District 3 has six candidates running for the Seattle City Council, including incumbent Kshama Sawant. For some background on how our ratings work, read this.


Logan Bowers

Among the candidates, one stands out as being unabashedly with us, full-tilt, on pretty much every issue. Logan Bowers is a small-business entrepreneur whose platform is entirely about urbanism.

He is not a perfect candidate. Although we believe City Council is an entry-level position, we would have preferred a candidate with some experience working in a local political context and/or with some formal policy credentials.

However, when the pitchforks come out to oppose bus lanes, bike lanes, bus-lane camera enforcement, congestion pricing, transit-oriented development, and upzones in general, we expect Mr. Bowers to stick to the urbanist principles on which he is campaigning.


Zachary DeWolf

Zachary DeWolf has the endorsements and the background to show that he will be very effective at working with his colleagues to advance his agenda. And there are good things about that agenda, including his call to upzone around every public school in the City. He would be a net force for good, though not as committed to our issues as Bowers appears to be.

Endorsements from some of the best current councilmembers (Mosqueda, Gonzalez, Juarez) are a good sign that he will join the coalition that seeks a broad approach to housing scarcity.


We are one of the few organizations in Seattle with a neutral position on Kshama Sawant. Most of our issues are fundamentally environmental ones; Ms. Sawant forces them through a rich-vs.-poor lens with unpredictable results. She is for funding transit and building housing, while often scuttling specific instances of transit funding opportunities (congestion pricing) and housing construction (the Showbox).

We can’t say that her service – including her position on the Transportation Committee – has made the transit and housing scarcity situation in Seattle measurably better or worse.

Egan Orion and Ami Nguyen left very little impression on us one way or the other.


Pat Murakami has made a longtime hobby of fighting transit-oriented development, opposing “fixed rail,” advocating parking as an environmental measure, and fearmongering about transit.

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

50 Replies to “Seattle District 3 candidate ratings”

  1. I feel like Kshama Sawant deserves some credit for pushing various renter protections. Especially limits on move in fees, and allowing them to be paid in installments. That’s a big deal for low income people, who can’t necessarily get together a huge lump sum at the start of their lease. I know people who have been stuck in the same apartment for a long time because the cost of moving is just too high.

    I think her work on pushing the $15 an hour minimum wage should also get a mention. That’s basically turned into a national movement, with cities as far away as New York adopting it…

    I also am not a fan of her very confrontational approach to many issues. I felt like she’s gone too far a number times. However, I think you have to acknowledge that she’s been very effective at advancing policies that benefit renters and low income people. Serious question: Is there another council member who has accomplished as much for renters?

    From an urbanist (pro transit, pro renter) perspective, I really don’t think you can honestly justify a neutral rating. I’d say “good to excellent with serious caveats about her confrontational style of politics”

    1. One more point. I also don’t now how you can say she’s scuttling congestion pricing. Congestion pricing hasn’t gotten much traction yet from anyone. Even Mike O’Brien has been pretty skeptical. The mayor ordered a study, that’s about it.

      A robust debate is appropriate at this point. There should be no congestion pricing litmus test when we don’t even know what congestion pricing would look like in Seattle.

      1. It’s entirely reasonable to hold it against her when one of her competitors is unambiguously for it.

      2. As a representative for District 3, Sawant has poor constituents potentially impacted by congestion pricing. After all, there are poor residents in the ID or CD who depend on relatives to assist them to get to doctor appointments or shopping. A congestion pricing zone starts to appear to create a “gated community” where the gate charges a fee not only to poor residents but also people that may be helping them. It’s not about their commute mode of choice; it’s about every kind of trip someone makes when they live so close to the zone.

        What if Medina charged a toll for anyone driving into it? I can only imagine the outrage of the nearby residents in Bellevue. Heck, I can only imagine the outrage of many who would view it as elitism to keep poor people out! So, wouldn’t a toll zone in Downtown Seattle be viewed the same way?

      3. What if Medina charged a toll for anyone driving into it? I can only imagine the outrage of the nearby residents in Bellevue. Heck, I can only imagine the outrage of many who would view it as elitism to keep poor people out! So, wouldn’t a toll zone in Downtown Seattle be viewed the same way?

        Space on Medina roads during peak travel times aren’t a scarce resource, and their value for all, including bus riders, isn’t degraded by giving it away for free.

    2. I feel similarly, though I actually appreciate Kshama’s confrontational politics. It’s clear that Seattle is turning into a playground for the rich at the expense of working people and the poor, and we need representatives that clearly demonstrate what side they are on.

      There are several transit-related examples of the rich hosing the poor in Seattle, like the premature closure of Convention Place and its sale to the grubby Convention Center instead of a conversion to public housing. Other examples include the lack of a transit mall on 5th due to retail pressure, the continued blockade of the corrupt Port, and Jenny Durkan’s austerity budget for SDOT during an economic boom with unprecedented growth and traffic.

      A major plank of Kshama’s platform is free, frequent, reliable, electrified public transportation, and while that seems like a dream now, so did $15 an hour and Kshama helped win that by engaging working people. Urbanists should embrace that organizing strength with open arms.

      1. Seattle has long been a playground for the rich. Why do you think the City Council overlayed single-family zoning across much of the City decades ago, when all the racial covenants were thrown out in court?

    3. Renter protections have been the work of many councilmembers, some who came long before Sawant, addressing such issues as having to help pay moving costs when an apartment is condoized (from which I personally benefitted), background-check portability, notice-period on rent increases (which the State Legislature just increased to 60 days), and banning source-of-income discrimination. Sawant has stuck to mostly just advocating classical rent control (without explaining why or how it would work here better than in other places where it has failed) and going along with the MHA proposals from other politicians who have been on the receiving end of her tirades.

      I believe she was the one who sounded the alarm when the Seattle Housing Authority tried to double rents. I will give her that.

      When it comes to increasing the housing supply, she has been more interested in demonizing those building the housing than in working on ways to get it built. Most of the new housing in Seattle has been built by the private sector. She needs to accept that reality, and allow all sectors to build housing.

      1. Sawant also helped win the Carl Haglund law, which imposes rent freezes on units that don’t meet SDCI codes, and caps to move-in fees, which comes with the option for a 6-month payment plan. Furthermore she’s helped tenants organize against their displacement around the city, from the Halcyon mobile home park to the Chateau apartments.

        When Sawant is bringing the heat to private developers, she is pointing out that they are constructing cheap buildings while marketing them as luxury, pocketing the savings as profit rather than reinvesting them into actually affordable housing. The fight for rent control and social housing is critical to reverse these trends, and her campaign is staked on building that movement.

        Rent control gets a bad rap because many cities have loopholes you can drive a truck through. Whether it’s vacancy decontrol or an exemption on new units, all of them work to weaken a fundamentally good policy that helps people stay in their homes. Private developers are going to build if the market is hot — the biggest building booms in New York and San Francisco coincide with the introduction of rent control. In the same way that a higher minimum wage does not create higher prices that “hurt the people we’re trying to help”, rent control does not create higher rent.

      2. If there were rent control, you would see a lot of rental housing getting replaced with owner occupied condos.

        As a simple example, I bought a condo in Seattle about 10 years ago, and when I moved out, I elected to put it on the rental market, rather than sell. Had there been rent control, there is absolutely no way I would have done that, as selling and putting the proceeds into the stock market would have been a much better investment. Instead of lower rents, the unit would have been inaccessible completely to anyone who can’t afford the down payment and qualify for a mortgage.

        On a larger scale, if you’re a developer looking to build an apartment building, why would you ever build rental units under a rent control scenario over condos that sell at the full market rate?

      3. @asdf until we see a major change to the development of condo inventory in this city. New condo inventory growing substantially, which even after the legislature tried to patch up the warranty law a little, seems unlikely).rental -> condo conversion still is a far-off bet in practice. The overall share of condos rented out on the market I firmly feel like would be a drop in the bucket to the overall rental market. One of the ways to address these concerns would be to create more barriers to condo conversion than exist in other jurisdictions

    4. So now sloganeering and confrontation count as political accomplishments? You have to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to Sawant. Don’t mistake soundbites and headlines for effectiveness.

    5. Brendan,

      Any broad evaluation of a candidate is welcome to give her credit for these things. Our evaluation is quite narrow. The minimum wage and renter protections are, at best, orthogonal to housing production and the quality of transit service.

      Renter protections are good for many renters, but may also reduce the number of rental units on the market. STB doesn’t take a position on that.

      1. Since the social democrats took control of Portland’s housing the number of builders viewing Portland as a viable place to build has considerably shrunk. Also, the small time flippers like myself have been forced out of the market. Anymore you need a considerable wad of cash to make rentals work in Portland. The city has passed 3 month notice requirements, huge tenant relocation fees and were working on a “no background check” policy last I checked. There are a significant number of irresponsible tenants out there and if a rental is borderline paying for itself, a bad tenant can be all the difference between foreclosure or not. A council’s primary responsibility should be to support more supply so that it matches demand. A greater supply tends to push more quality and better deals from landlords. Portland’s city council, in all its altruism, is actually hurting tenants more than helping them.

      2. Les,
        You’ve named a great reason to introduce rent control. “Flippers” don’t benefit anybody. They generally add lipstick to a pig, taking ugly or unstylish functional and affordable housing off the market, re-branding it as “luxury” with some new countertops, paint, and replacement of carpet with the cheapest laminate available at Lowe’s, maybe a suite of discount appliances that have a stainless finish, with a re-sale price of double what the “flipper” paid. Yes, please, let’s get them out of the housing market. Keeping the sales (or rental) price of homes, both single family and condominium, low, helps working class people afford to own a home, leading to long term stability for those families. The last thing we need is more “investors.”

      3. “Flippers” don’t benefit anybody”.
        This makes no sense whatsoever! If a place is marginal at best and needs a redo, most people don’t have the know-how to install a new kitchen or bath, or the credit to get it financed. Experience carpenters and capital are required, don’t blame it on the flipper. Sure, in any business there are bad craftsman out there, welcome to reality. But chances are they don’t stay in business very long especially if inspectors, appraisers and banks are doing their jobs. And even if a carpenter does only cosmetics, it isn’t the cosmetics that drove up the price of the home, it is the demand that is driving it up.

        “with the cheapest…available”
        Again, if the idea is to sell a remod then the buyer better do due diligence, there is no way around it.
        Besides, chances are, if a house is flipped, there were most likely major structure upgrades that go beyond a simple lament job.

        And what good is unusable product on the market? What’s the difference of buying a house and then hiring an outfit to redo it as opposed to having a flipper do it? It’s going to cost market value regardless.

        “The last thing we need is more “investors.”
        The people I have known that flipped, liked I said, can’t afford to be in the business anymore because it is a bad investment due to government regulations. Larger corporate flippers have takin over. And rent control just exacerbates their problems and bottom line as well. I saw this with the small farmer in eastern Washington. Government controls exasperated the challenges of sustainability which led to the corporate farms taking over (new water permitting regulations forced my brother to turn his orchards over to the corporates). Controls keep forcing consolidation to the point of monopolies and funneling wealth to the 1%.

      4. So, you are assuming anything that’s bad for tenants is good for housing production? To call that a narrow view is an understatement.

        The minimum wage is a necessary part of addressing housing affordability. It’s a necessary part of letting people live near where they work, rather than commuting in huge distances.

        As far as renter protections go, this is a basic quality of life thing in a city. Seattle has had terrible renter protection historically, and lots of slum lords, and poorly maintained unsafe housing.

        I had an apartment where the electricity stopped working in my bedroom during the winter. The landlord simply refused to fix it, so I had to run extension cords from other room to power a heater. This went on for six months or so until my lease ended.

        Note that I’m not even talking about rent control. Just basic legal rights for renters, and effective enforcement from the city, which was sorely lacking in Seattle for a long time. Sawant has fought to change that more than anyone else as far as I know.

        Again, I’m not even that big of a Sawant fan. She’s very over the top in many ways, but I think you have to give credit where credit is due. You can’t just say, “well, I don’t like her, so I’m going to pretend she hasn’t accomplished these big things, or they don’t matter.”

      5. Flipping implies your primary purpose is to own the house for a year or less and sell it for a substantial markup. That’s evil speculation on the backs of people who need housing. If you want to make a lot of money fast, invest in something victimless like stocks or junk bonds. The renovation is beside the point; to the flipper it’s just an expense. If she can make a sufficient markup doing nothing because prices are rising so fast, she would.

        The ultimate buyer can hire a renovation company if they can’t do it themselves. If their credit isn’t good enough for renovation financing, then they certainly couldn’t get a mortgage for ten times the price. How does the flipper even know what kind of decor the buyer wants? They don’t. Too many people have to modify it again anyway because they don’t like the flipper’s choices, and that’s environmentally wasteful and raises carbon emissions to manufacture the stuff. And they may have to pay more for a house with stainless-steel appliances and marble countertops because the market says that’s the premium thing, even if they didn’t want those appliances and counters in the first place, but they can’t find a house without them because all flippers are installing them for that very reason. So they end up with appliances they wouldn’t have bought and paid a higher price while the flipper laughs all the way to the bank.

        Houses are for living in, not speculating on. I wish we could outlaw housing speculation, especially short-term. Short-term flipping is the real estate equivalent of Airbnb. (“Don’t rent your condo for $1500 a month. Rent it for $100 a day aka $3000 a month. Never mind that people need long-term condos to live in.”)

      6. @Brendon
        “I had an apartment where the electricity stopped working in my bedroom during the winter.”
        Legally, depending on the state, you may have been able to break your lease since many states require 24 hour repair period when tenant’s health is at risk.
        Regulations like this I take for granted. For me, out of respect and concern, I would never let a health issue go unattended to, I forget how callous or oblivious people can be. Personally, I give my tenants the number to the plumbers and other maintenance professionals so that if they felt they could get to an issue quicker on their own then by all means do so. But yes, your right, there are safety issues involving things like heating, AC, electrical and etc that, unfortunately, may need to be legally addressed. But, again, most states have basic tenant protection laws to cover them. And if it’s super serious there should be insurance to cover it.

        “Sawant has fought to change that more than anyone else as far as I know.”

        I’m speaking more from experience with Portland’s Social Democrats who left a bitter taste in my mouth. They’ve gone overboard in tenant rights but have failed to address negligent tenants to a proportionate degree. I could go on in great length on things tenants have done over the years but it’s getting late and I would need a pot of coffee to proceed. But I just cringe when I hear of Social Democrats getting involved, but prefer to hear how more alternative living choices are available when a landlord isn’t living up to their end of a bargain. I personally bend over backward when I have a good tenant (pays rent on time, respects the place and the neighbors, doesn’t do drugs and etc), and I more than go out of my way to accommodate. It’s not in a landlords best interest to be neglectful around good tenants and it will catch up to them.

      7. @ Mike

        “Flipping implies your primary purpose is to own the house for a year or less and sell it for a substantial markup. ”
        I try to hold onto properties for 366 days and then sell them.

        “The renovation is beside the point; to the flipper it’s just an expense.”
        I occasionally check under my mattress for extra cash, if there is enough there flips away.

        “The ultimate buyer can hire a renovation company if they can’t do it themselves.” I renovate also so were destined to meet.

        ” If their credit isn’t good enough for renovation financing, then they certainly couldn’t get a mortgage for ten times the price. ” My bank usually gives me 3 separate loans when I apply for a mortgage: 1) the mortgage, 2) a LOC to make up for the shortcoming and 3) an extra piggy bank to be used on purple counter tops.

        “How does the flipper even know what kind of decor the buyer wants?”
        I usually find that as long as the shag carpet and green bathroom fixtures inspire reruns of That 70’s Show then Zillow’s web site usually crashes.

        “Too many people have to modify it again anyway because they don’t like the flipper’s choices, and that’s environmentally wasteful and raises carbon emissions to manufacture the stuff.”

        I try to implement the most environmentally sensitive features as possible. The first thing I do is upgrade the oil furnace tank with one twice its size and then replace the deck with new wood from the largest fresh raw boreal wood the neighborhood has to offer, cut down by my own hands to save on cost of coarse.

        “Houses are for living in, not speculating on”
        It’s a good thing I speculated that somebody was going to need a place to live, otherwise one more dump would still be in the world. I also find recycled homes to be very useful for living in. Recycled products can be better on the environment than new ones.

      8. @les I’m not saying you are a bad landlord, but there are a lot of bad landlords in Seattle, and renters need protection.

        Generally, renters get very little representation in government. Landlords on the other hand are very well represented in local and state government. This leads to a power imbalance, and a lot of exploitation happens.

        People like Sawant are necessary because otherwise renters have no one in their corner. No one advocating for them. You can think she goes too far, but Sawant is 1 person, and the vast majority of politicians are pulling in the opposite direction.

    6. Even on things where I’m generally in agreement with Sawant, like stronger renter protections, the policy is too often too deeply flawed. Eg the ‘first applicant’ rental rule will, imo obviously, advantage those with the most search resources and encourage higher ‘minimum qualifications’. Then they is the city income tax which wasn’t written to even have a good shot at winning in court. Then there is the large employer tax for which it’s hard to imagine a rollout more likely to poison the whole idea for a decade.

      Progressive policy is hard. Details matter.

      This isn’t just breaking the tax system so the rich can have their lawyers wiggle through or afflicting the afflicted. We have to meet a higher bar.

  2. You write that Sawant forces environmental issues through a “rich v poor lens.”

    Can you provide evidence to the contrary? Evidence that rich people suffer equally to poor people from environmental, transportation, and climate issues? Because as far as I understand, Sawant’s position is backed by overwhelming evidence.

    1. Literally every major issue in this country can be effectively summed up through a “rich vs poor” lens. That’s what happens when money = speech and a tiny handful of people are hoarding all the “speech”.

    2. Sawant frames *everything* as rich v. poor… that’s her schtick. She’s not able to view anything beyond that lens.

      Environmental issues are everyone’s problem; framing it as simply rich v. poor is lazy and counterproductive. Real solutions demand leaders that are able to think above and beyond catchy slogans and protest signs, and are able to actually interact with a wide-variety of constituents. Sawant has demonstrated exactly none of those skills.

      Is Sawant actually interested in density? If given a choice between density and developers making a lot of money or no density and developers losing money, I have no doubt Sawant would choose the latter every time. And that shouldn’t be surprising since she’s a socialist… she’s never going to advocate for anything that is market-based.

      It’s a zero sum game to Sawant: for the poor to win, the rich must lose. The Shobox issue is a perfect example of where her priorities fall.

      Bowers and DeWolf are both strong candidates and would be an upgrade over Sawant. I don’t live in District 3, but I sent my democracy vouchers to both of them.

      1. That’s not her “shtick” it’s called Marxist theory. You don’t have to agree with it but class struggle is kinda the point.

      2. I find the criticism that she can’t work with people really weird, because Sawant works with all kinds of ordinary citizens. Whether it’s fighting with indigenous people to change Columbus Day and switch the city away from Wells Fargo over DAPL, or organizing tenants at Halcyon or Chateau to prevent the displacement of low-income residents, or standing with Showbox staff to prevent a cultural icon from being torn down for unaffordable private high-rise housing, she and her office are amazing at building coalitions of working people. Perhaps the only people Sawant doesn’t work with are big businesses or developers, and the rest of city government already bends over backwards to support them.

        I will also note that Sawant voted for MHA! The policy was literally “density and developers making a lot of money” that she would vote against it, because that’s what MHA did.

        As urbanists we want to grow the city in a sustainable way. To do that we have to escape the framing of “more housing = cheaper housing” and “density = environmental”, as both are greenwashed supply-side arguments.


        Of course we do need to build more housing, but we don’t need big developers to put up houses of cards and profiteer on them — we need social housing that removes housing from the market entirely and provides high quality, low emissions units for working people, with rent control and inspections to tame the rest.

      3. “… that’s what MHA did.”

        Did I sleep through a couple years, and suddenly a bunch of units built under the MHA law are now open for rent?

    3. Can you provide evidence to the contrary?

      Here’s an example: congestion pricing. It would be hard to convince me that congestion pricing is bad for the environment. But Ms. Sawant opposes it on the basis that it disproportionately hurts poor people.

      I would quibble with that conclusion, but as someone who prioritizes climate change over just about everything else, I am willing to take important measures even if the most immediate social justice implications are negative, partly because the longer-term social justice and climate issues are aligned.

      1. This article recaps a paper written about Seattle carbon emissions through the last density boom. It speaks clearly and concisely on the deep connection between climate change and social justice, and how we cannot shrug one off to advance the other.


        In a world where the rich emit a disproportionate amount of the carbon while having the most resources to escape the consequences, why are we talking about a regressive tax? Congestion pricing might be less regressive than sales tax, maybe, but that is such a low bar to clear. Given Sawant’s call for free and high quality public transportation and her public stances on the 35th debacle, I imagine she supports transit priority and non-motorized transportation with separated lanes through downtown. She is just against introducing a clunky market mechanism to get there.

      2. She is just against introducing a clunky market mechanism to get there.

        This is the point. She is willing to reject climate action if it involves “clunky market mechanisms.” That’s fine if you’re more concerned about attacking the market economy than climate change, but that’s not what STB’s ratings are about.

        I find that UPenn article to be a total nonsequitur. The “carbon footprint” of a neighborhood is irrelevant; it’s the net change to the global footprint.

      3. Well, I think it’s pretty questionable whether carbon pricing would have much impact. Most of the carbon tax schemes suggested have set the tax to very low levels, and is basically equivalent to raising the gas tax by a few cents.

        There is some argument that it’s more effective to use regulations like CAFE standards to control carbon output. With CAFE you can directly mandate a fleet average MPG, and car manufacturers simply produce more electric vehicles and fewer ICE vehicles to meet that standard. This is much more direct and reliable than a carbon tax.

        Similarly, the state can just mandate the energy mix that utilities are allowed to offer. This is in fact what Washington has chosen to do after the carbon tax failed. It’s much more reliable than charging a fee per ton, and hoping that’s enough to motivate utilities to finally shut down their coal and gas plants.

        Regulation has also turned out to be much more politically acceptable. It imposes costs, but they are harder to quantify.

      4. The UPenn article agrees with you in that it’s not about neighborhood emissions. Cities will often only count the emissions created within their boundaries, even if their actions created more emissions outside of it. For a net decrease in emissions to have happened in this analysis, you’d have to assume that the suburbs decreased their carbon footprint per capita with an influx of poverty, which seems unlikely.

      5. What matters is worldwide emissions, and cities and regions can set their own goals to contribute. The lower-income, less-polluting people who were displaced from that building or neighborhood probably moved to somewhere within that metropolitan area. Likewise, some the higher-income, more-polluting people probably came from the same metropolitan area, and even newcomers came from somewhere. Their carbon emissions may be the same as in their previous location. They may even be less if the person downscaled from a house with a lot of furniture and space to heat and cool and a car they had to drive everywhere in because nothing was within walking distance and transit was minimal.

        There are some alarming reports that purported sustainability measures aren’t really reducing greenhouse emissions and are sometimes increasing them. Anyone who’s concerned about this needs to be skeptical of green-building claims, and demand follow-up research that they’re saving as intended in real-world usage. Likewise for coal-to-natural-gas conversions, building conversions of any kind, some agricultural proposals, electric cars, etc Especially anything that leads to more electronic appliances, more processed foods, etc — because even if they’re environmentally friendlier on the one-person scale, they may not be in aggregate if they become more popular than their predecessors (i.e., more units produced, or displacing other agriculture or animal/plant habitats).

    1. This x10,000.

      I’m not sure how anyone can trust the political decision making of someone that advocated people to vote for Jill Stein.

      1. With the electoral college you might as well write Dolly Parton on your ballot. It literally doesn’t matter unless you’re voting from one of a handful of swing states, which we are not. I voted Green because I was hoping they’d get to 5%, thus qualifying for federal funding in the next election, but if WA weren’t solidly blue maybe I’d have voted differently.

      2. Sawant was arguing this on the national level including rallies in Pennsylvania, which was definitely a swing state.

      3. That was so incredibly irresponsible and inappropriate that I hope she loses for that reason alone. Also not mentioned here was her Showbox grandstanding which is sort of an absurd (and anti-urbanist) position for her to take. Do the poor attend a lot of concerts downtown? Should the council extend historic protections parcel-by-parcel to prevent redevelopment?

      4. Sawant isn’t a Democrat, so why would you expect her to endorse the Democratic candidate?

        There are legitimate criticisms of Sawant, but this is not one of them.

      5. A Trump presidency is a spectacular disaster for the environment, workers, and the future of American Democracy. The idea that it’s reasonable to be indifferent to positive to that outcome simply because you’re “not a Democrat” is a grave insult to decent people everywhere who aren’t Democrats.

      6. I voted for Jill Stein, and would do so again if the Democrats nominated Hillary Clinton again, or decide to nominate Joe Biden. Tell me about Hillary’s and Joe’s Green New Deal.

        Since Sawant is a Washington State politician, I find it perfectly commendable for Sawant to encourage Washingtonians not to waste their vote (when Washington’s electors are not at stake), and send a message by voting for someone who gives a darn about the climate crisis. There are other horrible elements of their voting records that make me totally unwilling to consider voting for them, but those are beyond the scope of this blog. Sawant is a far more evolved human being than those two. And so is Jill Stein.

      7. Oh, and if you want me to vote Democrat without telling me “You have to vote Democrat” — a wholly inappropriate way to run a democratic republic, and a surefire way to turn off lots of voters — tell your state legislators to adopt ranked choice voting.

        Heck, we need it for City Council elections, stat, before we go back to the old ways of candidates deciding elections before the filing deadline by talking each other out of running. Indeed, that may have already happened in D1, robbing me of anyone decent to vote for, so I’m just going to write in Joe Nguyen.

        Closed elections haven’t saved the planet. We ought not have to each work through the game theory of how to avoid getting the worst outcome by voting for the second-worst outcome. Instead, we ought to be able to vote for who we really want. And those candidates ought to be allowed to run, without being villified for daring to run.

        Then, we can actually vote for people who say they want to erase the City’s carbon footprint, and back it up with support for a PBL network, increased electrified transit with its own ROW to avoid SOV gridlock, densification to reduce commute distances, retrofitting the existing housing stock to end the burning of fossil fuels inside buildings, banning the use of cement that isn’t pre-treated to absorb CO2 before construction, legalizing grocery stores and other amenities (traditionally on the first floor, but banned from many SFH neighborhoods) within walking distance of every residence, etc.

  3. It’s important to have one council member like Kshama Sawant, who isn’t going to roll over for the Seattle Good-ol’-boys network.

    I appreciate her shining the light into the dark underbelly of Seattle politics.

    Exposing the cabal is what she’s good at.

    I’d vote for her because she’s “over the top” as far as Seattle’s “sensibilities” are concerned. (I’m not a resident, so this is merely opinion)

      1. Good point Brent,

        She hasn’t named names.
        Mike McGinn knows whose “rings need to be kissed”, though.

  4. Since we’re talking about the “good” stuff STB doesn’t cover that Sawant has done or said, it bears repeating that she is the candidate in this race who eschewed Democracy Vouchers. The Chamber’s PAC is now spending gobs of money to promote Egan Orion and a couple other candidates who probably won’t get to the November ballot. Sawant could have accepted the vouchers, and then gotten released from the spending limits. Her decision to not accept vouchers is looking particularly dumb.

  5. I live in District 3 and am a moderate, so to me Sawant is OK but I’d like something better. She’s more knowledgeable and pragmatic in one-on-one interviews and city council meetings than her rhetoric suggests. so I’m pretty sure she understands the issues and supports some good incremental solutions. The problem is her rhetoric: those campaign-rally slogans make sweeping generalizations that are often inaccurate or make counterproductive solutions if implemented literally. Her followers are worse, with more of the simplistic demands and less of her intellectual ability and pragmatism. (Of course, I don’t see them when they’re not at rallies or outreach events, so they may be more nuanced than is visible there. But this again shows the problem with half-baked rhetoric.) Sometimes she seems to believe her rhetoric too much, and I think that’s what leads to her counterproductive votes and statements in the council.

    I attended the District 3 transit/housing panel, and my impression was similar to the editorial board’s. Logan Bowers stood out because both his answers and his campaign site recommend putting pedestrians first — straight out of Donald Shoup. That is so refreshing to hear a council candidate say that. I don’t know how well he’d follow up on it or how good his experience is or working with others — I’ve been waiting to hear what others know about these. But he’s certainly favorable at this point. I think he said he grew up in the CD and talked about its poor transit access to downtown and Broadway — something that has been raised repeatedly on STB.

    The others gave mixed responses; I don’t remember enough to say more. Murakami said some things I was seriously concerned about; I don’t remember clearly, but I think against fixed-guideway transit and single-family upzoning if I remember. She may have been on the right side of better bus service though.

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