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.
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.