond safer and more accessible for pedestrians, bicycles and transit. Andersen is the co-founder of a company that works with government and private industry on green transportation projects. In contrast, her opponent Jason Antonelli has focused on auto traffic issues, viewing bike and pedestrian improvements as a distraction from faster car commute times, and opposed ST3.

Renton City Council, Position 6: Jami Smith supported ST3, and is running against Ruth Perez, the Chair of the City Council’s Transportation Committee, which pushed for Renton’s ST3 dividend to be a parking garage and removal of the transit center (and a lot of bus service) from downtown Renton.

Sammamish City Council, Position 5: Rituja Indapure wants more transit, sidewalks, and bike lanes in Sammamish.

Against continuation of East Bellevue Community Municipal Corporation
Against continuation of Houghton Community Municipal Corporation
Residents in Houghton and East Bellevue are voting on whether to renew their super-charged Community Councils where residents of just two neighborhoods have special privileges to veto land use changes. We hope residents will vote to retire the last remaining state-created community councils.

The Editorial Board currently consists of Martin H. Duke, Dan Ryan, and Brent White.

11 Replies to “STB Endorsements Beyond Seattle for November 7”

  1. “The incumbent John Wright wants to protect the rural character of LFP..”

    Rural? It’s not Vashon Island, Arlington, or Skagit County up there.

      1. Careful, AJ. “Bucolic” originally had to do with shepherds. A property use permit that every suburban public occasionally has to deal with.

        Generally involving vehement opposition from petitioner’s neighbors. Pigs- how would you vote? Though can anybody really be mean enough to not like llamas?

        Roosters? Well robins and canaries are birds too, aren’t they? You see what I’m getting at.

        It is fair to speak of different preferences as to noise levels, lighting, and vehicle operations. But housing can be “Single Family” and still be designed for a neighborhood providing attractive privacy.

        Just as average “megamansion” development has lines of sight that put every occupant’s life on spy cameras in both satellites and neighbors’ windows. So a whatever campaign description candidate chooses, his duties of office will mostly be matters of specifics.

        Something else to think about. Throughout history, major feature of rural life has been the smoking tracks everybody under forty has left behind in their frantic rush to escape common rural facts:

        Poverty. Hunger- farmers generally starved first. And worst of all, mind-eating boredom. For boys, no army faced either bullets,cannonballs, or sergeants worse than working for their father.

        Hate to say this, but reason Lake City is incorporated because that was how it could get sewers. True, septic tanks were better than shovels.

        But they also ruined Halloween for the kids ’cause you can’t push a septic tank over while somebody is sitting in it. So better just to say “Quiet and a lot of trees”.


        Even worse for roosters.

      2. Bucolic suburbs were driven by a desire for people to get away from “crime” and get “better” schools for their children in “their own” neighborhoods. I very much doubt that the opposition is about a loss of “bucolic” character, though it sounds good.

  2. 1a) This is a great slate of candidates. I’m sure all of them are breathing sighs of relief.

    1b) With the exception of [OT], STB endorsed candidates I have supported go on to win in November.

    2) I also think regarding the 45th Legislative District, Senate that one candidate has guts & roots and the other of whom is a transplant who can’t handle tough questions involving respecting the voters’ will to have ST3 projects with an active duty military husband who may leave the area at any time causing an expensive and preventable special election. As such, advantage Manka Dhingra.

    Maybe my tune would change if winners of elections had to pay a deposit for covering some share of the cost of a special election due to promotion, impeachment & trial, or a desire to move. Or if those who scream we must respect the voters’ will when it comes to Eyman initiatives would respect the same with ST3. It’s becoming very clear to me that those, like me, who want to reform transit governance should seriously consider taking Republican drafted legislation to the initiative process because then all we have to do is get the signatures and not worry about the legalese… ;-)

  3. On the Bothell side, Vicki Somppi seems to advocate for more parking requirements for apartments, although her website is somewhat confusing on this and just repeats what has happened. On the other hand, she’s running against Rosemary McAuliffe who, from what I know, generally supports transit and would have the connections to get more funding. So I’m not 100% sure of what to make of the race.

    I really wish local candidates would actually write down their specific ideas instead of just saying they support affordable housing, safe streets, etc…

  4. “Conrad Lee was one of those who quarreled with Sound Transit during the East Link planning, but has also been a supporter of Bellevue’s growth. His opponent, Randy Grein, would like to see the city slow growth, would put a hold on new commercial development, and decries the “loss of neighborhoods” to apartment buildings.”

    I had considered going with Grein over Lee based on transit, but now that I know more about Grein’s land use positions I think I’ve reconsidered. Thanks STB!

  5. Now how about a Snohomish and Pierce County edition? Other than the endorsement for Mukilteo’s current mayor, I believe these are all King County races.

  6. “Right – many suburbs are designed to reflect the ideal of rural life, not the reality.”

    You’re onto something Grand-Scale, AJ. Substitute “Seattle” for “many suburbs”, and “World Class Urban” for “Rural”, and the “Reality” of “Life” there will make you “Move.”

    I don’t think the law forbids loss of a view. But might make a good “Class Action” to see if allowing Reality to contaminate a registered Ideal (open carry, right?) is grounds for damages.


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