District 2 has seven candidates for an open seat on the Seattle City Council. While none of them are uniformly outstanding on transit and land use issues, some are much better than others. As a reminder, here’s our rating system.


The two candidates in this tier share a lot of common ground. They are both for safer streets, more housing types in single family zones, and prioritizing transit. In both cases, concern about displacement veers into unproductively demonizing developers. We would not characterize them as transit wonks, and there are occasional positions we don’t like in their policy mix. But we believe the impact of either overall would be strongly positive.

Phyllis Porter

We expect Phyllis Porter to especially prioritize multi-modal safety and de-emphasize cars. A hard-core bike and safety activist, leader in the Seattle Greenways movement, and co-founder of Black Girls Do Bike, she has organized several memorial protests when bicyclists and pedestrians have gotten killed by cars on Rainier Ave. And then she turned the protests into legislative action by helping design safety improvements for Rainier that unfortunately died in the Seattle process. We don’t like her position on congestion pricing, but that’s about it.

Tammy Morales

Tammy Morales is a community organizer with a polished set of policy proposals and key endorsements that suggest she’ll hit the ground running. Her purpose is less centered on transportation, and her reservations about congestion pricing and bus lane camera enforcement aren’t great. But she seems most likely to effectively build a coalition to get good things done.


Chris Peguero

For a candidate who is emphasizing climate change, Chris Peguero has a platform oddly light on transit and a general increase in housing density. A longtime Seattle City Light employee, we would have liked to have seen more enthusiasm from highly placed people in the City. We like that he had the guts to cite the racial roots of zoning laws at the MASS forum. His policy answers were a mixed bag, but we believe he would do more good than harm on the council.


Mark Solomon is essentially a nonentity on transit and land use issues. It’s not why he is running and it’s hard to say what impact he would have on these debates.


Ari Hoffman wants to have bus routes designed to keep them out of the way of general car traffic and eliminate various revenue sources for transit.

Omari Garrett is a stunt candidate who says interesting things, but actively endorses Tammy Morales.

The Seattle Transit Blog Editorial Board currently consists of Martin Duke, Frank Chiachiere, and Brent White.

19 Replies to “Seattle District 2 candidate ratings”

  1. I like Phyllis for transit board. It’s a shame she’s running against Ari… who I like for non-transit reasons. I also have deep issues with the regressivity of congestion pricing.

    1. I’m relieved to know you don’t have a vote in this district. Ari Hoffman’s values do not align with mine and I hope he is not elected.

      What is a better answer to limiting the number of cars entering central Seattle than congestion pricing? Parking is already fairly expensive but unfortunately subsidized by many employers, and we already have too much of it.

      1. Honestly we need all these things (congestion pricing + bus + bike lanes). I mostly bike to get around the city, followed by bus and light rail. We continue to get dribs and drabs of bike and bus lanes, and mostly in places which don’t generate much controversy.

      2. #1. Ari and I share many of the same values. We’re direct, ballsy and eager to stand up to trolls.

        #2. “What is a better answer to limiting the number of cars entering central Seattle than congestion pricing?” OK, how about taxing parking spaces? How about making it easier for employers to subsidize transit? How about we see how progressive we can make our tax code instead of less?

        Let’s start there.

      3. I’m in favor of pricing that affects employers more than employees. Inherent in the congestion pricing discussion is making individuals pay — but not large corporations making billions. A parking space tax seems much less regressive than tolling is.

      4. I agree Al S. This is sinful allowing all these parking garages in Seattle… it’s like saying it’s OK to build parking garages when they could pay less in parking garages and help pay for transit for all.

  2. Thanks for this – I’m a big proponent of congestion pricing. I’ve seen it work.
    Getting cars out of downtown would be a huge boon to this city.
    There are still far too many single car drivers.

  3. “They are both for safer streets.”

    Depending on your audience this can mean very different things.

  4. Could you explain a bit more your ratings process and how you gathered info about candidates? There doesn’t seem to be a lot of substance here or backup information regarding the positions stated. I get you all are volunteers and that endorsements are a tremendous lift but as a D2 voter I don’t find the information as presented very helpful in my decision making process.

  5. The link marked rating system goes instead to Comments. I would like to see the questuons and the rating system.

  6. Having to choose the finalists here and other districts points out the problem of not having ranked choice voting. By having several similar candidates dilute the votes, we could end up having some less than optimal run-offs.

    Once the runoffs are set, I’m also expecting to see something that is rare in Seattle: smear campaigns. With relatively unknown candidates, smear campaigns are fairly easy to instigate. I hope Seattle is ready for the shock and meanness of smear campaigns in one’s neighborhood.

    It’s just one more reason that a one-time, ranked-choice voting system is probably better for local elections.

  7. Where do you guys get this info: “Ari Hoffman wants to have bus routes designed to keep them out of the way of general car traffic and eliminate various revenue sources for transit.”

    Sounds odd and off.

  8. Hi all, Mark Solomon here. Just wanted to chime in, and I admit I ‘m using my wife’s account since I don’t have an account due to my Crime Prevention Coordinator role. I agree that Phyllis deserves an Excellent rating; she’s done the work. That being said, my focus on public safety includes looking at safety for those who commute, bike and walk in our communities. It includes that we have sidewalks in those neighborhoods where they are lacking so people don’t have to walk in the streets and risk being hit by cars. It includes vegetation maintenance so visibility and pedestrian obstacles are removed.
    Having good transportation options must include better East-West connections to our existing North-South oriented transit nodes. BTW, I love the Via system to connect people in their neighborhoods to transit.
    Regarding land use issues, I haven’t been asked about that in any forum so far, but definitely have ideas and policy proposals around this. I’m happy to share. Most importantly, I’m willing to seek your input, listen, and draft legislation to address our most pressing needs. My focus is getting things done FOR our community rather than having things done TO our community. That can only happen when your councilmember includes you in decisions that impact the community.
    Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please reach out if you’d like; I’m at Mark.marksolomon.org

Comments are closed.