Voters in District 4 are spoiled for choice. Almost all of these candidates might win our sole endorsement if in certain other districts. In this race, it’s almost a given to support more transit, bike lanes, and upzoning single family neighborhoods. To be excellent in this race, candidates have to show both relevant political experience and a commitment to transit and land use in particular.
Cathy Tuttle has decades of experience managing the planning and successful construction of public works projects. After her city career, she founded and directed Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, who we can thank for the 20 mph speed limit on most streets.
She proposes to institute “climate notes”, similar to fiscal notes, analyzing the climate impact of every proposed city project. She is a housing construction hawk, including her call to re-legalize micro-housing. She wants more dedicated bus lanes and 24-hour bus service, and is as unsympathetic to a “windshield perspective” as can be.
Shaun Scott is a socialist with a streak of transit geekdom — see his 4-part series on Forward Thrust last year. We think he could help bring the social justice coalition in this city to prioritize things like upzones and bus lanes.
Joshua Newman is a former president of Seattle Subway. As one might expect, his platform emphasizes the bus priority and upzones at the core of our agenda for the city. We trust him more than any other candidate to resist neighborhood interests that oppose these measures. His favored revenue source is a higher downtown parking tax, which is about as good as it gets. Furthermore, Seattle Subway (unlike STB) does real retail politics, a useful training ground for the act of building support in the real world.
Emily Myers is a scientist who is emphasizing climate change in her campaign. She was one of the architects of the City’s “Green New Deal” and has built an impressive array of endorsements, so she’ll hit the ground running.
She wants progressively-structured congestion pricing to fund transit. She wants to expedite ST3 and ST4. She also wants to complete the Bicycle Master Plan, using data to prioritize which arterials need protected bike lanes most urgently.
Going through the individual lightning-round responses would be a bit tedious. You know where we stand, and can see the answers yourself. Suffice it to say that Heidi Stuber and Sasha Anderson had answers that were a cut above the next tier of candidates and show a bit more political sophistication. And yet, they are not as deeply committed to our issues as the candidates above.
Frank Krueger, Ethan Hunter, and Beth Mountsier have basically correct core values, the occasional difference with us on second-tier transportation and land use questions, and no evidence of particular transportation chops or political organizing skills to indicate they’ll have much impact on the Council.
Even Alex Pedersen brings decades of relevant expertise and talent to this field. But he disagrees with the rest of the field in so many important ways. He is easily the most allied in this field with neighborhood interests opposed to upzoning and non-SOV right-of-way priority.
Pedersen is hiding behind a meaningless slogan of “Accountability”. He used to write a neighborhood blog, and then shut it down, with the result that those not on his email list wouldn’t see his posts opposing the Sound Transit 3 and Move Seattle ballot measures. (Thank you to Erica Barnett for breaking that story.) He is also the only candidate who didn’t show up to the MASS forum, so he avoided getting answers to a lot of tough questions on the record. The paper trail corroborates his stealth opposition to most of our agenda.
The Seattle Transit Blog Editorial Board currently consists of Martin Duke, Frank Chiachiere, and Brent White.